The Question of the Year

By Cheryl Miller, Director of Enrollment Management

When I was appointed to my first directorship in school admission, my predecessor gifted to me a tool bestowed upon him by the previous director. He indicated that it would be my most accurate prediction tool for our enrollment each year. Expecting an Excel spreadsheet or a regression analysis formula, I was surprised to have him place a crystal ball in my hands.

At EPS, we are fortunate that interest in new enrollment has grown each year as your family shares positive Eastside Prep experiences within your community; therefore, we need not rely on divination or chance to fill our classes with curious, kind students. We can focus on predictive data generated through our applications, event attendance, and historical enrollment, letting the magic come through your students instead.

This year, however, I have needed to pull out my crystal ball again. By nearly every family in each parent/guardian interview, by at least one person in each virtual tour, and by most students in their Upper School interviews, I have been asked the question of the year: when will you return to campus? Interested parties seek to know the details of our return plan, the timing we expect, and whether we will begin the 2021-2022 school year in person.

The challenging problem of predicting our exact future in the midst of a global pandemic is multivariate to say the least. But here’s what we  do know:

  • Our faculty are putting their full hearts and minds into making remote learning the best possible experience for each student.
  • Our leadership and staff have worked to equip our campus for a wide variety of safe, in-person learning environments which are also accessible remotely for those students and faculty who will need to remain at home.
  • Our families have remained steadfast in their commitment to partnering with EPS to maximize their students’ learning experiences.

Those are the factors we  trust, even with the uncertainties of vaccine distribution, disease variants, and case rates. I wish we  could provide our prospective families with exactly when we will return and precisely what that configuration will be. However, I can say with confidence that we will continue to employ wise innovation, compassionate leadership, responsible action, and critical thought in each decision we make. We will continue to balance students’ well-being and their academic success. We will continue to be the place—even when remote from our physical location—that inspires us all to create the better world we need and that we know is possible.

Here’s to a hopeful outlook, no crystal ball needed, for the 2021-2022 school year.