We are excited to welcome students onsite after nearly six months apart due to the pandemic shutdown and after an unusual summer break. We sat down with Ms. Sue Ha, Head of School for both NYC and NJ campuses, to get her thoughts as she prepares for the upcoming year.
Q: Can you share an experience this summer that had an impact on you?
I visited South Korea and was struck by the shared commitment on the part of everyone to stay safe. I was able to move around comfortably – everyone had a mask on, and people were carrying on in their daily lives. It solidified the importance of our HWIS community pledge.
Q: What excites you about coming back to school?
I am looking forward to seeing the students and the teachers. Seeing everyone smiling and learning together will make all of us very happy.
Q What do you feel are some lessons learned during remote learning?
1) Social and emotional issues come first. We realized that given this sudden change – we needed to be there to connect and support before learning can happen. 2) Keep things simple and flexible – we were able to quickly see what changes were needed and adapt, 3) the importance of digital citizenship – it is important to ensure both students and teachers have the necessary technology skills. It’s amazing to see our preschoolers using Zoom!
Q: What are you educational and organizational goals for the year?
I am excited to support curriculum that develops student agency, and rigorous thinking in all disciplines. For our organization the focus this year will be on school safety, anti-racism education, and building out our strategic growth plan for the next 3-5 years.
Q: What do you do to help yourself get through these challenging times?
This is a truly unique time, and I am fortunate that I have friends and family to connect with, as well as colleagues who are administrators in other schools. We share stories and support each other and remind ourselves that this too will pass.
September 1, 2020 with Head of School, Sue Ha