April 20, 2020

Dear St. Martin’s Community,

This week mark our 6 th week of being away from campus. Time is such a strange element in this crisis. At times, it feels like yesterday when we saw students off on March 13, and there are other moments where the feeling is more eternal. I miss physical school greatly, though the longer we have been distant, I have discovered myself increasingly grateful to be a part of such a caring school community.

During this time away, it has been a joy to observe various class sessions, to read to our preschoolers, to interact with our staff and families – all in a virtual context. What I see and hear in each setting is a palpable student community excited to see one other and a gratitude for teachers and their engagement. I am proud of our students and their resilience as well as our staff who is finding new ways to grow during this dynamic time of change, even as many of them support their own children and families. I am grateful to our parents who are serving as patient partners in this remote experience. The openness and patience being shown by the entire community is inspiring.

After building a foundation for remote learning these last weeks, our teachers are more poised to ensure educational continuity through May 15. Since the beginning of remote learning, we have taken time to develop some guiding principles, practices, and expectations. We have aligned these strategies with our identity as a small and relational school. As we continue to operate apart from campus, we aim to embrace these guidelines with you and your children to balance their learning, while being attentive to your family’s schedule and needs. Please review the newly written SMES Remote Learning Guidelines here. We are also eager to hear directly from you. Your feedback is valuable as we continue to adjust our approach. To this end, we invite your feedback using this simple Feedback Form here.

As previously mentioned, we recognize that each family in our community may be coping with changing financial situations amid the COVID-19 crisis. Please know we are open to hearing from you about your needs and concerns. Our goal is to be receptive, to listen, and to respond by working with families individually through their unique circumstances. Our Board of Trustees is actively being involved, and it is working to keep the needs of St. Martin’s its first priority. 

Finally, may we collectively remember that this time away from one another and SMES is time to consider what is so valuable about our school and the loving community of adults and children it embodies.

With much optimism,

Jamey Hein
Head of School