COVID-19 Update #11

Dear SDFAS Community,

We hope this message finds all of you, your friends, and your extended families in good health and upbeat spirits despite the daily difficulties and uncertainties that have become our new normal. There remain two weeks until Spring Break. Together, we will get there. Our teachers need our encouragement, gratitude and support more than ever as we move into Week #4. And your children too.

I encourage everyone to please take a moment to complete the Week #3 distance learning survey.

We acknowledge the Governor’s expectation that public school campuses will remain closed through the end of the school year. For the time being, we still expect our campus closure to last at least until Monday, April 27. We continue to closely monitor all Covid-19 developments. As such, more information about our school’s anticipated timeline for a return to campus will be forthcoming by Spring Break.

This week’s update consists in a summary of what our school community has accomplished over the past three weeks and what is coming next. We quickly adapted to the world’s new reality, extended immediate help to those in need, and maintained transparent communication.

For our students, we have:

  • Transitioned to a grade-level appropriate distance learning program.

  • Adapted, refined and enhanced our distance learning programs in response to feedback.

  • Continued our FLE and ESL programs.

  • Maintained our commitment to Responsive Classroom and other social and emotional learning practices.

  • Reinforced expectations for distance learning etiquette.

  • Cultivated student autonomy, responsibility and internal motivation.

  • Implemented a distance learning student support program.

For our community, we have:

  • Made available special financial aid for families experiencing hardship due to loss of income.

  • Begun making “community care calls” to every SDFAS family simply to check in.

  • Provided printing services and loaner devices to families upon request.

  • Built and launched the SDFAS Parent Connect platform to facilitate online parent-to-parent support.

  • Communicated with Friday evening video message, Sunday written update, and Covid-19 web page.

  • Captured feedback through a recurring weekly survey.

For our faculty and administrative staff, we have:

  • Maintained salary and benefits.

  • Implemented a more flexible sick day policy in the event of extended illness.

  • Revised the school calendar by reducing Spring break by two days in order to integrate days off for faculty self-care and student rest.

  • Offered training and support, cheered them on, and celebrated their creativity, resilience, and commitment to excellence under unprecedented work conditions.

For the external community, we have:

  • Diligently practiced social distancing, doing our part to curb the spread of Covid-19 within La Jolla and the larger San Diego metropolitan area.

  • Networked with French Schools around the world to share our approaches and contribute to a growing body of knowledge, data analysis and emerging trends related to distance learning and assessment.

  • Shared information on our own distance learning and communication strategies with local independent schools as well as other CAIS schools around the state.

For the next two weeks until the April Break, we will: 

  • Remain committed to distance learning, grounded in best practices and sustainable.

  • Continue collaborating with our peer and network schools.

  • Remain open to refinement and enhancement of our programs, building on our successes and feedback.

  • Roll out community building opportunities for students to cultivate and reinforce their sense of belonging and connection.

  • Continue making “community care calls” to check-in with each SDFAS family.

  • Carry on the practice of weekly surveys, with anecdotal comments from parents possible on an alternating basis every two weeks.

  • Provide an update on fundraising.

  • Prepare for a number of different Covid-related scenarios and communicate with parents as soon as decisions are made.

After three weeks of remote learning, we hope the children’s school routine is becoming more familiar. We recognize the ongoing challenge of balancing support for distance learning with your own work and family responsibilities. For anything we might do to assist you, we are here. Even if just to talk or lend a listening ear, our virtual Zoom doors are open!

With warm regards, stay safe and stay connected,

Mark Rosenblum and the Covid-19 Response Team