March 20 Parent Update

SALESIANUM COVID-19 UPDATE
Friday, March 20, 2020


Dear Parents,

Over the break, we have been refining our Extended Closure and Distance Learning Plan, in effect when school resumes remotely on Monday, March 23. We will share an updated plan with parents and students this weekend. Once posted, it will be important for your son to familiarize himself with the plan and understand the new academic responsibilities he will need to maintain until school reopens.

This shift to distance learning will be a significant change for both students and teachers, requiring flexibility, adaptability, and persistence from all. Everyone will need to work through the inevitable growing pains and expect some trial and error. We will evaluate and revise our practice each week based on feedback, but also want to avoid making constant changes. Expect a weekly update for as long as we remain out of school, like apps being updated on your phone that address system bugs.

We are also exploring new ways to communicate with parents. Using Zoom, we will host an online Sales Talk Live for parents on Wednesday, March 25, at 7:00 PM. I look forward to addressing any questions or comments you may have at that time.

As of today, our extended closure is until March 30. But as the health crisis deepens, it is clear we must all begin to prepare for the distinct possibility of a longer disruption to the school year. As we begin to work through these challenges and disappointments, I know that we will get through this together. 

COVID-19 REPORTING: STUDENT AND FAMILY HEALTH
In the interests of public health and the well-being of our school community, if your son has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this information confidentially to our School Nurse, Suzanne Mansi, at smansi@salesianum.org

STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Our concern for your son extends beyond his academic progress. Over the break, our staff has been discussing ways to provide remote support for students dealing with mental health and wellness concerns while school is closed. Students who were struggling with depression or anxiety before our closure will continue to receive support; students who are encountering new difficulties will have opportunities to reach out. More details will be forthcoming during the upcoming week.

SCHOOL CLOSURE AND EXTRACURRICULAR/ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES
Salesianum will be closed until at least Monday, March 30. This closure includes the cancellation of all extracurricular activities, athletic practices and games, school and alumni events, overnight student retreats, and trips. SALSTHON, which had been scheduled for March 28, has been canceled as well.I have received a number of questions about the possibility of rescheduling games, and other events. Please know, as with all aspects of his education, we are committed to providing your son with every opportunity he has earned and looked forward to. 

COLLEGE PROCESS, ACT AND SAT CANCELLATIONS, AP TESTING
With campuses closing, college fairs and visits with college reps are being postponed. The DAIS College Night on Wednesday, April 22, has officially canceled.
 
Standardized tests are canceling spring dates, including the ACT on April 4 and the SAT on May 2. In-person AP exams in May have also been canceled; we encourage all AP students to plan on taking the at-home tests that will be offered by the College Board, which likely will come with modified expectations.Here are the links with additional information on each of the standardized testing options:
One test-prep center has passed on a link for a free service for those interested:
LIVESTREAM MASS 
To help those looking for a spiritual home during challenging times, Salesianum will be offering Mass on Sundays and selected weekdays via our Livestream channel, vimeo.com/WSAL.
FINANCIAL IMPACT
One of our chief concerns at school is the serious financial challenges many families will face in the coming weeks and months. If your family is experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak and related impact on your business, livelihood, and savings, be assured not only of our prayers but also our determination to help. Our president, Brendan Kennealey, is leading the way in this effort and more communication about how we will prioritize the needs of our families, faculty, and staff will be coming soon. In the meantime, please contact our CFO, Michael Drake, at mdrake@salesianum.org, with any urgent concerns or questions.
 
TECH AND WiFi RESOURCES
For students and families who do not have consistent and reliable home internet access, Comcast is providing their “internet essentials” package free of charge for two months due to COVID-19. For more information, go to www.internetessentials.com or call Comcast 1-800-COMCAST.
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Be sure to check our COVID-19 School Resource Page for updates. School may be closed, but Salesianum is a community, not a building! Let us continue to pray for our nation, the world, and one another. We will get through this together. 

Tenui nec dimittam,
Fr. J. Christian Beretta, OSFS
Principal