Hello, Lovett families!
I hope this message finds you well and successfully navigating these unchartered waters.
In anticipation of the week ahead, I wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude for the support and partnership you all are extending. Thank you. I am so impressed and proud of the flexibility, innovation collaboration, creativity and ingenuity our faculty are exhibiting as we dive into a new way of doing things. As I made my way around campus on Friday, spirits were so high, it was a beautiful day out, but —-I also think we were all taking advantage of those last in-person connections for a while.
I could not help thinking about the kindergarteners who tomorrow morning might not understand why they are not headed to campus, and my heart hurts for the Class of 2020 who is wondering how their senior year will play out. I assured them we are canceling nothing at this point!
As we make the shift to a remote learning platform and support services, we all need to do so with patience, understanding and an attitude of good intentions. There will no doubt be hiccups, internet outages, dropped connections, lots of questions and likely illness with which to contend. And we will all face it with as much patience and grace as we can. Our faculty are committed to bringing their personal best to your children. I ask that you extend them grace and support as they transition to this new platform, and I ask that they do the same for your children.
As my college-age daughter, who is at home (reluctantly so), begins preparing for online classes, she reminded me that I am NOT invited into her classroom with her. It was a good reminder for me that as parents, we need to create an at-home learning environment with the level of independence that our kids are used to at school.
Division heads, department chairs, and faculty are all preparing and planning with best practices in blended learning in mind. The goal is not to recreate a carbon copy of in person learning but to ensure learning outcomes remain as consistent as possible. Some of the differences you will notice are:
what feels like a shortened academic day
adjustments in assessments
a wider variety of ways students will participate in “discussion”
increased student agency and its accompanying responsibility
Being apart from one another is not going to be easy for this community; walking an empty campus on Friday night was an odd experience. We all value community, we all value a sense of belonging, and we all need to think about how we care for that sense of community and maintain that sense of belonging while we are physically apart. This community is resilient, and I have no doubt that we will come back together stronger.
As I shared with the faculty, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Lovett has a huge heart! Our counselors, chaplains, your students’ advisors and learning specialists remain engaged and here for support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and use these resources. Parent information sessions are being planned, so watch your email for those sign-ups and how-to’s. Staying in touch with you all and keeping you informed is a priority for me and my team.
Starting this week, our campus and its facilities are closed as we’ll have a skeleton crew in place. Division heads will be in touch with information specific to individual divisions, and you can expect to hear from me with updates and words of encouragement as we all contend with the questions and isolation the situation presents.
Please remind your US and MS students that they are to participate in systems testing tomorrow between 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Students have all been informed of how this will work.
To date, I have not received word of any member of our community testing positive for COVID-19. As hard as it is, please take the CDC’s guidelines to heart and discourage your children and teens from gathering in public places while we are social distancing.
Stay healthy everyone, take care of yourselves physically and emotionally, and know that Lovett is here to support you and your children to the best of our ability.
Head of School