As the 2019-20 school year comes to a close in an unusual way due to the pandemic, it is still incredibly important for our school community to come together (virtually) to celebrate the year, our students' accomplishments and to say goodbye to our Grade 8s who are moving on to the Senior School.

This week, we shared our virtual Middle School Closing Ceremonies. As part of the event, some of our Grade 6, 7 and 8 students reflected on the year.

Thank you to Grade 6 students Yingfan B., Adam C., Jordan M. and Georgia S.; Grade 7 students Jack D., Kate F., Dianna H., Maya M., Sierra M., Roshan P. and Willow T; and Grade 8 students Maddy A., Damon B., Kian C., Anika D., Aidan M., Ava N. and Jenna R. for their thoughtful writing.

An excerpt from the student reflection is below. You can watch it in full in the video above.

Middle School Student Reflections

Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness.” This quote does a good job summing up this extraordinary year.

There were the best of times, such as the ones in service, music, sports and classroom learning. And of course with success comes challenges, with this year having some pretty unique challenges for us to face.

Due to the pandemic, we had to make a quick transition from classroom to remote learning. Although tough, this wasn’t too dark of a time because of the help of our amazing teachers who put a lot of time and effort to make this new experience successful.

One of our school pillars is service. This year, we’ve had many service opportunities and events that enabled us to connect with our community and show leadership. Even during COVID times, we raised over $3,000 for The Mustard Seed by donating money to have Mr. Brambley shave his head in assembly.

This year there were many opportunities for all grades to participate in the school sports offered by the Middle School. We had over 335 participants, which is incredible since we only have 204 students in the school. Let me use some math skills here: that means that even in a short year, the average Middle Schooler participates in 1.6 sports!

I would like to thank our music teachers for sharing their passion for music with all of their students this year; for their patience and willingness in helping us make progress in so many different instruments, and our voices, and for their creativity in teaching us remotely. I’m sure that was a huge challenge but it was a new way of doing stuff and everyone learned new things. Strings, band and choir have definitely been different remotely, but the teachers have made it easy for us to follow along and made the lessons fun and like in-class assignments.

This year was a memorable year for our students in the classrooms and in the community. From Model UN, to Design Challenges to winning the National Kids Lit contest, Middle Schoolers took advantage of the wonderful learning opportunities given to us.

Our school community has had tons of amazing, memorable highlights throughout the year. Chapel and assembly have always been a great gathering to bring staff and students together, and share stories that support our pillars: service, honesty, respect, and courage. And it is still entertaining to watch the online assembly, leaving you on the edge of your seats, anticipating if my house will score the points, and hopefully take the lead.

Online learning has been a big adjustment but that hasn't stopped any community events, such as the talent show, House Games, chapel and class presentations. I am glad that all of these events are still taking place in our school community, it gives everything a sense of normal, and helps us focus on other things, rather than this pandemic.

We would like to thank all of the Middle School students and staff as this school year comes to a very successful end. Goodbye everyone and stay safe, stay healthy and we look forward to returning to “the best of times.”