Through the extraordinary efforts of our Health and Safety team, we were fortunate to be able to keep St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s open all last year with full days for all students. It was critical to have our community come together for in-person learning. However, in order to do so safely, we had to alter some of our normal routines.
This year, through the dedication of faculty and parents to maintaining the health integrity of our community, we are able to return to many of our joyful celebrations and milestones here at school. We are thrilled to be able to resume these activities and programs during this mid-pandemic time.
A Return to Chapel
We are overjoyed to announce a return to our daily Chapel services. Located directly opposite our front doors, the chapel is the heart of our school, both physically and spiritually. Named for the long-serving chairman of our Board of Trustees, the Rev. Canon Jay H. Gordon, the chapel is a place where we gather not just for shared prayer, reflection, and meditation, but also for community meetings of faculty, parents, trustees, and visitors. In Chapel—as well as in our religious knowledge classes—we teach and learn about the many different faith traditions present in our school community. This year, students in grades 1 - 3 have resumed daily Chapel services; our older students in grades 4 - 8 have their own daily service separate from the younger grades, along with having Eucharist on Thursdays. A return to daily Chapel services is an important step in our return to normalcy, and we are so thrilled to be able to gather together once more.
Making Music Together
We are also enormously pleased to get the band back together—our Brass Band, that is! After a year in which instrumental instruction was done remotely as a safety precaution, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s has returned to in-person music instruction, with a few adaptations. Because of health safety protocols, our band and chorus practices now take place outside in the porte-cochère, which is complete with piano, brass instruments, chairs, and music stands. Though our students adapted wonderfully well to remote music-making last year, there is nothing like having our musicians play together as a group. It is absolutely wonderful to have our school alive with the sound of music again!
St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s at Play
We are lucky at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s to have our half-block-long, protected roof playdeck. In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, we had been limiting the number of students playing together in that space at one time. As a result, we had class cohorts playing in smaller groups, rather than full grades. This year, we are pleased to have full-grade cohorts playing together once more. In our aim to educate the whole child—body, mind, and spirit—physical education is an important part of our day. When a full grade plays together on the playdeck and during P.E., children develop their social skills and build community at the same time they are improving their strength, agility, and eye-hand coordination. We are delighted to bring our group play and athletics back for this school year and to see and hear these joyful interactions back on campus!
Hawks Soaring High
Lastly, we are pleased to announce that our Hawks are soaring once again! Our cross country, soccer, and volleyball teams for grades 7 and 8 are back out on the field and court. It is wonderful to have school teams to cheer for and support, bringing another element of camaraderie and a feeling of connection among our children.
At St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, our first and abiding priority is the health and safety of every student, parent, faculty member, and staff member in our community. We are committed to holding in-person school as long as it is safe to do so, and we are grateful for the cooperation of our parents, students, faculty, and staff in adhering to the health and safety guidelines from New York State, New York City, the CDC, and our own team of medical experts. We love being able to gather again safely, and we are looking forward to continuing to celebrate our traditions and milestones together during this upcoming school year.