Dear Powhatan Parents,
On a warm Saturday afternoon in September, I had the privilege of spending some time with alumni from The Blue Ridge Country Day School, which was the founding school and beginnings of Powhatan. The humorous and lively exchanges about their memories of the little red schoolhouse in Millwood, where Powhatan began, lifted my spirits and confirmed my belief that the education we provided and still provide for our students is life-changing, impactful, and steadfast.
Before this day, I took the opportunity to visit our third graders to share with them details about my upcoming visit. I showed the third graders a picture of all the students of BRCD standing on the porch of the little red schoolhouse, told them that I would be talking with these students who are now adults, and said I would be asking them about what school was like back then. Together, the third graders and I came up with a list of questions for these alumni so that we could learn more about the history of our school.
I was very impressed with the questions the students created. They ranged from queries about Posts and Rails to wondering how they arrived to school each day (by car, foot or horse?) “What did they study (because some of the history we study today had not happened yet when they were in school)?”, “Did they have Smart Boards and Chromebooks?” and “What did they play on the playground?” were a few of the questions that topped the list.
The BRCD alumni were delighted to answer the questions! And in the process, the third grade and I learned that many of the traditions we continue today were started back then, and although times were very different, kids haven’t changed that much. They still love to play outside, have to do homework and enjoy making friends. They loved hearing about cow pasture baseball and that there were fire drills back then too. And then there were the color cards given out each Friday – be sure to ask your student about those! To share more of these traditions and memories, please tune into my podcast with Franny Crawford, alumnus from BRCD.
Shortly after this special gathering of alumni, I was walking to the soccer field with a parent who is a Powhatan alumnus. He was reminiscing about his days as a student on our campus, and I think he clearly articulated what the Powhatan educational experience encompasses. He said, “You know, I can still remember walking down to this field to play my own soccer game, and now I am walking down to the field to watch my son play. Some things about a Powhatan education change and some things don’t. And that is a really good thing.” What a great way to capsulize the legacy that each student gains from a Powhatan education. I don’t think I could have said it any better.
I hope you embrace all that is your child’s Powhatan education!