A Note from Conn McCartan on the Start of the 2021-2022 School Year
August 23, 2021
As I write this, I am most anxious to start the school year. I choose the word anxious intentionally. There is so much to look forward to as the school year begins. We have a student body that is 40% larger than it was just two years ago. That growth has occurred while so many public schools in Minnesota are struggling to maintain enrollment. Our student body is diversifying both racially and geographically; we have 62% more students from greater Minnesota than we did two years ago. There can be no better way to strengthen an artistic community than to have it made up of a wide variety of perspectives and experiences! Based on what we saw during admissions reviews, I can say that we are bringing in a talented student body. The average GPA of our entering students is 3.4. Students in each of our art areas demonstrated impressive artistic skills. This year, that includes our first cohort of musical theater students! I anticipate that our academic and artistic endeavors will be enriched by what each of our students will bring to our learning spaces.
I am also anxious as we start the school year because we are bringing 173 students all together into a school and residential setting for the first time in 18 months. We are doing that while a new variant of COVID-19 is present in our community. We are doing that while there is much consternation about the appropriate methods schools should follow to keep everyone safe and engaged. We are doing that with students who are both thrilled to be together with everyone and anxious to be around that many people. I won’t lie; despite starting my 39th year in education, I am not sure I have all the answers to fully address all that is happening as we start the year. I do, however, honestly look forward to seeking those answers with our staff and students as we aim to build a supportive community that fosters the thinking artists that this school has nurtured for over thirty years. I am anxious to begin!
Conn McCartan, Principal