Griff Clessuras '24
This year has been incredibly challenging for everyone. Our nation has had to grapple with massive problems - including the pandemic, wildfires, and police violence. Of course, St. Albans is not immune from the wrath of 2020 either, as we face a unique set of challenges unlike what we have ever seen before. As the head prefect of Form III, one of my main goals for the year is to make distance learning as normal as possible. While remote learning will never be the same as in-person school, the prefects' have been working hard to eliminate unnecessary challenges caused by learning from our computers, facilitate the transition back into the cohort model, and plan activities for students. In our meetings, we address any concerns or questions we have heard from classmates to help improve distance learning and be more prepared for in-person school.
In addition, my other goal for the year has been to help new students get more integrated into school life and the community. For the many new students in Form III and the rest of the school, it can be difficult to get to know someone through Zoom. However, I think we have done a good job (at least with the present circumstances) helping these students get to know their classmates through remote-plus activities. For example, in advisories, we scheduled various ice-breaker activities on each grade’s remote-plus days so we can better understand each other and come closer as a community, especially for new students. Additionally, as I found when I was new three years ago, we can really get to know our peers and new students integrate into our community through sports. The playing field serves as an excellent opportunity for students, new and returning, to befriend one another and form new relationships.
Another challenge that our country faces is the systemic oppression of African-American people. We recently had an assembly in which Black alumni at St. Albans shared their experience of being Black at St. Albans and their experiences with racism. In our advisories, we have been tackling this topic head-on by discussing racism and police brutality. We’ve also shared our experiences and insights gained from reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me.
In the future, one other thing we look to accomplish as prefects is helping people adjust to the hybrid learning model. Questions from students have already been brought up in meetings as to how various school activities will work with only half of the class in school and the other half at home. We once again look to make this change in how we learn the new normal and hope to make a smooth transition into the hybrid system. While we look forward to learning again with our friends, peers, and classmates, we, as a group of prefects, understand that this will be different than anything we’ve ever seen before. Though this year has already been quite the challenge and many more difficulties are sure to arise, our main goal as prefects has been to make adjusting to the new normal as easy as possible. If you’re confused about something or struggling to adjust, reach out to any of us. We’re here to help.