News Post

May 2, 2014
Joanne discusses challenges and choices this week.

    We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.
 —Emily Dickinson


This week, I have been meeting with all the new students who will join our community next year to plan their courses of study for 2014-15.  During these 15-minute, individual conversations with this wonderful group of talented, spirited girls, who are all so excited to be coming to our school, I kept thinking about everything that I wanted to tell them about what an extraordinary community they are joining, but I didn’t have time, of course.  The images that I had in my head, just from all the events and activities that happened this past week, would have given them such a colorful collage—a snapshot defining all that we are; all that we do, and all that we value, but I needed two or three hours.  Those images captured your daughters in action—in heart, mind, and deed—as they rose to touch the skies… 

I wanted to let these new girls have a sampling of the many ways in which AIS students are always called to rise.  Through daily choices and challenges, our girls are treated to myriad opportunities that support them as they reach for the skies, and, within the richness of these options, they develop their character, their sense of themselves—heir stature. 

I always am inspired by the way our students take up the challenges offered to them and, then, true to plan, they make informed choices to participate fully in our community.  In every quarter of our school, they are presented with possibilities filled with the highest expectations—possibilities that support growth and self-definition, and our girls invariably rise to the occasion.

So, here is that sampling of images, highlighting som

some opportunities/activities in which your daughters participated this past week—inspiring us at every turn.   

At Eco Arts Night, in the dimmed light of the Student Life Center, strong and clear student voices filled the space with beautiful sounds—and with the courage of their convictions, suggested in the lyrics of their song choices.  Another read an original poem that asked us to reflect on our simple and safe routines as others in the world lead their lives with rhythms of danger and destruction.  One girl sang a song for senior friends, celebrating the connections among them that would last a lifetime. 

Our lacrosse team played with spirit and grace in the Katie Samson Festival, supporting spinal cord injury research, care, and quality of life improvements for all. 

During the Spring Concert, our students not only sang and played beautifully, the instrumental ensemble members stretched themselves to perform a piece with five sharps and complex rhythms.

Our Honors Film Seminar Consortium participants at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute challenged themselves and each other to understand the complicated, interlocking 1930s themes being explored. 

Our juniors participated in a College Fair at Villanova—designing their dreams for the next steps in their educational journey.

Some of our singers found the internal courage and determination to audition for the Bel Cantos.

Our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders exuberantly climbed over the seats in the West-Wike Theater during our Change-Over Assembly---symbolically stretching into their roles as the rising classes for next year --- with excited squeals and enormous energy, moving to the beat of what they imagine will be next year’s
expectations, opportunities, and possibilities.

Phew…!  One week’s challenges and choices --- all daunting tasks, indeed, as we ask your daughters to learn how high they are, and, in the process, their statures touch the skies. 

With this letter, I send you my wishes for a lovely weekend.