Hello Sequoyah Community,

You are in my thoughts each and every day during these strange and difficult times. My hope is that you are all safely hunkered down at home. By now, we all understand how critical it is to keep social distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which will impact so many, but especially the most vulnerable among us.

This situation and the guidance from local, regional and national authorities continues to change rapidly. I will keep sending out weekly updates to inform you as to the school's plans. For now, we are all beginning distance learning. Some of you may not have heard that term before last week, and now we are all living it. 

Even in the best of times I have great appreciation and admiration for our Sequoyah community. Yet, it is in the difficult times that I feel most blessed to be a part of this school. I want to acknowledge the sure and rapid work of the faculty and staff who have been thrown into an extremely unfamiliar and unanticipated situation. I commend them on their quick and focused preparation and their ongoing dedication to the education of our students. I am grateful for the parents and students who have already shown incredible care and flexibility. I also would like to thank you all in advance as we attempt to navigate together a set of unprecedented circumstances. The coming months will take everyone's collaboration, communication and stewardship as we do our best to figure things out together and offer each other support.

While I am optimistic that we will find our way through the rest of the school year, I want to acknowledge the very real disappointment many students may be feeling. That disappointment is understandable. For the time being they will not be seeing their peers and teachers each day at school. There are important experiences that some students have been waiting years or even much of their lives for that may be missed, or at the very least altered. That disappointment may not be easily brushed away.

I want to remind you, however, that even though we may not be seeing each other in person, we can still be in community together. I have great confidence in the creative ways Sequoyah students and families will come up with to remain in community with one another. In addition, there may be some new and enriching ways you discover to be together as families absent the hustle and bustle of usual business and activities. This morning I saw my three and four year olds doing yoga with their grandma in the living room using a yoga site for kids shared with the Backyard class community and now posted on the Coronavirus Resource page on our website. I imagine all of us will get in more family walks and board games than perhaps we've had in a while. Our Habit of Mind for this month is Application. It is time to apply all that we have learned together at Sequoyah over the years about being in community, being resilient and trying to make the community a better place for all.

Please enjoy these photos from the last few days:








I wanted to end with the poem below shared with me by a friend.

Pandemic -  by Lynn Unga r

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath-
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another's hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love-
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Sincerely,
Josh

PS - As a reminder, the majority of faculty and staff are working remotely and can best be reached by email. All email addresses can be found on the family portal. 




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