March 25, 2020

Dear Parents,

I appreciate all your emails about the hard work of our teachers. They are an incredible group of dedicated professionals and I know they are working long and hard to continue to educate your children. I also appreciate your patience as some of the challenges of distance learning reveal themselves to us. This is not an ordinary school year, but we are trying to keep your child engaged and learning with the knowledge that they need to be prepared for next year.

I hope everyone is staying safe and listening to the advice and directions of the medical professionals who are doing their best to keep us safe. It is amazing all the things I have taken for granted that are now put on hold. I hope you have the patience that is needed to stay present in the moment and take care of the things you have to. This is the most important thing to us, you and your children's health and safety.

In the next few days I am going to have the teachers reach out to you and ask you to take a short survey on how the distance learning is going. Your input is important as we want to make this experience in learning a fruitful one. We are trying to engage your children, but realize there are many factors in play in your lives. Distance learning has fundamentally changed the way in which we teach. We are all operating in a new teaching and learning environment. Our teachers are working to modify our courses, and their presentations, and you are developing strategies to help your children learn in this new environment.

My request to you is the same as my request to faculty. Remember to focus on our top priority: ensuring that our students can complete their academic program. This priority will require that we all remain engaged in our classes; are flexible as we may need to modify our plans as we move through the remainder of the year; are patient with ourselves and generous with one another; expect that things will not go completely smoothly as we learn to navigate new technologies; are willing to ask for help when we need it and to offer help when we can; and, above all, remember that we are all in this together.      

At this time we are taking our lead from Governor Hogan regarding attendance at school. He has closed Montgomery County Schools through April 24th. We wilI continue with our distance learning schedule until Thursday April 9th, Holy Thursday. Starting Holy Thursday, we will have our Easter Break until Monday April 20th. On Monday. April 20th, we will resume distance learning until the end of the week, or until any further updates have been made. I am in contact with our superintendent almost daily, and any decisions that he makes that affect us as a school, I will communicate to you immediately.

Please have patience and faith. My prayers are with you and your families, and with all who have been affected by the pandemic.
Be well,

Frank English