In the midst of the pandemic, when one day was indistinguishable from the next, some of us took to the idea, and ongoing joke, that everyday was just another Tuesday. Fortunately, with the move into the red tier we are leaving behind us the weeks of endless Tuesdays.To this end, last night we had two Community Forums—one for 6th through 8th grades, and the other for 9th through 12th grades—where we shared plans for bringing our students back to campus for academic instruction after the Spring Break. These plans, on the heels of the return of Upper School athletics, have all of us incredibly excited to have your children back at school.
Today I want to take a moment to shine the light on our very own Parents Association, as they have been instrumental in supporting our community throughout the worst of the pandemic. Last year under the leadership of PA Chair, Laura Dudley, and this year headed by Co-Chairs Kelly Griffin and Jill Olofson. Throughout this time, the PA has exhibited incredible flexibility, adaptability, and clarity of purpose, to the benefit of us all. Thank you.
One significant silver lining to emerge from the pandemic is how the PA pivoted around Parent University—thanks to co-chairs Haley Fisher and Jeanine Kay—shifting from a full-day conference on campus, to four different, virtual events with speakers from around the country. Speakers, I might add, that we would not otherwise have had access to if they needed to travel to Los Angeles. The first three speakers were fabulous: Tristan Harris from the Social Dilemma and the Center for Humane Technology; RP Eddy, one of the nation’s leaders in understanding COVID-19; and Dr. Brenda Stevenson from UCLA on celebrating and exploring multiculturalism.
Yesterday we had our final program featuring Dr. Elizabeth Denevi and Dr. Howard Stevenson, who spoke about why it is so important to talk to our children about race. It was a powerful presentation. They addressed the surge in violent attacks on Asians/Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), including the recent murders of the women in the Atlanta area, as well as the dramatic increases in hate speech and other crimes directed at members of the AAPI community. Their talk, and the timing of it, made it clearer than ever that, as a community, we need to continue to see and care for one another and persevere in our efforts and through our actions to become an anti-racist school. This is essential to the well-being of our Brentwood students. If you were unable to join these Parent University Community Conversations, I strongly encourage you to view the recordings which you will find on this web page.
As we get ready for our full K-12 return to campus, let’s be sure to acknowledge everyone who has worked so hard to make this possible. And express gratitude for those, like the Parents Association, who have gone above and beyond to help us all get through this unprecedented time.
Have a great weekend.