April 15, 2021

It’s hard to believe, but we are in the home stretch of this academic year. We only have seven weeks to go! There have been some long days and some long weeks, but overall it seems to me that the year has gone by in the blink of an eye. This is the point in the year when teachers panic and lament that they won’t be able to cover everything they had planned by the end of the year. Having had that same feeling myself many times, I have to remind my colleagues they always feel this way in the spring. They will cover enough material, and the kids will be fine next year in their next grade, especially given our present circumstances.

Maybe it’s the afterglow of just having returned to school from Spring Break #2, or maybe it’s simply because it’s April, but the mood in the entire school community seems particularly cheerful and optimistic. Everyone in the building—students, faculty, and staff—has returned to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Contributing to the positive atmosphere, especially for eighth graders and their families, is that graduation will be held in person this year with the graduation ceremony taking place in the Historic Theatre at the Academy Center of the Arts on June 3. When we discovered that COVID-19 restrictions prevented the use of the Carrington Field House for graduation, my colleagues were determined to reimagine this important event. Through creative thinking, hard work, and in partnership with the good folks at the Academy, we have been able to turn what was a daunting challenge into what will be a truly memorable occasion. I am so excited to be able to provide for our eighth graders the graduation event they so richly deserve.
In closing, I would like James River parents' help. I am requesting feedback regarding spring break, and more specifically, having two spring breaks. While every decision we make is done with the best interests of the students and the faculty in mind, I realize arranging time off and/or child care is not always easy. I would like to hear JRDS parents' thoughts about our two breaks this year: the positive, and the not so positive, aspects. Thank you in advance for your support and observations. Parents may simply email me their thoughts.