A Message from Dr. Daniel J. Vitow, Headmaster
Every year I get a request from the staff of North Shore Notes to write a welcome message, and this year, when the request came, I smiled. It was yet another sign that despite the strange circumstances that face us in this year of the Covid-19 pandemic, some things don’t change. As I walked around the building during our first week of school, I saw many signs that the things that are different this year, although necessary and important, are all rather superficial, and that we are actually pulling off a mostly normal school experience for our students.
What is school for? There are so many answers to that question, but I will address the very crucial answers. School is for educating the next generation in preparation for their taking their places in the larger world. And as I walked around the building, that is exactly what I saw going on.
Teachers were teaching, students were listening and asking questions. During Schachrit and Mincha and in limudei kodesh classes, young men and women were honoring their heritage and exploring their traditions. In secular studies classes, content was expertly delivered and discussed. Kudos to our teaching staff for their attempts at connecting with all of their students. True, some students were Zooming, but they were part of the classes nevertheless. Social interactions between students were taking place, even though it was at a distance. The guidance offices were humming with plans. It was not all the three R’s: there were science labs, art classes, and even gym classes.
It might have looked a little different because of the masks and the one way hallway rules, but it still looked like a school where discovery, imagination, creativity and a healthy work ethic were being developed.
I was especially proud of our student body. They are each, individually, miracles of adaptation. They were so glad to be back at school! It is their enthusiasm that will make all the necessary but basically superficial safety protocols work so that we can do our job.
Have a wonderful and productive year!