Friday Update – April 3, 2020

Mark Turner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

There is an old proverb ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ generally taken to mean that in time of crisis someone will step up to inspire and galvanize a response. In today’s predicament, we should of course say ‘cometh the hour, cometh the men and women’ of distinction, commitment, resolution, courage and duty. I am speaking of the Essential Workers (EWs) who are the mainstay of combating our health emergency, along with numerous other services. These are the people who will keep Canada running over the next few turbulent months.

SMUS would like to play its part in supporting Tier 1 Essential Workers to keep their focus on the challenge of the moment.

Tier 1 (highest priority): employed in Health and Health Services, Social Services, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Emergency Response.

If you are a family of Tier 1 EWs and with children ages five to 12 and have no other options for childcare, please email Sally Green at [email protected]. We will assess the demand and plan accordingly. At present we are trying to identify urgent need. We may broaden this plan later.

Remote Learning Plan – Community Guide

Faculty and staff continue to prepare for the launch of our remote learning curriculum on Tuesday, April 14. We find ourselves excited by the prospects of offering this new way of accessing our curriculum. We will be surveying families on their remote learning experience on Friday, April 17, then on a regular basis so that we can monitor how the community is progressing. Please be sure to access our new Remote Learning Plan – Community Guide and know that further specific detail will come from your school director and faculty in the days ahead.

Other News

The Board of Governors have planned an extraordinary meeting of the Finance Committee on Wednesday, April 8, and the full Board on Friday, April 17. We continue to reach out to all our support agencies for information regarding how best to ensure continuity of education for our students, indefinitely through the spring.

When our learning community is scattered to the four winds, some might ask “What is left?” The answer is that the fundamentals never change. Wherever we are and whatever our circumstances, if we remain true to our values of respect, courage, honesty and service, we will prevail. Our values continue to give the school its ethos, its spirit. Ethos defined as…

“The characteristic spirit of a community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.”

In my letter next week, I shall be exploring what those beliefs and aspirations are.

I have also just been to witness first-hand that faculty from Junior, Middle and Senior Schools (plus a contact from GNS) are producing 3D printed and laser cut face shields using an approved design for front line medical workers. The face shields will be printed on SMUS 3D printers, donated by the Parents’ Auxiliary.

I was also mightily encouraged to see a SMUS parent on BC Global TV news last night literally leading from the front in the fight against COVID-19. Kudos from us all. To learn, to lead, to serve.

I should like to finish by mentioning one exceptional act of generosity. A supportive parent from China, who shares our grief in the current situation, has kindly donated 10,000 medical masks and other equipment. We will ensure that these find a good home and are put to the use for which they were intended. From our whole community, I should like to pass on hearty thanks for this most significant gesture in a time of need.

In a week where bad news has outweighed the positive, this leadership and initiative should serve as inspiration to us all. Look out for more on these news items next week.

Until next Friday, stand together, stay apart and look to the future with courage.

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