Sidwell Friends Holds a Stay-at-Home Homecoming Celebration

How does Homecoming work in a stay-at-home world? With Spirit Days and trivia competitions and, of course, sports. Yes, sports.

Even though the Quakers couldn’t take the field, students, parents, guardians, and alumni could watch some of the most exciting moments in Sidwell sports history in a new way: Athletes, alumni, and coaches weighed in with docu-style commentary about what it was like to be there. The group re-lived past excitements like 2020 girls’ basketball game in the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) championship; the 2019 boys’ basketball DCSAA championship, which the team won in the final heart-stopping seconds of the game; the 2019 girls’ soccer DCSAA championship; and the nail-biting 2015 football DCSAA championship.

Students celebrated with the usual Spirit Week theme days, including Twin Day, Crazy Hair Day, and Pajama Day (even if Pajama Day occurs regularly during distance learning, it’s still a great way to show School spirit). Mascot Star the Fox popped in and out of Lower School classroom Zoom meetings on Thursday, October 15. Then Lower Schoolers spent their Saturday, October 17, at Fall Fun Day, where they participated in an outdoor scavenger hunt, crafts, and service projects; Saturday also included a Zoom show-and-tell session and a Meeting for Worship. Middle Schoolers showed off how they decorated their bedroom doors in a spirit-boosting door-decorating activity, and they worked with their homeroom classes to create the best Zoom-enabled photo montage. The week culminated at an All-Middle School Spirit Day assembly on Friday, October 16. Upper Schoolers, meanwhile, topped off the traditional activities with new ones, like a pie-eating contest and a Jeopardy! competition.

Too often, alumni who live far from the Sidwell Friends campus can’t make it in person—but this year they had a chance to fully join the community. They participated in Athletics Trivia and watched a panel discussion sponsored by the Sidwell Friends Alumni Network on “The Journalist’s Role in a Civil Society Today,” led by Bob Levey and featuring Zeeshan Aleem ’04 and Jonah Bromwich ’07.

Like a lot of things, Homecoming looked different this year. But Homecoming 2020 proved that virtual gatherings, while no substitute for in-person fun, can provide opportunities for alumni to gather in ways they wouldn’t normally. It was a new way to celebrate an old tradition, and proof that distance can’t keep the Sidwell Friends community apart.

See you next year.

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