Gray Matters, May 2022

Defining Community

Several months ago I read the bell hooks book “All About Love”—a wonderful essay about the unparalleled significance of love in our lives. Throughout the book, hooks implores readers to love as an action and to allow love to frame our communities. In “All About Love” hooks shares a definition of community that very much resonates with me and how I experience our community at Capitol Hill Day School. hooks attributes the definition to the psychiatrist, M. Scott Peck. According to Peck, community is…  

the coming together of a group of individuals who have learned to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to rejoice together, mourn together, and to delight in each other, and make others’ conditions our own.”

This past Friday’s Spring Fundraiser felt like a true return to the rejoicing that reflects who we are as a community. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support that was palpable throughout the evening. As I mentioned during the event, it was fantastic, after more than two years, to gather as a community in celebration of this School that we all love.

The past two years have been difficult. Plenty of highs and lows. Way too much uncertainty. That said, I am extremely proud of how we are navigating the pandemic. I believe that it has been our commitment to community and to finding ways to sustain connectedness, even in the face of mitigating circumstances, that has been the essential factor pulling us through. As we wind down this year, it is critical that we remain vigilant and especially sustain our collective commitment to the health of each individual and our overall community.

Post Spring Break, we made a successful shift to a mask optional environment. By most measures, our community has remained healthy and our internal community transmission has been minimal. Over the summer we will engage in a process of re-evaluating all of our health protocols and procedures. It is our intent to merge our Covid protocols into our standard Family Handbook. In coordination with DC Health and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, we hope to be in a position to minimize isolation and quarantine periods. It is also our intent to move to a practice of only utilizing virtual connection for learning and community engagement sparingly. 

At the end of this school year, I’m looking forward to once again gathering as a community as we take a moment to delight in the accomplishments of our oldest students at our annual Graduation ceremony. Ushering 8th Graders onto their next chapter is always bittersweet. We have watched them grow into themselves as confident learners and leaders, with the support of this community backing them throughout their journey. We know they will be successful as they navigate this next transition. We hope you’ll join us at the Capitol Turnaround on June 10 at 10:30 am as we send them off with love.