I’m sharing all of the survey results with you except for the multitude of helpful comments. Let me make four observations:
- Your level of engagement was astounding. We serve the children of roughly 500 families. Over 450 people responded to the survey. In addition to answering the multiple-choice questions, you also wrote nearly 1200 individual comments, amounting to 65 pages in all! That is an astoundingly generous level of parent engagement!
I’ve been an educator for twenty-five years and a school administrator for fifteen. I’ve worked in large and small schools; in public, charter, proprietary, independent, parochial, and international schools; I’ve worked in boarding schools and day schools; I’ve taught every grade from 6th grade at the elementary level to courses at the university. Over the course of my career, I have never before seen a similar level of parent engagement. It makes me feel profoundly fortunate, grateful, and humble to find myself in such a community -- and I feel the weight of responsibility for the care of your children, as do my colleagues.
- To those who plan to return, I will not lie to you; we cannot eliminate risk, either for your children or our employees. However, we will manage it with improved sanitation, distancing, scheduling, hygiene, and training. We are now developing procedures based on the best evidence available to us.
- To those who plan to stay home, be assured that good options for distance learning will be available to your children. Even though the survey indicated general satisfaction with the quality of instruction and communication this past spring, we are striving to refine these, guided by the priorities you listed in the survey.
- To those who are uncertain, your prudence is warranted and we share it. You will appreciate our cautious and measured approach. Therefore, we are deliberately planning carefully rather than quickly. It is a very complex puzzle. We will share plans with you as soon as we solidify it.
That being said, I am not going to tie a pretty pink ribbon on it – these are uncertain times. The faculty and administration at Legacy wish things were otherwise, but teachers, like parents, are realistic and practical by nature. We are not panicking because we know we are up to the challenge. We are expecting the unexpected, and we know that there will be moments of confusion requiring creativity, agility, and improvisation.
We are also sensitive to the fact that we are not going through this alone – parents and children are experiencing stresses in their private lives, and they too will need to improvise. Though the external reality of these times is entirely beyond our control, the virtues listed in Legacy’s Paideia are up to us and are totally within our control – resilience, courage, civility, fairness, selflessness, nobility, being practical, and most of all, remembering that we are citizens of this little community, and by lifting each other in the coming months, we and our children will most certainly experience an abundant school year!
We may impose upon you again from time to time more granular short surveys. We will try not to often.