Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
Deep gray and purple clouds have washed over my little corner of Bennett Valley, dumping heavy rain and hail. As if we didn’t know this was a strange and different time, we’ve also had thunder and lightning. (Florence told me that the hail was so heavy in her neighborhood of Fountaingrove that they gathered it up into snowballs!) The weather seemed to interfere with connectivity a bit for some of us yesterday but fortunately Darren was able to proceed with SA’s first Shop Talk broadcast (a kind of virtual community meeting) from his garage, just the antidote I needed to counteract a bit of late afternoon malaise. So far, we’ve had nearly 400 views of the video (a bunch of which occurred during the livestream)! It was uplifting and connecting and we can’t wait to see what our students will be producing for these. The heavens are unleashing great energy and creativity and we are grateful.
Storytime with Brandon This Monday, March 30 at 5 pm
We plan to stay connected through all manner of stormy weather. Please join us for award-winning storyteller and humanities teacher Brandon Spars, live streamed from Darren’s garage. Watch here
Instructional Continuity Plan in Place Until May 1
Yesterday, the Sonoma County Office of Education put out guidance that all Sonoma County schools should plan to extend their distance learning programs through May 1. We imagine this is deeply disappointing for many of you who were hoping to be back in school in early April. Our teachers are committed to delivering an awesome, engaging, relevant learning program that continues to advance our students’ learning and connection with each other and their education!
Please note that we will be surveying students and providing opportunities for feedback. We anticipate there will be some bumps as we adapt to the new circumstances, but we will get through them together!
We will be sending the Need to Know Weekly Digest on Sunday morning with a reminder of next week’s schedule and other important information for the week.
We imagine that there are many questions about events that were scheduled to take place during April. We have put some notes here about these and will be sending more details about each one as we flesh out the new plans. At this time, we are hoping that we will be back in school and all May and June events will be able to proceed as planned.
Evening of the Arts: Scheduled for April 17. The EOTA student directors are currently working on a revised plan for how to do this event within our new circumstances. More details to be released soon!
BNO Volunteer Appreciation Meeting: Scheduled for April 21. This event will be rescheduled. Details to come from the Advancement office.
SAPA Parent Night: Classroom Confidential: Scheduled for April 21. We will do this event via Zoom or livestream. Details to come.
Stargazing Buy-In Party: Scheduled for April 24. This event will be rescheduled. Details about when will go out to those who purchased spots once we have a new date.
New Coyote Day: Scheduled for April 25. This event is being postponed/reconceptualized. We will do some online components and do an in-person component in the summer before school begins next year. Details will be forthcoming to new families, SAPA volunteers, and All-Stars soon.
Amidst the challenges, we’ve continued to find, and hear from you, many moments of grace and gratitude. Here are some of your silver linings...please keep ‘em coming.
Social Distancing Tips
“Being able to continue this service from home is our silver lining!”
The Anderson Family (Sonda & Ian, Will ‘18, Lauren ‘20) were worried about how their church would continue to provide meals for the homeless with the church kitchen being closed. They took things into their own hands, so to speak, and made 175 “to go” bags stuffed with burritos and chocolate chip cookies. Their pastor then handed them out in the church parking lot using proper social distancing.
We are so fortunate to have so many health care providers in our community, including directors of the emergency medicine programs at both Kaiser and Sutter Hospitals. We asked them to send us a little blurb from the frontlines.
Josh Weil (Caleb ‘16, Sophie ‘20), Kaiser Emergency Preparedness Lead Physician: “We are fortunate to be a part of a community that has been through difficult times. What I learned – what we learned –in Oct 2017 is that we can count on each other in ways that we never really knew or understood before. We were tested again in 2019, and now our entire country, indeed our entire globe is being tested. But we know that our communities, especially our SA community, has our back. We will be there for each other in whatever ways we can.
John Stein (John ‘22, Cole ‘23), Sutter Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine “Cases are growing in Sonoma, but because there is more natural distancing here than in dense urban populations, we have a better chance of slowing down the progress than in other areas of the state and country. It is difficult on everyone to keep our distance, but until we develop treatments or vaccines, that is our best tool to fight this virus.”
Please read the entirety of their perspectives here:
Take care of yourselves and each other.