Things Come in Packages-March 22, 2020

Things Come in Packages-March 22, 2020

Dear UMA Families,

Things come in packages. The coronavirus pandemic has reminded me of this perspective of duality multiple times over the past several days. Just this last week, my wife excitedly came back into the house after a late dog walk and yelled “You two need to come out and see the sky!” It was 9:00 pm and I was trying to quiet my brain but something in her voice made me believe this was necessary. I met my daughter at the stairs and we both rushed outside to the driveway. Soon, the four of us (the dog just followed) were standing underneath the birch tree staring out at Venus as it burned brilliantly in the western sky. It was hard to believe for a moment that it was natural. I remember pausing and thinking, “I am so glad we are doing this. When was the last time the three of us looked at the stars?” We remained out there several more minutes in awe of Venus. The brief reprieve from COVID 19 news was welcome and I imagine I am not alone in appreciating the slowdown of some things while other things have sped up. I have noticed how more families seem to be gathering together. You also may have also taken note of the neighbors who now walk in groups around the block. Families or friends of three to nine, couples whether parent & child, friends, or partners, and even solo walkers have chosen to get some fresh air and remember that Spring doesn’t wait for a virus to flatten it’s curve. Nature may be a healthy spot for us all.  As a former biology teacher who asked his students to observe signs of seasonal change, I have been waiting for my own first robin sighting. I imagine the dog and I will catch our first glimpse soon. Although the uncertainty may have created stresses for you and your family, we hope that there have been periods of rest and relief as well. UMA social workers have created a resource page should you be looking for some assistance with specific concerns. Our staff think of you often and our school is moving forward with the launch of distance learning for April 6th. Our school will be here when you return.

-Arslan Aziz

A summary of some recents news:

  • Distance learning will begin April 6th (students should look for emails from teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff this week and from last week). Although responding to messages is not required, it does help us test the system for proper connectivity.
  • We will post specifics about distance learning this Friday, March 27 on our website and will also email specifics as well.
  • Quarter 3 ends March 26th (If your student had missing assignments before the school closure, they should consider emailing their teacher).
  • Distance learning will stay in effect until the Governor’s Executive Order is officially changed.
  • If you are an emergency worker and have an UMA student who is 12 or younger, you are eligible for school based care. Please contact Amy Elverum (amy.elverum@umissacademy.org) or Arslan Aziz (arslan.aziz@umissacademy.org) for more info. Please check if your job qualifies on this page.

Please reach out to us with any assistance needs you may have.

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