The new school year at Ross began with the soft hum of conversation between friends, old and new, with smiles and wide-eyed curiosity for some, as well as the occasional, reluctant farewell to the carefree days of summer. Within the first hours, however, the buzz of excitement and laughter was in the air.
On September 3 at Ross Lower School in Bridgehampton, new students and families had an opportunity to visit with faculty and staff, tour the campus, and get a feel for how the curriculum and programs are implemented at Ross. On September 4, students in Early Childhood through grade 6 arrived for their first day—many greeted by a cheerful welcoming committee consisting of Mr. Chris and his happy tunes. Students are settling in nicely and seem very happy to be back at Ross.
At the Upper School in East Hampton, boarding students arrived between Tuesday and Thursday. New international students took placement tests to assess their English language proficiency and placement in the appropriate level of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) instruction. As they moved into their new homes, housemates were busy swapping stories about summer fun and their native countries as they forged new friendships.
On Friday, September 5, students in grades 7–12 were welcomed to their new year by faculty and staff in an assembly in the Great Hall, where Head of School Patty Lein reminded the students of the importance of living the Ross Core Values. Afterward, each grade gathered for a retreat designed to help students get to know their classmates and mentally prepare for their learning experiences ahead.
Off campus, the seventh grade enjoyed time together at Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton and talked about their move to Upper School, while ninth graders worked on team building through bowling in Riverhead.
On campus, the eighth grade retreat also focused on teamwork exercises; grade 10 went on a scavenger hunt for items associated with their curriculum and classwork; eleventh graders created the “Core Values Art Installation” on the lawn outside the high school building, using ribbons fashioned from recycled saris from Nepal and Tibet and purchased to benefit a women’s collective in South Asia. On green ribbons, students wrote their names along with a Core Value, and the symbolic gestures were braided and added to the artwork. Seniors discussed the Senior Project in breakout groups, reflecting on the inspiration for their chosen subjects and sharing ideas about content and approaches.
Overall, it was a great start to a wonderful new year filled with the promise of new experiences, adventures, and revelations.