March 23, 2020

Dear St. Martin’s Family,

As we face the many hurdles associated with COVID-19, I write today to assure you all that our small school community is responding to this unprecedented situation with agility, creativity, and diligence.

Since temporarily suspending all on-campus learning and extracurricular activities as of March 13, our faculty and staff quickly came together to ensure continuation of teaching and learning for all students – preschool through grade eight. As of this morning, we have officially started remote/distance learning at St. Martin’s . In this afternoon's staff Zoom meeting, teachers commented on their successes thus far. I am so impressed by our staff’s openness to embracing new, remote learning tools and techniques. I am equally appreciative of our students’ and families’ adaptability and understanding. Entering this new terrain is not without hiccups, and we ask for patience as we adapt ourselves to continue our teaching and learning mission.

At the same time and given the reality facing our lives at this moment, we are mindful it is impossible for you to “re-create school” in your homes. We know your number one priority is to be your children's safe space, to love them, and to maintain balance. Their health and well-being is far too important. At the same time, teachers and administrators need that balance too. We are all experiencing this anew together. One thing is clear, St. Martin’s is dedicated to maintaining its relationship with your family during this time. Whether through a Zoom chat, a Facebook post, a phone call, a virtual chapel, or a scheduled in-person visit (M-F, 9am-12pm), we are here.

I realize your inboxes are probably filling up with various COVID-19 updates, but I plan to send (or maybe Zoom!) an update of this nature each week. Additionally, we will send a special Mustang Blast on Friday with reminders. Finally, if you haven’t yet “liked” St. Martin’s on social media, now is the perfect time since we posting there often! See the links below.

Some more specific updates and reminders:
  • As of today, there has been no official state declaration to extend school cancellation beyond March 27. If the schedule should be altered, we will adapt and make the change public.  
  • Some teachers have shared that they have not been able to connect with you or your child as we begin remote learning. Please look for their communication and help engage your child to ensure continuity.
  • Full-time classroom teachers are being asked to be actively engaged in teaching and learning from 9-11am and 1-3pm each day and available to respond to questions for an hour each night.
  • Please join me at a Virtual Parent Coffee this Wednesday at 10:30-11:15am to discuss anything on your mind related to school. This will be done by connecting to this Zoom link.
  • Chaplain Nathan is excited to deliver these two chapel services for you share with your children this Wednesday: PS-2nd Grade and 3rd-8th Grade.
  • Please your teacher or Christine Hickey ( photos of your Mustang learning at home! We'd love to see them, and will try to share them.

Lastly, we SO MISS your children -- our students -- and our immediate connection to them in our classrooms, hallways, play spaces, and chapel. We hope you and they are staying healthy, home, and happy!

Warmest wishes,

Jamey Hein
Head of School