Brooklyn private independent school

Head of School Updates

Gratitude

Dear Berkeley Carroll Community,

The milestones and celebrations that mark the end of the school year have been especially resonant over the past weeks because they have amplified our gratitude for having safely navigated a year unlike any other and they have affirmed our capacity to gather--a gift that was abruptly taken from us when the pandemic began.

After leaving our campus last March, members of our community experienced uncertainty, loss, and sacrifice. While acknowledging and honoring the hardship that we have faced, we also appreciate and celebrate the “One BC” spirit that has allowed us to remain connected academically, socially, and emotionally during the crisis.

I am thankful for the flexibility and support that our families have shown throughout this time. I am grateful for the dedication and care that our educators have applied to the nurture of our students’ intellectual development and emotional wellbeing. I am appreciative for the resiliency and grace that have brought all of us to this point and I look forward to enjoying a campus vibrant with academic, artistic, and athletic pursuits upon our return in the fall of 2021.

I also feel fortunate to be in a community that is committed to confronting the racism and bigotry that we have seen in our city and in the country at large. This year we have witnessed once more an eruption of incendiary rhetoric and violence in the form of antisemitic attacks on Jewish people and vandalism of synagogues. We have seen anti-Arab and Islamophobic assaults visited on individuals and spelled out on mosques. The anti-Blackness that informs killings of unarmed Black people in our streets and in their homes has continued as anti-Asian violence against individuals and businesses persists. These reprehensible attacks and the attitudes that feed them are both constant and cyclic, demanding that we work with vigilance and perseverance toward their eradication.

Berkeley Carroll’s antiracism efforts rest on the recognition, rejection, and repudiation of all forms of bias. We remain steadfast in teaching that discrimination against and targeting of people and communities because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and other identities diminishes our collective humanity and is cruel, destructive, and wrong. Our program and curriculum allow us to be both proactive and responsive to the needs of our students, colleagues, and families while also providing our community members with tools to better society. We look forward to continuing to partner with you in this work.

Notwithstanding the challenges of these times, much has occurred during the past year that ought to leave us hopeful. In countless ways, the collaborative efforts of our community--our faculty, staff, students, and families, our Board of Trustees and our Parent Association--have strengthened our resolve and fortified our school. Whatever we might face on the journey ahead, we go forward in the belief that our strength and success depend on collective will and concerted effort. It is with tremendous appreciation and gratitude that I join with you all in the challenging but transformative pursuit of Berkeley Carroll’s mission and its promise.

I am wishing you a restorative break in the embrace of family and friends and I look forward to seeing you all again when we reconvene at summer’s end.

Sincerely,

Lisa Yvette Waller, Ph.D.
Head of School