This message contains important information. Please read through the entire letter.
Dear Wornick Community,
Wow, I am so filled with energy and inspiration after seeing you all for Kabbalat Shabbat a short while ago. The fact that we are able to gather together three times a week as a school joined by our parents, students, professional community members, and even some grandparents across the country is remarkable. I love that we are able to honor and recognize important life cycle moments like birthdays, and of course Bnei Mitzvah as we did for Rebecca this Thursday, who read her Torah portion beautifully, is so special. I continue to hear from so many of you about the appreciation you have for our teachers who continue to grow and innovate in their remote learning instruction. This past week, we made the choice to increase the number of synchronous hours in our TK-5 program and we will continue to evaluate the best way to educate our students remotely for as long as this process lasts. Please understand that the execution of this learning mode is iterative. We are reflecting daily with our teachers on how to best educate our students while balancing our teachers' changing needs and challenges, as their lives also change and are impacted by the situation.
As many of you may have seen, a number of announcements were made this week from the State Superintendent's Office and the Governor, that indicated schools would be closed through the end of the school year and would only reopen in the fall. While we understand that this scenario is likely and we may not have control over when school will reopen, we are not yet ready to make that announcement. We are going to continue to evaluate the situation over Passover break, and will plan to make that decision shortly thereafter.
Many of you have reached out to us about the security of the Zoom platform for our weekly Tefillah gatherings. Over the past few weeks, we have shifted our security to not allow any participants to share their screen and began using the waiting room feature to approve each additional participant. Starting next week, we will be adding unique passwords to each Zoom invitation. These passwords will be emailed out the evening before each event, please look out for them in your email. We feel secure in our use of Zoom with these safety precautions in place. Additionally, in contrast to other schools, we have not made our invitations public or available on our website, beyond our Google calendar, which requires a subscription.
Thank you to the many of you who filled out the remote learning survey last weekend. Many of you expressed interest in having your students continue learning over Passover break. We understand that this break will be different from all other breaks, and your students will not be able to engage in the regular activities that they might on any other holiday break. We also feel strongly that we need to give our educators a much deserved respite. They have been working around the clock since our remote learning started and they need to rest during this break. We have, however, worked with our educators to create optional learning activities and to curate resources for your students to engage in self-directed learning this time. Our Jewish Studies team has also prepared a folder with Passover activities for your family to engage in over the Holiday break. Please look out for both of those resources early next week.
This past week during Tefillah we recognized the kindness of a member of our community who organized food and masks for health care workers at a hospital where one of our parents worked. The initiative is part of a larger kindness recognition project that Wornick's Student Council had planned to launch before school closed in March. We are naming this recognition the "Lamed Vavnik" award. Lamed Vav is the Hebrew numerical equivalent of 36 corresponding to the Jewish notion that in every generation there are 36 righteous people who sustain the world. If you would like to nominate a Lamed Vavnik for coming weeks, please email email@example.com.
Finally, we would like to remind you all that our school counselor Sara Calonico will be offering a session for parents via Zoom this Sunday, April 5th from 7-8pm. We will send out a reminder via email with the password to all Wornick parents on Sunday in the early afternoon.
Wishing you all a restful and peaceful Shabbat,