March 19, 2020

Dear Pardes Community,

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on the launch of our Remote Learning program, and are delighted at how positive everyone has been. Though each of us, faculty, staff, and students alike, feels the impact of not being with each other at school during this time, we nevertheless are filled with excitement each day as we “log on” to interact with our teachers and classmates virtually. 

As we end our first week of remote learning after today’s sessions (Friday is a day off due to cancelled Parent-Teacher conferences), I want to address a couple of key topics with you.

First, I want to encourage you to review my previous communication which included an outline of the enhancements to the Remote Learning plan for both Lower and Middle School beginning this coming Monday. Should you need another copy of the plan, please click here .

If you haven’t seen the new Pardes@Home section on the Pardes website, I highly encourage you to check it out. Our goal with Pardes@Home is to maintain the cohesion of our incredible Pardes community even if we cannot be together on campus. We are posting daily videos and activities. Did you see yesterday's “Workout and Wellness Wednesday” video with Coach Whitehead? He gave us a great indoor workout since it was a rainy day. Today we uploaded Parsha Hashavua for both Lower and Middle School as well as “The Arts Thursday” with Mrs. Adams. Videos and links will be posted regularly: activities for you and your children, Kabbalat Shabbat, cooking videos, storytime, and much more! Plus, Mrs. Woodnick and Nurse Lisa will be adding blogs, videos, and links in their Health and Wellness Corner on the website. Check back regularly as we will be continually updating this section.

Next week, you will be receiving a brief survey requesting feedback on different aspects of the Remote Learning Plan. While we recognize that this plan is new for all of us, we value your feedback in our ongoing effort to provide your children with the strongest Remote Learning experience possible. Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey.

Finally, we have heard from some of our families on the unexpected challenges they are navigating. First, in an effort to further support the health and wellness of our community, Jodi Woodnick has scheduled virtual office hours for those that would like to reach out. Please email her to request times to speak. Also, we have spoken to both Jewish Family and Children's Service and Jewish Free Loan, who are both ready to help families needing assistance. Click here to learn more about the work of each of these two organizations .

As a Jewish day school community, part of our mission is also to support each other. The Talmud tells us, in Tractate Shevuot 39a, Kol Yisrael aravim zeh ba’zeh. All Israel is responsible for one another.  In that spirit, we are establishing a Pardes Support Fund so that as a community, we can try to help those families most impacted respond to urgent, unexpected needs. If you can help in some fashion, that is wonderful. Our goal is simply to provide a way for parents who want to help our families be able to do so, and for our families in need, to know we are there to assist as we are able. Click here if you would like to make a contribution to the Pardes Support Fund.
  
If you find that your family unexpectedly needs help of some kind, financial or otherwise, please complete the confidential form which will be posted under the Health and Wellness corner on our website next week. 

We are excited for the wonderful and creative learning opportunities to come while the campus is closed, and know that our Pardes community remains strong, supportive and focused on what is most important for all of us.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any concerns or questions.

Kind regards,
Peter Gordon
Head of School