Dear Upper School parents,
Late in June we finished packing the final box of books just in time for the movers to load our “Brooklyn” apartment onto their van. Thus began the period of transition to our new hometown of Greensboro! Admittedly we approached this stretch of time in a rather unconventional fashion. But necessity can be the mother of invention when the best laid plans for a seamless move start to unravel. While the specific details can wait for another time, it suffices to say that we decided to take the long way to North Carolina. My husband, George, and Abe, the dog, are still driving by way of Texas, taking time to visit family and friends. Similarly I began a leisurely drive to Greensboro through southern Vermont on a last-minute “farewell to friends tour.”
As you might have expected these travels invited both family and friends to ask a lot of questions about why we decided to move from our adopted hometown—New York City’s legendary borough of Brooklyn—to the lush, green “borough” of Greensboro. Although we are known as a family who embraces change, explaining this decision gave me the opportunity to talk about my visits to Greensboro Day School and the lasting impressions made by enthusiastic students, engaged teachers, and supportive parents in the community. I enjoyed talking with friends about how these are the essential ingredients of a great independent school, and how the chance to join GDS was an irresistible opportunity. I reflected on the connection I felt to the Day School’s legacy and how it aligns with my personal belief in the power of schools to make the critical difference in the lives of individuals and the larger community; and I candidly admitted that I can imagine a future in Greensboro filled with countless possibilities to learn and grow.
This circuitous journey had me arriving on campus the week of July 2. Mindful that I have much to learn about the history and traditions of GDS and in keeping with the ever-present reminder to “seize the day,” I have already begun making plans to seize every opportunity I can to immerse myself in conversations with Upper School families. I am eager to listen to your insights and perspectives concerning the Upper School, so from July 23 to August 14 I am scheduling half-hour, one-on-one summer meetings with Upper School parents who are interested and available to meet before the school year begins. Appreciating that not everyone’s schedule will make it possible to meet this summer, I will continue to schedule meetings with parents during the opening weeks of the school year. When students return to campus in the latter half of August, I will begin reaching out to students for similar conversations.
I am eager to begin getting to know each of you and am looking forward to talking about the ways we can promote a strong home-school partnership over this coming year. If you are interested in meeting with me this summer, please call our school receptionist, Laura Murray, to schedule a convenient time.
And now for some back-to-school items:
Please remember that summer reading lists are on the school website, www.greensboroday.org/backtoschool. Additionally, on this site, you can find laptop ordering information (for 9th graders and all new students), summer math work, textbook sale information, and other important details to prepare you for the start of the school year.
Mark your calendars for the following dates:
8/21 New Student Orientation, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (includes lunch); New Parent Meet & Greet, 8:30-9:45 a.m.; Gameday Grill, GDS vs. Cary Academy beginning at 4:00 pm (Dinner is available for purchase. No reservations required.)
8/22 First ½ Day of School (noon dismissal)
8/24 First Full-Day of School
9/6 Upper School Parents’ Night (7:00-9:00 p.m.)
New student orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During this morning, we are also offering a new parent informational session about laptop use, school communication and more. Parents will meet from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in the Studio Theatre. Although this discussion is designed for parents of ‘new to GDS’ 9th-12th graders, other parents are welcome to attend.
During our Upper School Parents’ Night program, scheduled for the evening of September 6, parents will meet their child’s teachers, as they follow their students’ schedules. It is an extremely informative and exciting evening, and this is the best way for parents to establish a stronger communication link with these teachers, as well as to develop a new-found respect for the sophisticated level of work that our students do every day.
Please remember to familiarize yourself with our Family Handbook located online at www.greensboroday.org/handbook. The Handbook is a great resource for both current and new families. In particular, I ask that you read the Technology Responsible Use Policy, which sets forth guidelines for students, faculty and staff to provide a safe and appropriate learning environment for the GDS community, and the Conduct Policies and Expectations, which includes information about attendance, dress code, sportsmanship and more.
If your child is planning to participate in a fall sport, please refer to the athletics letter enclosed in this mailing for information. Finally, please refer to the school’s Web site (www.gdsbengals.org) for important calendar events. The school calendar, in its entirety, will be mailed in August.
I look forward to meeting some of you this summer, and all of you when the school year begins.
Best wishes for a restorative summer,
Susan Feibelman, Upper School Director