Letters From Dan 11/10/2020

Good Afternoon,

Recently, I had a conversation with a newly retired colleague. He related an experience he had over the summer. Apparently, while in the grocery store, he saw the back to school items and was overcome with emotion. For the first time, in over forty years, while everyone else was anticipating the new school year he was not and although he is enjoying retirement there was a definite feeling of nostalgia as well as fondness for his former life in education. Even to his surprise, a little sadness because he was not going back to school this year.

The beginning of the school year is a time of anticipation. There is always a lot to do before settling into the routine. We consider all we hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. We think about our teachers, our friends, and our community and now we do all of that with the added consideration of COVID and keeping everyone safe.

This week we had all our students who elected for face to face instruction back on campus. It was wonderful to see everyone. We are also currently working with about a third of our families online. Students are interacting both face to face and online and we are so happy that we have arrived at this point in the year. Moving forward, we hope to continue improving the curriculum, our communication, and the sense of community that is so fundamental to the Montessori curriculum.

I want to express my appreciation to our parents. For your patience, grace, and courtesy. Our staff for their extraordinary work and flexibility. Our board of trustees for their unwavering support and insight. As we move into what we are calling “new normal” I want to make you aware of a few items.

The positivity rate is now below 5% which is great news. The health department and our school strongly encourage everyone to continue to socially distance. We also still need to mask and perform frequent hand hygiene. MSSA will continue to emphasize everyday cleaning of the facilities as well as encouraging outdoor classroom experiences.

In The Dispatch you will see a school metric that we will keep updated on our web site. We will be tracking our daily health screening, attendance, COVID tests, as well as confirmed cases in our school when they arise. It is crucial that everyone keep up with the daily wellness check. We will be monitoring the health data from the city and comparing it to our own school statistics. As we stay vigilant in our safety protocols and monitor our school’s health through wellness check, we hope to keep everyone safe and keep MSSA open.

Once again, I want to reiterate how wonderful it is for all of us here at MSSA to be working with your children. We are so happy to be back in school and with your patience and persistence we will continue your children’s Education for a Lifetime.

Be Well,

Dan Ahlstrom

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