The end of a school year is always a natural time for reflections and hopes for the future. Like everything these last 15 months, the pandemic of 2020/2021 has intensified our normal end-of-year celebrations, reflections, and hopes. We should all celebrate how our school community came together to protect our children from COVID-19 and preserve our joyful Montessori environment. We should all reflect on the work we have done, the work we could have done, and how our actions contributed to the well-being of our students, staff, and school. Finally, we should all be relishing that growing feeling of hope that next year will be even more memorable than the last.
We learned this year about our strengths as a school community, and we learned where stronger efforts are needed. It is a fascinating experience for a school to spend an entire year's worth of training and professional development on health, safety, and COVID-19 procedures and protocols. The overwhelming obligation for cleaning, distancing, masking, and health attestations obscured the ever-present desire in learning how to be a better Montessori school from Toddler to Middle School. Thankfully, our experienced staff maintained their Montessori bearing, leading our newer staff through the year. This year proved that a strong connection to the Montessori philosophy coupled with Bay Farm's practice of putting children first is essential.
Next year, we have a rare and valuable opportunity to reset our commitment to Bay Farm's mission and rededicate ourselves to our Montessori vision. Our school mission statement begins with "We work together…" this declaration is at the top of our priorities list. We are already deep into the planning of how to bring our entire community back together next year. This planning includes the work needed to firmly connect new staff members and new families with our school.
Between last year's news families and the upcoming 70+ new students, a large portion of our community has only experienced pandemic-restricted school. This fall we have a great opportunity to introduce the full on-campus Bay Farm experience to all of our first-year and brand new incoming students and families. That's right. We are projecting a robust enrollment of around 200 students in the fall!
Whether you are new or have been with Bay Farm for years, you should be excited about the return of cherished programs like Drama, PE, and Enrichment. We are also very proud of developing newer opportunities such as the wildly popular and dynamic experiences of The Shop and Agriculture. Adding these pieces to our arts-integrated curriculum, packed with field experiences, community events like the 5K, and our back-to-school pancake breakfast, you can see that there is a lot to look forward to this fall.
Over the summer, please take the time to celebrate in person with family and friends, reflect on a year like no other, and hope for a bright future. All of us at Bay Farm are proud to part that future for our children.