As we all look for silver linings through this pandemic, a big one for me has been connecting with so many parents through our parent coffees. Since I started at WEDS in 2002, partnering with parents has always been a highlight of my work and I look forward to continuing parent coffees someday when we return (and actually serving you coffee!)
Summer: We Have Plans!
As we planned for, Mayor de Blasio announced that schools would continue to operate through distance learning. Our Summer Director, Emma Yovanoff, is working to roll out a new Virtual Summer Learning Program that continues to encompass our Summer Learning Curriculum and brings in as much fun as possible through this new platform. We have flexibility in mind for our children and families. If you are interested and have not filled out our survey—you can find it here. You can also email her directly here.
Reopening in the Fall
Our team is gearing up to reimagine and prepare for scenarios so we can fill our halls again. We know it will not be simple but we know that we have the best recipe to make this work—a team that specializes in critical thinking, problem solving,creativity and collaboration. We’ll work on this all summer and share our plans when we have more certainty. In the meantime:
Please consider rallying behind our benefit to raise funds for COVID Emergency Fund. We are anticipating all of our technology needs and supplies for our reopening plans.
We want to make sure we are helping any family that may need extra flexibility or any support. Click here to fill out a financial help survey. It will be confidential and go directly to Andrew Barnes.
We will continue to observe this National Day to celebrate our Veterans. I hope you can unplug and take a much needed break.
Governor Cuomo announced today that schools would remain closed through the remainder of the school year. For the past 35 years, being a SAFE HAVEN has always been at the heart of mission. “Together We” will make this great sacrifice as a public health effort to save lives and continue to keep safety at the forefront of our program. I want to remind you-we are not stuck while we are at home-we are connected through a community of the most loving and committed people. We have evolved so much since March 13th. WE WILL ONLY GET BETTER … STRONGER … MORE UNIFIED.
There is nothing like a West End Day School Spring Semester. We know how to celebrate our amazing children and that will not be compromised. Plans for our school play are underway. Nothing will stop us from ending the year with our traditional awards ceremonies.
To our graduating families I want to say this: we understand the loss this means for your family. We feel it too. I have arranged a graduation parent coffee to discuss all of our options. We will have a graduation ceremony when we can all join together again and we’ll make it our biggest celebration yet. Don’t forget, we are strongly committed to alumni celebrations and reunions with both students and families.
I send you my love and my confidence that we only continue to step up during this time. I am grateful for and remind myself everyday, we will all be back together again.
As the days go by and the global pandemic intensifies, West End Day School is doing everything we can to keep our community safe and do our best to respond to the needs of our students, faculty and families. It is time for us to prepare for long-term scenarios that we all know are on the way. We do not have any return date in sight at this time and understand what a great loss this is for every member of the West End Day School community. However, this is also an opportunity for growth. At the heart of our program, is our motto “All Problems have Solutions.” Here are our solutions going forward:
We recognize the need for more synchronous learning! We are developing plans to have video conferences for small reading and math groups starting April 20th. Our strategy is to phase in more group learning experiences, including whole group STEM lessons on a week-by-week basis. Be on the lookout for more information in the week ahead.
Spring Break: Our upcoming break will continue as planned. Keep in mind, we were up and running on March 16th and did not skip a beat. Our faculty will use this break both for planning and restorative purposes. During Spring Break, you can still utilize the Remote Learning Extra Resources provided in google classroom and we will also provide fun learning and family activities to keep our students engaged.
During this time, I want to remind you that you are part of something special, something more than a school. Our Distance Learning Program is no different, and I hope you can find gratitude to celebrate everything we are offering in our remote learning model:
INDIVIDUALIZED and CHALLENGING education model
SMALL class sizes with BIG CONNECTIONS
FLEXIBLE learning where children feel COMFORTABLE meeting high expectations
Programming that recognizes EMOTIONS
RELATIONSHIP based model
PARENT SUPPORT every step of the way
FUN and ENGAGING ways to connect
CLINICAL CHECK-INS including Counseling, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy
Administrative SUPPORT and technical ASSISTANCE
I have said this before and I will again, “We’ve got this. We are West End Day School.” Together We will come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever.