A couple of weeks ago here in the Matriculate Blog, the admissions team wrote a post called “Rituals of Distance Learning” that highlighted the importance of mindful and embodied engagement in moments and seasons of transition. Whether we will be participating in The Seattle School community online or on campus this year, the physical spaces and daily rhythms of our lives will do much to equip and sustain us for our shared learning and growth.

As we begin each academic year at The Seattle School, we practice a number of communal rituals and rhythms that help us to prepare the relational spaces in which we will learn and grow together. Some of these rhythms are playful and fun while others invite deeper contemplation and engagement. Our own unique experiences and pathways will vary: some of us will be learning entirely on campus, while others will predominantly learn in online classrooms with seasonal campus visits. Meanwhile, from season to season and year to year, we will cultivate shared rhythms that grow our sense of connection to and belonging with one another as one learning community.

This week, Paul Steinke, who shepherds the student body along with the Office of Students & Alumni team, will send you an email inviting you to several events: (Re)Orientation, Community Dinners & Fall Vespers, and Convocation & Community Cookout. These community rhythms—shared by students, staff, faculty, alumni, and our families—will be opportunities for us to pause, reflect, orient, and transition into the year together. Convocation & Community Cookout is a ritual by which we officially welcome incoming students into the fold of this learning community. See Paul’s email for more about these community-wide events, and RSVP for (Re)Orientation on the event page.

New Student Orientation for both low residency and on campus students will overlap with these wider community rhythms, and will provide distinct opportunities for you to arrive and orient together as new students within this learning community.

A reminder of all important dates, with Community Rhythms in bold:

August 25, 2021: Frameworks & Intersections online course begins – All members of the 2021 cohort

September 14, 2021: On campus orientation – 2021 on campus MACP cohort

September 15, 2021: (Re)Orientation – All students

September 29-October 2: Fall Residency – 2021 low-residency cohorts

September 30, 2021: Community Dinners & Fall Vespers – All students

October 2, 2021: Convocation & Community Cookout – All community

Looking forward to sharing these community rhythms and rituals with you!