Upper School Morning Meetings have a new name and a new focus. The weekly, and now virtual, all-division gatherings have been renamed Community Meetings, and the agenda has been revised to make sure the meetings provide a space for sharing meaningful stories, perspectives, art, questions, ideas, and more.
At the second meeting of the year, English Department Chair Iain Pollock, who is serving as a guide to the student-centered gatherings, clarified that the name change was intended to “signal the importance of community and community-building in the Upper School.” Mr. Pollock shared, “The purpose of this space is to highlight voices from across the community with a particular focus on student voices.”
Student Government President Liam Bieber ’21 expressed gratitude for the teachers and administrators whose continued hard work has made the return to learning possible. Liam also spoke thoughtfully about the difficulties the RCDS community has encountered in 2020, including the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the pain felt within the current national civil rights struggle and the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at school. He shared, “This year, we face uncharted adversities; this should not be a deterrent but instead an encouragement. It presents us a unique opportunity to continue to implement change from a limitless well of opportunity, to correct past actions and institutional structures, to construct our better future, and to come together as one RCDS community.” Mr. Pollock echoed Liam’s sentiments, and in a tie to the year’s theme of character, he encouraged students to approach difficult moments without fear but with a willingness to think critically and grow through listening and striving to understand different perspectives and experiences.
Senior poets Sasha Leonard ’21 and Arly Rodriguez ’21 also shared their beautiful and poignant poetry. Sasha read two poems, “My Future Love” and the “Essence of Timing” and Arly read “Dear COVID.” Mr. Kyle closed the meeting with club announcements and shared that he was humbled and astounded by the students’ contributions to the meeting. He concluded, “Thank you for your words of wisdom and your extraordinary art. We are enriched by your words.”