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Head of School Update: Nov 23, 2020

Dear Friends,

My thanks to all who participated in the recent survey regarding your upcoming holiday gathering and travel plans; the results are very helpful and serve to further inform my colleagues and me about our upcoming school/instructional schedule.

Based on the survey results and the number of families who’ve completed student Leave of Absence forms for the Thanksgiving break (that would not be reflected in the survey) - and mindful of the Governor’s recent announcements concerning holiday travelsocial gatherings, etc., (along with media reports of extended delays in receiving COVID-19 test results) I think it prudent to modify Villa’s instructional schedule in December and January:

• During the week of December 14 - 18, all instruction for grades K-8 will be conducted remotely (preschool instruction & after-care will remain in person as previously planned; those who are interested in Remote Learning Supervision for their student during this week, should connect with Emma Hodgson, EDP Director).

• During the week of January 4 - 8, 2021, neither remote nor in-person classes will be scheduled; during this week, all students (preschool - 8th grade) will be provided asynchronous, independent and optional enrichment activities to work on while Villa Academy’s faculty will use the time to review/modify and confirm learning plans, instructional schedules and student management protocols for additional in-person/on-campus learning to begin in January.  This delay in our return to classes should also provide an opportunity for COVID-19 testing following the Christmas break for those who've traveled, etc.

• More specific details for the Preschool, Lower School and Middle School will be provided by the Division Directors in early December.

I understand and appreciate that there are many and varying opinions and viewpoints concerning Washington’s recently modified COVID-19 guidelines; Governor Inslee’s advice regarding social gatherings; the data regarding the safety of schools, etc. Much of this has been shared directly or indirectly with me from official agencies, parents, colleagues, et al.; I try and take it all in and, along with my colleagues, we do our best to act with the common good in mind.  Your partnership and support in this venture are invaluable to us - Thank You!

To say that 2020 has been “difficult” would be a monumental understatement; however, despite the challenges we’ve all endured - producing a range of strong emotions - I hope that we’ll all be able to look back and say that, because of these challenges, we’ve grown in our sense of empathy and perspective - and remain committed to one another and to this community.

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