Friday Update – April 17, 2020

Mark Turner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This note reaches you at the end of our first week of delivering our remote learning curriculum. Since term reconvened on Tuesday, April 14, I know that faculty, staff and students have been working hard seizing the opportunities and negotiating the challenges of this new way of delivering a SMUS education.

So far, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. That said, as we researched remote learning, we were told that it would be necessary to be nimble, to adapt and even to pivot, if necessary. With that in mind, I know our Director of Academics Denise Lamarche and her team were quick to plan a regular series of surveys, so that we could monitor ourselves and students on our respective learning journeys. Please take the opportunity to fill out the brief and informal survey that will come from your school Director.

We have also been impressed by the rates of student attendance – higher than they might normally be, with 100% recorded in several areas. I know that the boarding community have also gathered together for House meetings, which proved to be an excellent opportunity to meet and share with friends, albeit in the virtual realm. I have also heard reports of some inspirational lessons – even rugby and band practices are conducted at a distance. All this is new and uncharted territory. However, as I’ve said on previous occasions, this is also an exciting opportunity for the future and there will be long-term benefits, particularly around our dexterity with harnessing technology.

As mentioned before, our Board of Governors will be meeting this afternoon (April 17) for an extraordinary meeting. I anticipate sharing some plans and decisions regarding our preparation for various scenarios in my communication to you on Friday, April 24.

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