Today we met as faculty and staff to review our plans for the deployment of virtual learning and continuity of operations. As of early this morning, it became clear that the safety of our students, faculty, staff and greater OLP community necessitated a move to online learning and remote operations in the wake of growing concerns around the rapid spread of COVID-19 in San Diego County.
Effective immediately, the campus is closed to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, all classes will be moved to online digital learning with the hopeful expectation to return to campus Monday, April 20, 2020. You will shortly receive a separate communication regarding the academic schedule and expectations for virtual learning.
Additionally, in alignment with San Diego Unified School District Athletics, effective immediately and all athletics practices and games have been canceled.
We will continue to update parents and students via email, the Weekly Bulletin, and the OLP website. During this time of transition, you can anticipate an increase in the frequency of communication from us.
We will be using Google Meet as our primary tool for all class meetings and morning announcements from myself and Mrs. Hooper. This tool is already available through each student’s Google Suite provided by OLP and our students are familiar with it. Blackbaud will continue to be used for assignments and grading. Zoom will be used for parent virtual meetings with faculty and counselor meetings.
We recognize that we will encounter challenges along this journey, and we are ready to meet them together, as we make this switch to temporary online learning.
At OLP, we know that community is an essential part of what creates our special and unique culture. We have carefully prepared for ways to ensure that faculty, administration, staff, and counselors can still create community. It will look different. Our world today looks different. This global pandemic is forcing us to see many things through new eyes. It’s okay. We will get through this!
You chose OLP for the journey and we will walk alongside you and your daughter at this critical juncture. Our primary goal at this time is the continuity of her learning and stability. Creating routines she can count on. Ensuring she has the proper tools to access the content. This weekend, do your own home inventory of your internet access, headphones, and the ability to video conference. The students were recently sent a survey regarding their virtual learning capabilities and needs, and we have a comprehensive team ready to support successful online learning.
Our team also spent time discussing the social and emotional impact these changes could have on our girls and their learning. Counselors and Assistant Principals are here to support as well through virtual check-ins. All parent/student meetings can be scheduled via email.
As I searched for something to cling to in history to help guide us through this, I was reminded of a writing from Father Medaille and our earliest Sisters in 1650. Just shortly after the founding of our Sisters’ order in France, Father Medaille wrote what is now titled the “Eucharistic Letter” about how he envisioned the future existence of the Sisters of St. Joseph: “Our cherished Association is to be a body without a body, and if I dare say it, a congregation without a congregation, and perhaps in time, a religious order without being a religious order.” I was called to remember this as we look around and see the temporary closing of schools, ours included.
I tell you this, just as Father Medaille provided assurance all those many years ago, OLP even in a different form, will continue, for it is the relationships between faculty, staff, students, parents, alumnae and the community that is created which makes us so special. We will be a body without a body. A school not gathered on a physical campus for a time, but a school that will still empower young women in an innovative learning environment that honors the individual while fostering community and develops faith-filled leaders “dedicated to the love of God and the dear neighbor without distinction.”
We are ready, and we will journey through this together. We were brought here for this time!
May God bless you, your families and keep you safe. We pray for your health and your safety.
Dr. Lauren Lek
Head of School