From the Head of School
August 31, 2020
Dear Breck Families,
Welcome back to Breck!
One of the most common hallmarks of teaching is that we — educators — have a hard time sleeping the night before the first day of school. Never has this been more true than in this year. Much has been said about the trials and tribulations of 2020. The beauty of education is that we have the privilege of affirming our purpose and feeling hope through the eyes of our students. Educators see the good that can be born from the experiences of 2020.
This year, the administrators, faculty and staff at Breck lost sleep on the eve of a new school year because we went through a litany of to-do’s that we toiled over throughout the summer. Will everyone remember a mask? Is everyone in place for all of the new drop-off procedures? Are the cameras and computers prepped and ready for students joining online? Will lunch go smoothly? Will students go to the right spots during off periods? Each division has its own list of logistical worries.
And still, there are even more substantive questions that toss around our heads as we think about welcoming our students. Are they scared? Will they be emotionally prepared for all of the new-ness that awaits? What questions will they have about George Floyd? Jacob Blake? Perhaps our youngest students will be sad that on top of everything that has happened this summer, their favorite superhero just passed away. Perhaps our middle and upper schoolers are coming expecting to see change in our school. How are we really doing better when it comes to being a more just and equitable school? It’s fair to say that our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students will have higher expectations for our school, and they should. It’s also fair to say that those students who represent the majority of our culture will have questions of their own. And, that is what we ask. We ask that we reunite with curiosity over certainty, with openness rather than blaming or shaming, with relationships rather than assumptions.
I know this is true - we are taking mitigated risks to be together because our common purpose is the growth, learning, and development of every single Breck student. We believe that being together helps us develop the deep and lasting personal relationships that are needed to press our students through the discomfort that comes with real learning. So, your loving faculty and staff at Breck has had some sleepless nights as we welcome back our students. Our butterflies aren’t dissimilar to the ones our preschoolers are feeling as they meet their friends and teachers for the very first time in their lives - full of hope and nerves, excitement and apprehension.
We thank you for sharing your children with us. My wish for our community is that this year be filled with grace and progress toward achieving our mission.
Natalia Rico Hernández, Ed.D.
Head of School