Fay School celebrated its 153rd First Day of School on Wednesday, September 4 with 467 students enrolled in Kindergarten through grade nine. This year, Fay’s student body represents more than 50 towns in Massachusetts, over a dozen states across the U.S., and 24 countries around the world. In addition to the usual process of getting settled into new classes and routines, each division spent some time in the first few days considering how the school year theme of “Being our Best Selves” will influence their experience this year.
In typical Primary School fashion, Fay’s youngest students dived headlong into their regular class schedules on their first day including library, music, and art. On Thursday, during their first Primary School Meeting, Head of Primary School Katie Knuppel introduced the school year theme of “Being our Best Selves” by sharing the children's book Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill. In the book, Miss Moon shares twenty important lessons for raising happy, healthy, and well-mannered dogs - that are equally applicable to humans! As Katie shared each lesson with the Primary School students she asked them to think about and share examples of ways in which they might personally exemplify these best-practice behaviors within the Primary School community this year.
In Lower School, grades three through six gathered on Wednesday afternoon to consider the school year theme by exploring the idea of identity. Head of Lower School, Lainie Schuster asked students to consider all the different groups that they belong to within the Lower School and to also identify some of the characteristics that make each student unique. Students then organized themselves into Lower School “tribes,” mixed groups of third through sixth graders, and decided on a tribe name. The “Outstanding Oranges,” Cool Kiwis,” and “Wacky Watermelon” tribes were born! Working with their tribe, each student decorated a crayon glyph using a key that highlighted some of their individual differences and similarities: from the number of children in their family, to how many pets they have, and even how they feel about taco day at lunch! The glyphs are now on display in crayon boxes along the Lower School hallway.
Upper School students had a modified schedule on the first day that allowed them to meet all their teachers and visit every class. The morning began with Upper School gathering for its very first Morning Meeting in Harris Theater. After making some introductions and going over the logistics for the day, Head of Upper School Sarah Remsberg invited students to begin the year by contemplating the theme of “Being our Best Selves” and its connection to their personal goals. After asking the students to close their eyes, Sarah asked them to focus on how they want to start the year. “While many of you will think of the grades you want to earn, I ask you to think about the kind of person you want to be. What habits do you want to develop in your classes? How are you going to challenge yourself this year? Now, keep your eyes closed because this is the most important part...how do you want to treat those around you? How do you want to be known? As you sit here and think, I want you to focus on kindness and respect, empathy and compassion. As you start this first day, be welcoming, be friendly, be true and make yourself proud.”
Throughout the year, students will continue to engage in curricular projects and activities that encourage them to define what it means to be their best selves and how to put those intentions into meaningful practice.