Last year on September 15th – we welcomed students back to remote learning with textbooks and t-shirts and a large dose of uncertainty. Masks were novel and the event was dubbed “The Year of the Masks.” We had no clue what to expect, who would show up, and how to move forward. But we knew we had to mark the passage of time and the new semester in a way that was purposeful. It was the first time many of our students had seen each other in months and their joy was infectious. It was handedly one of my favorite days and definitely a highlight of a very hard year.
This year, on September 15th – we welcomed students back again – this time to in person high school learning and (for our vaccinated students) we welcomed students back to the college campus. Masks aren’t new anymore so, the year of the masks no longer applies…we are now celebrating the Year of Return! Masks are normal, remote is normal, resilience is normal – our students keep going. Hostos’s early college students are not strangers to perseverance, this isn’t the first time in their young lives they have gotten through hardship.
We prioritized making sure that Hostos Lincoln Academy students had a return to campus plan because they are the bedrock of Hostos academic excellence and testaments to the Hostos mission.
Codified Ceremony – or rituals – are important to us. I love that the students expect and anticipate the return of the year to be filled with textbook disbursement and swag. Filled with smiles, photos and lots of energy. This year is no different. The seniors hadn’t been on the Hostos college campus since the beginning of 2020. The Juniors and Sophomores have never been on the college campus (unless they came as 6th graders for our Winter Week) and it was great seeing them in person and being able to invite them into their campus. For a few hours, it was close to normal as I have felt in over a year.
Grateful for another return! Ready or not here we come. Check out some photos of these brilliant students below.