Selfies, Hashtags, and Back-to-School Night

Technology updates and Back-to-School Night go together like selfies and hashtags. During the Upper School Back-to-School Night on Wednesday, September 10, Merritt Livermore, Head of the Upper School, enthusiastically tied them all together when she addressed the parents.

She explained that earlier in the day she had sent students an email with the subject line, "Wanna take a selfie?" She asked them to send selfies throughout their day of themselves "doing school." She received the first picture at 7:15 a.m. and they continued to pour in past the 3:30 p.m. deadline.

“I was struck by the diversity of opportunity we offer...dorm room, breakfast, stage, stream, classroom, lounge, lunch, athletic bus, elevator, with and without coaches/teachers, etc.,” Livermore told the parents. "The best part is it is a celebration of how kids use technology to build community in contrast to using it to tear it down. Clearly, the Upper School is a place of joyful learning."

Livermore also referenced signs that mysteriously appeared in hallways and on doors earlier in the week that read, “#mcdgrateful ... share the love.” She concluded her remarks telling parents what she was grateful for, saying, ”I am grateful for your students with whom we are blessed to work; for the faculty with whom your children interact -- who provide these joyful learning experiences as seen in the selfies; the safe havens for us to make mistakes or have bad things happen to us and pick ourselves back up; that you are here tonight; that you have chosen McDonogh; and that you trust us to work with your children.

Later, when Livermore checked her computer, she was pleasantly surprised to see a number of selfies sent by parents “doing Back-to-School Night.”

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