Dear Laurence Community,
The 2021-2022 school year is starting in just a couple of weeks, and I have never been more excited to welcome our Laurence students back to campus. What a difference a year makes! We are excited to bring new ideas and programs to Laurence, while other programs are returning after 18 months of the pandemic. And while we will still be wearing masks, I know that each of us will be smiling underneath them as we celebrate the fact that all of our students will be starting the school year learning in-person on a full-time basis.
At Laurence, we are always looking forward, and we are focused on redefining excellence, innovation, and a sense of belonging in our new reality. As I reflect on the year we spent physically apart, the concept of "belonging" has particularly been at the top of my mind. Belonging encompasses a sense of connectedness, a feeling of being included, and the feeling that you are in the right place with people who support and care about you. When you feel like you belong to a community, you feel heard, respected, valued, and accepted -- feelings that allow you to be your best self and to be exactly who you are. As our students, families, administrators, faculty, and staff come back together this fall, our goal is for each of us to feel like we belong here at Laurence. After the events of the past 18 months, it is important for our community to focus on healing, looking towards a brighter future, and deepening our connections. That's why our 2021-2022 Character Education Program will emphasize "belonging," along with our kindness themes.
Our dedicated administrators, faculty, and staff have spent time this summer reflecting on our programs and planning for the upcoming year with enthusiasm -- all with the aim of keeping Laurence at the forefront of educational excellence and innovation. In this summer issue of The Laurence Letter, we look forward to sharing academic and curricular enhancements, and how we will be implementing our new Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism, and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan. This DEAI Plan is truly for everyone! In order for our efforts to succeed, we need all members of our community, from all backgrounds and identities, to fully engage with this work. We look forward to sharing and experiencing this journey with you.
We are also planning for the return of After School Enrichment Classes, along with After School Play and Homework Club, with an expected start date of October 4th. Interscholastic Sports for 4th through 6th grade students will also be resuming. More details and sign up information for these programs are provided in this newsletter! Additionally, our Parent Association is working to bring back other important events and traditions to provide opportunities for involvement and to keep our parent community connected. We will continue to remain flexible and adapt our plans as needed throughout the fall, with our priority being to ensure uninterrupted in-person learning for all of our students.
Offering a challenging, engaging academic and enrichment program is at the heart of Laurence's mission, and we remain deeply committed to providing your children with an exceptional experience. I would like to express my gratitude for Laurence's dedicated administration, faculty, and staff as they prepare for a successful school year ahead. We are also welcoming eight new Laurence team members, and I invite you to learn more about them here. Additionally, to provide an even more personalized learning experience this year, we are continuing with smaller class sizes, offering three classes per grade level in Kindergarten through 5th grade, and moving back to two classes in 6th grade as students prepare for middle school.
Our Laurence alumni are also in my thoughts, as many of them prepare to embark on new experiences in secondary school and college. I am excited for them, and know that they will have great success as they are the kindest and most resilient people I know!
As you prepare for the start of school, I invite you to review the 2021-2022 Student & Parent Handbook. The Handbook highlights important information of which you should be aware.
This summer has given all of us a chance to finally relax, reflect, and get ready for what will be an incredible school year for Laurence students and our entire community. I hope you enjoy the last two weeks of summer, and I look forward to seeing you on September 1st! As always, my door is open to you.