Ursuline News

A Letter From the Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,  

September never fails to fill me with a sense of energy and possibility. Thirteen Septembers of being a student and eighteen Septembers of being an educator have formed in me a permanent connection to this time of year and the gorgeousness of a fresh start. As we know, this a different start for this school year, and yet I still feel the joyful energy of new notebooks, uncracked spines of books, crisp uniforms, and unscuffed saddle shoes. Every year we begin with hope and wonder – hopes for success and joy and wonderings about what the year will bring. Certainly, we are all wondering what this year will be like, how it will feel, when it will be “normal” again. I wish I could answer these questions for our students. I can say this: as we close our two online weeks and anticipate our shift into hybrid phase, the building is ready, and the teachers are eager to welcome our students.  

Looking back on these two weeks of online learning, it has been full. Students have worked through their first day nerves and are beginning to share their voices with confidence in classes. Teachers have begun practicing with the Surface Hubs now placed in all classrooms, which will be our tether to our students who are learning from home. We have all had moments of feeling grateful to a colleague or friend who offered a word of support or brilliant idea at just the right moment. We have been able to work through some ups and downs of implementing new systems, practices, and tools. I think everyone has had at least one moment of virtually walking into the wrong “room” or being surprised by the clock as we adjusted to a new rhythm of school. We are filling our books of memories with stories we will look back on fondly in the future.  

I anticipate that when we return to in-person school after Labor Day and are back in person in our building, there will be some moments of saying, “whoops!” And we will have to be patient and flexible as we work through anticipated adjustments. Know that the administrative team and teachers are fully expecting to be adjusting plans from day one of students returning to the building. It will be a transition from planned reality to lived reality, and we will be ready to meet the challenges we encounter. We will communicate with our students and you about how it is going and if there are any major changes in expectations or protocols. I encourage you to reach out if you have questions. I also hope you will encourage your daughters to ask teachers, advisors, or counselors if they are feeling uncertain about anything.  

It will be vital that all on campus follow our health and safety protocols. Daily check-ins on the Magnus screening app and firm adherence to mask wearing, distancing, and handwashing/sanitizing will be what keeps us doing what we love to do – which is to be in the building with our learners. I encourage you and your daughters to review our reopening plan again before we are back in person. We are called to care for each other through this moment, and I feel it will build strong bonds among us that will last. 

As always, you and your daughters are in my prayers! 


Dr. Andrea Shurley