Where have we been? Where are we going?
When we look back to a year ago – July 2019, the heart of summer – so few of us were thinking about the upcoming school year at all. Returning students might have been thinking about some schedule adjustments, upper-form students might have been anxiously awaiting leadership appointments, while new students and families were trying to become better acquainted with the particulars of Portsmouth Abbey school life. Teachers were enjoying a well-earned break, though they probably could not help but brainstorm new ideas for their classes. But not a single person wondered whether or not school would actually begin sometime after Labor Day.
But here we are a year later. The campus has been without students for four months. We spent our entire spring term teaching and learning through virtual platforms. And all we can think about is what comes next.
Many questions still need to be answered, and many circumstances of our world are still in an incredible state of flux. But one thing is certain: We want to open our school next year. Our school is predicated on a fundamental sense of community. There is a most basic and underlying precept to the Portsmouth Abbey experience that says: Whatever we do here, we do it together. We cannot deny that the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic has altered what we are able to do here and how we can carry out our curriculum in all its facets, academic or otherwise. We have to approach the upcoming school year with caution, and we have to prepare for a year in which the first question is always one of health and safety. But here is a summary of what we can expect from next year: Likely changes, hopes for a return to our way of life, and general answers to looming questions.