COVID19 & Remote Learning
Dear MSD Families,
I'm writing to you today to share that, as a result of Governor Cooper's announcement on Friday that public schools will continue with remote learning through the end of the school year, we will do the same. I want to acknowledge the disappointment and frustration that this decision may cause. While we wish the situation was different, we are all currently in a time when we have to accept limitations and embrace remote learning because it is best for the health and well-being of our community.
When we began this journey six weeks ago, we had no idea how long it would be necessary or where our world and smaller community would be at this point. What we did know is that we were committed to offering the best remote learning experience for our students and that we are a community with a deep history of being bound by resilience, grace, and perseverance. The commitment of the Staff and the cooperation of and wonderful feedback from our families during a very difficult time certainly exhibits resilience, grace and perseverance, and for that we're grateful.
The following are important dates for the remainder of the school year:
- We will continue with remote learning through May 29, 2020.
- Class assignments for those rising to a new level will be sent out by May 8th.
- 6th grade graduation will take place remotely on May 29th (more information forthcoming.)
- May 4th will remain as a scheduled Teacher Work Day.
- May 25th will be observed as Memorial Day.
Staying Connected- 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.
Due to the rapidly changing information about the virus and the curve, we will wait to announce plans for our scheduled summer programs until May 15th.
We are working to come up with a way for our students to have closure to the school year and for those students rising to the next level to connect with their teachers. More information about these will be forthcoming.
As for the 2020-21 school year, we are working hard on contingency plans for several different scenarios in order to be prepared for wherever we find ourselves in the fall as well as ensuring that the proper safety measures will be in place.
The strength and flexibility of our community over the last several weeks have been amazing, and are representative of what a community is capable of when everyone comes together in difficult times. There are no amount of words to express our gratitude and love for all our families.
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. Check out what we are thankful for...
There are some great resources on how to talk to children and how to reduce their anxiety levels, but please be mindful that for our younger students these conversations may not be appropriate unless they specifically ask. Included among these resources are the following:
- How we can help kids increase their sense of control as the coronavirus approaches (Washington Post)
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus (NPR)
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus: Kids worry more when they're kept in the dark (Child Mind Institute)
- How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus: Keeping your own anxiety in check is key (New York Times)