The Value of Independence in Unprecedented Times, by Head of School Adam Moore

Posted by Amy Smythe on 2/10/2021 12:00:00 PM

The Value of Independence in Unprecedented Times

I have often written and spoken on the value of an independent school education. I have served in both public and private school sectors in my nearly 25 years working in education and I must say, I have never been prouder to serve in an independent school than I have in the last year.

Beginning in the Spring of 2020, I watched independent schools across the country lead the way in education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Independent schools were among the first to move teaching and learning online in March 2020, reopen summer programs in summer of 2020, and return to on-campus learning in August 2020. While there is much work to be done in the coming months and it is by no means time to relax, independent schools are writing the “education during a pandemic playbook.” Independent schools are filled with creative, passionate, compassionate, and committed educators that will stop at nothing to see their students grow and fulfill the missions of their schools.

Over the past twelve months, I have participated in countless Zoom calls and online forums filled with independent school thought leaders from across the country and witnessed the creativity, determination, and comradery devoted to the purpose of serving independent school students and families, no matter the circumstances.

Through immense determination and ingenuity, independent schools have found ways to teach students in-person, remotely, and in many schools simultaneously. I have personally watched seasoned educators double down on their efforts and increase their workloads to design engaging physically distanced lessons, learn new pedagogy, and even teach from home to a classroom full of students during a quarantine. Independent schools around the world have often led the way in implementing effective mitigation strategies that allowed schools to serve students in-person, even including the use of COVID-19 assurance testing, creative classroom designs, and the greater use of more outdoor space.

One of the hallmarks of an independent school is the ability to be nimble and flexible through all situations. Over the last year, this flexibility and school-level decision making has allowed independent school students to not only survive but thrive throughout these unprecedented times.