Dear Harley alumni, friends, and past parents,
I am writing to stay in touch as Harley responds to the COVID-19 crisis. We made the decision to close the school and move to remote learning last Saturday, March 14th, and at this moment we’re unsure when we will re-open the physical school. It has been both a trying and inspiring time: trying for all the obvious reasons, and inspiring in the ways you would expect Harley people to inspire.
Like many schools, we have thrown ourselves into remote learning. We are lucky in that we have a good deal of expertise and strong technical infrastructure. Remote learning requires that people have some gear, of course, and so we are offering families and teachers who need that gear some loaners from Harley, both computing equipment and hotspots. Remote learning also requires that teachers know how to use the tools, and it has been incredible to see our faculty rally to the moment. Let’s start with our dear friend, Mr. Len Wilcox:
Len, now entering the last trimester of his final (and 49th) year of teaching at Harley, installed himself yesterday afternoon in the Gallery. While Len was among those who literally ushered in the computing age at Harley, he (and others on the faculty) have not made much use of online teaching tools, so we are all working double-time to prepare to support our students through remote learning. Crises like the one we’re in now require all sorts of pitching-in and leadership; Len, by quietly-yet-publicly showing his commitment to gaining the needed skills, is setting the bar up where it needs to be. As ever.
Faculty Professional Development Work
Our faculty, led by a remote learning task force, has been hard at work for some time, gearing up for this moment. Yesterday was a full day of PD, with many people tuning in remotely, and a few coming in to wrap up their physical classrooms as we switched to digital learning. The task force has been preparing tirelessly for the past couple of weeks to develop best practices, vet the best tools for our needs, and train our faculty.
A screenshot from the MS Faculty Meeting this morning, with MS Counselor Sisi Chen presenting on Wellness-both that of the faculty themselves (crucial), and also that of our students and families.
And in this photograph, Upper School French teacher Amy Colosimo works from her classroom.
Ways Our Extended Harley Family is Helping Out
Babysitters and Tech Support from Our Alums
We have reached out to our local alumni community and have been able to pull together a nice list of alumni to babysit for our lower school families, as well as alumni to help work with our faculty and parents as we set-up our online learning. Everyone is so terrific about pitching in! One more reason to be a proud Harley alum.
Other Alumni Connections and Support
Karen Saludo, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations, is doing her usual great job reaching out to alumni, especially those who might need support during this time. If you have any news to share, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working on other ways to engage our supporters and we welcome your suggestions by emailing our Director of Development Whitney Brice at email@example.com. This community of Harley friends, alumni and parents is so strong and we know we will come out of this stronger because of the talents and support of many of you!
Horizons Food Drive
This is Horizons at Harley Executive Director Robin Mitchell and his colleagues Stephanie White and Dan Deckman, with a bounty donated by the Harley community for Horizons families. We’re helping take care of 30 people, and let’s keep it coming: there’s a doation box out front!
Watch your email for more updates.
Please keep in touch with us.