The First Week Together: Community, Connection and Care

The 2022-2023 academic year kicked off last week with orientations designed to welcome new students with thoughtful and fun bonding activities between classmates,  assemblies, and our first all-school silent meeting.

On Tuesday, September 6, students new to the Middle and Upper School were greeted by faculty, staff, and student leaders. The focus of student orientations is to help students confidently navigate the campus, find resources they need, and, most importantly, get to know their teachers, advisors, and fellow classmates. In the Lower School, new students had a chance to meet with their teachers and have a tour of the Lower School building.

Classes officially started on Wednesday, with a decorative arch, music on the green, and lots of laughter and learning! After an extended advisory for Middle and Upper School, Grades 6–12 gathered for an assembly in the Music Center. Head of School, Sophie Glenn Lau ‘88 welcomed students and introduced the new faculty and staff followed by Sarah C. ‘23 President of the Student Council who shared advice for the year. In her words, “Try new things. I think Lincoln makes it really easy to try out new sports but here I’m referring more to classes and clubs. If you are considering trying a new enrichment class you know nothing about or joining a club that seems kind of intimidating, just try it. From the lit-mag and spy club in middle school to vocal ensemble and model UN in the Upper School, some of my favorite memories have come from things I never thought I would be a part of.” This was followed by Dean of Students, Kara Newman-Gilligan, engaging students and faculty in a Lincoln-themed Pictionary game.

On their first day, Lower Schoolers met in class meetings and began to set expectations, practice routines, and learn about all of their new friends and teachers. The first graders had their first lunch in the dining room, the girls did a great job listening to directions, picking their food, and working on reducing waste.  In Grade 5 they had a snowball fight! For this activity, they all wrote down 5 things about themselves, crumpled up the paper, threw it, and picked up another ball. Then it was time to find the person from the paper. Don’t worry, they won’t make a habit of throwing pieces of paper around the classroom! 

On Friday morning the Lower School had their first Lower School Assembly, in person, all together for the first time in two years, it was electrifying! The teaching team was introduced, then they got moving with a group activity, a helium stick challenge. The trick to succeeding in this challenge was communication and working together. These are themes that the girls will focus on as they make their way through the year. 

The first All-School Silent Meeting was held on Friday morning in front of our new reflection bench made possible by the generous contributions of our community members. Before sitting in silence together, Martha S. ’23, spoke about the beauty of silence while reflecting on the hours she spent outside as a child, “listening to nature, desiring to decipher its world free of words.” Mrs. Lau spoke about gratitude as a practice, and expressed appreciation for this new space and the opportunity to gather for silent meeting, a valued and honored Lincoln tradition. She posed a query, “How do I show gratitude for the wonders of the natural world?” Silence was broken by the singing of “Simple Gifts,” with musical accompaniment by several faculty members. 

We are off and running into the 2022-23 school year!