Welcome Back 2021
Even as a small child, I always found it confusing that school years start in the fall. Autumn is a time for winding down. Trees are ending their annual cycle, the garden is approaching its final harvest, the holidays and end of year is in sight. Yet in the midst of all these endings, students, teachers, and school support staff all find themselves thrust into a plethora of beginnings: new classes, new expectations, new friends. It always felt like to me like we were going against the natural flow.
Don’t get me wrong–I am not pushing for school during the summer. As a kid I loved our family camping trips and spending every day at my local pool. I would never exchange my lazy afternoons tubing down the South Toe River just so the energy of the school year matches the seasons. I just always found the contradiction of schedules jarring.
Welcoming the New Energy
This year, however, I find myself feeling incredibly grateful for a new beginning. The pandemic seemed to blur the lines between 2020 and 2021 making it feel like one long stretch. Like many, I felt reprieve in the late spring as things looked like they might return to normal only to be dismayed anew as COVID cases began to rise and surpass earlier numbers. Having something auspicious to celebrate right now is exactly what I am craving to get me through this long year.
Every August when students arrive at Arthur Morgan School, I hear the same thing from staff, “This group of students is going to be amazing!” Those first few days when students come in full of excitement give us all a sense of hope. You feel the potential for new friendships and new experiences. Students will voice their intentions for the school year like New Year’s resolutions. They are energized by the chance to start again and reinvent themselves. It may be counter to a season when everything else is winding down and waiting for the actual new year to begin, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. The energy is infectious, and it’s one infection we can all be happy about spreading right now.
What We are Excited About
The 2021-22 school year offers lots of promise. With our new academic building finally completed our students are about experience AMS in a whole new way. Hopkins has been transformed into a giant wood shop and craft space. The library with its huge windows is right alongside the school’s courtyard. Extended hiking trips are back this year and even though we continue to take some precautions, a feeling of normalcy is definitely in the air. The new staff are excited to share their interests and skills just as much as the new students are excited to learn them.
So let the leaves fall. Let the garden empty its rows of plenty. Let the year wind down as it always does in this season of endings. At AMS we are starting new, and we couldn’t be more excited!
-by Nick Maldonado
We are already accepting applications for next school year! Let us know if you are interested in applying!