School Update re. COVID: March 26, 2020

Dear MSD Families,

As we near the end of our first week of remote learning, I want to thank all of you for your patience, collaboration, and commitment to partnering with the teachers and other parents as we’ve entered these uncharted territories.  The pictures you’ve shared of your children working, your comments and feedback, as well as your words of gratitude and support, have warmed our hearts and meant the world to all of us.  

As I’m sure you know, North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, announced on Monday that he was signing an Executive Order to keep our state’s public schools closed through May 15th, and now Durham has issued a Shelter In Place Order.  As a result, I wanted to share with you our plans for moving forward and information about After School program credits.

Remote Learning Schedule

  • We will continue to move forward with remote learning until further notice.

  • We will continue to follow the 2019-20 school calendar relative to spring break, holidays and teacher workdays.  This means that the remote learning campaigns will not be sent out for these days.

Transmission of Remote Learning

We have received requests from parents to send the daily content to families the evening prior rather than the morning of so that there is more time to prepare materials, and we are happy to honor this request.  Beginning this evening (Thursday), you will receive tomorrow’s (Friday’s) content at 7:30pm. Campaigns for Mondays will be sent on Sunday evenings. Please remember that the children should not begin the work until the day for which it is scheduled.

Staying Connected

We’ve had requests from families for the teachers to visually connect with the children in real time.  Our Code of Conduct disallowed for this, but for times like these we have added an addendum to allow communication in this way.  The teachers may connect with the students if desired through live conferencing programs such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, or Facetime.  By accepting the call or invitation, parents authorize their child to participate in these face-to-face communications,  and agree that there will be an adult present with the child, at least in the background, during any live session. This exception to our Code of Conduct is only for periods of time that we are in a remote learning situation.  Please understand this may not be appropriate for the younger students due to their stage of development.

After School Fees and Auxiliary Program Credits (please read carefully)

For those of you who use our After School programs, which include No School Camp days and Enrichments, please note the following: 

After School Care Credits and April/May Invoicing

Credits for the prorated amount of time After School care isn’t provided (beginning 3/16) will be calculated through the end of the scheduled school year (for ease of calculation), and if we’re lucky enough to be able to return for some time in May, then you will be billed for After School care on an hourly basis for the remainder of the days we’re back on campus.  These credits will be issued as soon as possible, but please understand we may not be able to get to this until mid to late April.  

If you’re on a monthly payment plan for After School:

  • Monthly invoices are memorized in our accounting system so your April (and May, if applicable) Tuition Statement(s) will reflect the memorized After School invoice.    

  • If you pay tuition via check, you may deduct the amount of your April (and May, if applicable) After School portion of the invoice from your balance that is due April 1st (and May 1st, if applicable.)*  If you’re set up for bank draft, your account will not be drafted for the After School portion of the invoice.  Please know that the credit to be issued will most likely not be equal to your monthly invoice because monthly payments run July (before school begins) through April (before school ends) or August through May, depending on when you enrolled. 

    • *All-Day Toddler families on the monthly payment plan should refer to the communication sent to you earlier today about your After School fees.

If you’re in a position to contribute the credit that would be applied to your account toward a fund to ensure our hourly staff members continue receiving their usual compensation, please indicate this through the link provided below, which also offers other options for your credit.  The donation would be tax deductible, and you would receive a donation letter for tax purposes. Use the link provided by email to indicate the following

  • if you would like your credit to remain on your account to be applied to future invoices

  • if you would like a refund check if the credit results in a credit balance on your account

  • if you would like to donate your credit to ensure hourly workers continue to receive their usual pay

No School Camp and Enrichment Credits Through UltraCamp

  • If your child was enrolled in the No School Camp days during Parent/Teacher conferences, March 18-20, credits have been issued to your UltraCamp account.

  • If your child was enrolled for the No School Camp days during spring break and future Teacher Workdays, credits will be issued shortly to your UltraCamp account.

  • If your child was enrolled in Enrichment classes, a credit for the prorated amount for classes not offered through this time will be issued to your UltraCamp account once we know if there will not be any classes for the remainder of the semester.  

Summer Programs

Yes, summer programs are on our minds too, and while we have hopes of offering them as they are currently scheduled, that is too far out to make a call given the fact that the situation we are in continues to change on a daily basis. Communications regarding the summer programs will come as soon as a decision is made.

We know that many of you, like us, are feeling the loss of community that we previously shared, and we are also frustrated that we can’t return to our normal way of life sooner.  We understand that most of our families are balancing working from home and having your children home simultaneously, and this is also on our hearts and minds. We salute you! While all of this is of concern to us, our greater concern is the health and safety of our community, which must come first.  

As our community, nation, and world navigate through this pandemic, it is our hope that this time at home will bring our families a renewed sense of the beauty around us, more time for walks, for conversations, and for finding new and amazing ways to connect with each other as a family. 

Wishing your family good health and safety.  

All the best,

Tammy Squires

Head of School