Over the last two months, I have watched you encounter unprecedented challenges, navigate previously unthinkable scenarios, and realize incredible achievements despite tremendous obstacles. Teachers transitioned curriculums on a dime, parents heroically handled the collision of their personal and professional lives, and students learned class content as well as courage, caring, and balance, attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives. With God’s help and through His grace, our community has not just survived, but in many senses thrived in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Perseverance is nothing new to Monte Vista Christian School. In August, our school will begin its 95th year. MVC persevered through the Great Depression, World War II, and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Through it all, dedicated faculty and staff have served faithfully here at 2 School Way, and thousands of lives have been transformed as a result. Whether flying airplanes, picking apples, milking cows, learning in the classroom, singing in the choir, or playing sports, generations of students have been known and loved here because Christ is our foundation, and relationships are central to our mission.
As we close this school year and look to the next, MVC is doubling-down on our commitment to this Christ-centered relational educational model that has stood the test of time. Our leaders are actively preparing for the fall. We fully recognize that innovation and flexibility will be more crucial than ever as we focus on relationships and empower learners to achieve their highest potential through Christ-centered excellence – in whatever circumstance we find our school.
It is our intention and desire to be back on campus in August. I have commissioned four task forces – Safety, Health & Wellness; Learning & Educational Models; Communications & Community Care; and Family Satisfaction & Value – to prepare MVC to reopen for in-person learning. Because we cannot predict what health and safety conditions will allow, each task force will develop specific plans related to their area of responsibility using a four-level model for operational modalities.
Safety, Health & Wellness
Now more than ever, we must ensure that those who walk our campus experience physical, emotional, and spiritual safety while in our care. This task force will implement and provide ongoing oversight for policies and procedures necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have already begun to analyze the following areas:
- Physical distancing and capacity issues
- Cleanliness and sanitation
- Health screening and preventative measures
- Faculty and staff training and care
Learning & Educational Models
Because COVID-19 may cause further interruptions to our learning environment, we must prepare for a variety of scenarios. This task force will explore options to provide flexibility for all school families. For some, there is significant anxiety about returning to campus; for others, there is fear that we might be remote. Rest assured MVC will plan for all options and remain flexible to meet the needs of our students. This task force will:
- Prepare for both in-person and remote online learning
- Design support for Residence Life students temporarily unable to re-enter the U.S.
- Continue pursuit of International Baccalaureate authorization
Communications & Community Care
Vibrant community requires clear and consistent communication. This task force will grapple with questions like:
- How do we maintain connection with our families and students in an uncertain world?
- How do we meet the emotional, spiritual, academic, and relational needs of our students?
Family Satisfaction & Value
Each family makes a financial commitment to send their student(s) to MVC because they value the uniquely excellent experience our school offers. This task force will maintain the high return on investment parents have come to expect from our school by examining our:
- Athletics Program
- Fine Arts Program
- Overall student experience
We welcome parent and student representation on these task forces where feasible and invite you to email Gretchen Cortes to express interest. We are, indeed, all learners and must come together as a community to find solutions that ensure our students an excellent educational experience in the midst of these unprecedented times.
More details about the four levels of operation and each task force’s work will be available as we move through the summer. We understand your need for information as you plan for next year, and will work diligently to provide that, even as we await information from federal, state, and local officials.
Students and parents, we thank you in advance for your patience and your trust. Faculty and staff, we are grateful for the hard work you have already done and the preparations to which you will dedicate yourselves in the weeks and months ahead.
Parents, if you have questions or need assistance prior to MVC’s June 1 deadline for commitment for the upcoming year, please reach out to me or Nikki Daniels. We are prepared to work with families on a case-by-case basis to do everything in our power to keep MVC united as we look with hope to the future.
After months spent missing the sights and sounds of life that only our students can bring, I personally cannot wait to welcome you back to campus in August. Until then, we are praying for you, we are here to help you, and we wish you peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mitchell Salerno, Ed.D.
Head of School