April 30, 2020
Dear WSNO Community,
I hope that you are all staying healthy and safe during this unprecedented time. It has undoubtedly been a time of rapid transition, but I want to assure you that the WSNO Board has been working closely with the Administration to support the pivot from traditional to remote learning.
We are incredibly proud of our Faculty for rolling out remote learning strategies for EC and Grades. The teachers have been fantastic in their flexibility and determination to adapt to this new landscape. To adapt to this new way of teaching, they have been recording video lessons, receiving and responding to dozens of emails daily, in addition to planning curriculum and assessing student progress. Despite challenges, they have been committed to ensuring that every child continues to receive an exemplary education.
The Administration has met regularly to develop policies, seek additional funding, inspect and maintain the two school buildings, increase enrollment, plan for next school year, and provide updates to the WSNO community through email, Waldorf Twice Weekly and social media. Admin also stays engaged in state and local directives and is planning for all possible outcomes for the coming school year.
The WSNO Board has been working closely with Head of School Joe Peychaud and Finance Director Michelle Fridman to determine how best to move forward into next year in these uncertain times. The future of our school depends critically on supporting our families and having them be able to return next year. Our goal is to have a financial plan in place that secures the well-being of our school while supporting families to the greatest extent possible.
I am happy to say that as a result of receiving very recent support through the CARES program, we are establishing a Tuition Relief Fund for families. We will consider family needs on a case-by-case basis, and will use all available means at our disposal to help the WSNO community. Details of the Tuition Relief Fund will be communicated to you by Joe and Michelle. I encourage you to reach out to them to discuss your family’s particular needs.
In the course of navigating these incredible circumstances, I know we have all had our share of anxiety, frustration and, more often than not, sacrifice. The WSNO community always has been one of collaboration, but in these circumstances, I am especially grateful to the parents who have communicated their suggestions and concerns to the Board and the Administration. To carry that forward, I want to continue our conversations by soliciting questions and feedback prior to our State of the School Meeting.
Normally, the State of the School Meeting would take place this month at the Main Campus. It is a whole-community event during which the Board, Administration and Faculty review the year and outline future plans. Given that this was the first year at our beautiful new campus, it’s disappointing that we won’t be able to have our State of the School Meeting there in person. But adaptation has been a theme this year, and in that spirit, we will have a virtual State of the School Meeting sometime in May. We’ll have the same basic goals of reviewing this academic year and giving an operational and financial outlook for next year.
The specific details of the agenda, format and timing are still being finalized, but we wanted to give the WSNO community a chance to become engaged well before the meeting by submitting questions and comments for discussion. You can submit your questions or comments on the Waldorf School of New Orleans Web site by clicking the following link: www.waldorfnola.org/state-of-school-submissions. You also can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Main Campus at 504-525-2420. Administration has remote access to that phone line and will retrieve messages daily.
We will send details about the meeting as soon as they are finalized. Thank you in advance for your participation.
WSNO Board of Directors