Onward With Distance Learning + Ways We Can Help the Community
by John Loeser, Head of School
I hope you are all adjusting well to our new, temporary normal. Last week was quite a roller-coaster, and it feels good to have these two weekend days to recalibrate, rejuvenate, and get ready for the upcoming week. I’m so proud of our entire community for rising to this challenge - our students for their flexibility and growth mindsets, our teachers for moving mountains this past week to get distance learning up and running, our staff and administrators for thinking through all of the details and systems, and our parents/guardians for their unwavering support in so many ways.
As we prepare for the upcoming week, the routines of the day should become clearer, technology glitches should diminish, and the rhythms of distance learning should become more predictable. Many of our faculty and staff have reached out to receive feedback on the experience thus far; your feedback and your child’s feedback will be critical to help us make adjustments to benefit everyone. As always, if you have high-level feedback, please send your thoughts to me, Cheryl, Jim, or Johanna; for class or advisor specific feedback, please send your thoughts to the appropriate faculty/staff member.
On a related note, we are working behind the scenes to figure out ways to bring co-curricular aspects of our program to life online (enrichment classes, rock bands, jazz bands, strings ensembles, etc.). While I can’t guarantee anything at this time, I want you to know that we’re working hard and thinking creatively about how we can make this happen, especially if Alameda County extends the shelter-in-place order. Also, as teachers continue delivering engaging lessons through distance learning, other essential school operations like hiring will continue. To that end, we may be seeking a few Lower and/or Middle School students to participate in demo lessons with guest teachers via Zoom over the next couple of weeks. Jim or Johanna will reach out if/when they need students to participate.
On a final note, we’ve received some questions about ways we can help the community at large. One way we can all help right now is to offer to go grocery shopping for any faculty/staff members who are at higher risk, any parents/guardians who are on the front lines at hospitals, and any of our Sheffield Avenue neighbors (mostly Seniors) who are at higher risk, as well.
- If you are willing and able to go grocery shopping for any of the community members listed above, please email Brooke Abola (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Maria Janeff (email@example.com ), our Caring Committee Chairs. If we have a small but mighty group of parent volunteers, I’ll follow up with Maria and Brooke about ways we can assist during this difficult time.
- If you are a parent/guardian on the front lines at area hospitals and you need assistance with grocery shopping or other essentials, please email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will forward your information on to Brooke and Maria, our Caring Committee Chairs.
As always, thank you for your support and partnership. I miss seeing all of you throughout the week and especially miss seeing all of the kids. Please tell them I say, "Hello!" Please reach out if you need anything.
One day at a time.