Heads Up: Weekly Letters from Tim

Each Friday when school is in session, Head of School Dr. Timothy Johnson sends a cover letter to families as part of the weekly e-newsletter. Read on for an archive of these letters.

OnePingree Gratitude and Grace
Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


This has been an exceptional week at Pingree. In the last seven days, we uploaded over 86,000 files to Google Drive, participated in over 45,000 minutes of synchronous Zoom meetings, had 436 users engage in Google Classrooms, and sent over 105,000 emails. We even hosted our first remote revisit day with prospective families last night. Incredible.  

Our first week of distance learning is in the books, and there were many shared laughs and happily awkward video moments. We made it through the first leg of this uncharted journey together.

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Reimagining Community and Extension of Pingree Distance Learning Plan
Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


Welcome back! At this unprecedented moment, I hope this message finds you and your extended families safe and healthy. 

It has been a remarkable few weeks, and I have been inspired and humbled by the creative planning, collaboration, and Herculean preparation of our faculty and staff. Our Zoom sessions, calls, and emails with you over these last few days were important steps forward for all of us. Borrowing a line from a parent email from earlier this week, "All you control in life is how you respond to life," and we are indeed responding with the expertise, resilience, and enthusiasm that defines our school.

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Dreamcoats, Health Update, and Conversational Courage
Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


Three signs spring is near: a green shoot sprouting through the mulch in front of school, flocks of geese returning for their seasonal Pingree exchange program, and (drum roll, please) the opening of our spring musical production, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat! The cast and crew look forward to seeing many of you tonight and this weekend.

Our health office and administrative team continue to monitor the domestic flu and COVID-19 (coronavirus). Recognizing that health updates are fluid, we continue to track the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state health officials. We will be in touch as necessary in the weeks ahead.

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February Flames of Curiosity
Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


How do you keep your curiosity fueled in mid-February? With general winter malaise and spring seemingly beyond reach, February has a weather-worn reputation for being a low-curiosity month in schools. As educators at Pingree, we are fortunate to be in the business of curiosity. It is our responsibility to nurture the spark of inquiry in your children that will live on for the rest of their lives.

On a basic level, curiosity manifests itself as a motivated quest for knowledge and exploration. When was the last time you searched the shelves of a new library, listened to music beyond your regular rotation, or perhaps ate an unfamiliar food that awakened your senses? These daily actions serve as kindling to keep the flame of curiosity alight in all of us. In school terms, glowing curiosity looks like taking a class in an unknown subject, trying a new sport or afternoon program, or even participating in the occasional surprise game show! (Ask your children about their presentation on rainbows yesterday.)

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Spring is Near (Parents and Teachers are Here!)
Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


Now past the midpoint of the school year, the first official day of spring is only a month away. With the promise of more daylight, warmer days, a few more college acceptances, and more student drivers, I send my annual clarion call for parent solidarity in support and care for our students. 

One of my favorite things about each academic year is the seasonal cycle of development, observing the ebbs and flows of how students mature as temperatures fall and rise outside. We see increases in confidence, compassion, and a willingness to stretch. And while we trust that the vast majority of their decisions—made as the confident, curious humans we've encouraged them to be—will make us proud, we must also acknowledge that missteps are to be expected, inspected, and corrected. We have a shared responsibility for keeping them safe. In the words of Peter Ustinov, "Parents are the bones on which children cut their teeth." Educators, too!

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