Lions and Lambs, Part II
March 15, 2021
That weather whiplash I wrote about last week is certainly playing out right now. 55 degrees while I write this; predicted to be 9 degrees in 60 hours! But it’s all fine, isn’t it? Last night I spent a few restful moments after the second Evening of Readings outside in the warm wind looking at the stars in all their pinpoint glory. The creativity of the students, the ability to be outside comfortably without suiting up, the blazing sunshine again today, all reminded me to savor today and to believe that looking forward is the right thing today. Looking forward to the bright future of spring. To the bright future of these innovative, inspired, eloquent young people. The bright future of our school.
Not light or trite words when you think about what happened a year ago today. Friday, March 13th, 2020 our school’s drama community was hastily throwing together one week early their fully staged production of the school play and performing it for us in the last hours before we closed the school due to the pandemic. A year ago, as I write these very words, the final applause for the actors and stagehands finally wound and we called the Seniors to the stage to send them off with praise and recognition, thinking (rightfully, as it turned out) that this was our last chance to be together as a whole community with them. A year later, I truly can write of the bright future of our school–our world–knowing that you know what I mean.
So, rather than just waxing eloquent this week, I also want to get down to the nitty gritty. The new components of the HVAC system at school are now up and running, meaning fresh, outside, filtered air is cycling through occupied spaces non-stop throughout the day. The Faculty (and remember that we refer to all people who work at Vermont Commons as part of the Faculty) have been able to sign up for vaccines, the timing of which means that folks will be vaccinated and past the two-week waiting period by the end of Spring Break.
About two and a half weeks from now, we plan to bring each Core Group of students to the building two days a week (these two days will be in addition to the Wednesday Encounter Experiences). Some Faculty who got in their first vaccination doses early will be able to start being on campus four days a week starting April 11th. Most of the rest of the Faculty will be able to return to campus four days a week starting April 28th (the Monday right after Spring Break). And as a result, we are working through the logistics now of bringing each Core Group to the building four days a week before the end of the school year.
So many of you have reached out in recent weeks, praising the teachers, appreciating the depth, quality, and engagement of the online curriculum this year and how students have been able to stay on track with their academic progress. And many of you as well have expressed your thanks for the return to the building, appreciating our measured approach and grateful for the steady progress now underway. We just wanted to thank you for your kind words and support throughout this last year, and also to say how much we appreciate your efforts as well, collaborating with us throughout, making it work, and keeping the spirit and community of Vermont Commons alive and well so that we could get to this moment. It’s going to be an inspired, fantastic rest of the year, and the 2021-22 school year is going to feel (and be!) truly incredible!