Vol. 12 - A Catch 22 on Content - Acknowledging the world while doing our job
A Catch 22 on Content - Acknowledging the world while doing our job
With so much going on the world, we are working to determine what tasteful content looks like and how our posts and initiatives will be received by our faithful alumni base. There is a fine line between out-of-touch and right on point. We want to be right on point and hope you enjoy our social media posts, alumni board initiatives, upcoming webinars, virtual happy hours, Distinguished Alumni presentations, and more. Since there is still so much good happening with our base, we want to share it with you! Stay tuned via the Clog Blog, social media, and our website for more information on how you can get involved and participate in this year’s slate of events. Please know we love and care for our alumni and are always here should you ever need us! Our November issue of the Clog Blog will have specific dates set for our initiatives outlined below.
Reunion Weekend 2020 Cancelled
All events for Reunion Weekend 2020 have been cancelled. The classes celebrating their special reunion years have pushed their gatherings to fall 2021, which will add to the merriment of joining the classes one year removed from their own, and it will be Holland Hall’s centennial celebration!
Campus During COVID
The students, faculty, staff and maintenance teams are back on campus. Safety protocols are in place, being followed and constantly being reviewed. Our administration, faculty and staff worked tirelessly over the summer, talking with colleagues around the region and the world, to develop best practices for our learning community. As a result, the buildings, grounds, and classrooms look a bit different because these times are different. Here are some of the changes around campus.WELLNESSHolland Hall has organized a COVID Task Force composed of local health professionals, including Distinguished Alumna and Board Member Dr. Kara Beair Butler ‘02, and Holland Hall staff. This task force has helped set the protocols put in place this year. As a result, Holland Hall has added two nurses, allowing each branch to have a dedicated nurse on staff. Nurse Christensen is now dedicated to contact tracing and is the main contact with local and regional health officials. Every family is asked to complete a daily online health form before arriving at school. Our school continues to provide two full-time counselors to our community as well as clergy to help students, faculty and parents.GROUNDSAs you enter the campus, you will also notice small marquee tents scattered quite deliberately around the open green spaces. These white-top oases are equipped with tables, chairs and retractable side panels so that they function as outdoor classrooms. The IT department has diligently prepared these classrooms by installing Wi-Fi hotspots all around campus for seamless instruction. Students have also been asked to bring beach towels to school to provide individual space for an al fresco lunch or outdoor learning.
BUILDINGSOur academic, fine arts, and athletic buildings, along with our vast and well managed grounds, are literally working together to deliver a safe and comfortable place to learn and grow. Every morning, the students enter their respective buildings with a temperature scan. Each branch has thermal imaging scanners installed, while the EPK students have their temperatures taken individually, reinforcing the individual care and concern for our youngest students.Hand sanitizer stations are standing ready at all entrances and throughout the buildings. The students bring their own water bottles to school each day now that the water fountains have been retrofitted to serve only as water bottle-filling stations. Each room was measured this summer to calculate the number of students and desks that will safely fit in each classroom. Many classrooms in the upper school (and some in the middle school) have double desks or group seating arrangements. These desks and tables have been counted, spaced, and divided with plexiglass.
ACADEMICSA temporary change to the block schedule was started this year. Students in 6th through 12th grades have a block schedule. Each class lasts approximately one and a half hours to reduce the number of class transitions and, therefore, hallway interaction among students. It also allows for better contact tracing should the need arise. Every classroom is now equipped with an iPad and tripod for the teachers to broadcast their classes live to students that are staying at home for health concerns. These broadcasts are only available to students in the class. Our faculty have taken on this additional challenge with grace and the families are grateful for the opportunity to stay engaged in the actual classroom while distancing at home.STUDENT LIFEThe faculty and staff have been doing their best to keep as many HH traditions moving forward as possible. Some classroom traditions will have to hit “pause” this year, while others are being modified to accommodate the pandemic. Student Council elections have been held. A modified Morning Meeting is still a go. Upper School students have already performed a play, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on the Chapman Green. The Upper School has even participated in a modified pep rally. A new Community Garden is in bloom. Middle and upper school clubs are kicking off as we speak. Yearbook photographers are on the move around campus. School Out Of Doors (SOOD) will be completely outdoors, for two full days, on campus. And there are high hopes to have Freshman Orientation in the spring. Thanks to Ian ‘21 and Andrew ‘21 McFerrin’s Eagle Scout project, there are now several dark red bicycles available to upper school students to bike around campus during designated study hall blocks. And there are often teacher-led class walks around the schools to get some fresh air and sunshine.
ATHLETICSSports are a key component for teaching the whole child and they are still being offered this year to all students. However, for 7th through 12th grade students, if a child is not comfortable participating in athletics this year, the sports credit requirement is waived. Various COVID-19 protocols are in place for indoor and outdoor athletics as well as time in the new Collins Fitness Center in the Tandy Dining and Wellness Center. Some of the seasonal offerings have been pared back. However, Holland Hall has all of its teams fully engaged and participating in competitive games.
VISITORSIn an effort to reduce the number of people inside the buildings and, therefore, reduce exposure to our students and staff, parents and volunteers are not currently allowed inside the buildings. Alumni, Parent Association and Trustee meetings are all being held virtually. As a result of this precaution, parent-teacher conferences, back to school night and other events are all creatively handled virtually this year.
Why Jake Freudenrich ‘10 serves on the Alumni Board and supports Holland Hall
A little over two years ago I found myself in a job I didn't like, living far from home and with increasingly less time to visit my family in Tulsa. I had always thought the point of growth was to leave your hometown for bigger and better things but when my parents came to visit me in Chicago and my mom told me that my dad would not be traveling much, if at all, going forward due to his declining health, my mindset changed and my decision to return to Tulsa became very clear.When I returned I began reaching out to the few Holland Hall connections I had and those people were gracious enough to reach out to their connections and so on. After a few months and many lunches and coffees later, I was able to land an interview and later a job with Williams.For me, the job meant much more than the paycheck, rather it was a way for me to officially return home and to my family. I live two doors down from my parents now and am so grateful to see them so easily and help with whatever they might need.I know everyone has their own path and many don't lead back to Tulsa but it's pretty clear to me that with the variety of talent and interests Holland Hall cultivates, we have enormous potential to provide help to so many through our alumni. And that help can reverberate to other communities as well.To make a long story longer, even though this might not be the year to get involved or perhaps "alumni weekend" isn't your preferred method, I hope you will keep yourself open to opportunities to reconnect. You never know who you might be able to help down the road."