A Great Month of Community at Bay Farm

Monday, October 29, 2018

This year we welcomed about 45 new students to Bay Farm. That’s a lot of new faces in every classroom on campus. Being a new student, regardless of your age, can be a daunting experience. Imagine the questions you might have as a new student to Bay Farm. You might wonder if the teachers will like you, or if you will make new friends, or if you will be able to do the work. You might also wonder if you will feel safe and connected to the school. Welcoming new students and their families is an area where Bay Farm truly shines.

The reason why families feel a strong connection to our school stems from our school community.  The Bay Farm community is made up of people who are united by the common purpose of supporting children to develop with joy, purpose, and compassion.  Our common convictions drive this vibrant school community.

Part of our strong school community are the events that, when repeated, become long-standing traditions. October was full of such events. Our chickens began to lay eggs this month regularly. While this may not sound much like a community event, these eggs have a profound impact on our entire school. 

The teachers at Bay Farm have embraced these animals, and while Annabel is primarily responsible for their care, we all participate in their lives. Our Children’s House students have the most exposure to the chickens, but all of our students are impacted by their presence on campus. For example, the middle school students have begun to design a small business that will package, market, and sell the eggs. They are developing a logo for the eggs, and spreadsheets to track inventory and sales. Soon our families will have the opportunity to purchase the Bay Farm produced eggs. A project like this builds community by involving teachers, students, and parents in the process.

Another facet of our school community involves our reinvigorated enrichment programs. We have students participating in a wide range of activities that build teamwork, pride, and a strong sense of belonging to Bay Farm. Our Lego Robotics Team is preparing for competition, and our soccer and cross-country teams are in the middle of exciting seasons.  Both teams hosted events on campus in October, and both teams came out victorious in their athletic pursuits! It was a joy to watch our kids compete with kindness and joy against other teams. These experiences are all part of the fabric that supports our strong school community where students are encouraged to collaborate and take risks.

Mother Nature has the power to cancel events, but it cannot change a strong community’s desire to create memorable moments for our families and children. We had to change the date of our traditional Halloween celebration because of the threat of severe weather. Nonetheless, with the leadership of Karen and the dynamic organization of Jessica Laaper and Jennifer Grosser, we held a wonderful event on Friday evening that included a magical Pumpkin Stroll on part of our Peace Path. The Pumpkin Stroll had families on campus carving pumpkins during the week. These pumpkins were illuminated and placed along the Peace Path for viewing. Clouds, wind, and rain may have canceled the 5K, but the strength of our community continues to shine.

Our school events and activities are essential to Bay Farm’s community.  They are created and maintained by people who share the common conviction that Bay Farm is about more than just learning facts. When parents, teachers, and students are able to express their convictions, a community is born and nurtured. This October our community really blossomed.