September 9, 2020
October 5 – First Day of In-Person Classes
October 20-24 – EA’s Virtual Fall Fundraiser
Thoughts on the First Day of School
I hold summers sacred. Even thinking back to the summer before starting kindergarten, I would have preferred to delay the start of school indefinitely to continue spending my days outside catching salamanders in the creek behind the school rather than head indoors for formal learning. That feeling of sadness at the end of summer never really went away. By the time high school arrived, my friends and I would always hold a day of mourning for the end of the summer, listening to the Doors’ song Summer’s Almost Gone on repeat for the full day. Even as a teacher at Explorations, I would spend the final weekend of summer on an epic backpacking trip into the North Cascades to soak up the final perfect days of early September. It was only with the arrival of the summer of the pandemic, that I found myself champing at the bit to have the school year start.
For the last six months, I have been planning, planning, planning for a school that preaches the importance of doing, doing, doing. Yesterday, marked the first day of seeing the smiling eyes of students (even if I couldn’t see the smiles behind the masks) in approximately half a year. I cherished the simple act of strolling across town with a group of EA students who were clearly grateful to be back at school and socializing with one another. Sitting together in a socially distanced circle at the park felt like a little hint of returning to the simple joys that the pandemic has forced us to consider in a new light. As I checked in with each student at the end of the day yesterday, it was clear that the vast majority of them felt a similar sense of appreciation for the things that we once took for granted and the work required to make them happen in a new context. We will continue to do everything we can at Explorations to make these kinds of in-person interactions a reality, and we very much honor the work that all our families are doing to help us keep everyone safe while we do so.
Speaking of safety, for the next three weeks our classes will be held online Monday-Thursday. Fridays will look quite similar to what students experienced during orientation week. By starting off the school year in this fashion, we hope that all students have become accustomed and well practiced in our covid protocols before we enter the higher risk setting of being together in stationary environments, occasionally indoors. Assuming current trends hold, we will be set to begin two day per week instruction at the school starting the first full week in October. Students will still have online courses on days when they are not at school, and Fridays will remain days spent outdoors with advisors. We apologize for any inconvenience this shifting schedule causes families; however, we truly believe that it is the safest way to ease back into in-person instruction.
I have never been so glad for school to be back in session.
J. Bacchus Taylor
Head of School
Sign-up here for a spot:
Our largest fall fundraiser is coming up quickly. It has always been EA’s custom to have a beautiful and delicious farm-to-table dinner with a silent auction (thanks to Joy Pesaturo and Chef Erik Truglas!). Due to the current situation, we have to think outside the box. Actually maybe just throw the box away at this point!
We are planning a 5 day Instagram Virtual Auction starting Tuesday, October 20th, then ending with a Zoom party and a premade picnic basket dinner on Saturday, October 24th. (More details later for the basket and Zoom party.)
How can you help? Do you have a cabin? A skill you can donate like yard work, baking pies, paint a room? Artwork or jewelry? We need donations, donations, donations! We would love 50 to 60 items to auction onto IG. We will give credit to a business, show off an artist’s work, help promote a growing enterprise.
Are you a photographer? For this fundraiser to work, it would be amazing to have a real photographer to take photos of the items so they look their best.
Oh, and please follow us on Instagram @explorationsacademy. Invite family and friends to like us to spread the word!