A photo of Keith Driscoll

At SMUS, we recognize the pivotal role that a sense of belonging plays in an individual's well-being and success within a particular community. As a boarding school, we understand the significance of maximizing engagement opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, including evenings and weekends.

While our regular weekly gatherings, such as assemblies and chapels remain fundamental, the past two weeks offer a glimpse into additional avenues we explore to foster community.

The first approach involves creating an environment where students unite with a specific purpose, collaborating to create or accomplish a shared goal. The second involves extending an invitation to an audience, encouraging their participation as active participants or spectators in these shared experiences.

February has been a vibrant showcase of these community-building initiatives, reflecting what can be anticipated throughout the year. The Senior School Music program recently dazzled with its Large Ensembles concert, featuring 165 musicians at UVic, captivating an audience of 500 in person and more through live streaming. The Middle School hosted its annual science fair, welcoming parents and judges to witness Grade 8 students mastering the art of public speaking and sharing their learning experiences, while the Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 classes hosted Senior School students from the Chinese language program, where they shared in creative sessions centred around Lunar New Year celebrations. Additionally, our Boarding program orchestrated special intimate dinners, where students took charge of planning themes, menus, and activities for each boarding house and their fellow housemates.

This past Saturday marked a significant milestone for our musical production, as over 80 students, including the cast, crew, and pit orchestra, had their first full run-through on campus. They are gearing up for performances later this month at the McPherson Playhouse. In athletics, we strive to host playoffs and championships on campus, enhancing the community spirit. This weekend, SMUS proudly hosts the Senior Girls Basketball Island Championships, providing a stage for our provincially ranked #2 Senior Girls team to secure their spot in the provincials.

These examples showcase students demonstrating collaboration, teamwork, leadership, commitment, and continuous learning, creating sub-communities with open invitations for others to join in these shared experiences. Together, they weave a rich tapestry of the SMUS community, offering a breadth of experiences where every student has an opportunity to belong.

As February unfolds and the year progresses, we extend a warm invitation for you to join these experiences, allowing you to become a part of the vibrant SMUS community. Whether it's cheering on our teams in the SMUS gym, attending the Junior School strings concert next week, or enjoying the musical at the month's end, we hope to see you there.