Back to School

Wheeler is excited to welcome back our community for the 133rd school year! Below are messages from each academic division, along with links to important information about a variety of other areas such as After School programming, health and safety, and Athletics. Division leaders, faculty, and staff will also share additional details with you in the coming weeks. This page will continue to be updated throughout August, but please let us know if you have questions or need assistance as you prepare for the first day of classes on September 1. We look forward to seeing you in Providence and at the Farm this fall.

A Message from the Head of School

Head of School standing in front of Hope Building
Allison Gaines Pell

Dear Wheeler Community,

I spent some time this summer at the beach — after four years, I am starting to approximate a Rhode Islander! At this particular beach, there is a spot where the land takes a turn and meets a river. The river’s current can sometimes rush right up to the incoming ocean waves. On an especially glorious afternoon, I spent a few minutes watching the waters gather repeatedly. There is no real rhythm to it — sometimes this collision creates an eddy, sometimes a bigger peak, and sometimes multiple peaks that dissolve into nothing. It’s both beautiful and chaotic.

Earlier that same day, I’d read a New York Times piece about the COVID-19 pandemic that referenced Dr. Michael Osterholm, a disease research expert out of the University of Minnesota, who said, “we ascribed far too much human authority over the virus.” We have to take our approach, he said, with “two doses of vaccine and one dose of humility.”

Today, as we approach the beginning of another school year, we continue to meet the uncertainty, twists, and turns of the pandemic. But we have some agency in deciding how we approach our time together. Ever an optimist, I think we can meet the challenges this pandemic has wrought with a sense of joy, spirit, and community. Despite the disheartening news stories, the mitigation strategies we must put (back) in place, our weariness, and the ways that the world and even our neighborhoods can seem so divided, I am expecting this year to be filled with much happiness and connection, a sentiment that you will find shared by our division leadership, whose welcome back letters are linked below.

Read Allison’s full letter to the Wheeler community, which includes a poem by former faculty member Ann Bruno P’18, ’20