Letter from the Principal - April 25, 2020

Letter from the Principal

April 25, 2020

Dear Community of Woods,

It was with both frustration and a heavy heart that we received Governor Cooper’s announcement this past Friday afternoon that public schools in North Carolina will stay closed for the remainder of this school year.  It is hard to think about not being back together in person – even as it makes perfectly good sense not to be back together in person.

Woods will continue distance learning through the end of this year.  As a faculty, we are thinking all the time about how we are preparing our kids – in mind and in heart – to thrive at the next level.  For the next seven weeks that will remain our focus – to do our absolute best to get our students ready for what life and school require next.

To be honest, we are, in many ways, “off our game” when it comes to remote learning.  It’s not what we were designed to do, and, in fact, it’s antithetical to many of our core strengths.  That said, we have an incredibly dedicated and creative group of educators, and if anybody - or any group - can make the best of this difficult situation, it is our Woods faculty.  We, as teachers, are learning and growing every day, and we are loving the chance – and the firm COVID-19 nudge – to experiment with, and leverage, new tech tools.  I believe we will emerge from this pandemic mess an even stronger, smarter group.

Woods is also a school that has always depended mightily on the help and support of parents.  The folks who founded Woods envisioned a school where parents felt they were a part of the place.  I think many parents right now – trying to balance their own work while assisting their child’s/children’s schoolwork – are feeling a bit too much a part of the place!  (As a parent of a current high schooler, a middle schooler, and an elementary student, I get that!)  I just want to offer deep gratitude for the grace and patience and flexibility and sweat and tears of our parents who are helping us so much at this time.  Parents and schools always need each other to be their best; that’s always been true.  I just know that right now parents are shouldering more weight than ever before, and the faculty and I are very thankful for all the ways you’re helping us in our process.

The Department of Public Instruction issued guidelines for grading during the pandemic on Friday.  Several weeks ago they provided specific instructions regarding grades for seniors but had not come to an agreement, until now, on how grades would be handled for other age groups.  A summary of their guidelines is here.

Please reach out – to your child’s teacher, division director, or me – with any and all concerns and questions you’re having.

I continue to wish peace, health, and blessings to all of the Woods community.

With hope,
Cotton Bryan

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