A Flexible and Adaptable School
Like you, I read the local, state, national, and global news updates to stay as informed as possible. Weekly, I meet virtually with other Heads of Independent Schools group where we share ideas about how to best meet the current needs of our students and families, as well as how to support our teachers and each other during this uncertain time. I also have weekly Zoom meetings with our DMP teachers where we discuss what parts of our online learning program are working and share ways to continue to enhance what we are doing for our students, and for you, their parents.
We are so fortunate to have an outstanding, dedicated, and engaged group of educators who have risen to the challenges of remote teaching with a positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond for our students. As we have done since the founding of Del Mar Pines in 1978, we continue to focus our attention on educating the whole child, even under these uncertain times.
One of the signature events at our school – and one that I especially look forward to – is our annual Spring Sing performance. You have likely already realized that we will have to cancel the show for this year. Although this is a very disappointing decision, there is a positive outcome: since Mrs. Goetsch is unable to direct her final Spring Sing performance – a program that she had already created – she has decided to return to Del Mar Pines for another year as our music teacher! I am thrilled with her decision and look forward to another year of fantastic musical education for our students.
We have always prided ourselves on the flexibility and adaptability of the DMP program. As a small school staffed with innovative educators, we are able to make changes to our classes, programs, curriculum, and facilities quickly when necessary. I have been delighted to watch DMP adapt to the many challenges of sheltering in place: our school-wide transition to remote learning in just four days, our ability to offer virtual tours for prospective families, and the flexibility to offer remote summer school programs if we are unable to offer in-school classes.
With all the uncertainty regarding what school will look like for the rest of this year and next, I want you to know that we are investigating many different scenarios, depending on what we will be allowed to do. If there is a chance that we can return to school this year, even under very different conditions, we will attempt to do that. And, we are hopeful that we can be creative in order to have a small graduation ceremony for our sixth-grade families.
It is too early to know what next year will look like, but I feel it is important for you to know that we are actively thinking about the future and moving forward as best we can. According to current expert opinions, schools will most likely look different. Some options could be alternative classroom designs, reduced class sizes, modified school hours, a combination of in-person and online learning (hybrid format), and others. We will make whatever changes are necessary and feasible to continue meeting the educational needs of our students.
I want to recognize you – our parents – for stepping up to the challenge of facilitating online learning for your children. It would be inconceivable for us to implement the DMP remote program without the myriad ways that you are caring for and supporting your children. We cannot wait for the day when you are able to drop off your children at DMP again!
Together, I hope we will take each day as it is given to us, and continue to show grace to one another, as we adapt to the evolving realities. What a powerful lesson we are all showing our children!