Messages from Marjo

Head of School Marjo TalbottMarjo Talbott
Head of School

An Update from Marjo

Dear Friends,

I hope that you are finding time this week to be on somewhat of a “spring break. I know that many of us are disappointed that our original plans for this week were abruptly suspended.

All of us are working hard to absorb the daily barrage of news and adopt new lifestyles that will slow the spread of coronavirus. Taking much needed walks through my neighborhood, I am struck by the beauty of early spring – and the quiet produced by everyone “staying at home.” Handling all the new demands is challenging, especially for those of you with young children. One way to ease that burden is by finding some special times and new ways to connect with the important people in our lives.

I am extraordinarily grateful to our teachers who initiated implementation of the Continuity of Learning plan (COL) last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We learned a number of things and are making adjustments as we prepare for the resumption of classes next Tuesday (March 31). The PowerSchool online platform did struggle last week due to heightened demand; we are evaluating other platforms for next week and will update you on any changes.

Maret’s long-term COL plan will include a number of synchronous classes and other “face-to-face” check-ins. Eric Heilman, our Director of Institutional Research, is developing various survey tools to get daily feedback from our Upper School students as well as regular feedback from parents. The Student Council is also trying to figure out ways to support all of our students, who may begin to feel increasingly isolated. I encourage you to continue checking the Faculty/Parent & Guardian portals for helpful resources.

In line with the Mayor’s decision that all D.C. Public Schools will remain closed until April 27, Maret has also decided not to resume classes until at least that date. We do not want to project further at this point because there is new information all the time, and public health experts and government officials have not yet reached a consensus on the best course of action.

I will be in touch again before next Tuesday – as will the Division Directors – in order to give you as much information as possible about the weeks ahead.

Take care,