The virus that has been steadily increasing its international reach is changing our lives in so many ways. Currently at over 400,00 cases worldwide, many cities and countries are in states of emergency, with governments encouraging, and even mandating, social distancing and self-isolation in homes. The crisis came fast, with limited time to prepare for it. People of every country are losing their jobs, routines, freedoms and loved ones.
As an international boarding school, Brentwood faced a unique and difficult situation amidst this crisis. Nevertheless, our staff and leadership team have been doing an outstanding job in keeping learning a priority and pushing past difficult obstacles to keep students and families safe and hopeful.
Mr Sullivan sent the first of many comforting and informative emails from the school on March 6th, making clear the rules for safety in returning to school. As the virus progressively increased, the difficult, but wise and necessary decisions were made to transfer to online classes beginning yesterday, Wednesday, the 25th.
In subsequent emails from Mr Sullivan and Ms Murtland, it has been confirmed that we have successfully returned the students from school trips and that every teacher is focused on transferring classes online in a way to promote students’ continued academic progress. Starting yesterday morning, Zoom classes are being held on our regular academic schedule. Arts and athletics will soon follow suit next week.
We have all been lucky to receive a hopeful note from our Head Prefect, Didi O, Hope ‘20. In a heartwarming message she urged students and parents to remain positive through this trying time. She urges us to “Make the most out of an unfamiliar, and for some, very difficult experience”.
We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have Mr Patel, Mr Sullivan, and such an exceptional leadership team and staff at Brentwood. They have proven to us that despite this adversity, no matter how significant or difficult, we will continue to live by our motto of grit and joy, and strive to meet the standards we have set for ourselves. Many even contributed to a Youtube welcome back to the “Brentwood Bunch”:
We feel the deepest sympathies and hope for those who have experienced loss in this pandemic, and for those who are having to endure harrowing situations of uncertainty, grief, and fear. We are resilient, and when we students return to school, we will be stronger and wiser with experience. This battle has given us clarity in what is valued. Do what is necessary to stay safe; we will get through this.
Chloe C, Allard ‘21