End of Year Plans

The Meadows School Campus
Dear Meadows Family,
As you know too well, schools are more than just places we send children for an education. They are social centers, communities, and guardians of tradition. My leadership team and I have worked hard to try to preserve a sense of community, even as our traditional educational practices have been forced online. From theme days in lower school to a middle school virtual talent show, to beginning school show and tell, to upper school social media takeovers, we have done what we could to approximate our sense of togetherness and to invent new ways to remind ourselves of who we are and what we mean to each other. To that end, I wanted to share with you some of our plans for all of our important year-end traditions.

Athletic Awards
We are preparing a video to honor all of our athletes this year, with special recognition for our senior student athletes. We are also going to distribute framed varsity letters to the senior student athletes at the Senior Parade/Yearbook Distribution event on May 15th. In addition, we have posted special recognition of our seniors’ contributions to the school’s Athletics Facebook page.

Honor Society Inductions
All middle and upper school honor society inductees will be notified in the mail of their acceptance and inductions will be rescheduled for early next school year.

Graduation
Some have asked why we don’t do a “drive by” ceremony, or why we don’t emulate what one or another high school is doing. My response is that our graduation is more than simply a gimmicky way of handing out diplomas. It is one of our most emblematic and meaningful ceremonies. Like bar mitzvahs and baptisms and weddings, The Meadows graduation is a community event that serves to remind us that we belong to an institution larger than ourselves. There is no more truly representative event that The Meadows School undertakes than graduation, and I am committed to making sure that we observe our traditions and celebrate the class of 2020 with appropriate “pomp and circumstance.” They have earned it and we should not budge from our fundamental traditions wherever possible. This means we are looking to delay our graduation ceremony to a time when we can join together to honor our graduates.

Final Assembly
Given that seniors will not be on campus when we return, we are having to do our best to approximate some of our traditions for the Senior Assembly. Kindergarten students and teachers have prepared a keepsake art project, a senior student is preparing a video honoring the class, and we are compiling the school’s traditional tribute video. Parties to celebrate departing faculty will be moved to summer or fall, and the recognition of milestone work anniversaries will be celebrated at the earliest all-school assembly next year.

Yearbook Distribution
In middle and upper schools, yearbook distribution is usually kicked off by handing out yearbooks to seniors first at a senior barbeque event, and to everyone else thereafter. This year, seniors will get their yearbooks and a number of other keepsake items at a “parade” in their honor on campus. We hope to host an in-person yearbook signing later in the summer for seniors. Juniors, sophomores, and freshmen will get their yearbooks on May 18th, and have been assigned times to arrive on campus. Middle School students are scheduled to receive their yearbooks the on May 19th, when they arrive to retrieve belongings and return school materials. Lower school yearbooks have been delayed as a result of the pandemic and we will have to get back to you on distribution plans.

Senior Sunset
We are planning a “socially distanced” senior sunset experience on our campus later this month. This will feature a screening of the student-created year end video and the receiving of senior gifts.

Arts & Academic Awards
Because we cannot get together for the annual middle and upper school Arts & Academic Awards, we are moving away from a big, public recognition of our hardworking students and instead aiming for a much more personalized way of honoring awardees. Students will be notified via mail of their accomplishment, as usual, and seniors will be mailed their awards. Awards will be available to returning students in the fall.

Beginning and Lower School Class Parties
All teachers in Beginning and Lower School are finding fun ways to end the year. We may not be able to have a party in person, but educators are working to make sure the school year ends in memorable and enjoyable ways for each classroom of students. The Beginning School will also host a “car caravan” to say goodbye to students on May 21st.

5th Grade Awards
A virtual awards ceremony will be held via Zoom on May 21st to honor students earning their Presidential Scholar Awards, their Great American Pride Program Awards, and their Three-Year Jewel Reading Awards. We are also planning a keepsake program detailing all these accomplishments.

Lower School Classroom Awards
Individual classroom awards have been scheduled via Zoom by each teacher, and parents have been invited. Research Hall of Fame trophies, Great American Pride certificates and National Mythology honors will all be distributed by May 15th.

Battle for the Bell Finale and Painting
We are unable to have our all-school Field Day, which saw its inaugural observance last year. Battle for the Bell points are still trickling in, and we will announce a winner by the end of this school year and award either the Silver or the Blue team the opportunity to paint the Spirit Bell as soon as we return to campus.

ERBs
An annual experience for our lower and middle school students, the Educational Record Bureau (ERB) exams help us make sure we continue to keep our standards high, and help us track student performance longitudinally. We do not feel that skipping one year of standardized tests will mar our data collection and so we have decided to skip ERBs this year.

Finally, we are mindful that the way this year has ended has been especially hard on the class of 2020. For this reason, the upper school administrative team, along with the students, parents, and staff members of the Class of 2020 Task Force, have worked to make the end of the year special. More events are in the works, but we have already hand-delivered bundt cakes to seniors, delivered celebratory yard signs, and used our Instagram and Athletics Facebook page to honor individuals in the senior class in the past few weeks alone.
 
Thank you for ending the year with us!
 
Sincerely, 
Jeremy Gregersen
Head of School

Head of School Coffee

Middle School Talent Show

A Thank You from STUCO

TMS Instagram