March 17, 2020
Dear School Community,
I hope this letter finds everyone well and that you are taking the advised precautions so COVID-19 does not continue to spread.
At this time, we are 48 hours out from the beginning of our online program. Our faculty have been working extremely hard to prepare for online teaching which will begin on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. eastern daylight time.
Zoom and Google Meet for online learning
It is expected that all students will log into the Zoom or Google Meet invitation on time and that they are active participants in all classroom discussions. Personally, I use zoom for meetings with large and small groups on a regular basis. I find the technology is very easy to use and reliable. I have heard there has been some difficulty acquiring a web camera. Every student with a smartphone has a web camera on their phone and zoom is easily logged into from a smartphone.
If your child is sick and unable to attend a class, it is expected that you will contact the front office of the school to report the absence. The school will continue to keep accurate attendance records while we are working remotely. If a child does not log into the assigned class, the faculty member will report them absent and if they log in late, the student will be marked tardy. Your attendance record is a piece of your permanent transcript.
Students, Vince Lombardi says “if you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.” We have been practicing “Lombardi time” for quite a while now. Please put it to good use.
Contacting the Office & AOD
The office will follow an amended schedule beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, as noted below:
The front office will remain open and staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. At 1:00 p.m. all phone calls to the front office will be forwarded to the AOD number. The front office phone number is (631) 686-1600 and the AOD number is (631) 873-8240. The AOD of the day will pick up the phone beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
I understand that these are unprecedented times and this learning model is new to everyone. I also understand the uncertainty everyone feels about the current state of our world. We will work together, follow the guidelines for social distancing, and focus on spreading kindness through our emails and on social media.
Students, I will be sending you an invitation for a Men and Women’s group through zoom once your classes are up and running and I know you have settled into your new routine. I feel it is important that we stay connected during our distance learning.
I have received many questions about when we will reopen or whether we will hold our long-cherished graduation ceremony. At this time, I do not have answers to these questions. It is my sincerest hope that we will be together again by mid-April but I cannot make any promises. I will continue to communicate regularly with you, even if it is just to check-in.
Our students and staff remaining on campus are doing well and everyone is working together to make this difficult time a positive experience. Because I am an eternal optimist, I know that better days are to come.
Please know that I am wondering every day how everyone is feeling and if you want to reach out to say hi, do not hesitate.
Head of School