To those of you who have read my Admissions Greeting on our website, you know that my superpower is knowing every Kent School student’s name, as well as their parents’ and siblings’ names and sometimes, I even know their grandparents’ names. I don’t study a directory or any lists. It is a process of getting to know a student and their family throughout the enrollment process. And each year, on the first day of school, I hope that by greeting a new student by name with a welcoming smile, I might be able to alleviate just a little bit of their first day jitters.
This year, it’s going to be a little different. I do know your children by name but I certainly did not get to know them the way I would have liked to during a typical admission process. I have met several new students only virtually, through a Zoom meeting. For those whom I have met in person, it was brief, with everyone wearing face coverings. It is not the same as having them tell me they are nervous or excited about their class visit or me texting a photo to their nervous parents to let them know their child is doing great. Most of all, interactions after a tour or Zoom session are not the same. I miss overhearing interactions like this after a shadow day:
Mom: “So on a scale of 1 to 10 how was your visit?”
Student: “Mom, it was a 100. Can I come back tomorrow?”
I am writing to you to let you know how GRATEFUL I am, even with this abbreviated admission process, that you were able to IMAGINE cheerful classrooms, with JOYful children and that you BELIEVE in the wonderful educational opportunities that are ahead for your children as they join the Kent School community.
I am ready to welcome your children by name on September 8 with a welcoming smile under my face covering. I hope your children will see that smile in my eyes and feel a little less nervous and a little more ready to connect with their new school family.
Thank you for being a part of Kent School.
P.S. Each year our Head of School, Nancy Mugele selects a word that our students, teachers and families reflect on throughout the year. Nancy’s past words have been:
JOY, IMAGINE, BELIEVE and GRATEFUL. You will have to wait to see what her word choice is for this year. We will share it with the children on the first day of school. (Hint: I may have used it somewhere in this letter.)