Long Trail School celebrates with a full day of outdoor activities | Local News


DORSET – If the cloudy skies and a little rain put you off Friday morning, the place to recharge was Kirby Hollow Road, for “Celebrate Long Trail School Day”.

There was more than enough energy on the grounds of the independent school to get rid of the morning profanity. The middle and high school students, relieved of the day’s lessons, rolled up their sleeves and got down to work – and play.

It started at 9 a.m., said Dean of Academics and Professors Mary Ellen Mega, when parent volunteers at the school day celebration felled a dying maple tree in the field. After their morning meeting was over, the kids got to work and at 10 a.m. the only evidence of that tree was a big pile of brush and a stump.

It was a one-of-20 project that was run for the school’s 240 students, as well as the faculty and about two dozen parent volunteers, Mega said.

Along the path, the students blew leaves and debris, or carried dead branches in heaps. In a garden where the weeds had been raging, there were beds of newly planted greenery and herbs, donated by Someday Farm.

But don’t understand that there was no fun in having fun too.

An epic game of kickball took shape on the school’s baseball field. A group of students left for a hike around 11 a.m. Soccer balls and Frisbees have taken off. And Melon’s student musicians – all part of the school’s International Baccalaureate diploma program – set up their amps and drums, and sang the serenade with a blues version of “Stormy Monday”.

Meanwhile, smoke began to rise from a grill, where the volunteers were ready to prepare the midday meal.

Maxine Linehan from Manchester, a relative of Long Trail School, as well as the headmistress of Red Fox Community School, stopped to take in the views and said she was thinking “how lucky these children have been to have ‘go to this school’.

” That’s what it’s about. It’s a perfect picture, ”Linehan said of the activity she saw against the backdrop of the fall. “It really shows what this community can do when it comes together. “

The events of the day might have been very different if disagreements over the present and future of the school had not been discussed during a mediation session earlier this month.

The faculty, supported by parents and alumni in their concerns about leadership at the school, had pledged to spend Oct. 15 teaching outside the building if their demands, including changes within of the school board, were not taken into account.

But an agreement was reached, and the faculty and administration jointly announced that the entire school community would come together “around the values ​​of the school to beautify our campus, play games, make art and crafts, having fun and sharing a meal ”.

When asked school principal Seth Linfield if the day’s events represented a new beginning, he replied that it was more about renewing the school’s tradition of a day of stewardship – reflecting one of the core values ​​that have been part of the Long Trail School since its founding. .

“This is a next generation of our traditional stewardship days,” Linfield said, explaining that the last two years of the pandemic had forced its cancellation. “I think there’s a lot of positive energy, and I think that’s what’s important. And I think it will continue in the right direction and in the long term. “

“It’s all about the students,” Linfield added. “Every volunteer and professional at Long Trail School is motivated by our commitment to students, and going out and having everyone focused on the board’s goal of serving the community only ratifies and reinforces that sentiment.”

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