We are in an unprecedented time in history. Never have we seen or experienced what is happening around us. While there are so many uncertainties in our future, we must put control in God's hands as we see his plan for us. As we all adjust to a new way of living with social distancing, we want to update you on the current status of the new normal at SJM.
At this time, our campus is closed for an undetermined length and it seems quite likely that we will be closed at least through Easter. Events are rapidly unfolding, and we cannot determine a definite date when the campus will reopen. We are closely monitoring the situation and will share updates with you on a weekly basis.
Please know that the running of the school continues. Our Leadership Team is in communication regularly as we review, assess and evolve in our new environment of remote learning. We are always looking for ways to enhance the learning opportunities while providing support for our teachers, students and families.
Before departing on Friday, March 13th, the teachers and administrators mapped out expectations for students in an online learning scenario and the requirements to make it happen. The initial focus was on making sure the platforms ran smoothly for students and teachers. School personnel, both instructional technology and teachers, have been working tirelessly to make it "business as usual" for the students. It has been encouraging to see teachers sharing ideas, lessons and techniques that have worked well for them in this new online platform.
There are a couple of notices to pass along:
- From Students Affairs, we must do what is in the best interest of our students. Therefore we have waived our service hour requirement for the 2019/20 school year. All service hour requirements will resume next school year. Therefore, seniors will not be penalized toward graduation requirements due to service hours. All returning students will not be penalized in 2020/21 for service hours required in the current school year. If you have any questions please contact Ms. Clarissa Myers or Ms. Veronica Cortez when school resumes its normal activity.
- From Guidance, students enrolled in AP courses should continue to prepare for the AP exams. Students can take a 45 minute online exam at home. For each AP exam there will be two different test dates. Beginning on Wednesday, March 25th, students and schools will have access to free, live AP review lessons, delivered by AP teachers from around the country. Visit the SJM website and a detailed information sheet will be on the Coronavirus webpage.
- From the Office of Catholic Education, the Superintendent and her staff are conducting a survey to see how the online learning is progressing so far. Please click on the link and spend a few minutes to complete the survey. The link is https://forms.gle/it6dg1TnXkise44k7.
- From the SJM front office, the front office is closed on a daily basis, however you can call and leave a voice message and we will get back to you ASAP. You can also reach out via email to all of our staff members.
We ask that you keep SJM in your prayers during this ever-evolving response to a crisis. In addition to the challenges of providing academic programming during a pandemic, there is the emotional toll affecting each of us. The unique sense of community is what makes SJM so special and there is obvious sadness about not being together, especially from our seniors. However, we are all in this together, whether on campus or remotely, and we operate from a place of both realism and hope that we will resume our traditional SJM experience as soon as it is smart to do so.
Yours in Christ,
Michael C Burke
Head of School