Our teachers met today in person today and over and over video. We announced that Elmwood will be closed until after Spring Break. This is a lot to process for all of us.
I, Sara, wanted to share a conversation I had with my daughter earlier this morning, as I explained that yes, even the teachers would now be staying at home, in their “healthy circles”, just like our family. Camila was in disbelief, feeling before, like we were a bit alone. But, I explained (as I hope you will to your children) that Elmwood isn’t just a building. Elmwood is anywhere there are Elmwood people; anywhere we’re thinking about our Elmwood friends, singing Elmwood songs, playing Elmwood games. Elmwood is a great big community and we’re not in the building but Elmwood is more than a building. She responded, “Oh, I get it. So like Elmwood is here with us? And at their houses too? And at my friends’?” I hope you can find a way to convey to your children, and we will support you in this effort, that Elmwood is still with us even if we are not all together for a while.
It is in this spirit that our teachers met and planned ways to engage and connect with your children over the coming weeks. We have put some fun, learning activities together, which we’ll share online later in the weekend. These are, of course, entirely optional and only meant to help provide age-appropriate enrichment opportunities for your child. In addition to activity pages you’ll be able to download for your child, we are exploring other ways to keep in touch with you and your children such as through Zoom or a similar platform. Our hope is to use Zoom to meet live as large and small groups, as well as to share pre-recorded programming for children that feels familiar, reassuring, and fun. We know that what we share in the coming days and over the next few weeks will not replace school, but we are trying our best. Please remind your children frequently that we love them and continue to care about them. We welcome your emails and and anything that the children would like to share with us such as photos, drawings and videos. We will answer each email and look forward to hearing from you frequently. You may want to spend time looking at Smug Mug photos. The teachers are beginning to upload photos to the March album. If you don’t see any or many there yet, they’re on their way!
At home, routines, structure and having a schedule will be helpful for the children as well as parents. It will be good for all of us to get outside very regularly, enjoy the beautiful weather and play. We know sometimes we’ll all need to turn to screens to break up the day and get our own work done. With that in mind, we’d like to recommend some excellent online experiences. Khan Academy Kids is an amazing free resource for children through first grade. The regular Khan Academy is a wonderful resource for older children and adults. Letter School is also a valuable resource. Daniel Tiger frequently calms children and reassures them about life struggles. Toca Boca Trains is a delight.
Our hearts are deeply saddened at the thought of the difficult days that may be ahead for everyone. We want to support and help you. We welcome your questions and thoughts and we are looking forward to seeing you as soon as possible.
We’ll write to you soon to share links and details. In the meantime please know the entire Elmwood community is in our hearts and minds and that together we will get through this.
Lori, Sara, and Jane