WE GOT THIS
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Two weeks have passed since that sunny Thursday on the playground when I told Assistant Head of School Tiffany Price that I planned to do what any sensible 60-something would do – stay home starting Monday.
“Sorry,” I explained sheepishly, “but I don’t want to take any chances.”
Tiffany looked at me with a wry smile. “Don’t worry,” she replied. “We just heard that the governor is about to announce a total school closure starting next week.”
Just like that everything got real. Not that the shutdown came as a total shock. We all thought it was just a matter of time. But now, that time was, well, now.
News flash. At that moment no school was fully prepared – not even close -- to respond to an indefinite shutdown due to coronavirus.
Seabury School was no exception. Yes, we were monitoring the situation closely, asking questions and making plans, but suddenly the sense of urgency was cranked to 10.
Head of School Sandi Wollum called a quick meeting of the lower school faculty and staff to formally break the news and outline our next steps. As she spoke, an e-mail was on its way to every Seabury family.
A short time later students gathered in the multi-purpose room, where Sandi told them that the next day -- Friday -- would be our last day together for the foreseeable future.
A few kids whispered, “Yesssss,” at the thought of an early spring break, but a few also cried because Seabury is a school where they feel comfortable and supported as individuals with unique abilities and needs. Despite our assurances that the shutdown is temporary, they didn’t want to miss a single day.
Friday was a blur. Teachers huddled, copiers hummed and students let off steam with a game of dodge ball as we prepared to send them home to become instant pioneers in
Pre-K through Grade 8 distance learning – not an easy assignment when no one has ever made the journey and no one knows how long it will last.
Monday came quickly and the next few days were filled with hammering out the framework for a new educational norm.
Fast forward to today and the first entry in a new blog that will connect, inform and – if possible – entertain the Seabury community during this worldwide challenge.
Think of this blog as a humble version of the Journals of Lewis and Clark – minus the grizzly bears. In the days ahead we will share the successes, challenges and unique experiences of our teachers, students and families at both campuses.
This is a daunting moment in history, but here’s my take. Times like these demand out-of-the-box thinking. We are Seabury. We got this.