This message contains important information. Please read through the entire letter.
Dear Wornick Community,
As we approach Shabbat, I am reflecting on how long the last week has felt. There is a Midrash about the Biblical verse describing God finishing creating the world on the seventh day that I love.
Rabbi asked Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosi, "Tell me a tradition from your father. What is the meaning of 'God finished on the seventh day'?" He said to him, "It is like this: He strikes with a hammer on the anvil. He raises it while it is still day, and brings it down once it becomes dark." Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai said, "Flesh and blood, who knows not his moments, times and units of measurement, must add from the ordinary onto the holy, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, who knows from His moments, times and units of measurement, enters Shabbat as a strand of hair."
I personally experience the world moving at two different speeds right now. The global dynamics of the way this virus is impacting our world is moving at a remarkable speed. At the same time, the inner workings of our community and life at home feels like it has slowed down considerably. It feels like weeks have past since we were all together in the Wornick building as a community.
Like many of you, I have been tuning into the news and heard Governor Gavin Newsom's comments about the likelihood of school being closed for the remainder of the school year. I have spoken with our local county officials and have received no order to keep our building closed through the remainder of the school year. As of now, we have only made the decision to keep our building closed through Passover Break. As soon as we have news of an updated timeline and the criteria we will use to reopen the school, we will let you know.
Our remote learning program kicked off this Wednesday to the great credit of our entire professional community and especially due to the hard work of Corine Brouwer, Nicole Haire, and Jamil Pura, who poured hours into customizing a program to each grade level. Thank you to the many of you who have shared your appreciation for our teachers and staff who have demonstrated resilience, creativity, and dedication, by constructing meaningful learning programs for each of our students.
We also know how challenging it has been for you all, and especially to parents of our students in younger grades, to support and organize your students' lives in this new world. First of all, thank you parents for becoming partners in your students' education with us overnight. We are in awe of the way you are juggling your many responsibilities in these times. We also know that our remote learning plan will need tweaks and adjustments. We are giving our program a full week to run and we will consider making some adjustments once we have gone through a full cycle of our plan.
With the disruptions to in-person classroom learning, we want to keep our focus on making remote learning work and allowing our students and teachers to get into a routine. As such, we will not be having our parent-teacher conferences on Thursday and Friday of next week, as scheduled. We will reevaluate the timing for parent-teacher conferences before Passover and report back to you then. If you have a particular question or concern, please don't hesitate to communicate directly with your students' teachers. They will be happy to set a time to speak with you in the next week to discuss your student.
Gesher and Hot Lunch Charges
For those families who prepaid for their student's "hot lunch," we will be refunding families for the month of April. We will also be stopping automatic charges for those of you who are automatically billed for Gesher each month until school re-opens.
With that said, during this time, Wornick has made the decision to continue to pay our main contractors who support our lunch and Gesher programs. If you are able to support our contractors by continuing to make these payments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our school would greatly appreciate it.
Communal Meeting Times - Grandparents are welcome to join!
We have been blessed to meet virtually in community three times a week, on Monday for Havdallah, on Thursday for all school Tefillah, and on Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat. These have personally been some of the more moving and meaningful moments in my life since our school building has closed. It has been a source of inspiration to see you all on video for these times. Please find our zoom invitations on our Wornick main calendar and in your students' google calendars for next week's communal times as well. You are welcome to provide the link to grandparents as we would love to have more intergenerational connections during these times.
As COVID-19 cases grow in our area, I'm increasingly aware of the ways in which all of our lives will be impacted. Now more than ever is when we need one another. Now more than ever is when we need community. Please let us know how we can help or how your family is impacted. We will be brainstorming ways that we can all continue to support each other.
Lastly, I recorded a video of a Jewish custom from my family's tradition that will take place this weekend. You are welcome to watch the video or read the article I co-authored about it, and try the custom out at home.
Wishing you all a Shabbat full of peace and health,