You have likely heard that Governor Holcomb has now ordered all schools in Indiana to remain closed until May 1. This is of course very sad news for all of us, as we will very much miss seeing you and your children on campus until May. We are also sorry to miss the performances, sports matches, and events in April that now must be cancelled. I feel particularly sad for our seniors, whose final year at Park Tudor is turning out to be quite different than any of us could have imagined.
We will continue e-learning as it is currently structured up until the start of spring break, March 27. Given the extended closure until May 1, we are assessing various e-learning scenarios to implement after spring break and will be continuing to adjust and develop our program. While it is impossible to replicate the classroom experience and the one-on-one interactions between teachers and students that are a hallmark of a Park Tudor education, we are exploring ways (including selected live streaming) to make our e-learning more robust. We are also providing our faculty with PD opportunities to help them enhance their e-learning skills. We will be in touch in the coming days with more specifics on our plans for enhanced e-learning beginning after spring break on April 13.
Thank you for your continuing patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation.
As we begin implementing e-learning today, I wanted to thank you in advance for your flexibility and patience. We will inevitably encounter some hiccups, but we will do all we can to assist you and our students and help to ensure a smooth transition.
I have already been very impressed with the creativity and diligence displayed by our faculty as they post video messages, develop assignments, and provide resources and advice for you and our students.
Throughout this period, communication will be key. We will be communicating with all of you frequently, and ask that you also maintain an open line of communication with us. If you or your student are experiencing any issues with technology, please use teachers as the first point of contact for assistance. Faculty will work closely with our technology integrators and IT staff to troubleshoot as necessary.
If you are struggling with internet access or connectivity, many companies - including Comcast - are offering free internet access to families to facilitate e-learning. We also have a number of hotspots available that we can deliver; if you require one, please contact our Associate Head of School, Shants Hart.
We also know that some in our community may be struggling with their own supply of food. We are currently working with our partners at Quest and others to help provide assistance. In the meantime, here is a list of community resources that are currently available. Should you require specific assistance, please reach out to Shants.
I have had several people ask about support for our hourly workers, such as the Quest foodservice staff. Our maintenance and security crews are still working on campus, and we have offered Quest staff who are able and would like to continue working the opportunity to join the maintenance team. We have also provided them with food from the supply that we had on campus following our closure on Wednesday.
These are certainly unprecedented times for all of us. Maintaining our sense of community and connectivity will be essential, even as we remain physically separated. While we ask that you all abide by the request to practice social distancing and avoid getting together in person (and make sure that students are not congregating or meeting in person), please do look for ways to connect with each other virtually. Fortunately we have tools like FaceTime and Skype to help make that possible.
Please feel free to reach out to myself, your students' teachers, or anyone on our administrative team for support. We will all get through this together.
While we have no cases of COVID-19 that we are aware of within the Park Tudor community, nor are we aware of any members of our community who are under medical investigation for COVID-19, the probability that it will spread within our region is high. Today we were notified that one member of our parent community has recently been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and we were also made aware today of two additional members of our community who may have been in close contact with another individual who has tested positive. None of these individuals or their family members are currently symptomatic or being evaluated for COVID-19.
However, out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with healthcare experts, we have decided to close school following dismissal today (3/11), and remain closed until after spring break with the goal of reopening on Monday, April 13.
Our goal is to be able to return to school after spring break on Monday, April 13, and we have not made any decisions yet regarding events between spring break and the end of the school year. However, this situation is fluid; we will continue to monitor it and will keep you updated. We ask that if you or a member of your family are asked to self-quarantine, or if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19, please contact the School Nurse.
Beginning on Monday, March 16, we will implement e-learning. You will be hearing from your Division Director tomorrow, but please plan on checking email and Canvas regularly beginning Monday. Middle and Upper School students will be expected to check email and Canvas daily beginning on Monday.
We understand that this is quite disruptive for all of you, as well as for our students. Please know that we have not made this decision lightly, and it is based on our desire to protect the health and safety of our entire community from COVID-19 - particularly the more vulnerable members of our community.
We thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this uncharted territory together.