From the head of school: Regeneration

On the morning of September 15, I gathered with other members of Moses Brown’s faculty and staff around a stately oak tree on our campus. It was going to be removed as part of our Lower School renovation, and we wanted to stand silently together and honor this venerable tree’s contributions to generations of Moses Brown families.

I felt sadness standing there, but suddenly streams of Lower School students began arriving for the start of their school day, walking right past the tree. Listening to their cheerful conversations and watching their playful interactions brought me joy — and reminded me that change is a constant at any school, especially one that’s 237 years old.

Every year, for instance, our returning students come back in September older, taller, more mature, some almost unrecognizable. It’s fascinating to see them moving into new grade levels, adjusting to more challenging classes and assuming leadership positions in sports, drama, and robotics. Teachers change, too, as we lay down lessons that have run their course and create new ones that meet our students’ changing needs. And, of course, each fall we welcome more than 100 new families, who enrich the community with new perspectives, energy, and curiosity.

In fact, just as we took some time to say goodbye to the tree, I hope each of you will take some time to say hello to the new families in your grades. They are receiving formal check-ins from their Parents Association host families in the next week — let’s complement that with informal texts and emails from all of you. I’m sure our new friends would benefit from the wisdom of those of you who’ve been part of our community for a while, and I’m confident that they have some fresh ideas we could benefit from as well.

This newness is all part of a natural cycle of change at Moses Brown. More than change, actually — it’s regeneration. Connecting what came before to what comes next, building anew, joining existing perspectives with fresh ones — this is what keeps our community healthy and vibrant.

A friend told me recently that trees growing near each other often inter-link their roots — which means that the single oak we stood next to was likely just one “branch” of a much larger organism that will go on living on our campus for many years to come. A fitting analogy for the sense of interconnectedness and togetherness we are all feeling at this time of year.

Matt Glendinning
Head of School