We are thrilled to announce that we are opening enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year, our eighth year of operation dedicating ourselves to Montessori for teens in Norfolk. Next summer will mark another “first time” moment in the history of Roadstead Montessori High School. We will bid farewell to our biggest graduating class. To understand how our educational model works, one only needs to look at the journey of growth these students have made with us since 9th grade. Each one of them is a unique individual empowered with so many skills, so much knowledge, so much experience and so much self-confidence. They are all creative, self-disciplined, responsible, adaptable and motivated young people, who are well equipped to take the first step of adult life. We can proudly say that they are the showcase of our school.
It is not a secret that the past year has been most challenging. COVID-19 took away one of the most essential components of our educational program: hands-on learning at professional adult environments. The pandemic also forced our daily interaction to be mediated via Zoom and socially distanced in the outdoor classroom.
Zoom and the outdoor classroom were a temporary solution until the development of vaccines and more empirical knowledge about how to create a safe indoor space. With the expectation that these methods will keep improving, we are planning to go back to our indoor classroom in the Fall. Adaptations of our school building are on the way, including opening more sitting space and improving air circulation. During the summer we will send to you an up-to-date safety protocol. As always, we will do above and beyond to prepare an environment that is safe but, at the same time also, academically and socially stimulating.
COVID-19 limitations forced us to be more sedentary this year. On the other hand they allowed us to introduce new components in our program. We enriched our four hands-on science seminars: biology, chemistry, physics and computer programming, designed a history seminar in which the students read scholarly and literary texts about pandemics and their impact on society, and expanded lessons of the written word with new literature, creative and academic writing seminars. We also added an art class, brought in a French teacher, who runs a Montessori middle school in France, and broadened the academic aspect of yoga. We also successfully adapted Makerspace, music and video and drama to Zoom.
We hope very much to be able to bring back next school year the important aspects of hands-on learning at the Slover Library, Makerspace, the Culinary Institute of Virginia and more. We will know whether and how that will be possible only toward the second half of the summer. However, the need to adapt to the pandemic forced us to be creative. We are convinced that we will find ways to bring the outside world to us when we still cannot go safely to the outside world as we wish.
We are proud of the resilience of our school community during this hard time. Creativity, adaptability and independence–the famous qualities of Montessori education–have served us well this year. However, we are eager to see normalcy come back. May this happen in the 2021-2022 school year.