June 9, 2020

Dear BB&N Parents & Guardians:

Congratulations, you made it!! You should be very proud of your children and yourselves for getting to the end of the school year. It truly was a remarkable journey we all shared together to stay on course over these past three months in spite of the multitude of daunting challenges in our path. 

I stand in awe of our students for their resilience and resolve. The growth mindset that they have brought to this time of remote learning will serve them so well for the rest of their lives. And to you, parents and guardians, I thank you so much for all of the incredible support you have lent both your children and BB&N in navigating these challenges. I know it wasn’t easy, but I can certainly see where your children learned their impressive resilience and resolve!

I also send my deep appreciation to the 32 volunteers on our uKnighted Community Response Team, who finished calling all of our current families last week. Thank you to the many families who shared feedback, who relayed stories of struggle, courage, and strength, who voiced concern for the welfare of others, and who expressed interest in helping members of the BB&N community in need. Our volunteer callers encountered a handful of disconnected numbers and full voicemail boxes. If you did not receive a call and would like to talk to someone from the uKnighted team, please reach out to uknighted@bbns.org .

End-of-Year Celebrations
The previous two weeks were a wonderful time of celebration for all our students and families, both virtually as well as in person on all three campuses. We enjoyed our traditional end-of-year milestone events in non-traditional ways, including virtual concerts, plays, and the US Closing Ceremony. Additionally, last week the directors and I were able to say farewell in person—safely, of course!—to the 6th, 8th, and 12th grade students and families who were leaving our three campuses. It was especially poignant for Mr. Theobald and I to bestow diplomas to each of our seniors on Friday. I’ve been around schools for quite a while and this was by far the most memorable conferral of diplomas that I have ever been part of. It felt really special to be able to interact more personally with each graduate and family than the conventional graduation ceremony allows. ( See photo galleries for each of those campus farewells here: LS , MS , US )

We Stand Together
The last two weeks have also been a very difficult time not to be able to support each other in person. Many members of our community, in particular our students, families, and faculty/staff who identify as Black and/or African American, have been hurting. As I wrote to you on May 30th, I hope our entire community will continue to join me in reaching out to say we stand with you, we care for you, and we are here to support you however we can. The members of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Global Education (DEIG) team already hosted and facilitated three open spaces: one for students, one for faculty and staff, and one for faculty and staff who identify as Black and/or African-American. This week we will be hosting two of the same type of forums for BB&N alumni/ae. This anti-racist, anti-oppression work is not going to fade away here at BB&N: we commit to initiate and sustain conversations and actions throughout our broad community that promote equity and justice. And we realize that it means acknowledging racial injustices with our students/children. For parents who are wondering how you can talk to your children about combating racism, our DEIG team has curated a number of helpful resources on their Information Hub ( click here ). 

Planning Already Underway for Fall 2020
Over the past few weeks our committees have started to dig in on the planning for Fall 2020 across these five areas: Health & Safety, Social Emotional Wellness, Academics, Technology, and Athletics/Activities. It has been very helpful to have Dr. Tara Gohlmann, our Chief Financial & Operating Officer, on the Return-to-School Working Group being run by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Her presence on this group allows BB&N early insight into information about reopening that emerges at the state level. We will continue to stay in touch with you over the summer with information updates and how they impact our planning for the Fall. Starting on July 6th, I will expect to update you at least once every two weeks. 

I have made the decision to essentially “close” the school from June 20 to July 5, so that our whole team can recharge to get ready for an extremely busy summer of work as we get everything in place for the first day of school. Please keep that in mind if you happen to reach out to anyone at the school, other than our Summer Team, during those two weeks. 

Summer Programming
Our Summer Team has been busy working with our faculty and staff to create remote summer programs for your family. More than 30 of our faculty and staff will be leading almost 50 free remote Academic Enrichment Programs, plus 10 nominal-fee Activity Programs, starting June 22nd. More offerings are coming at the end of this week, so keep your eyes peeled! So far, more than 200 families have signed up for these programs. We will be expanding registration to the public on Thursday, June 11, so if you’re interested in these activities for your children, please be sure to sign up as soon as possible. Click here to register, and remember to take advantage of the discount we are offering to BB&N students by using the code: ENRICHMENTSUMMER2020. 

In addition, the Summer Team is launching an innovative virtual summer program that mirrors our in-person camp at home. This fee-based program also starts June 22nd and features Virtual Summer Camps (entering grades B-5) as well as Specialty Camps (entering grades 4-7). Click here for more information about this camp. With both of these summer programs happening virtually, please know that you can reach out to OnlineLearningHelp@bbns.org if you ever need assistance with technology or connectivity issues. 

Another important date to keep in mind this summer is August 10th (rain date of August 11th), when we will gather as a community to celebrate the Class of 2020 at an outdoor Graduation. We look forward to celebrating with our newly minted graduates and their families then!

The only way for me to appropriately wrap up this letter, and this school year, is to say: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I have never seen an entire school community so invested in the success of each and every one of its students. Our faculty, staff, senior leaders, and I are honored to join you in that work!

Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and relaxing summer!

Best,

Dr. Jennifer Price
Head of School


P.S. A reminder that if you or your family are struggling in any way due to the implications of the pandemic, please let us know via this confidential form . We are ready to help in any way we can!