Announcement from Head of School, 3/16

Dear Families,

Today is our first day of Distance Learning. I want to share with you how proud I am of our talented Faculty and Staff who have taken this whole situation in stride with the same diligence and passion for excellence that they employ in their day to day lives with students. The work of converting a hands-on, innovative curriculum to an online/distance format is challenging and difficult. They are an incredibly talented group of professionals and I have every confidence that the next weeks will be filled with rich and engaging lessons that will keep our students on track for success. The truth is that we are a school community that practices an extraordinary amount of technology integration and many best practices from blended learning already - so we are well-versed in the tools that we need to make this a success. Please look for, if you haven't already received it, a direct communication to parents and students from each of your child's teachers with the general plan for administering curriculum in the coming weeks.

We are using an approach that can be described as "co-synchronous" learning using both live (synchronous) and work-at-your-own-pace (asynchronous) learning approaches. Most online learning takes the form of the latter, but we are working on ways to increase live teaching via online tools as we progress. All assignments will be given with clear due dates, but we know that your home schedules may be unpredictable in the coming weeks, too, so we are being sensitive to that. Please communicate freely and openly with your children's teachers and ask whatever questions you have regarding this process.

Some students may need to come to campus today to collect academic and personal items they need. The campus will be open for such pick-ups today, Monday, March 16th from 8 am to 3 pm. If you do stop by to pick up items, please follow these guidelines for social distancing during this closure:

  • Do not plan to meet with faculty or staff while on campus, send them an email if you need clarification on something. Go directly to lockers or classrooms, take your things, and then leave campus immediately.
  • Do not shake hands, hug, etc. but use verbal greetings while on campus. Please practice "social distancing" of 5-6 ft distance from others.
  • Do not bring anyone to campus who is ill or exhibits symptoms of cold/flu.
  • Do not bring additional people to campus - if one or two can accomplish the pick-up of materials, please have others wait in the car or at home.
  • Remember to take chargers for technology, etc. that you may need.

I have plans to host virtual Parent Coffees in the coming weeks via Google Hangouts per grade/division. This will be a great way for us to stay connected during this challenging time with a more "human" approach than email. Please stay tuned for information on those meetings - you have to bring your own coffee! I will also be sending updates via school eblasts (such as this one) regularly, so please take time to read and do not hesitate to reach out to me via email at srice@pvs.org. I am quick to respond and read email all hours of the day! Additionally, Division Heads will continue their practice of Wednesday eblasts to families as well.

Please take time this week to educate your family on ways that we can remain safe and stop the spread of this virus. As the United States is now a Level 2 country for infection rates, we all have a duty to take action to address this issue. Please review best practices in hygiene and hand washing, as well as "social distancing." While we are out of school for at least the next three weeks per the Riverside County Health Department order for school closures, best practices in Social Distancing should be employed. Please do not schedule play dates for your students or allow them to congregate in common areas like malls and movie theaters - this defeats the purpose of the school closure to protect the community. Take this period to self-quarantine as much as possible, remain at home, and stay healthy and safe.

Best,

Susan Rice
Head of School