A Bellwether in Challenging Times

Community, Compassion, Continuity, Communication

As we move through this unprecedented crisis together, Bellwether has identified these four guiding principles to help us operate effectively and sensitively in the midst of many unknowns. 

Community

Community is at the core of the Bellwether experience. During this time of physical distance, the power of our human connection becomes even more apparent and important. We know that the Bellwether spirit perpetuates through our separation, and we are grateful for the nourishment provided by a community such as ours. See how current families are participating in distance learning with the support of the Bellwether community:

Although we miss the physical aspect of the Bellwether community, I can’t say enough good things about the online learning aspect. Kaitlyn and Laura have gone above and beyond to supply us with guidance and materials to support this new way of learning: remote learning. Both have sent snail mail packages with art materials, beans with a growing project, plus letters, as well as emailed our regular weekly emails (complete with the beloved picture compilations that we share as a team effort!), links to various online learning ideas, weekly learning menus, and are active in our new Bellwether Facebook group! We even received an email of Laura singing her beloved classroom songs so we can sing them at home!! We have been invited to Zoom, text, or FaceTime at any time and have completed a zoom meeting already! We look forward to getting back inside those magical four walls, but although we can’t physically yet, we feel them around us every day  

-Erin Bolger, Preschool Parent

Compassion

Much of Bellwether's magic lies in the relationships that are cultivated here. Rooted in authenticity, this web of connectedness allows learners to take creative risks, to grow in new directions, and to experience the reciprocity of deep compassion. We are leaning on the strength of this compassion now, at a time when so many of our fellow humans are suffering. The only way forward is with open hearts.

 

At Bellwether, we holding our community close, slowing down our processes, and taking our time with decision making. We feel this is the best way to express compassion toward all members of our community, ourselves, and the larger world. We know we will come out of this together, especially if we let compassion be our guide. 

Continuity

Change is inevitable and, at this moment, it's particularly hard. While we can't predict what the world will to look like in a month - or six - we do know that the value of holistic education will only be amplified. In the face of a global pandemic, Bellwether remains steadfast in our dedication to producing the problem solvers and citizens the world needs now. Teachers are hard at work, ensuring the continuity of programming, and leaders are managing logistics around the school's financial wellbeing. What is essential about the Bellwether education will endure, as it has for the past 25 years.

Communication

Communication, while always a core value, is crucial at this moment. It's the best way for us to stay connected and committed to furthering the Bellwether mission of serving our students. While we must operate within uncertainty and among many unknowns,  we are doing our best to provide as much information and transparency as possible. Please know that the the Bellwether staff are standing by and are available to help answer your questions. You can find our most recent letters and statements linked below:

April 27, 2020

Welcome “back” Bellwether!

 

I hope folks are doing well and were able to enjoy some of the sunny days we had last week! I’m ready to start seeing more green in the mountains!

 

We are getting into the homestretch here, and well, it sure looks different than what we are used to. There are still many unknowns for the weeks to come. What I DO know is that your children’s teachers are working hard to continue to give as much as they can to the students. It’s not easy to deliver a Bellwether education this way, none of this is ideal.  I have been amazed by the way each of the teachers continues to maintain relationships in addition to finding connections to curriculum with your children. These relationships are at the core of a Bellwether education.

 

I know many of you weren’t able to make it to the Zoom meeting we held before April break, so I want to share some of the thoughts that I shared that evening. After reading through the survey responses, I noticed that a lot of parents were concerned with the HOW of supporting your children’s learning at home. I’ve thought a lot about this and even though I think it’s unfair to expect you all to be teachers all of a sudden, (and I don’t want you to think of yourselves as teachers anyway) I am still going to tell you HOW, because what a Bellwether teacher does is exactly what we should all be doing as we approach this challenge in our lives.

 

First I want to say to all of you: You are doing a great job parenting right now. You are being asked to do something that is incredibly difficult. Despite that difficulty, you are showing up for your family and that is enough. That is enough. It might not look like what your neighbor is doing. That’s okay. It shouldn’t look like what your neighbor is doing. It might not be Pinterest-worthy, I’ve got some news for you about Pinterest…(seriously, I’ll send you a link if you want to have a good laugh). You are doing enough. If you are asking “What MORE can I be doing to support my child?” You are doing MORE than enough.

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 Bellwether School     1186 South Brownell Road     Williston, Vermont  05495     info@bellwetherschool.org        (802) 863-4839

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