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Recent Communications from Prep

August 10, 2020

Dear Community Member,

First, I would like to welcome all our families to the 2020-2021 school year. There is much to celebrate, as we near the conclusion of our construction of the Bachmann Collaboration Building and prepare for a dynamic new year. Through the summer, faculty have been working enthusiastically to build upon the successful work they undertook last spring when we moved classes online.

Teaching and learning at Prep is about encouraging lightbulb moments—whether they happen through a discussion, group work, demonstration, or experiment. Our faculty have spent considerable time this summer continuing to make their instruction both interactive and personalized in an online format. Important goals for each faculty member include using the online space to promote a sense of community and to encourage student-to-student contact through a wide variety of projects and activities. In addition, our faculty are mindful of balancing time on and off screens, and they will be encouraging their students to take breaks and move around.

Additionally, we’ve been working hard to give our extracurricular activities, including student leadership, clubs, athletics, and arts, a vibrant online life. Students should expect to hear from student leaders and club advisors consistently as school starts. Our younger students in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades will receive information about peer counseling and buddies in an email message that will be sent tomorrow, and they will be hearing from their peer counselors and buddies soon to schedule special gatherings before the first day of school. Once school begins, 7th and 9th grade advisory groups, class meetings, and all-school morning meetings will resume in earnest, ensuring our students connect with one another in groups big and small. For our student-athletes, we are providing a rich after-school conditioning program, preparing them meaningfully for their athletic seasons to come.

Information about our new daily schedule can be found in the packet linked at the end of this message. Students received access to their first semester schedules today. Parents, please remind your children to check their Prep email and log in to onCampus to access the schedule.

Although campus remains restricted to all but essential faculty and staff, and in-person instruction and activities are prohibited, plans are in the works to make our touchless Book Day on August 24 memorable and fun. I’m looking forward to greeting as many families as possible during this kickoff. Logistical details about Book Day can be found by clicking the link at the end of this message.  

We realize that circumstances are unusual and that families may have questions about the start of the school year. We are hosting a Virtual Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, August 18, at 6:00 p.m. At this webinar session for parents, I will be joined by Vanessa Walker-Oakes, Assistant Head for Student Life, and Sarah Cooper, Assistant Head for Academic Life. If you have a question that you would like to have answered in the Virtual Town Hall, please complete our survey by August 12 (please see the link below). We will do our best to answer as many questions as we can during our 45-minute webinar. Email invitations and reminders will be forthcoming.

Our website has answers to frequently asked questions. Visit for updates. In the opening weeks of the school year our grade-level coffees offer a great opportunity to learn how the school year will progress for each grade and provide a window into the student experience. Our Virtual Back to School Night, scheduled for Thursday, September 3, will offer parents an opportunity to visit their students’ classes virtually. Detailed information about these events will be emailed to you in late August.

Finally, we have been working through the summer to create a meaningful structure for our DEI Initiative, and we’ve received copious feedback in our recent request for nominations for the DEI steering committee. We will send an update later in August. In the meantime, we are thrilled to announce that Sandra Cisneros, literary luminary and author of our Prep Reads book The House on Mango Street, will speak at a school-wide virtual assembly on September 9. We encourage you to read the book along with your student beforehand! More details on this visit can be found in the linked packet. 

As you can see, this fall is full of opportunities for us to interact and engage as a community. I’m looking forward to getting to know you all, and I hope you enjoy these last days of summer.

All the best,

Jim Pickett
Head of School

Additional Links
Click Here to Download Our Summer Mailing Packet
Click Here to See Frequently Asked Questions About Our Return to Campus
Click Here to Submit a Question for Our Virtual Town Hall Meeting