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Head of School Message: Summer Check-In

July 9, 2020
 

Dear St. John’s Parish Day School Parents,

I hope this ‘Heads Up’ finds you all well and enjoying a wonderful summer! I am looking forward to the upcoming school year when we gather for in-person learning, once again. SJPDS has missed our students and will soon be filled with learning and growing in all academic, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical areas for your child(ren)! As educators, we understand that the social-emotional growth of our students is just as important as the academic. We were gratified to hear that the American Academy of Pediatrics are in support of in-person schooling this fall. As I write this, Maryland is currently in Phase 2, allowing SJPDS to operate in our Scenario 1 plan, which means on campus in-person instruction for all ages. We are aware that in-person instruction may not be comfortable for all, so we will be providing a remote learning or blended option. Our staff will be prepared to provide remote learning for those students that may not attend in-person instruction. Through in-person, online or blended learning options we will be abound with reading, writing, cultural explorations, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) advancements, newly designed approaches to visual and performing arts, Chapel in classrooms and independent projects, all of which provide continuous learning in a warm, caring and supportive environment. Details of our protocols and plans for Scenario 1 will be included in our Back-to-School Summer Packet along with student forms and information for the 2020-21 school year.

The faculty and staff are working hard throughout the summer to incorporate our new STEM approach to science into their daily program, as well as planning thoughtfully for new classroom spacing and COVID 19 policies. All while ensuring the continued social and emotional development and well being of our students. We have attended numerous COVID 19 trainings/information sessions, inclusivity workshops and distance learning seminars/classes in preparation for our return. Our faculty’s summer reading books include: White Fragility by Robin Diangelo and/or How to be an Antiracists by Ibram X Kendi as well as revisiting The Power of Our Words (Responsive Classroom initiative). The SJPDS Inclusivity Committee will lead everyone in Professional Development discussions as we continue to look at all areas of our stellar program.

Additionally, our intentionally small class size is truly our superpower! This allows us to limit contact and track our students daily. It further allows us to offer personalized learning as we strive to meet the needs of all students. Our faculty and staff enjoy each day we get to spend with these inspiring young people, and are grateful to be a part of their enduring success. We know that the partnerships we forge with parents are absolutely necessary for our students’ success and are looking forward to terrific educational partnerships with this fine community and supportive parents.

Thank you for sharing your child(ren) with us and for partnering with us in their educational journey. Also, thank you for carrying St. John’s Parish Day School in your hearts and for giving your time, talent, and support to this fabulous school!

Once again, my blessings to you all for a healthy and safe summer of family time and adventures! Watch for the 2020-21 Summer Packet to be available in your FACTS Family Portal at the beginning of next week. We will look forward to seeing everyone on September 2nd through the 4th for socially distanced Visit Days.

 

Warmly,

Lori Dembo

 
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