Building a Bridge: The Class of 2022 Welcomes the Class of 2034

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021

At the start of every September, a bridge forms between our youngest Nighthawks and our eldest Nighthawks, when the senior class welcomes the Kindergarten class on their first day of school. A line forms down the sidewalk of 92nd Street, as our new families wait with a combination of nerves and excitement. Meanwhile, our senior class, buoyed by pride and nostalgia, forms a line that begins just inside the blue doors, winding itself through the lobby. The significance of this moment is not lost on the participants—this is how we build relationships at Nightingale. With a warm smile, a hand to hold, and a friend to help you get where you need to go.

On the morning of September 13, the time had come for each member of the Class of 2034 to step up to the blue doors to greet Head of School Paul A. Burke and a member of the Class of 2022. In these special moments, the hub-bub of the morning faded into the background as encouraging words were shared and the promise of what was about to be the start of a wonderful adventure. Ready to take on the day (and the school year!), our seniors and Ks confidently marched inside to the 4th floor, hand-in-hand, while the next pair of students stepped forward to greet one another. 44 new Kindergarten students later, our Schoolhouse was officially full for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Kathy L. ’22 reflected on the significance of this tradition and how it marks the first time that the Kindergarten students experience the collaboration and support of our school community. “When a senior took my hand and walked me upstairs as a Kindergartner, it was as if she was telling me the entire Nightingale community was there for me. As a senior, I took this responsibility seriously and wanted to make sure that my Kindergartner knew she was entering a place in which she will grow and always have someone to reach out to. This tradition is such a warm way of welcoming Kindergartners and is one I hope will continue into Nightingale’s second century.”

And so we keep building bridges—knowing that one day, our Class of 2034 will be eagerly waiting inside the blue doors to greet the Class of 2046 on their first day of Kindergarten—ready to support the next generation of Nighthawks on their Nightingale journey.