Updated: May 20, 2021
I have a confession to make. Had you asked me in August if I thought that we would be able to continue with in person school all year, my response would have been “No way!” In what has surely been the most challenging and difficult school year that any of us have endured, our students, teachers, and parents have worked together to pull off a school year that has exceeded all expectations. Students learned in new ways with new technologies of Zoom, Owl cameras, Go Formative and more. Teachers not only taught in new and different ways, but they cleaned desks between periods, took daily lunch orders, delivered lunch daily, and supported in person and remote learners simultaneously. And parents diligently completed the Magnus app daily while enduring contact tracing and quarantines. It truly was a challenge that tested us all, but our community proved resilient and steadfast through it all.
All of us deserve a restful and relaxing summer break and I hope that all in our community take some time to enjoy some well-deserved down time. I also hope that we all can spend some time this summer reflecting on what we have learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. For me, I have learned to slow down and focus on what I do have and can do more than to worry about what I don’t have and can’t do. In some ways, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise and caused me to really focus on what’s most important.
Finally, for those of you who are looking forward to next year, we have posted the 2021-22 calendar rotations below. We are hopeful that when we return to school in August, we experience many of the normal rhythms of the school day such as common lunch. Best wishes for a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus in the fall!
Dr. Jonathan Merrill
Upper School Principal
Updated: May 20, 2021
Virtual Honors Banquets for Grades 9,10,11
The Honors Banquets for grades 9, 10, and 11 are "virtual" once again this year and can be found by clicking this link: https://walive.tv/ceremonies/
We are proud of the hard work and academic success that our students have demonstrated this year. After a very long and challenging year of pandemic school, I hope all students and parents enjoy a restful and rejuvenating summer.
The Social Institute Parent Resource Portal
Thanks to Woodward's partnership with The Social Institute, we are excited to share this year's school code for parents to sign up for the Resource Portal, the parent and educator portal of #WinAtSocial. The Resource Portal is updated with the latest social media and technology coaching tips in real-time and your parents and staff have access to this resource. Below you will find helpful information regarding how to access the Resource Portal:
1. Follow these easy step-by-step Resource Portal Sign-up Instructions to sign-up and access the Resource Portal.
2. Use this code to access the 2020-2021 Resource Portal: 07d42EFFEBAC6F
The Woodward Academy Counselors denounce the recent events against Asian-Americans and stand in support with our Asian families. For additional background:
Racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans has always existed, but it hasn’t been widely recognized until recently with data and news reports showing a sharp increase in anti-Asian violence and harassment since the onset of the pandemic.
*Anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% since the start of the pandemic, according to an analysis of official preliminary police data by The Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
*Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian discrimination amid the pandemic, runs a reporting center for Asian American Pacific Islanders. The coalition has received 3,795 self-reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S. from mid-March 2020 through February 2021. Violence and harassment against elderly Asian Americans make up 7.3% of those reported incidents, or 126 cases. In recent months, media outlets have reported on unprovoked attacks against older Asian Americans. Some of those attacks ended in death.
How can we discuss these events with our children and how can we help them foster empathy?
1. As a family, listen to this five-part PBS special about the history of identity, contributions, and challenges experienced by Asian Americans.
2. Look for small, everyday moments - Finding simple things in common with other people can be a powerful way to help kids develop empathy for people who look different from them. Encourage kids to look for things they have in common with other people as you encounter them in your daily activities.
3. Expand your family's perspective - Books (for younger kids) and tv shows/movies (for all kids) are a fantastic way to expose kids to diverse storytelling while also helping them see commonalities (per the aforementioned "just like me" empathy exercise), and also to expand adult perspective. For adults, Cathy Park Hong's "Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning" provides an incredible lens into the Asian American experience. "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson changed my perspective and understanding of the upper and lower caste systems in America, as well as my position in the middle caste.
4. Model the behavior you want to see - Acting as we want our kids to act is a huge part of parenting. This concept applies to everyday human interactions as well as technology consumption. Our kids notice what we're doing even when we think they're not paying attention.
5. Be an ally for others - Part of being an ally means resisting that urge to insert yourself; instead, tend to the feelings of the person who is suffering and elevate other people.
Remind your kids -- and yourself -- how important it is to be a good listener. Show your willingness to be an ally by standing up for and supporting people, whether that means calling out racial aggressions or elevating the work of diverse voices.
Upper School Counselors
Tonya Dedeaux, Class of 2021
McKenzie Lawson, Class of 2022
Leigh Shelor, Class of 2023
Chato Hendrix, Class of 2024
Stay Engaged with the Parent Community
Keep up with all the Parent Community news, events and volunteer opportunities by visiting the Parent Community section at the bottom of this newsletter and following us on Facebook and Instagram. Being involved with the Parent Community is a great way to get to know other parents and enrich campus life.