April 14, 2020

Dear Wonderful Pardes Community,

I hope this communication finds you all safe, healthy, and enjoying your Passover Break. We are busy preparing for school to resume on Monday, April 20, with our online learning platform. I am so pleased to say that the teachers worked hard last week to both evaluate and enhance the remote learning plan we had previously rolled out. Specifically, Lower School will incorporate more blended learning that is mission and developmentally appropriate, while supporting the student’s academic and social needs. Teachers will focus on the core competencies of math and literacy, while incorporating social studies and science enrichment activities. Middle School will continue to follow their schedules while teachers will incorporate more low-tech, hands-on activities throughout their day.

To that end, I want to assure all of you that whether we resume on campus learning or stay with remote learning for the remainder of the year, your students will be ready for next year. We will be adjusting the beginning of year faculty meetings in August to have our faculty meet together, so they know where each grade ended and where the next grade level should begin. Rest assured, our faculty may initially adapt the curriculum based upon these discussions and start of year assessments; however, we are confident that our students will continue to grow and thrive academically next year.

To help you better understand the nature of the enhanced online platform, as well as to discuss why blended learning meets the academic, social, and emotional needs of children, we will be holding a panel this Friday, April 17th at 3:00pm with Anna Lock, Jodi Woodnick, and me. Additionally, we will also be discussing tips and strategies on how you and your student can find success in the following areas: 

  • Creating a stress free online learning environment at home
  • Zoom calls
  • Setting up their academic day
  • The balance and integration of academics and social/emotional wellness

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 928 2621 2224
Password: pjds2020

If you are unable to make the 3:00pm panel discussion, we will record and post it for you to view.

Finally, I am so pleased to let you know that we are forming the Shevet Pardes Team for Lower School. In Hebrew, Shevet Pardes stands for the Tribe of Pardes. The need to keep our community together is paramount, especially during these complex times, and the Shevet Pardes Team's main role will be to create important touch points with each of our students and families. The members of this new initiative will be non-teaching staff and faculty. They will make individual phone calls to the students on their “Team” each week to check in and see how they are doing, with the goal of keeping our community ties strong.  Advisors will continue to maintain strong connections with their students and families in Middle School; the Shevet Pardes Team will provide an extra layer of support and connection for our Lower School. The Shevet Pardes Team will begin in earnest next week.

Wishing all of you a continued Chag Sameach and hoping you have a restful, enjoyable break.

Kind regards,
Peter Gordon
Head of School