Communications from Peter Bachmann
Flintridge Preparatory School is actively monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and will send out regular correspondence to keep the community updated and informed. This webpage will also be regularly updated. Flintridge Prep will look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the California Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and a consortium of local independent schools to make the most informed and appropriate decisions.
On Tuesday, we met online as a full faculty in order to celebrate student achievement. Teacher after teacher told stories of particular students’ kindness, effort, engagement, and community spirit. Ms. Campobasso and I have met with all the juniors. They have submitted to us stories of gratitude about dozens of seniors, who in classes, clubs, sports, arts, and around campus have demonstrated leadership qualities that enhanced younger students’ lives. Yesterday, the senior independent study videos revealed a number of students who embody love of learning for its own sake, after transcripts have been sent to colleges, when nobody is keeping score. The mutual appreciation across this community is a wonder to behold.
I have sent the following email to the Class of 2020 and their parents:
I hope you are well. Tomorrow, with the 4:00 release of the Independent Studies video, we begin our celebration of the Class of 2020’s achievements, including Mock Trial, Stat/Psych presentations, and the Identity Conference. We encourage all of you, wherever possible, to come together in appreciation of this remarkable body of work the Class has produced, and of course, we will gather at 7 p.m. today to celebrate each student’s college selection.
We are busy preparing for two graduation ceremonies, the virtual event on May 24 as scheduled and the later festivities when we will come together in person as soon as conditions permit. Our goal is to honor the long awaited moment next month with a 45-60 minute tribute that will include the Student Class Speaker, to be selected by the entire class, the class video, which is a trip down memory lane, and most importantly, the awarding of diplomas. We will honor each student with the appearance of senior portraits. We request that each student wear a cap and gown during the online ceremony with your family. We are arranging a time in May for you to pick up your caps and gowns in our upper lot by car, pausing to see the Class Banner on the Crown Avenue fence. I plan to be there personally to greet you as you visit us at a safe social distance. We are also making plans for yard signs at your homes and will be scheduling an online graduation rehearsal.
I am busy signing diplomas as we speak. I am into the “Ls,” so those of you with names “M-Z” better keep your noses clean a little longer! We ask the parents to present the diplomas to their children during their at-home ceremonies. We will save the personalized diploma covers to present at our second event.
We are planning for additional senior festivities beyond May, as we meet with multiple venues to discuss logistics for our second ceremony, and as we explore possibilities for a later senior trip highlighted by the historic Pine Cone Ceremony.
Also, rumors are afoot regarding a possible Mr. Flintridge Prep “mockumentary.”
Thank you for your support and understanding. We are excited with these upcoming opportunities to salute a remarkable class. If you will excuse me, I’m off to study my Mock Trial “expert witness role” for Friday at 12:30 p.m.
On the final day of my Great Books class each year, I show my students Dave Poehler’s Walden quote:
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
I invite them to rewrite the sentence, inserting their own values:
Give me _________.
Fill in your own value. Thoreau invites us to bore down to essentials.
I hope that you have all enjoyed the week online and are ready to take advantage of summer-like weather.
Next week, we begin a multi-day celebration of the achievements of our seniors, the Class of 2020:
April 30 – Independent Study Presentations
May 1 – Mock Trial
May 1 – Senior Celebration*
May 4 – Psych/Stat Interdisciplinary Presentations
May 6-8 – Identity Class Conference
*Seniors and Class of 2020 parents, check your email later this afternoon for an invitation to Senior Celebration!
Second semester seniors have stayed productive!
“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
Henry David Thoreau
Please enjoy the weekend.
I hope you all enjoyed the extended weekend and were able, by any means possible, to connect with loved ones.
The county’s Stay At Home extension through May 15 makes it clear that we will remain in online learning classes for the remainder of the semester. Our exams will be online as well, and we are encouraging teachers to be flexible and creative. Because of unusual circumstances, exams will count between 10 and 20 percent of the semester grade, at the discretion of each teacher. This is a real opportunity for us to experiment with alternative assessments.
We plan to hold end-of-year celebrations, from Commencement to 8th Grade Promotion. We are looking at various options if, as appears increasingly likely, late May might not be possible. We are particularly anxious to celebrate the wonderful Class of 2020 multiple times, in multiple ways. Please be patient as we explore alternatives.
“A deep distress hath humanized my soul.”
William Wordsworth (courtesy of Ken McCormick)
Choose groups to clone to: