September 10, 2020
On September 9th—for the first time in six months and for the first time in the school’s second century—Nightingale opened its doors to students to commence the 2020-2021 academic year.
The moment marked the culmination of months-long planning and preparation by so many members of the Nightingale community. School leaders spent the summer reviewing best practices, leaning on science, and making preparations so the school year could begin safely for all. Faculty prepared throughout the summer for in-person, hybrid, and remote learning to deliver the best education for the various learning styles made available this fall. “In spite of some inevitable challenges, a common refrain heard among our faculty and staff is a true sense of joy at being in community with our students,” said associate head of school Ms. du Nouy.
Traditionally students are welcomed back to Nightingale through the blue doors. Adding to this year’s excitement—and to reduce crowding—Nightingale opened its black doors and (the lesser known) grey doors. “Regardless of the color of the paint,” said head of school Mr. Burke in a statement to parents, “all of Nightingale’s doors provide passageways to learning and growth.”
Last spring, Nightingale committed to educating all students regardless of where they reside. The academic year begins with close to one hundred Hawks@Home, the name given to our students who are attending class while not physically in the Schoolhouse. The Hawks@Home program includes Kindergarteners, Class XII seniors, and students from every grade in-between. Ms. Maclean ’97 and Ms. Javier, who are serving as liaisons for these students, are working tirelessly to assure that each Hawk@Home feels connected to the community and to her learning.
In addition to the faculty and staff, the parent community continues to play a vital and essential role in keeping Nightingale's doors open. At the fall Parents Association virtual coffee held on September 22, PA President Alexis Moses P’27 highlighted that “our actions, both inside and outside the Schoolhouse not only affect those within our direct community, but also create ripple effects throughout our extended community. The Nightingale community pledge outlines important responsibilities and commitments that every member of our community should consider. Our systems and protocols can only succeed when we all come together with a common purpose and respect for the health and well-being of everyone.”
In partnership with our families, Nightingale will continue to work towards ensuring a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students this academic year.
For additional photos from our opening days, visit our First Day of School 2020 photo gallery.