Dear HSHMC families and friends,
We can't always get what we want... we want to get back to our campus. We want to physically reunite our students, staff and families. We know every one of you wants this as well. We miss each other in so many ways.
We want to return to a safe campus with reasonable confidence that we will not have to close our doors soon again. We, like many of you, watch the news to see the rise and fall in the spread of COVID 19. We see that areas of the country, including ours, show weeks of positive signs of COVID 19 containment, followed by a resurgence of the disease. We see restaurants, businesses, and even schools, opening and then being forced to close, causing untold disappointment and disruption. And we see pressure and argument from communities to reopen them again despite the fact that disease surges continue. We see people both taking precautions, such as social distancing and mask wearing, to prevent the spread; and, we see others making decisions not to do so. Most sadly, we each know people and families who have fallen ill to this terrible disease. And we know that each of us have faced major challenges adjusting our lifestyles, our jobs, our financial challenges and our learning.
Let me repeat, we want to return to a safe campus with reasonable confidence that we will not have to close our doors again. But we cannot rely on short-term positive trends in disease outbreaks, or the heavy pressure of our desires to reopen campus, or the decisions of other schools, to rush to a decision to do so. With the support of our Board of Directors, administrators, staff, and our parent advisory committee, we have committed to make any future decision to reopen campus based on a level of confidence that the surges in new outbreaks are behind us. We await the impact of effective vaccines and treatments. And when that occurs our reopening plans will be well thought out, well communicated and well organized. With current surge conditions, changes in weather and upcoming holidays that may result in families' and friends' increased contact risks, we do expect our campus to remain closed for at least the remainder of the semester. We are sharing this information to help you plan accordingly and to give you our best thinking. We promise you that we reexamine our options daily based on our commitment to consider safety first and when the time appears right to reconsider opening we will do so with readied excitement.
We can't always get what we want, but… together let us commit to try to give each other what we need. We have learned so much in the last 6 months about offering a quality education online. Our teachers are better supported and equipped. Our new attendance and reengagement teams are helping students who struggle to attend and to complete work through contacts, supports, safe home visits and contracts. Our education specialists are reinventing themselves to deliver the quality individual educational plans our students deserve. Our advisories and mentors are creating another opportunity to build relationships with each student in order to help manage the challenges of school and life. We have invested heavily in acquiring and using the best available technologies to facilitate teaching and learning. And we have tried our best to reach out to each family to make sure we address technology, social emotional or other needs that can promote student health and learning. We continue to reach out to you. How can we help? How can we better involve and inform you? How have we improved our partnerships with you and how can we do better? Please continue to inform us and connect with us through various opportunities regularly listed on our website at www.hshmc.org. We are excited to announce that we will soon be upgrading student computers and software such that the quality of what happens in our virtual classes continues to grow.
In other words, even though we are not yet ready to reopen our campus (which is what we want) our virtual online program is quickly gaining the same reputation for educational excellence and access that we earned with our campus-based program. Every student deserves the best that we can offer. We are providing a quality educational program and it is improving daily (which is what we need).
Stay safe, stay smart, stay engaged with us. Together we will better provide each other what we need.
Dr. Ian Pumpian, CEO