Distance Learning Updates
MOST RECENT UPDATES ON OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
An Update From The Board
MAY 12TH, 2020
Seven Peaks Families,
It feels like a lifetime ago when we announced the closure of our building in response to what was then an emerging public health crisis. We are very proud of the principled decision Dr. Sam Adams and the administrative team made to execute our building closure when they did. The team put safety first, for the SPS Community and our greater Central Oregon community. Following that decision, our faculty and staff demonstrated extraordinary commitment and urgency to get our students back to learning. The transition to distance learning is not trivial. For most schools this transition took weeks. Seven Peaks accomplished this transition over a weekend and one day. This took heroic efforts and we are so grateful.
To our entire faculty and staff, thank you!
We would also like to recognize you, the families of Seven Peaks. You have shown compassion. You have shown patience. You have engaged in providing timely, actionable feedback. Moreover, you have helped us sustain and grow who we are as a school community. Every week we see or hear of incredible acts of kindness and support that you are showing each other, our students, and our faculty and staff. Thank you for all your support.
The primary responsibility of the Board is safeguarding the mission, vision and values of our school. Our mission is to inspire a lifelong love of learning in our students, to enable our children to thrive in a complex world, and to challenge them within a safe and nurturing community.
In a time when daily, face-to-face interactions are not possible, our mission does not change. We adapt. Sam is keeping us informed of how our teachers continue to inspire a love of learning in our students. We are learning how COVID-19 has created unique opportunities for our students to learn how to thrive in a complex and interconnected world. The modeling Seven Peaks has provided in how we deal with, and persevere through, adversity is a testament to who we are as a community. Perhaps most difficult is maintaining a safe and nurturing community when we’re required to distance ourselves—but even there we’re making progress every day. It was great to see so many friendly faces in the virtual talent show, the Car Rally on Wednesday was affirming, our students have become proficient in navigating Zoom and Google Meet to interact with their classmates despite the distance, and I know more creative ideas are in process. In short, we have much to boast about as a school community and the Board is confident the mission is being fulfilled.
A question we hear often is, “What will next fall look like?” The answer is, no one knows, but we’ll be open and prepared for the many possibilities. Dr. Adams, our incoming Head of School, and the faculty are spending considerable time thinking about different scenarios. As we get better at distance learning, we get better at teaching. Our faculty are always engaged in a process of honing their craft, and presently much of that focus is on how we can deliver academic excellence regardless of what comes next. You will hear more from Sam on this subject in the coming weeks.
The other primary responsibility of the Board is the fiscal health of the school. While we understand the current economic environment is challenging in some way for most all of us, we are glad to report that enrollment season continues despite the challenges. We continue to receive new inquiries and are finding innovative ways to demonstrate the strengths of this school.
There are two things you can do to help us right now: first, If you have not yet submitted your contract—please do so immediately. If you have special circumstances, please reach out to Sam or Tracy Jenson who are eager to help you. Second, please continue to tell your friends about our amazing school—a place where academic excellence is still being pursued and achieved, every single day. We will continue to be the educational leader in Central Oregon.
Rest assured, we are confident in the future of Seven Peaks.
We completed important strategic financial goals this year, successfully eliminating debt and rebuilding cash reserves through the extraordinary generosity of parents and grandparents. Paul, Sam, and the team have grown revenues through increased in-year enrollment and the launching of our preschool. During the listening sessions in early March, we shared that Paul and Sam successfully built a balanced 2020-2021 budget based on conservative enrollment projections that was adopted by the board in February. But most importantly, our confidence comes from you and your commitment to this community and this school.
We are here with you—as parents, persevering through the many challenges we all face daily. But Seven Peaks is a bright spot in all our lives.
Brent, Kristy, Tom, Ellie, Jeff, Michele and Kristine
We welcome your questions and comment firstname.lastname@example.org .
An Note From The Associate Head of School
APRIL 8TH, 2020
At Seven Peaks School, along with every other school in our nation, we have had to make significant changes due to the current Corona Virus pandemic. Above everything else we are committed to the safety of our students, our staff and our community. We see ourselves to be a part of the local, national and global effort to reduce the impact of this pandemic; to minimize the stress on local health care providers and hospitals, to minimize it’s impact on the most vulnerable in our community, and to minimize the extent to which we ourselves are effected by illness.
Now the most significant decision that we have made along these lines, is to close our building to classroom instruction and move all of our education online. As we continue to make decisions in respect to school closures, we are listening to what best practices are within the educational community. Assessing our unique situation here in Bend, and paying close attention to federal, state and local guidelines.
We are especially paying close attention to directions coming from our governor and from the Oregon Health Authority. We are also watching closely to what the Oregon Department of Education and the Bend-LaPine school district are doing to respond to the crisis.
At Seven Peaks we remain focused on continuing to provide a world-class education while with compassion and empathy looking after the social and emotional needs of our students and their families. All of the design thinking, innovation and problem solving we teach our students in their classes, we are using ourselves every day to keep the learning going through distance learning.
Through all of this, we remain committed to our school family. We are concerned about the health and wellbeing of our students, their families and our community. So stay healthy. Stay safe and stay home. One day, hopefully soon, we will be back together again in our school, in our classes, and we will appreciate all that we have in a new and deeper way.