A Recap of Loomis Chaffee’s Opening Days

Zaylie Gore '24, Contributor

Since the start of the school year, the Loomis Chaffee community witnessed an exciting return to normality as they participated in the opening days free from the restrictions of COVID-19 policies.
Opening days are best known as a time filled with awkward introductions, ice breakers, goodbyes with parents in dormitories, and bonding with one’s class in the meadows despite the sweltering heat of late August. Whether for incoming freshmen, nervous for their first year of high school, or four-year seniors mourning their last days of summer, LC Opening Days mark the start to a new school year ahead for everyone.
For the 2022-2023 year, opening days and orientation took place from August 30 to August 31, with over 150 freshmen and a number of new sophomores participating in events facilitated by returning sophomores and upperclassmen.
The days involved games in the meadows, LC Peer Mentor cohort meetings, and an Amazing Race that had students searching for different locations, items, and challenges in a campus-wide treasure hunt.
Ultimately, the opinions of the students truly reflect the success of LC opening days and orientation. Generally, the opinions of students were positive; Luke Flowers ’26 said that the opening days “were really fun, and it was a great way to meet people.” New sophomore Kika Ebie ’25 said, “I found the amount of people doing the same things at the same time initially overwhelming, but in the end I really enjoyed it and made my first friends at Loomis.”
However, some students felt that the opening days could be improved upon. Maia Gorgan ’26 said that the opening days “were sort of crowded, and a little rushed,” and Peer Mentor Samantha Carr ’24 said that the opening days “were a little excessive and stressful, and could be made shorter for future orientations.”
In the wake of the removal of major established COVID-19 policies, many were concerned that the influx of students and parents on campus during the opening days would lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Although students were made to test before arriving on campus, the school has seen some positive cases in the opening few weeks. When asked about the decision to return to complete normalcy, Assistant to the Head of School and COVID-19 coordinator Mary Liscinsky said that the policy the school adopted was “an initial gatekeeping measure which we have combined with on-going safety measures.”
Relaxed COVID-19 measures in the wake of a tamed pandemic allowed Loomis Chaffee Opening Days, complete with several exhilarating orientation activities, to return to their former glory. The full effects were seen as students began classes and were able to reconnect with the friends they had made during the opening days.