News & Events

In a truly unique ceremony, Waterside School's class of 2020 finally got to don their caps and gowns on a day the graduates, their families and the faculty have long awaited. On Saturday, July 25, Waterside hosted a socially distanced graduation in a most picturesque setting- along the shoreline at Stamford Yacht Club.

Though certainty different from past graduations, this ceremony was perhaps more special and poignant than ever, as the graduates had been separated from each other since March. In keeping with tradition, Mr. Edwards presented Paula Zanol with Waterside's most distinguished award, "The Kruger Cup," which recognizes a graduate who embodies the School's commitment to academic achievement and character development.

Fittingly, Mrs. Jody Visage gave the School's commencement address. She explained that like the graduates, she too will be moving on to the next phase of her life after seventeen years at Waterside. She emphasized that while the future is uncertain in many ways, she has no doubt that the graduates will go on to effect change with the sheer goodness that they bring into the world. Citing a quote from a treasured picture frame in her office, Mrs. Visage told the students: "You are a song worth singing from the rooftops."

This fall, Waterside's class of 2020 will matriculate at the finest schools in the area, all with scholarships. Nevertheless, Waterside will always be their home, and it was clear from their video message that they are grateful for the many opportunities they have received, and more importantly for the love and support they have felt throughout their journey.

Read more about A Graduation Like No Other

The first two weeks of June for most every school are typically ones filled with joyous celebration. Although that has been and will be the case here, this year there is the overhang of all that is currently haunting our country and hurting its people. For Waterside, given the face of the community the School serves and the mission that it honors, the hurt is deep and real. There is no way to sugarcoat the current state of the state – the loss; the anger; the cruelty; the hopelessness; the divide – they all take their toll and, truthfully, the accounting found in the crisis does not in any way reassure – the hate so vividly on display; the fear that cripples and deprives; the stubborn racism that refuses to fade; and the senseless and offensively skewed debate / discussion as to whether a black life matters or not – all temper any joy and, thankfully, all force us to look around and within.

The exposed reality is one some of us have lived and others of us can barely fathom. That acknowledged, whether we have lived it or not, it is one we share and which we all have a responsibility to address. This is not the time for thoughts and prayers – we are far too long those; it is the time to gather and to listen to all voices; to learn; to accept and to own the mistakes we have made and the opportunities we have missed; to affirm, with neither nuance nor subtlety, that every single Black life does matter; and to commit ourselves to do more, to do better and to be better.

Waterside will do just that. Out of respect for the families and children we serve; out of love for a country even if imperfect; out of a guiding belief in both mission and purpose; and out of a sense of responsibility that, simply, we must. Join us in the work – none of us can do this alone.

Duncan Edwards
Executive Director
Jamel Keels
Head of School
Read more about A Statement of Belief

Monday, April 27 was an exciting day for Waterside School, as the graduating fifth graders revealed the schools they will be attending next year. Inspired by National College Signing Day, which is the first day a high school senior can sign a letter of intent with a college, "Reveal Day" gives the students an opportunity to share their schools with each other for the first time. This year, all fourteen fifth graders earned admission to competitive independent schools with generous scholarships.

While students traditionally share this exciting news at morning assembly in front of the school community, the class of 2020 participated in a virtual "Reveal Day" over Zoom. As the students proudly announced their great news, they donned hats and other apparel from their schools of choice. Their pride and sense of accomplishment was impossible to miss. It was a beautiful celebration of the students and their families and their unwavering commitment to learning.

Mr. Duennebier, Waterside's music teacher, put together a video tribute that captures this joyous and momentous occasion:

Read more about Reveal Day 2020

On Thursday, January 23, Waterside School honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual school-wide assembly. Each class took to the stage to share their tribute with the school. Junior kindergarten performed "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," a song written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson, and first grade presented their own adaptation of King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. Second and fourth graders shared the accomplishments of other change-makers who have been inspired by Dr. King, ranging from Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock Nine to Greta Thunberg, Colin Kaepernick, and Alicia Garza.

The presentation culminated with third, fourth, and fifth grade students singing John Legend's song "If You're Out There." Its message- a call to action for young people to be the change that we want to see- echoes Waterside's mission to empower its students and instill within them a belief in their own worth. The students emphasized- in every way- that the time is always right to do the right thing. Indeed, Dr. King's fight for equality and his fierce desire for justice have made the dream of Waterside School a reality. Watch opening video.

Read more about Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.