From the Director: Checking in during Spring Break

Given the dynamically changing situation, we are more motivated than ever to stay connected as the USN community. Here is what is on our minds. Director Vince Durnan shared the following column in the USN Newsletter sent Wednesday, March 18.
Dear USN families and faculty,
Here’s the next in a series of updates that I anticipate will come your way at least weekly. Hard to identify this as Spring Break given all that’s transpiring and disorienting with each new day, but staying connected with our school community offers me a welcome anchor. Such a combination of living fast and living slow. So thanks at the start here for making time to read these messages. The latest:
We continue to receive offers to help get remote learning rolling and to help households with child care challenges. Our networks of colleagues around the nation provide a wide range of perspectives and experiences on remote learning programs, and we’re thinking constantly about what will best meet needs and developmental realities across our K-12 enrollment. What’s obvious is that we’ll learn as we go, and we’ll encounter unforeseen circumstances. We’re logging all the suggestions, and we won’t be reluctant to call when needs arise. Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 are designated for faculty preparations, most likely at a distance given recent guidance, and Wednesday, March 25 we’ll start with students. Look for messages from Division Heads with all the specifics.
On the child care front, let me acknowledge both the inherent difficulty that social distancing presents and the absolute urgency of our collective commitment to do our part preventing chances for virus transmission. We know that there are lots of college students home, and we know that there are needs in homes with adults who have to get to work. What I can say is that we’re thinking through the many dimensions of this challenge and putting public health considerations first, but there’s nothing to announce just yet.
Even with our last day at school now about a week ago, the important core messages on the health front remain — regular hand washing, staying home and distanced wherever possible, and checking with your physician if you don’t feel well. It’s wisest just to recommend vigilance on your end. Certainly, there may be undiagnosed cases in our extended circles, and there are confirmed cases in the Nashville school community, many thousands strong as it is.
Let me close by saying that we’re looking for ways to help and to stay engaged in both our neighborhood and our city. Even from a distance, there may be ways we can help meet emerging needs for basic necessities and for supporting medical response teams. What I can promise is that we’re doing our best to stay in touch with agencies performing that essential work — consistent with an ongoing commitment to do our part. 
I am still an email or a phone call away, feeling like we’ll be in this together for a while.
Take care all,
Vince Durnan
    • Director Vince Durnan

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