The 2020-21 Academic Year is around the corner for our students, but for our faculty and staff, we’ve hit the ground running this week. Things got off to an enthusiastic start at our all-employee assembly in the Fountain Gym where everyone was physically distanced and masked. It was the first time since early March we gathered as a group, and it was energizing!
Headmistress Sr. Wachter spoke about the work that has gone into preparing for the safe reopening of School. And while recognizing that there is uncertainty for some and questions still to be answered, we are excited to be back and ready for this year. Sr. Wachter also spoke to the importance of this year’s theme: Building an Anti-Racist Culture • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and quoted from the reflection Awe, Wonder, and Love by educator Fr. Richard Rohr:
“The call to love beyond our own flesh and blood is ancient. It echoes down to us on the lips of indigenous leaders, spiritual teachers, and social reformers through the centuries. [The founder of Sikhism] Guru Nanak called us to see no stranger, Buddha to practice unending compassion, Abraham to open our tent to all, Jesus to love our neighbors, Muhammad to take in the orphan, [Hindu mystic saint] Mirabai to love without limit.”
This week’s preparations also include a Q&A session with our consulting physicians Dr. Jeff Scott, Nova Scotia's former Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Robert Bortolussi, pediatric infectious disease specialist at the IWK, who have been tremendous in helping us prepare for a safe return to school. Doctor and Senator Stan Kutcher, an internationally-renowned expert in adolescent mental health and a leader in mental health research, will speak to staff and faculty about the importance of mental health for ourselves and our students this year. And we are pleased to welcome our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to talk about the initial work they have undertaken in support of this year’s theme.
Faculty and staff continue to prepare for next week while familiarizing themselves with new protocols, plans, spaces, and expectations. The momentum and excitement is building!