"The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, and the realist adjusts the sails." -William Ward
Many of us have been optimistic that somehow we might be able to open our campus before we break for summer. At the same time, we have been realistic, and, as William Ward says, we have adjusted our sails so that we can continue to learn remotely.
Last week, President Trump announced a three-phase plan to reopen America's economy. With considerable deference to each state's formal authority over such scenarios, it is clear that even under the best of circumstances, School will not be eligible to open until phase 2. I was disheartened, and then I remembered, we are a resilient community that will accept and continue to work well in this reality. The reality is that we will continue to remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
To that end, we have some very important dates for you so that you can begin your planning as we close out this year remotely. We are working hard to methodically review all our year-end events and to classify them into four categories: events we will try to keep live, events that can go virtual, events we can postpone, and events we believe are best to cancel. Reviewing and categorizing each event takes time. We will let you know through our divisional communications our decisions and plans for each event as soon as possible.
Now, on to the critical "Save-the-Date" news:
All divisions will have remote learning through May 22
We are looking at various start back options. If we can return to some amount of normal, we plan to start School for the 2020-21 school year on August 12, a week earlier than what we were planning pre-virus. Obviously, that is subject to change as we get more visibility into the future, but we want you to know about our plans to return in person on August 12.
- Some divisions will have classes up to May 22, and others may have some altered structure of school at some point during that final week in May. More details will come from your Division Directors in the next few weeks.
- Lower, Middle, and Upper Division Registration and Orientation days have been rescheduled to August 10 and 11. The first day of school for all three divisions will be August 12.
- Primary Division Registration will be August 12, and the first day of school will be August 13.
- Varsity Sports Pre-season will remain the same and will begin Monday, August 3.
Our why behind starting a week earlier lies in our belief that we can use this extra time for two main objectives:
- The first reason is that we miss you and your children! We know that one of the reasons our remote learning is working is because our teachers have cultivated meaningful relationships with your children and you. We want to grow this relational edge in case there is another wave, and we must return to remote learning again.
- The second reason is that it allows us the time to assess where each student is and provide for any skill gaps that might have happened as a result of the remote learning pace. Our average number of instructional days is usually between 168 and 174, this coming year, we will have 177.
We must remain flexible and understand that these are the dates we are currently operating and building towards. We are confident in what we do, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with you. It is possible we may need to make additional changes, and, if we do, we will timely communicate them to you. In the event that we do not see the progress we expect to see in the control of COVID-19, our current planning also includes models that have us beginning much later in the fall. This is one of those times when I call on each of you to put adaptability over intransigence.
I am grateful that God gives us 86,400 seconds in a day, and I want to be sure to use a few of those seconds to say, thank you. Thank you for continuing to support, nurture, and care for each other. After all, we are Cyclone Strong!
Nathan L. Sheldon
Head of School