A common thread across businesses, education, and life throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been a feeling of uncertainty. It is hard to believe that just a few short months ago, Saklan had to quickly pivot to distance learning due to the shelter-in-place mandate; this has been no easy task for faculty, staff, or parents. I am so impressed and appreciative of how Saklan has adapted during this uncertain time and has continued to provide the high-quality teaching, student support, and positive educational experiences that are the hallmarks of a Saklan education. Thank you to all the teachers and staff for your leadership and dedication to our students and community; you are indeed what makes Saklan such a special place.
As we close out this year, we are looking forward to the reopening of school and what that may look like during these uncertain times. Last Monday, the COVID-19 Task Force had our initial meeting to begin discussing the critical issues around the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will impact Saklan this August. The main goal of these discussions is to get students back on campus as feasibly and safely as we can. To help us frame our future discussions and strategies, we developed a set of values and principles that will guide us through this process.
- Be guided by the Saklan mission – Think Creatively, Act Compassionately, and Live Courageously.
- Protect and preserve the health of students, faculty, staff, and broader community by using emerging science and knowledge about COVID-19 to guide our discussions.
- Continue to offer high-quality teaching, learning, student support, and positive educational experiences for all students and families.
- Consider the need for differentiation by addressing the needs of individual students, specifically various levels of education at Saklan (ECE, Lower School, and Middle School).
- Leverage our ability to differentiate what we do from Public Schools.
- Attend to the social-emotional and developmental wellbeing, understanding of how it might look different across the age spectrum.
- Listen to the community – be open to out of box ideas.
- Take into consideration the short, mid, and long-term needs of the school.
Our next task is to start developing scenarios of what the reopening of school might entail. These scenarios will range from all students on campus with social distancing in place to full-time distance learning. Our goal is to publish the scenarios within the next few weeks and then follow up by mid-July with the details of what each scenario would look like on campus. As we get closer to August we will have a better understanding of which scenario we will need to put into place.
We will continue to send out updates to the community throughout this process and welcome your feedback and questions. We are all in this together. I know with the strength and support of our amazing community, we will get through this uncertain time stronger and more committed to the health and wellness of our school and community.
Co-Chair Saklan Board to Trustees, COVID-19 Task Force committee member