Looking Ahead to the New School Year
Posted by Holly Hirst on August 5, 2021
The beautiful days of summer are still here for all of us to savor. At ASM, the Administration is busy preparing for the faculty and students to return to campus at the end of the month. We’re looking forward to hearing the hum of the classrooms once again!
I officially joined the ASM community on July 1, and I’ve been immersing myself in the culture, procedures, programming, and immediate business of preparing for the start of the 2021-22 academic year. For two weeks in July, I also participated in my first summer intensive of the Montessori Administrator training through Seton Montessori Institute in Clarendon Hills, IL. All of this combined will allow me to focus on our school’s vision going forward.
In addition to my recent start at ASM, we are pleased to welcome several new faculty and staff members to our community. Their introductions are included here. Please join me in welcoming them.
On the COVID-19 front, with the Delta variant on the rise, things are once again changing rapidly and I want to be open with everyone regarding our planning process.
From the Leadership Team’s perspective, we know:
- Our first priority is the health and safety of our school community.
- Our first goal is to have students in person for our regular school hours.
- Our second goal is to offer as many auxiliary programs as possible.
- Our ultimate goal is to get back to pre-pandemic normalcy.
To these ends:
- We have reactivated our universal masking procedures on campus;
- We are receiving and considering updates from pertinent organizations such as the CDC, AAP, DESE, the Town of Andover, etc.;
- Administrators are meeting weekly to review updates;
- The Board President, Esin Dibirdi, and I attended a day-long virtual event on risk management presented by our law team;
- The Health & Safety Committee (including ASM faculty, administrators, and parent/healthcare providers) are meeting weekly;
- and I am working with our Health & Safety consultants for COVID-19, Fusion Cell, to update our COVID Progression Model and Communication Plan.
I will continue to provide updates in the TIP, which is distributed Thursday afternoons.
While we are preparing on campus, we ask that you prepare at home as well. Please talk with your children about the importance of hand washing and mask wearing, and model these important practices so that they become routine.
“Development is a series of rebirths.” Maria Montessori
In difficult times, it is easy to focus on the negative. Beauty and joy, however, continue to flourish and to be newly created. It is my intention to focus on the positivity of being together again, welcoming new families and employees, and sharing in the curiosity, growth, and learning that your children will immerse themselves in while here at ASM. Please join me in this mutual aspiration!
I look forward to connecting with each of you soon. Please reach out to me to say hello or to share your questions with me.