We’re Still Here

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - By: Will P, Whittall ‘22

As the Brentwood community anxiously awaited the beginning of Spring Break, the memory of Spring Break 2020, which ended up being nearly six months long, reentered a lot of students’ minds.

On March 6, 2020, students left campus and travelled across the globe with the assumption that they would be returning to school on Monday the 23rd. About a week later, as COVID cases rapidly rose around the world, schools far and wide had to make a decision about extending their break, and Brentwood was no different. On March 13, Mr Sullivan sent out an email which, when I look back on it, still feels surreal, announcing that, due to COVID, campus would be closed until April 13 at the earliest and we would all be going on Zoom.

Throughout the period of online school, a lot of students, particularly those who would not be returning the next year - and especially the Grads - were hopeful that a return to campus would be possible before the school year came to an end. Unfortunately, that never happened, but many were still able to make it back for the modified graduation ceremony that took place in June.

Ms Pettit, Whittall Assistant Houseparent, one of the few people who remained on campus throughout term 3, was able to witness firsthand the void that was left by the departed students: “The fields were empty. No music played. No dunks were made. No laughter was shared. All we could do was wait for the decisions to be made, decisions that were out of our hands. When that news finally came, so did the hope of open gates and the return of our Brentwood family.”

Fast forward one entire year, and we are on spring break once again. COVID, of course, is still prevalent throughout the globe, but that hasn’t stopped Brentwood from enjoying an incredibly successful school year thus far - with lots of mitigation practices.

At Brentwood we are particularly lucky because we have been able to spend the entire school year *so far* together, in person, which is something that can’t be said for most schools around the globe.

After five months, four breaks, and five Camp Brentwoods, our school community is still here, together, learning, laughing, and living together. We have enjoyed two incredibly successful terms of academics, arts, and athletics, and there is one more to go.

As term 3 approaches, a lot of Brentwood students, myself included, are eager to experience their first-ever term 3 at Brentwood. A significant percentage of the Brentwood population (any new students in the past two years) has never been on campus for this term, meaning they have never been able to experience some crucial parts of the Brentwood experience.

Emily P, Mackenzie ‘22, has been at Brentwood since Grade 9 and can still remember how unique the third term is, says “Term 3 is my favourite term at school. The weather is amazing and there are so many events that make things special. I know certain things like Regatta won’t be happening this year, but I can’t wait for all the students who haven’t experienced it to be able to enjoy it for the first time.”

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has made this school year run so smoothly thus far, from the people behind the scenes to the teachers and students who are diligently following COVID guidelines. Everyone has had a part to play in keeping us here, but the work is not done yet.

Here’s hoping for a successful third term!

Will P, Whittall ‘22

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