March 20, 2020
Dear HDS Community,

Thank you for your support and patience as we work through uniquely challenging times for our community. I want to bring you up to date on all that has transpired since my last communication. I have been in frequent contact with other Heads of Schools locally and nationally, the Executive Director of AIMs, the Board leadership, and our Administrative team. 

Like HDS, most Maryland and D.C. independent schools will be using Monday and Tuesday of next week to prepare for distance learning with a plan to begin implementing on Wednesday, March 25th. We will be closed through the end of next week as per the Governor's mandate; we expect that the date may be extended, though it is unclear as to how long.

Tracy Schoene has been instrumental in this planning and has developed guidelines to help clarify questions you may have about distance learning plans. These guidelines will be shared with you on Monday, following our faculty planning and discussion. To assist us in developing these plans, we are asking that you complete this short survey regarding your internet and device access at home. Schools in Washington State have been implementing plans for about 2 weeks now and have provided helpful guidance to us - most notably, not to overload our students, though it may be easy to do so, and to allow students and teachers the necessary time to get comfortable with new methods of teaching and learning.

There are many people working to ensure that we keep our school running effectively in these uncertain times. As you are aware, there are several in our community who are struggling as businesses lay off or furlough employees. To that end, we are committed to continuing to compensate our employees through the duration of time required to function as a remote learning institution.

Finally, I want to stress the importance of maintaining relationships and our sense of community during a time when we are being mandated to keep our distance from one another. We will continue to communicate as often as necessary and ask that you do the same as you reach out to one another to check in and keep spirits high during trying times.  

We are all in this together, and I believe we will emerge stronger for it.

Be well.

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