Dear All Saints’ community,
We are thrilled about joining All Saints’ as your new Head of School and Associate Head of School in July. We want to thank all of the students, teachers, staff, parents, and Board members who took the time to meet with us during each of our visits over the past few months. We especially appreciated the opportunities to meet with you all during the Open House in January, our visit to the campus together in February where we spent some time in classrooms getting to know children and teachers, and the special 60th anniversary gala. We are grateful for the warmth and generous spirit we have received from both adults and children, and we are proud to consider ourselves Crusaders!
Over the past several months we have been getting to know more about All Saints’ and preparing for a transition of leadership. Joan Pennstrom’s institutional knowledge, along with her wisdom as an educator, and commitment to All Saints’ have been essential to our collaborative desire for a seamless transition. We have also had the opportunity to be a part of a larger community of independent schools in preparation of the important planning for the reopening of schools in the fall. The reflections and insights from both the parent distance learning and faculty feedback surveys have been an invaluable piece to our planning as well.
We have established a re-entry task force committee composed of school leadership, Board members, and medical professionals, who are all working diligently to develop a strategy that allows for flexibility, transparency and prioritizes the health and safety of our community. We are beginning to prepare the physical campus to support students in the fall and we will keep you informed as we finalize plans based upon updated information and public health guidelines. We understand and agree that:
- Reducing health risks is essential. All Saints’ remains committed to the safety of our community. The projection is that COVID-19 may still be “active” in South Carolina at some level when school begins. As a result we must be particularly vigilant in keeping the school sanitized and monitoring and protecting everyone’s health. We are beginning to acquire supplies now including disinfecting products, masks/face coverings, and instant-read thermometers for temperature checks. We are exploring upgrading our water fountains to water stations and our HVAC systems to filter out and kill more bacteria and viruses. We are measuring spaces to ensure the possibilities of social distancing. We are also exploring the idea of keeping a group of students in a single cluster throughout their day to limit cross-contact with other students. As we gain a clearer view of the landscape, we will communicate the final protocols that will be put in place.
- In-person education is our preferred method of meeting the needs of our students and school community. We will be prepared for the possible need for flexibility within our schedule and school calendar.
- Technology is becoming more and more essential to in-person learning and distance learning. In order to prepare faculty for the possibilities that next year might bring, we plan to spend time this summer working on how to best present our curriculum in a meaningful and effective way no matter the circumstances. All classroom teachers will take a Google Level 1 training course this summer. In addition, classroom teachers will also receive professional development in additional instructional technology tools. The technology fee this year will help us institute 1:1 devices in 1st-6th Grade. Following the recommendations from our re-entry task force committee, All Saints’ will prepare for any possible interruption to on campus learning. It is important to remember that distance learning will not change our school’s mission of learning, growing, and leading. We will continue to educate the whole child, encourage the pursuit of individual passions, promote life balance, build confidence, encourage play as the foundation of learning, and provide multi-sensory learning experiences. The All Saints’ model will blend daily synchronous (live) instruction with asynchronous (accessible anytime) instruction with a schedule intentionally designed to provide a school/life balance, mindfulness, daily reading, writing, and mathematics.
- Flexibility will be essential. In a rapidly changing situation, the most successful academic program and school will be agile. The COVID-19 situation is changing so quickly that a decision made in June may be outdated in August. We will continue making decisions with any new information received and appreciate your continuing support and understanding as we navigate this new reality.
We look forward to working with the All Saints’ community to fulfill the mission of the school and sustain the school’s great strengths, traditions, and commitments to education, while at the same time working collaboratively to continue to build and grow for the future. All Saints’ is here not only to provide a sense of continuity of learning for your child(ren), but also to provide a strong and safe community for your entire family. We feel honored to have been selected as your next Head of School and Associate Head of School, and we look forward to beginning our work together.
With sincerest and warmest regards,
Evan Powell, Head of School
Ashley Stokes, Associate Head of School