School Wide Updates from Mr. Sheldon

Over the past four weeks, I have seen actions that remind me we have a genuinely caring community. A community that supports the work to develop in our youth a moral compass, empathetic heart, healthy body, and the desire to make their world a better place. 
John F. Kennedy said,“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” I have seen so much gratitude by teachers, students, and parents in the way that everyone is living to promote a safe, nurturing, and caring environment for our children to continue in-person learning. In this season of COVID, I want to encourage you to continue to be thankful for the many things going well as we enter our fifth week of in-person learning. 

To continue to be transparent and inclusive, let me share with you a couple of items we think will be helpful:

Remote Learning in the Event of a Closure
The time may come when we have to close certain parts of the campus due to a specific outbreak. This could include a cohort class in Pre-Kindergarten to 4th grades, a full grade level in the Middle Division, an entire Division, or perhaps even the whole School. While I remain optimistic that we should not need to close the full campus, we need to understand what types of closures might happen. 

Our Division Directors will be communicating in their Division Notes this coming week with specific details about your child’s area. Should we need to close any part of the campus, we plan to be up to teach remotely within 24 hours to minimize the loss of learning time. When the closure is temporary and not expected to last more than 15 days, we will continue to teach with the same schedule as if we were in-person. This includes classes such as specials, art, performing arts, and PE/Fitness. Students will continue in their regular in-person daily schedule, only from home. Should any closure last for more than 15 days, we will shift to a modified schedule that will be more sustainable for your children and our teachers. You will receive plenty of communications ahead of time should a closure become a long-term event. Be on the lookout for more about remote learning in this coming week’s Division Director Notes.

Notification Procedures
As a matter of school safety, I am pleased to report that of the more than 30 quarantines we have had so far this year, none have developed into positive cases, and most have now returned to in-person learning. I am proud of this fact and believe it supports that our policies and procedures are working. To continue to provide as much transparency as possible, we will now be communicating quarantines on a more regular basis. We do not want to create alarms or anxiety. Instead, we want to provide you more information to determine what is best for your family. Beginning this week, our nurse will notify cohorts in grades PreK-4 and full grades in grades 5-12 when a child moves to a temporary quarantine. We will not, however, provide the quarantined child’s name. 

Lunch and Snacks
Finally, thank you for being patient while we work to improve your child’s lunch option. We have made changes in grades 1-8 that we believe have brought lunch and snacks to the proper level to provide the right nourishment for your children. Grades 9-12 have been our most difficult challenges and are not yet where they need to be. This week we will continue to make hot lunches available to every grade, every day. We are also looking for ways to provide plenty of additional energy snacks throughout the day. Our goal continues to be to provide enough quality nourishment to maintain the energy they need to learn, compete, and grow. I am grateful for your continued support as we work together to refine and improve our food service.

When my children were growing up, Winnie the Pooh was very popular. In closing, imagine a scene where Pooh and his good friend Piglet are walking in the snow through the woods. Pooh turns to talk to Piglet and says: “What day is it?” and Piglet, in his squeaky voice, says, “why it’s today.” After a short pause, Pooh says to Piglet in his soft, calming voice, “That's my favorite day.”  

It can feel like days are weeks and weeks like months, but this little reminder sits on my monitor to remind me that every day can be our favorite if we allow it. Be encouraged to continue to do the things we can to protect each other, and let’s find gratitude in each of our days.  Very quickly, like Pooh, we will come to see every day as our favorite day.

Faithfully,
 
Nathan L. Sheldon
Head of School
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Casady School welcomes a student body that reflects the diversity of the world around us and therefore does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered programs generally accorded or made available to students at the School.
Casady School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory, Episcopal day school serving students in pre-k-12. Educating Mind, Body, and Spirit.