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We have been waiting for this week for a very long time, and it was a great one! On Wednesday, we kicked off classes remotely; the day began with an all-school meeting, where I spoke about the incredible opportunity we all have right now and the responsibility that comes with that. There are many schools around us beginning the year remotely or offering only one or two days of in-person learning. I am proud that we are in a position to open in person. It certainly helps that all students and staff will be tested at least weekly; two days into in-person learning, nearly all of our students and staff have taken at least one test, with no positive tests reported at BUA and very few reported across all of BU (positive test rate of .13% from over 40,000 tests, according to the BU Testing Dashboard). What gives me confidence that this trend will last is that our students understand their role in helping us stay open and making our school the model our country needs right now. In a new tradition for BUA, and as a reflection of the importance of student voice and agency, I also invited Student Council President Phevos Paschalidis to address our community, which he did beautifully.

On Thursday and today, we welcomed students back to the BUA building for the first time in six months. I now know that you can tell when somebody is truly smiling, even when they have a mask on! What a joy to watch students reconnect with one another, begin to make new friends, and be back in the classroom with their teachers. Please enjoy some photos from those opening days. And I could not be prouder of our students, not only for following the distancing, mask-wearing, and handwashing protocols, but especially for helping one another. I just heard one student pointing out to another that he had started going the wrong way in a one-way hallway. I heard a returning student offer to walk with a new student across the street to the testing site. That is the spirit we will need going forward, and our students have it in spades. 

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