On Monday, August 31st, Breck opened our doors to students and faculty alike for one of the most unique first days in the 134 year history of the school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Breck faculty have had to creatively re-envision what it means to teach a diverse group of learners, to provide academic rigor and support, and to be in community together. The Hybrid Learning approach we are undertaking this year is designed to mitigate as much risk as possible, while still prioritizing the growth, learning, and development of every student.
Introducing: Hybrid Learning Teaching Assistants
One unique challenge of the hybrid learning model is the increased need for student support in the classroom. The Hybrid Learning Teaching Assistant position was created to help support students in-person and support faculty members who have the need to work remotely. Of these 15 positions, seven have been filled by alumni. We are thrilled to welcome back James Cannon '03, Joe Ginsburg '11, Wes Iverson '12, Lucas Audette '14, Leslie Hayes '14, and Maggie Bradley '17! We know this group will uphold the high standards of teaching we expect at Breck, as well as passing on the true meaning of what is to be #alwaysamustang.
Video (above): Dr. Hernández addresses the cultural return to Breck.
Breck's Cultural (re)Uniting
Local and national issues of racial equity has stirred a renewed call-to-action among Breck faculty and staff and has coincided with new and existing efforts to make Breck an inclusive space where all students and families feel welcomed and protected. Efforts so far for the 2020-21 school year included:

  • A five day DEI training for Breck administration with the organization Work Beyond the Work 
  • A two day all faculty and staff training with the Center for Racial Justice and Education 
  • Ongoing DEI trainings for faculty and staff with Heidi Kim, Director of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership
  • The selection of How to Be an Antiracist and Latehomecomer for Breck’s summer reading and follow-up discussion
  • A BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Affinity Group has been created for/by staff members to build unity and connection among people who hold these identities
Black at Breck
While the end of August marked the physical return to school, it was also the first time students and faculty were together to discuss and process the cultural return to Breck. With many important events taking place over the summer, perhaps the most influential was the creation of the Instagram page, "Black at Breck." The page detailed many painful memories, microaggressions, and traumatic moments experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) during their time as students, parents, and faculty at Breck.

School administration amplified the voices featured on that account, making the entire Breck community not only aware of the page, but also built in time to reflect on the experiences shared. While it is difficult to read and process, we appreciate the creators who took it upon themselves to provide a space for those previously silenced. Breck is committed to holding up a mirror to our community and dedicated to living more fully into our mission and values as a school.

The account creators have graciously exchanged messages with school leadership on multiple occasions, even providing thematic takeaways from the account for the school to consider. An all-faculty alumni panel featuring Rob Johnson ‘90, James Cannon ‘03, and Mardryka Adzick ‘14 was held to discuss the account and used the themes as a foundation for the conversation. The conversation and commitments of how to transform Breck into an antiracist space are ongoing and will continue throughout the year.

There will be ongoing opportunities for alumni and parents to engage in the school with these conversations as well. If you are interested in becoming more involved, please email Kyle.Parsons@breckschool.org and indicate your desire to engage.
Homecoming 2020
Planning Homecoming and Class Reunions has been particularly challenging this year. With so many traditions being dependent on physical gatherings, there were many questions about whether or not we should realistically hold a "Homecoming" in 2020. After reflection on what Homecoming is about, we decided resoundingly that we do want to celebrate this year, and refocus on what the celebration is really about: connection within our community. Therefore we have put together a scaled back week of events that we hope our alumni will use an opportunity to reconnect with Breck.
Tuesday, September 29
All-School Chapel
This virtual Chapel will also include the announcement of Breck's 2020 Distinguished Alumni.

Wednesday, September 30
Alumni Virtual Concert
Please join us as we host our first ever (virtual) Alumni Concert, highlighted by a performance from the Breck Faculty Band!

Thursday, October 1
Breck Connection Day
Spend the day reconnecting with your Breck community.

There will be calls organized by Breck for different affinity groups: Black Alumni Networking (hosted by alumni), Breck Graduation Classes (by request), Breck Alumni who are current parents (hosted by alumni), Current students connecting with Breck alumni about prospective colleges.

Alumni are also invited to a connection opportunity with Head of School Natalia R. Hernández, Board of Trustees President Chris Welsh '90, and Director of Alumni Affairs and Giving Kyle Parsons.

We also encourage you to create your own group calls, or to be in touch with someone important to you from your time at Breck. 
Saturday, October 3
Come to the ZOOm!
A Virtual Blessing of the Animals
f you would like your pet or stuffed animal featured in a slideshow send a photo with your name, and the name of your animal friend by Thursday, Oct. 1st, at 4:00 PM to Nan Zosel
 
Breck Fireworks Show
The entire Breck community is invited to join us in the Highway 100 Lot, Mustangs Lot, and the Visitor’s Lot for a Firework display!
To learn more about Homecoming events, click here.
In-Person Class Reunions Postponed
While it was not possible to hold in-person class reunions in 2020, the school would like to recognize all classes ending in "0" or "5." We hope that you will join us next year for an in-person reunion with your classmates.

We also want to acknowledge the Class of 1970 as our newest group of Golden Mustangs! Golden Mustangs are all graduates who left Breck 50 (or more) years ago. Each fall we hold a special luncheon to celebrate, and we look forward to honoring the classes of 1970 and 1971 next year! For now, we ask that all graduates from the class of 1970 make sure their mailing address is up to date with the school so that we can send you a gift to commemorate this honored distinction.