March 12, 2020
I begin this letter with a sincere note of gratitude for each of you. I know that the unexpected closure of school earlier this week caused varied challenges for our community. I also want to acknowledge that aligning care for your children, determining what to do each day, and balancing work and family responsibilities, are significant pieces to account for. Considering the rapidly evolving nature of all before us, we are committing to being mindful of the diversity of needs and experiences for all in our community.
Our decision to close, made with deep thought and care, did not relate to a student at our school. The precautions were due to possible exposure for one adult community member to someone outside of our school, and in considering the best interests of the entire school community, we closed. Thankfully, at this moment, I can inform you that there’s been no confirmed case of COVID-19 related to anyone in our school.
Regarding your children’s academic and social/emotional experiences, during this very difficult time in our local community, nation, and world, Brooklyn Friends School is committed to providing our students a continuation of our strong academic program and providing all learning supports possible to our students, families, and one another.
For several days, colleagues have been preparing for the possibility of virtual schooling (Virtual BFS), and we are confident in our plans to continue meaningful and high-level age-appropriate instruction and engagement. We will also be ensuring that we can maintain a strong connection as a community while not physically at school. For our youngest students, we have been minding what is most appropriate for their days, and by now, you’ve seen a variety of joy-filled messages (written and via video) from the teachers who love them. Know that we will continue to evolve our offerings in such a way that they reflect all that defines our Quaker school experience.
Virtual BFS is possible due to the technology afforded to us in conjunction with “off-line” enrichment, and students and families have been and will continue to be receiving specific instructions as to how this will take place. Our teachers and students are utilizing varied tools, including the Google Suite applications as well as Zoom video. I am thankful for all teachers who are creating rich and meaningful content and continue to keep all of our children at the center of the work they do. I am also thankful for the leadership team’s effort in ensuring that they can provide the supports necessary to make this as seamless and valuable an experience as possible. Truly, ALL colleagues have stepped into this challenging time centering the students and families in our care.
Our sincere hope is to welcome you back immediately after Spring Break. However, if the situation should change for us all, and an extended closure is needed, know that we will communicate with the time and clarity necessary. Our COVID-19 response team continues to update the website with timely updates and resources.
Recognizing the flexibility that these shifting times call for and the unexpected challenges that these changes have brought your way, I/we thank you, our families and students, for your consideration and support. The might and resilience of our community is immense, and I am supremely proud. As we all enter into our official Spring Break, I hope that you are able to draw comfort from our commitment to stewarding care, for it is the highest level of compassionate care that will allow us to hold each other in Light and strength as we navigate this new challenge before us.
In partnership and holding you all in my thoughts,
Head of School