Little did we know when we locked up the doors on Friday, March 13, 2020 that they would remain closed for the rest of school year 2020 and all of school year 2020-21. At first we thought we would reopen after 2 weeks. When we realized that this was not the case, we began to post lessons on our Facebook page and our YouTube channel in an effort to stay connected to our families and children. We hosted several drive-by visits in the spring of 2020. CECDS staff and Father Mark waited on the driveway in front of the school as car after car filled with our precious families drove by with signs and lots of virtual hugs and kisses. There were tears shed in the cars and by the staff as the realization of our separation came into focus.
The school year ended with a parking lot graduation ceremony that although different from our traditional ceremonies, was filled with enthusiastic car honking and happy families and staff as we rejoiced in being together again. The American flag proudly flew above the graduation ceremony, courtesy of the KIVFD.
There were many Zoom Board meetings as we tried to make plans for the year ahead. We all felt it necessary to survey our families to determine comfort level and expectations going forward. In an effort for complete transparency, we held an outdoor masked meeting with parents, staff, Board and Father Mark at Camp Wright on June 22, 2020. Everyone’s ideas and concerns were discussed and taken into consideration for the planning of school year 2020-21.
The Board continued to meet and discuss various options while assessing MSDE and QAC Board of Education guidelines. On July 25th after much study, prayer and with heavy hearts, the Board, Father Mark Delcuze and I decided to suspend the school year for Fall 2020. The letter to our CECDS parents stated the following:
This decision was made from love. We care too deeply for our children, families, staff and community to risk opening for normal school operations.
We have considered and evaluated a virtual learning program. However the cost of providing one is not fiscally viable nor does it honor our values. We strongly feel that virtual learning is developmentally inappropriate for preschool children.
Truly loving requires making difficult decisions and this one is heartbreaking. As Kent Island’s original preschool, school year 2020-21 marks our 50th year of operation and it is bittersweet. We will miss you all so much.
We returned all down payments and tuitions that were paid for school year 2020-21. Our school was facing serious financial challenges due to the pandemic. The generous donations from families and the assistance of Christ Church Parish KI allowed us to meet our financial obligations. We are so blessed and grateful for this support.
We look forward to a new school year beginning September 8, 2021. All classes are 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. New for this year is online application and payment on our updated website. We will employ every practice and procedure necessary to ensure the health of our staff and students, as well as their families.
If you are not on our e-mail contact list and would like information on upcoming activities, please join our list by clicking here. We wait with patience for the time we can be back together again.