Gonzaga Prep opened its doors to nearly 800 students on Sept. 1, a welcome change from the synchronous, hybrid learning environment during the 2020-2021 pandemic school year.
"In the spirit of cura personalis, we began our school year intentionally mindful of the social and emotional needs of our students. While our students were resilient during our synchronous hybrid learning this past year, we knew they needed to begin this school year by making connections with each other and with our faculty and staff,” said Karen McLeod, new dean of students.
Students connected with their classmates through social activities including spirit cons and school-wide pizza lunch. And at the heart of Gonzaga Prep’s campus and mission, students prayed together at Mass in the Chapel of the Three Companions. In setting the context for each student to be persons for others, Chaplain Fr. JK Adams, S.J. invited students to “row out into the deep waters and get below the surface.”
Before the curriculum began in each class, students learned strategies for academic success, leadership, and the college process. “We believe these characteristics will prepare and differentiate our graduates for future success," said Derek Duchesne, vice principal of academics.
Grade-specific activities introduced students to iPad and technology usage, community building with counselors, equity and inclusion, Christian service programming, leadership training, and college prep.
Heading into the Labor Day weekend, McLeod was pleased with energy on campus. “The past three days our campus community has been able to reconnect in a beautiful way to kick off the 2021 school year."
ASB co-president senior Ephraim Watkins agreed. “It was a good way to start the week. You could really see and feel the energy of everyone.”