From the Desk of the Head of School- March 11, 2021
As I was walking through the Schwartz Center on my way to hook up on Monday, I noticed that our 8th grade torn paper projects were back on the walls. This is a middle school art project that has been a part of our school for a very long time. Seeing it this year, though, hit me hard. I felt a lump in my throat and water in my eyes (it was dusty…) and I lingered in the hallway as I looked over all the portraits.
Perhaps it was the seventy degree weather or the sound of kids on the playground or the budding smell of spring, but I found myself drifting somewhere between reminiscence and hope. It was a year ago today that the WHO declared the world was in a pandemic. The NCAA cancelled March Madness, the NBA and NHL shut down, and we were looking at a Spring Break where we were hopeful we could flatten the curve. We did not and we didn’t come back to campus either. Now we’ve been in school 125 days, our faculty will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated by the end of this weekend, the case count is falling in Davidson County, we are outside more, and the speck of light at the end of the tunnel has grown. It feels like we are coming out on the other end of this thing.
We are here - where we were one year ago - eager for spring break. I am so proud of our learning community - of what we’ve accomplished by committing to being open on time and on campus for our students. But just as we weren’t sure what the world would look like coming out of Spring Break 2020, what we will be able to recapture about the Harding Academy experience after Spring Break 2021 depends on the collective commitment of our learning community to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus for the benefit of the school’s greater good.
If you feel your family has taken reasonable precautions during your time away from school that will decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at school when we resume operations on March 22, I trust that. If you feel that there may have been activities undertaken that increased the risk to the broader community, I trust that your family will consider how you might mitigate that risk on the back end and let us know if there will be an impact on your child’s attendance in person, so we can plan accordingly.
Have a wonderful Spring Break. Stay safe and healthy.