From the time between our virtual and drive-through graduations to the start of the 2020–21 school year, much has changed—and yet stayed the same. We are overjoyed to have
welcomed Kindergarten and Grade 1 back on campus! We are continuing to build on this to bring more students back for in-person instruction.
The summer months provided a separation from distance learning and an opportunity for families and faculty to slow down and reconnect with loved ones and energize themselves for the upcoming school year. But June, July, and August brought a wave of hope followed by a trough of uncertainty to our local and global communities due to the paralyzing effects of Covid-19. During this period, Brawerman administrators, teachers, and IT and facilities staff continued working behind the scenes. A typical school year begins with staff orientation; this year administrators asked teachers to start several days early to begin planning for the unique
year ahead. Teachers enthusiastically answered the call, realizing that their extra efforts would pay dividends in the success of their students come fall. Day 1 began with an address from Rabbi Steve Leder that offered support, guidance, appreciation, and inspiration. That afternoon staff members had the opportunity to strengthen their connections with one another by participating in a competitive and fun team-building experience facilitated by an organization utilized the year before. On Day 2 the real work began. Following a keynote address focused on virtual instruction, teachers dove into training sessions that covered online support in a variety of subject matter—proper implementation of synchronous and asynchronous learning; tech platforms; and maintaining proper distance-learning principles—
all with the intention of delivering our mission, meeting our student learner outcomes, and creating an interactive and engaging environment for our children.
To further this engagement, teachers began building grade-level-specific student crates. Each crate included materials relating to core subject areas, supplies, and equipment from our array of specialists, as well as an iPad or laptop to ensure that every student has the ability to access our curriculum. The IT department worked diligently to download necessary apps and assisted in creating a streamlined user experience for students and parents alike. And so on the Friday before school began, families drove through a crate pickup line. The excitement was palpable. But the real appreciation for the dedicated efforts of our entire Brawerman
faculty came on the first day of school and throughout that first week. Immediately students and parents noticed the elevated level of intentionality delivered through BES@home 2.0. Parent emails professing exuberant levels of gratitude began to fill the inboxes of administrators and faculty. This year’s bar was set to a higher level of expectation, and from the Honey Aleph ceremony on, everyone sensed what a sweet and meaningful year awaits us all.
This year our theme is tikvah, or hope. We chose this theme because hope is an active word. This hope informs our intentions, decisions, and actions. This hope moves our teachers to deliver, daily, on our mission to furnish an unparalleled education for our students, even in the most uncertain times. This hope brightens the minds and hearts of our students, a hope that tomorrow is a new day full of promise and possibility. Hope that reminds our parents that this too shall pass, but Brawerman will remain—providing shelter amid the storm, as the center of our sacred community and the bond that partners us until we see this year through...together.