September 8 marked the beginning of the Saint Mary’s Hall ONE|SMH Yellow (Hybrid) Phase and the welcoming of some of our students on campus. The week was full of excitement and engagement, from faculty professional development, to College Counseling workshops, to celebrating a treasured tradition, to the return of student-athletes, to Lower School students in cohorts learning on campus.
Faculty and staff returned to campus after the Labor Day holiday for an In-Service day. The day, which began with an All-Staff Zoom meeting hosted by Head of School Len Miller, included professional development opportunities and training. Teachers received training regarding health and safety as well as concurrent teaching models, and took time to prepare their classrooms for Hybrid learning.
Some of our seniors also visited the campus (in small cohorts). The College Counseling team hosted College Counseling workshops. Following safety guidelines, these workshops provided seniors support in their college search and application process.
Our Athletic Department also welcomed some of our student-athletes back to campus. Following current state guidelines from Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), along with the guidance from the Bexar County Health Authority, in-person Upper School fall sports for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year officially began on September 9. It was great to see our student-athletes back on Lewis Field!
SMH celebrated one of our beloved traditions, only with a safe, curbside twist on September 9. Incoming freshmen and new Upper School students and faculty, and new SMH staff were assigned to either Team Capers or Team Elliott at the annual SMH Sorting Day. Students received their t-shirts (blue for Elliott and yellow for Capers) and fun SMH swag items as well as had the opportunity to have their car decorated with blue or yellow paint. This friendly rivalry has endured for decades and SMH was excited to continue the tradition in a safe manner for all. What a joy it was to see our youngest students on campus, ready for some in-person learning.
On September 10, SMH was excited to welcome Lower School cohorts for in-person learning on campus. Faculty and staff eagerly greeted these young Barons as they were dropped off at carpool in the morning. Lower School faculty spent the day teaching the cohorts in classrooms while simultaneously teaching virtual students.
It was a great week for the Saint Mary's Hall community. The experiences offered on campus are central to a Saint Mary’s Hall education. Learning happens best in a community and this is true at SMH, where students and faculty share a mutual trust that enhances growth and character.