Dear MPH Community,
 
Is this happening to you too? In the midst of these uncertain times, I am noticing with more frequency than usual just how much inspiration there is to derive from the good words and deeds of individuals, and in the commitment and dedication of organizations in and around Central New York. This heightened awareness, which I hope others share, can likely be attributed to a necessarily fresh perspective given our current reality.
 
The MPH community is a regular source of this type of inspiration, and I will begin with a note of gratitude to our colleague Elizabeth Perryman, who envisioned, organized, and led a series of more than 40 different sessions this week, designed to support our community’s resilience and well-being with optional online check-ins throughout this Spring Break. Many thanks to Elizabeth, to our colleagues, and to our students and parents (as well as siblings and pets!) for your good cheer and participation, if and whenever that may have occurred.
 
Tomorrow’s edition of Snapshot will provide glimpses of ways in which the MPH community is transforming the present challenges into opportunities to stay connected to one another and to provide support for those in need. Expressing our appreciation for the heroic actions of first responders, health care professionals, essential workers, and many others takes many forms, most importantly, heeding advice from the CDC and supporting the State’s mandate to “stay at home” and do our part as individuals to curtail the spread of this virus. Quoting Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, “Now is the time for the community to rally. This is a community spread. If we are going to win this in a timely fashion, we’ve got to do it as a community.”
 
In alignment with the most recent update from Governor Cuomo, the earliest possible date for a return to classes at MPH is now April 30. However, we will manage expectations, recognizing the evolving nature of appropriate response to this pandemic and the likelihood of further updates.
 
In the meantime, MPH will continue to evolve as well. We sought input from students and parents through a recent survey you should have received, in which we asked you to share your experience with the distance-learning format. Based on what we learn, we’ll continue to adjust and adapt to our present learning environment to ensure the most-effective, relevant, and healthy education possible for our students. Your feedback is invaluable to this process.
 
Please know that we are actively processing and analyzing the full extent of this significant disruption to MPH life as we know it, even as it continues to unfold. In addition to maintaining our focus on the education and well-being of our students through this pandemic, we need time to get our arms around the financial ramifications. I am grateful for the outreach from several families who have asked about financial considerations for this year, and I plan to communicate with more detail what this means to our community, and specifically for MPH families, before the end of the month. I appreciate your patience in allowing us the time needed to evaluate the situation more fully.
 
As we look ahead to next week and a return to (virtual) academic classes, I want to highlight the MPH Gala , a longstanding annual tradition that brings our extended community together for a fun and social way to support the School. In this time of social/physical distancing, it is more important than ever for us to connect socially to sustain our good health and well-being. Many thanks to Diane and Mark Wladis, co-chairs of the Gala, the many volunteers who are working hard behind the scenes, and Director of Communications Jenn Neuner, who wears many hats (and wears them well!) at MPH. This event will go live in a virtual setting on Friday night (April 17), and I hope that our turnout is as robust and strong online as it ever has been, in person, in years past.
 
I can’t help but close with another source of inspiration: the daffodils pictured here, brightening the campus grounds, and reminding us of spring, of renewal, and certainly of hope.
Holiday greetings to those of you celebrating Passover and Easter this week, and best wishes to one and all for good health and good cheer,
 
Dave McCusker
Head of School