These past several weeks have been ones filled with lots of change and uncertainty for our students. I want to thank our teachers, counselors, and school leaders for their thoughtful leadership in recent weeks. Likewise, I have appreciated how our students have responded to that change and uncertainty to enable our school to move forward with care and quality in difficult circumstances.
One key part of this has been our Advisory program. Our advisories are groups of 12 grade-level peers with a faculty member who is with the same group of students for all four years in high school. Like our homeroom classes in elementary school, advisories help our middle and high school students process, respond to, and understand the changes we are facing in society and in our school.
As such, they play a key role in our social-emotional supports for students. Advisories are a safe space for kids to express their hopes and fears with a close-knit group of peers and a familiar teacher. Students also learn how to support their peers, so that when challenges arise, they have a group they can lean on for help.
Advisories also serve a vital function in helping us make rapid changes in the complex systems and routines of a school. We have had to implement a number of changes in a short time frame, as the Singapore Government has stepped up their set of recommended precautions. We work closely with our advisory teachers to arm them with the information their students need and to be the point person to answer questions. These small groups help students problem-solve through change and adapt to what is coming.
On a larger scale, we know that our students will go through many challenging times in their personal and professional lives. The coronavirus will not be the last global crisis they will face. They will face many future challenges, and they will need to be able to process emotions, critically think through global events, understand social dynamics, and most importantly, learn to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. In doing so, they will need to be emotionally resilient and find ways to lift others as well.
It is my hope that our community here at SAS, throughout Singapore, and globally will be able to successfully confront this new illness. As our hearts go out to those who are struggling the most right now in the face of the virus, I want to give thanks both for the health of our community and the way our community of students and adults have responded in the face of the challenges.
I hope you have a safe, healthy, and restful weekend!