Dear Monument Academy Community,
These are certainly unprecedented times! In all my years in education and leadership, I never would have thought to live out this scenario. As we work to continue to navigate this National Health Crisis, school closures, and a move to online learning on a day-to-day basis, I am grateful that none of our faculty and staff or their family members, as far as we know, have been diagnosed with the virus at this time. I sincerely hope and wish the same for each of you.
The Monument Academy and District 38 sent communications on March 18th informing our community of the Governor’s decision to close all schools, public and private, until April 17th. Please look for all MA communications as we send instructions for online learning as well as resources for additional activities and games for occupying your children at home. The Lynx News will be sent out tomorrow and will outline instructions for connecting with your child’s teacher, online instruction, how to submit completed assignments, and how to have your child’s attendance counted.
The teachers and IT and Admin teams, headed up by Principal Julie Seymour, have been working this week to put together an online plan for at-home learning in the event that we need to implement it after March 30th. I commend the faculty for all of their work this week as we will now, indeed, implement this plan. This online schooling will begin after Spring Break, Monday, March 30th. In the meantime, please ensure that you have completed the IT survey, sent earlier this week, so that we are able to help problem-solve connectivity issues before school resumes in this online forum.
I also wish to recognize Principal Charlie Richardson and the Facilities crew who conducted a deep clean of the building this past week. There is no doubt that their diligence in daily and consistent sanitation over the past weeks has gone a long way to keep our community as healthy as possible. Their positivity, meticulous work, and professionalism are greatly appreciated.
The District put together and implemented a plan for creating “Grab and Go” meals. They partnered with Tri-Lakes Cares to distribute to families. This provides food for the whole district, including our MA students, who are on free and reduced meals (FRL), while school is closed. This service will continue. Families will need to fill out a form with Tri-Lakes Cares and this will approve them for additional and whole family resources. If families who are not approved for FRL need assistance, Tri-Lakes Cares is able to refer them to other venues for help with obtaining meals.
The Administrative Team has been brainstorming ways that we as a school community can facilitate a platform for the communication of needs. We are creating an email sign up for people willing to receive communications and a form for people who wish to communicate a need. The idea is to resemble an old-time town hall forum to take care of our community members without the face-to-face group meetings. So, as an example, my husband and I keep baby items for when the grandbaby visits. If there was a mom out there in short supply of formula, we could drop it on her porch… We have a community with generous hearts who wish to care for one another but the necessary isolation and limiting person-to-person contact make this difficult. It is our hope that this platform will be one venue for helping to facilitate the support of one another. For instructions on how to sign up for this, please refer to information included in this week’s Lynx News.
Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, families, staff members, and our greater community. With our closure, we are taking proactive steps to prevent the spread of the virus. We will continue to assess with the district the April 17th return date, and are deploying a number of instructional continuity protocols for implementation (including device and Internet availability for staff and students, as well as the creation of video lessons and lesson plans for online learning) and we are ready to execute beginning March 30th. The team has also compiled pages for educational resources and activities for parents that have been posted on the MA website, and will also be emailed and included in this week’s Lynx News.
Thank you for your partnership with MA. Thank you to our MA Board of Directors; their first and primary concern is for our families and faculty and ensuring everyone is cared for. Thank you to our MA community for your positivity, encouragement, and humor in the face of this challenge. Parents and care givers, please also take care of yourselves, not just with hand washing, but also by getting rest, taking vitamins, and finding ways not to stress, so that we continue to be best able to care for our loved ones. I greatly value each of you.
On behalf of the MA faculty, staff, and leadership, we love your children and send to you our wishes for health and unity in the days to come. I pray we will not only become a stronger school, a stronger district, a stronger community, but also a stronger, more unified nation.
Chief Operations Officer | Monument Academy