Covid-19 Update #21

Dear SDFAS Community,

We made it! Distance learning at SDFAS was an “all hands on deck” endeavor. Teachers, assistant teachers, students, staff, administrators and parents, all of us worked collaboratively to stay the course with engagement and purpose for over three months. I congratulate you all. In case you missed last Friday’s video from the Head of School in Echo Info, please click here.

As we turn our attention away from school, be reminded that we still anticipate a full reopening of the SDFAS campus at the end of August. The expanded campus will allow for proper physical distancing within enlarged classrooms. In terms of school life, rest assured that SDFAS will prepare the campus to be as safe as possible in terms of health, screening and sanitation. Guidelines from the CDC, State and County will be followed as we develop and implement measures adapted to SDFAS.

The biggest challenge won’t be knowing what to do but instead how to get students and adults to consistently do it. A high degree of self-discipline will be needed. For example, everyone who comes on campus will need to respect “MHD” (mask wearing, hand washing and distancing). In PreK, mask wearing isn’t required or enforceable per regulations of the Department of Social Services.

If necessary at any point, we will also be prepared to transition the program once again to a distance learning format for individual students, particular groups of students or the entire student body. Finally, we understand that some enrolled families may prefer their child(ren) stay at home to engage in distance learning for part or all of the school year. In order to properly serve students in each of the above scenarios, the school must be properly staffed. With this objective in mind, please complete our quick GoogleSurvey about your family’s learning preferences at this point in time for 2020-2021.

I would also like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to administrators, faculty and staff who are leaving SDFAS for other horizons. Please join me in thanking them for the time and energy they’ve dedicated to our school’s mission. They will be missed.

   •Micheline Ghattas, Director of Middle School

   •Shelby Aseltine, Teacher of 7th & 8th grade English Language Arts & Social Studies, JMUN, LIVE

   •Amelia McCurdy, Teacher of ESL

   •Line Bertrand, 6th grade French, 3rd Grade History-Geography

   •Emmanuel Parello, 5th Grade English Program Teacher

   •Paris Cameron, Development Associate and Extended Care Supervisor

   •Tiphaine Marandon, Preschool Assistant Teacher, Extended Care Staff

   •Leah Zawalnicki, Preschool Assistant, Extended Care Staff

This past Friday morning during the 8th grade graduation ceremony, I quoted African-American poet laureate Maya Angelou (perhaps most famous for her poem “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”). Offering a simple lesson for how each of us can bring about positive change in the world, she instructs:

“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”

If students at every grade level are able to develop and demonstrate such courage, we will indeed be on our way to changing the world one SDFAS graduate at a time. As we head into summer, I once again encourage as much reading and conversation as possible on topics related to racial identity, race relations and antiracism.

Thank you for your partnership and trust over the past year.

Looking forward with optimism, I wish each of you de très bonnes vacances d’été !

Mark