Archella adapted to grade level celebrations and video performances

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Photo credit: Rose Sarner

Leila Chakravarty preformed for Archella with her two kids, Rowan and Callie. They all sang “a sweet song that [they] learned at the beginning of the pandemic … [the performance] meant a lot to us,” Chakravarty said.

By Rose Sarner, Culture Editor

From bringing teachers and their kids together, to students choreographing dances, Archella was not going to be forgotten admist a pandemic. Instead of the typical all-school gathering in the courtyard with snacks, dancing and games, each grade had its own celebration. While middle school celebrated on Wed. May 5 and upper school celebrated on Monday May 1.

“StuCo has been incredible this whole year and all their different ways that they’ve thought about changing the different events,” Math teacher Leila Chakravarty said.  “They kept it going with this and it’s not ideal, but they found a way to make a place where people could still share with the community their music and that is wonderful. I’m really proud of them.”

On Wednesday, May 5, the middle school representative of Student Council organized a variety of celebrations for Archella while still following COVID-19 protocols.

“We had different celebrations [on-campus] for each grade in our lunch spaces,” Middle School President Rachel Chung said. “Each grade had different playlists and music that they could dance to, request songs and at least for our grade, we decorated the courtyard to make you feel more festive with the streamers and balloons up.” 

On Monday, May 1, while upper school was on-campus, StuCo showed the Archella video. Some performances included faculty appearances such as World Language teacher, Natalie Kang’s rock climbing video. 

“[The video was] to showcase people’s fun talents. We wanted it to be a bigger [activity] but given the time frame, we didn’t have the time to make it bigger,”  Executive Board member Tove Jegéus (’21) said. “We still got to make a poster…and video,…[that] turned out really well so it was nice to have that StuCo aspect.”

The alternative Archella celebrations and video allowed for students to showcase their talents to the entire Archer community. Some performances included seventh graders Calladan Roth and Vivianne Arnold who sang “Leaving On A Jet Plane” and sixth grader Beatrice Washburn, who shared a ballet dance.   

“I love watching the girls get up and show their talents,” Chakravarty said. I love the middle schoolers, they’re so enthusiastic and sweet. I can see who they’re going to be in a few years.”

In addition, the Archella performances encouraged connections between grade levels and allowed for students to watch their peers who they cannot see within their cohorts.

“It’s just really nice to see people from other grades,” Chung said. “I think, for me, Archella is a chance for all students to interact with each other, with something that is familiar … and a chance to bond with your grade.”

Despite the missed in-person performances the Archer community looks forward to every year, the Archella video allowed for performances such as Chakravarty and her two kids that would not have been possible prior to COVID-19. 

“I mean [being online] is really the only reason I would do it. I used to sing and perform for years up until I had kids and it was really nerve-wracking. I was good at it but the stage fright was always awful,” Chakravarty said. “I feel like it’s so much more relaxing to sing and play with my kids.  The focus is on them and on teaching them to love music.”