A motto of the Benedictine monastic order of the Catholic Church is Rursus incipiemus nunc et semper. (“We will begin again now and always.”) I have reflected on the spirit of that imperative often this calendar year as the coronavirus pandemic has challenged us to adapt our work with MICDS students, and then to adapt those efforts anew—to begin again, and to begin again again—in the spring and now in the fall of 2020.
This semester, beginning again has meant symptom screening protocols and extended student drop-off procedures at the outset of each school day. It has meant masking and physical distancing and the division of students into fixed cohorts to limit the impact of positive diagnoses of COVID-19. It has meant online learning for some Beasley students and for all Middle and Upper School students, at least in the opening weeks of the academic year, which in turn has meant myriad educational innovations and adaptations on the part of students and teachers alike. It has meant a complex choreography of both curbside and classroom-by-classroom lunch delivery. It has meant restrictions on varsity athletic team practices and the suspension of all other athletic programs as well as strict limitations on our performing arts programs. And even more new beginnings await us as we inevitably transition by phases toward the resumption of the in-person and communal learning model for which we are designed.
How refreshing it is, therefore, to be reminded in the pages of this magazine of the work that is timeless at MICDS: our commitment to environmental stewardship, which has earned us “Green School” distinction from the U.S. Department of Education; our furthering of an equitable and inclusive student experience as evidenced by our “Give Respect Get Respect” program; our dedication to academic excellence as highlighted by such programs as the third grade state history projects and sixth grade passion projects, among others; our honoring of faculty service and proficiency; our celebrations of tradition and community; our achievements in arts and athletics; and many other evergreen endeavors besides.
We begin again now as never before, in the face of a global pandemic, in consonance with our Mission to “meet the challenges of this world with confidence.” And we begin again as always, preparing our students “for higher learning and for lives of purpose and service. Rursus incipiemus nunc et semper.
Always reason, always compassion, always courage. I hope that you enjoy this wonderful edition of our MICDS Magazine.