Updated: September 25, 2020
Without a doubt, this school year has been the most unusual that any of us can remember. With some students at home and attending class by Zoom and others on campus but wearing masks, none of us could have ever predicted a school year quite like this one. On another level, however, life as we know it at school continues on undeterred. Our football, softball, volleyball, cross country, competition cheerleading, and sporting clays teams are all up and running with their competitions. Practices look different as do games and new safety and health protocols are in place, but the essential ingredient of students pursuing passions after school hours remains intact.
The same can be said for our Debate team, Model UN program, and Robotics teams. Thanks to innovative and creative thinking by these team sponsors, our students continue to practice and compete in these activities and competitions remotely. Our deep and abiding commitment to Service Learning continues though also in a new and different form. Instead of physically going to the Jesse Draper Boys and Girls club and the College Park Nursing Home in the afternoons after school, students are collecting, packing and delivering much needed supplies for distribution to families in crisis. Clubs like the Black Student Union no longer meet in person but instead, as they did last week, gather over 60 students remotely via Zoom to discuss plans and programs for the year.
All of this is to say that both inside and outside the classroom, we remain committed to providing outstanding opportunities for our students to find their path and passion on a daily basis. And like many others, I remain astounded at the innovative and imaginative ways that students can engage in these important learning experiences while wearing masks or via Zoom. I hope that you are seeing this engagement in your home and know that we remain committed to providing these opportunities every single day.
Dr. Jonathan Merrill
Upper School Principal
Updated: October 1, 2020
Upper School Daily Schedule and Planner
The Upper School Daily Schedule may be found here. In addition, the class rotation for the Upper School including the group numbers of in person learners may be located here. The student Daily Planner is available on Woodward's website under Current Families. Families may print their own copy from this location.
Please note that there is no school on Tuesday, Nov. 3 in honor of election day.
Varsity Letter Jacket Orders
GA Balfour will be on campus taking letter jacket orders on October 6 and 7 from 11:30 - 1:00 in the Tyler Brown Student Center. Students may order their letter jackets at that time. Complete information is here or contact GA Balfour at 770 594 8155.
As communicated earlier, the 2020 yearbooks books are in the process of being reprinted. We've received an update from the printer, and the new 2020 books will be headed our way mid-October. Since you haven't received your 2020 books yet, we've extended the lowest price deadline to purchase a 2021 book through the end of October. Thank you for your patience as we make sure you receive the highest quality product!
The incredible weather this week is a reminder that fall has arrived, and with it #fALLINforWA, the parent campaign for The Woodward Fund. From now until Nov. 13, our community will rally together to demonstrate our school spirit and gratitude for Woodward by supporting The Woodward Fund. Parent support is especially critical this year with added expenses for technology and health and sanitation measures. Make your gift today at woodward.edu/fallin.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can affect children and young people directly and indirectly. Beyond getting sick, many young people’s social, emotional, and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic. Trauma faced at this developmental stage can continue to affect them across their lifespan.
Some of the challenges children and young people face during the COVID-19 pandemic relate to:
- Changes in their routines (e.g., having to physically distance from family, friends, worship community)
- Breaks in continuity of learning (e.g., virtual learning environments, technology access and connectivity issues)
- Breaks in continuity of health care (e.g., missed well-child and immunization visits, limited access to mental, speech, and occupational health services)
- Missed significant life events (e.g., grief of missing celebrations, vacation plans, and/or milestone life events)
- Lost security and safety (e.g., housing and food insecurity, increased exposure to violence and online harms, threat of physical illness and uncertainty for the future)
CDC developed this COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People’s Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-being to help support adults in recognizing children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental health challenges and helping to ensure their well-being. The school counselors encourage all parents to check out this link:
Greetings Woodward Academy Community,
Even in the midst of an unusual year, I am so thankful to see many of you virtually or in-person. These first few weeks of school have reminded me that even in the midst of challenges, we are a resilient community filled with love and support for one another. Our interfaith student leaders have been working on unique plans to showcase Woodward’s beautiful religious traditions this semester. We are looking forward to virtual interfaith panels, interfaith prayer services, class visits on inter-religious connections, and religious observance videos uniquely developed for each of our schools. As the year progresses, I am also excited to use this forum to share some of the ways our students observe their religious beliefs during the year.
In the coming month, our students will participate in the following religious observances:
- Evening of September 18-20 (Judaism) - Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year marked by the blowing of the shofar and beginning the Days of Awe in preparation for Yom Kippur.
- Evening of September 27-28 (Judaism) - Yom Kippur is the year’s holiest day of fasting, marked by confession of sin and forgiveness.
As the year unfolds, please know that I am here for students, faculty, staff, and students. I would love to hear about the diverse traditions of your family, as well as simply connect about your life. I am so thankful you are each a part of the Woodward community. In this unique season, I encourage you to offer yourself the same grace and compassion you offer those around you. And as always, I am in your family’s corner if you need additional support.
Rev. Katie O'Dunne (she/her)
Woodward Academy Chaplain
The Pauline and R.L. Brand Jr. '35 Chair of Religious Studies
Parent Community Input
The Woodward Academy Parent Community (WAPC) wants input from all parents! Every year, the WAPC provides Parent Programming that includes a wide variety of classes aimed at educating and empowering parents. Sessions offer meaningful opportunities for dialogue, engagement, and learning relevant to the experience of our Woodward families. This year, sessions will be virtual. The WAPC would like to learn more about topics that interest you as well as your scheduling preferences. Please take a few minutes to complete this Parent Programming survey to give the organizers your feedback. If you have additional questions, you may contact LauraAlice.Henderson@woodward.
Please see information from GA Balfour concerning courtesy reminder text messages if you would like to be notified of deadlines when ordering letter jackets, class rings, or graduation announcements.
Check Out the Parent Community Website!
Have you had a chance to connect with other Upper School parents? There are many exciting upcoming activities that will offer you a chance to meet other parents, connect with faculty and support our students. Whether you’re looking to volunteer or wondering when the next Parent Community event is, you can now find it all on the Parent Community website. Please be sure to check it regularly for upcoming opportunities to contribute or volunteer. You also can follow us on Facebook @WAParentCommunity.
The WA Parent Community Board had its second meeting on Friday, September 25. The committee members are hard at work planning ways to get the parent community involved this school year. Stay tuned!
The events the PC normally organize are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates to any plans will be made on our website.