For the past two weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the warmth of this community.
I’ve seen parents advise each other during orientation and registration, answer questions for each other during the well-attended first-day Parent Association coffee, come together to organize car pools and camping supplies, volunteer to assist with lunch prep and clean-up, and create a welcoming back-to-school picnic for our community. I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a compassionate, energetic, and supportive network of families.
Looking back, the first day of school was defined by excitement and anticipation. Our student council welcomed the students with ice-breaking activities and introductions in the all-school meeting.
The second day was bustling with the preparations for the class retreat departures. I was touched by the parent who wrote to me and described the staging areas as “happy mayhem.” This is a perfect encapsulation of the Kirby way – a balance of orderliness and student freedom. For many students, this trip was the first time away from their parents. I found myself moved by their courage, and by the support of their more-experienced traveler peers, who may have only made their acquaintance the previous day.
I was fortunate enough to spend a day hiking with the 9th grade this past week. Although the mosquitoes were a bit of a nuisance, spirits were high. By day 3, it was clear that students had come together as a class, and if I didn’t already know the rosters, it would have been impossible to tell who the new and returning students were. Students embraced the activities that were organized by the group leaders, which entertained the passers-by on the trails (particularly when students howled like wolves). I learned about our student interests, which range from Dungeons and Dragons to rap composition. I am continually impressed by the wealth of passions and skills in our student body.
While time in the outdoors was restorative, I was happy to return to the comforts of campus. I hope that the students and families soon feel as at-home here as I do.
The Back to School Picnic this past Friday was well-attended, un-dampened by the autumn mist. Thank you, Jackie Becker, and all the volunteers of the Parents Association, for feeding us at the end of a long week. I also want to thank all the families who came to get to know Kirby faculty, staff, and fellow parents. While I’m used to seeing the kids run off together to play frisbee, football, and volleyball at the end-of-year picnic, this was the first time I’ve seen that level of comfort and independence in the student body at this picnic — I believe a result of our first-week’s programs and retreats. There are some images from the picnic on Kirby’s Facebook page if you’d like to see.
If there’s anything you can think of that would make the campus more hospitable for your child, please don’t hesitate to bring it to my attention. We have been working on better temperature control and fresh air into our space, which I believe will make this year that much more productive and enjoyable for our kids.
Looking forward to an amazing year ahead with you!
Head of School