By Kate Oczypok

Southwest D.C.’s Waterfront Academy carried on with their Christmas pageant this year, despite the ongoing global pandemic. The school has put on an annual holiday show for parents and loved ones and didn’t want to stop the tradition.

Through lots of safety measures like mask wearing, social distancing, and outdoor or virtual performances from home, Melissa Rohan, president of Waterfront Academy, created quite the extravaganza for her students and their families. There was a Nativity Play with older students playing the familiar characters of Mary, Joseph, the innkeepers, and more. Younger children sang Christmas carols to go along with the performances. Rohan subtitled the show to make it easy for parents, grandparents, and new readers to understand.

Middle schoolers chimed in with a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas and there were some holiday songs, including a rousing rendition of Deck the Halls on the piano by students from home. One student even performed a magic show in between the mini piano recital and Christmas story. The children also had handmade costumes of colorful robes, adding to the festive nature of the video.

The show had a “red carpet premiere” on Wednesday Dec. 16 via Zoom. Rohan provided a link for families to share to their extended families for a limited time.

“The students did an amazing job,” Rohan said. “It ended up [being] about 20 minutes—a fun and entertaining time!” she said. She put together a credits page so her students could see their names and characters in print.

“Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity,” Rohan added. “The opportunity in this case is family members who don’t usually get to come to our pageant were able to see it for the first time—it was a beautiful experience for everybody.”

Waterfront Academy, a Montessori school in the Catholic tradition, is located in SW D.C. They are currently open using a blended learning model, with students in-person for part of the week. Others who wish to learn remotely are doing so as well.

The next big event coming up for the school is an online auction on Saturday Feb. 6, 2021. If you wish to support this endeavor, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the school. Visit for more information. 

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