The Camphill School History – 2020s

Although we are only at the beginning of the 2020s, the last four years were significant in our history.
Our school shut down on March 13, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A sense of uncertainty hit, and for a few days, we had no idea when and how we would be able to welcome back our students. Young volunteers from all over the world had to make life-changing decisions in those couple of weeks. While a few decided to stay and quarantine here in the United States, most chose to cut their volunteer year short and, understandably, flew back home before the borders shut down. The remainder of that year was anything but typical. Still, we discovered a strength and malleability we did not know we had. This very low-tech school became a high-tech educational center for the first time, sharing our homes and classrooms with parents worldwide.
The following school year was also very unusual. The borders were closed, immigration centers were closed, and for the first time in almost 60 years, volunteers were not able to come to our community. The fall of 2020 brought many hired staff members to our residential community and the need to spread beyond the boundaries of our property. Our neighbors at Soltane welcomed us, and we could use five of their buildings to create smaller units to keep everyone safe. New Health and Safety protocols were released constantly, and our medical team acted like superheroes to guarantee that our school could have in-person classes and keep everyone safe at the same time. During that year, large community gatherings were not allowed, and a lot of what we held dear to our hearts could not happen in the way we were used to. But we endured by carrying the Camphill ideals in our hearts and becoming even more creative in bringing those ideals into our lives.
Slowly, we are returning to what we used to be, but some of the changes brought by the pandemic are here to stay. We saw the benefits of smaller house communities, we learned how to adapt our extend-family ideals to include commuting staff in our homes, our faculties were reorganized to better address each age group we serve, our commitment to diversity was reaffirmed, and regular and ongoing diversity trainings were established. Our governance structures are being reworked to acknowledge this new reality.
On December 9, 2023, The Camphill School celebrates 60 years with a renewed commitment to our mission. To create wholeness for children and youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities through education, extended family living, and therapy so that they may be better understood, they may more fully unfold their potential, and they may meaningfully participate in life.