June 26, 2020 

Dear BB&N Community,

I hope this email finds you getting in some relaxation, as we all adjust to a very different summer. As you might remember, we have officially shut down school this week and next, but two issues have come up that I felt could not wait until the week of July 6th to address.

We Stand Together
First, as I talked about in my communication from May 29, BB&N is leaning into conversations about the recent racist incidents and senseless deaths of Black Americans across our country, and the ensuing push to address institutional racism and inequities that remain all too present in our society today. BB&N is not exempt from being a space that has marginalized many students over the years, especially our Black and African American students. Over the last month we have engaged with students, alumni/ae, and faculty to talk about how we can and absolutely must do better.

We are not alone in this work. The Boston Globe ran an article this week about black students and alumni/ae nationwide who have launched social media forums “to reveal often painful accounts of their experiences at prestigious, predominantly white high schools.” This includes BB&N, where a site was recently created to serve as a safe space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) & LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and alumni/ae. The stories that are being shared are painful to read and hear, but I want you—and above all our students—to know that I acknowledge these experiences with my eyes, ears, and heart wide open. 

We at BB&N are profoundly committed to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and engaging with all members of our community to ensure that every member of our community feels they can thrive here and bring their authentic selves to our school each and every day. I consider this commitment to be a cornerstone of who we are as a community and who we strive to become. While we can't eradicate systemic racism alone, we will continue to work with urgency until experiences like the ones shared by some members of our community rarely happen and are addressed equitably and immediately, if they happen. This work, in fact, is the primary reason I chose to come to BB&N two years ago. Much work lies ahead of us—such as making shifts in our curriculum, professional development, and policies, as well as how we structure meaningful conversations with one another. I simply couldn’t let two weeks pass without making it very clear the importance we place on this issue.   

Because I know these conversations don’t begin and end at school, I want to remind you that our DEIG Learning Hub features a wide collection of resources about understanding racism and becoming anti-racist ( click here ). Parents might find it especially useful as you engage in conversations with your children. I also encourage you to share the site with others, as I feel it contains resources that can be useful beyond our immediate community. 

Reopening Guidance
Yesterday, Governor Baker issued the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance for the Commonwealth. This guidance ( linked here ) is much in line with what we have been expecting, and asks us to prepare for three possibilities: 1) in-person learning with new safety requirements, 2) hybrid learning, and 3) remote learning. As you know from my May 18th letter, our faculty, staff, and administrators have been working on five school-wide Reopening Committees for two months already, and have gotten a huge head start on the planning work for each of these scenarios. Now that we have the clarity of this initial guidance, we are well positioned to figure out the details of how each of these scenarios will look at BB&N. Guidance from the Governor’s Office is still forthcoming on several important aspects, such as transportation and athletics, which will factor heavily into our planning. You can expect to start hearing a lot of updates from me once we return in early July, including ways for you to give us feedback on our plans for school for this fall.   

Summer Programming
Finally, I’m pleased to report on what has been a terrific opening week of virtual summer programs. We have had nearly 250 students participate this week in either our free academic enrichment classes (being led by 14 BB&N teachers!), or our classic and specialty camps. As the camp directors updated me this morning, “Our students have already visited ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, and even Hogwarts. They met Medusa, Pegasus, and Plato. They tackled food waste and jumped into a virtual boat...and so much more!” There are still spaces available in the upcoming weeks of classic and specialty camps, as well as some of the academic enrichment courses. For more information or to sign up, go to https://bbnsummer.com

Again, I hope you are well. Much more to come once we are back up and running after the July 4th weekend. 


Jennifer Price
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!