This is a remarkable year by any measure. To spend my days completing coursework with our students, writing speeches, signing diplomas, and putting final touches on our school year while planning for the next, is nothing short of miraculous given all we have endured as an island, a community, and a school. I can admit now that I wasn’t nearly as hopeful back in September when I first assessed damage on campus; when I worried for our people, about time lost, about catastrophic disenrollment. That was forever ago now. The school year went on, students returned, my colleagues shined, we delivered the heart of the curriculum, and college admissions were outstanding. At Baldwin, we are truly blessed, and fully aware that many Puerto Ricans still suffer, still wait for deliverance, still long for a return to normal in the wake of María. We remain committed to recovery for all.
And this is a bittersweet time of year, when we say goodbye to students, families, colleagues, friends. María hastened the departure of a number of people, making this goodbye all the more difficult. We remind everyone who is leaving to stop by whenever you can; to come on home soon. You will be missed!
Summer, though, is indeed a time of renewal. When you return in August, you will find a transformed campus. Roof repairs, cleaning, and sealing are beginning now. The exteriors of all major campus structures will be repainted in the near future. All green spaces will be attended. All trees in and around the main quads and active student areas will be trimmed/rebalanced. The administrative roofline will be completely redesigned/built. The slumping area in the tennis court subsurface will be removed and rebuilt, and the whole surface will be leveled. Following, we will install new court surfaces, fencing, windscreen, and LED lighting. We have other minor projects as well. When you return in August, most of these projects will be complete.
With hurricane season around the corner, we are leveraging the lessons learned during María to improve our emergency preparedness. We are also upgrading our emergency power capacity. A new larger generator, due to arrive in early June, will replace the current generator near Elementary. It has the capacity to support both the Elementary quad and the VPAC. The current Elementary generator will be re-located near the cafeteria. This increased capacity will also provide emergency power to the Pennock Field House and the pool.
In August, we will begin our self-study in preparation for Middle States reaccreditation. We will be sending out surveys to our various stakeholders to solicit feedback about the state of our organization and opportunities for growth. In the meantime, our students grades 4-11 will complete our second annual student climate survey this week. Seniors annually complete an exit survey. We use both as opportunities to improve our school.
Next year, Baldwin will graduate its first International Baccalaureate Diploma Class. Our students have certainly risen to the challenge. Coincidently, sy2018-19 is the fiftieth anniversary for both Baldwin School and the International Baccalaureate Organization. Our first DP class and these anniversaries have the feel of a fitting symmetry. We have a few other surprises in store, but I’ll keep you guessing for now.
FYI: We are rebooting our summer offerings. Based on your feedback, our summer sports camp will be a full day program, including lunch. The camp will focus on skills development in basketball, soccer, and volleyball, and run throughout the month of June. For more details, contact our Athletic Director, Dirk Moran, at email@example.com.
See you around campus!