Aug. 17, 2022
Dear Upper School Families,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2022-23 school year. I hope that you and your son have enjoyed the recreational and restorative opportunities that summer often affords us. Though the halls of the Upper School have certainly been quiet over the last few months, we at Haverford have been eagerly preparing for your son’s arrival in September. The intention of this letter is to share a few key community priorities that will ground our work together throughout the year and make sure that you have the relevant information so that your son is best positioned to hit the ground running in September.
We are looking forward to amplifying programming in the coming year in support of our broad objective of ensuring that each boy is actively engaged in and connected to the Haverford School community. It is refreshing that some of the necessary health restrictions that were in place over the last two years are not part of the equation as we map out programming for the coming school year. This has allowed us to plan some exciting communal experiences designed to strengthen the connective tissue of our community. Programs such as the Third Form Family Breakfast and Orientation, a Sixth Form dinner on the eve of the first day of school, a day set aside for form trips in September, and an in-person Back to School Night are some of the programs that we are looking forward to during the opening month of school that we hope will strengthen community connection for faculty and staff, students, and families.
Aligned with this objective of connection and engagement is an intentional focus on encouraging the boys to “opt in'' and participate in the various extracurricular opportunities that exist in our program - clubs, interscholastic sports, productions, school publications, musical ensembles and other student organizations. For some this might mean maintaining participation in an activity from last year and for others this might mean forging new connections through engagement with a new activity. Regardless, we firmly believe that active participation in the life of the school community complements the important work that is done in our classrooms and allows our boys to cultivate the relationships that support connection and a firm sense of belonging.
Coming off two plus years in which there has been varying levels of disruption to school life, we recognize that it is important to reestablish some important community norms and expectations that align with institutional values and support a healthy and productive school experience for the boys. We look forward to making sure that both community and academic expectations are clear so the boys are best positioned to align behavior with core values and develop a shared responsibility to actively consider their community footprint - the ways in which their words and actions impact others and align with school norms. In the hallways, on the stage, and on the fields this means promoting practices that encourage the boys to be fully present with one another and amplifying behaviors that make all community members feel safe, valued, and included. In the classrooms, this means making sure that each boy is pushed to meet the established learning goals through a combination of self-discipline, individual effort, collaboration, and support.
The Upper School office team composed of myself, Megan Dieckhaus, and Upper School Dean of Students Luqman Kolade have been hard at work building the requisite infrastructure for the upcoming year. Please read below for several back to school reminders and updates that merit special attention. You may also click HERE for a centralized location on our website that contains Upper School specific back to school information and resources. I appreciate you taking the time to read this note given the amount of information included. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Finally, thank you for your continued partnership as we work together on behalf of the boys to create a community of responsibility, engagement, and support. I feel fortunate to work each and every day with all of the people - faculty, staff, parents and students - who bring to life the School’s mission to develop young men of integrity, intellect, and compassion. Enjoy these last few days of summer and see you in September!
Head of Upper School