First days are not just about new spaces

  • Stanley Head of School Sumant Bhat's first day of school 2020

    When you take a look around campus, there’s a lot that’s different about the 2020-21 school year. Individual desks are spaced out and sprinkled around rooms. Spaces like the pub room, lunchroom and my office are now classrooms, reinvented in ways that only Stanley faculty could. Conversations around campus are happening, but with masks on. Head outside and you’ll find tents scattered around campus and students on yoga mats, wooden stumps, or even crazy-creek chairs physically, but not socially, distant. Daily wellness checks and carline check-ins are becoming habits.


    With so much different on the surface about the day-to-day, it’s easy to overlook what remains the same: A second-grade student troubleshooting with a new kindergartner how to build supports on a ramp to prevent marbles from falling off the sides; joyful laughter as students make up games at recess in their cohort spaces; essential questions being introduced to guide units of study and exploration; and choice time that includes 3-4-5 students doing beading projects that surpass the limits of my fine motor skills.


    Most importantly though, teachers are listening to students, seeking out their voices and respecting them. Authentic connections are being built day by day with conscious efforts on behalf of teachers to get to know kids and share windows about themselves. Stanley’s philosophy and approach is perhaps even more essential now, and we will do our best to continue to share examples of our British Primary philosophy in action as we stay true to who we are throughout the year ahead. For a school that began in the basement of a church, it’s always been about the people and our approach, not the bricks and mortar. And that will always be the case.