Typically, Family Weekend is a time where family members of new students are welcomed into the community through on-campus programming and events. However, amidst the pandemic, Family Week was held virtually this year. It still maintained its goal of inviting new families into the community. Families were invited to attend the various programs that CA hosted through Zoom, which consisted of everything from Q&A’s to parent socials. Let’s take a look at how the week went, and what zoom links you could have clicked on!
To kick off the week, a community and equity program, which was open to all, was hosted on Monday. C&E programming consisted of various speakers discussing what an equitable community environment looks like, and how we can promote equity at CA. This program was immediately followed by a senior parent meeting with Rob Munro, Kate Peltz, Kiley Remiszewski, Will Tucker, and Sally Zimmerli. Times for all scheduled events were chosen to allow for the most equitable opportunity for families zooming in from all different time zones. Many of the Zooms were hosted between 8 and 10 am and 8 and 10 pm as to be mindful of families who are not local.
On Tuesday, there was an athletics Q&A with the assistant athletic director, Laurie Baker. Additionally, parents were given the opportunity to meet the coaches. Coaches from boys and girls soccer, field hockey, volleyball, and girls and boys cross country talked about their experiences this year with the teams and development of their players. Following this programming was a boarding life panel where Sally Zimmerli, Annie Bailey, and lead house faculty members got together in an invitation-only panel to discuss everything from safety measures in the boarding houses to what the life of a boarder looks like during COVID.
On November 11th, programming began with a welcome from the interim head of school, Sarah Yeh, and Lori Hick, president of CA parents. This day consisted of virtual class visits, where parents and families could drop by and see what the students are learning. This was a time where students were invited to show off their skill set to their families, and demonstrate their knowledge and passion for their classes. From conjugating a Spanish verb to solving a pre-calculus problem, memories were surely made on this fun day. A virtual Veterans Day program was also hosted to commemorate and celebrate the soldiers who have served our country and dedicated their lives to protecting freedom and democracy. Concluding Wednesday programming was a Zoom hosted by the Performing Arts Department, where they talked about the Winter Mainstage Play, various performing arts courses, and gave updates and an overview of how their program is adapting to the new circumstances.
In addition, over the course of the week, advisors and parents had a chance to connect via 20-minute virtual meetings to discuss and ask questions about CA, their student’s experiences in classes, and how they are transitioning into this new hybrid world.
On Thursday, parent gatherings were hosted to allow the parents to touch base and connect with others in the community. After a welcome from Lori, adults moved into breakout rooms to discuss questions, concerns, and thoughts about CA. This was a great opportunity for parents to meet someone new, learn some more about CA, and get a feel for the environment. There was lots of engagement at this event, and it was an enjoyable experience for all.
To finish off this year’s 2020 Family Week, the College Counseling Office hosted optional, separate programming for Junior and Sophomore parents on Saturday. Parents were offered an overview of what the CCO will do for students during their time at CA, as well as an introduction to the roles of advisors, college counselors, students, and parents alike in the college application process.
Virtual Family Week, though different from previous years, was a huge success and a great way to get more involved in the community. It introduced extended members of the CA community to teachers, advisors, coaches, and staff members whom the students will be working and interacting with during their time at CA.