FARIBAULT, MINN – Yesterday, the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School Board of Trustees and administrative team announced to its school community the decision to start transitioning all classes to distance learning through April 30th to help play its role as global citizens in mitigating the possibility of acquisition and transference of the virus that causes COVID-19. Students will have a week to return home from campus and classes will resume via distance learning on Monday, March 23rd.
While there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 exposures or cases on campus, in Faribault, or in Rice County at this time, the stressors on a community undergoing a COVID-19 crisis are myriad, including how prepared the infrastructures are to handle an outbreak. And as members of a unique, extended domestic and international community made up of students from 37 states and 27 countries, we feel compelled to do our part to protect the health of all of our respective communities. In this case, we believe that means mitigating the potential spread of the virus through distance learning, something that our students are familiar with through our long-established use of online learning platforms and our Blended Learning class model.
The School will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and consult with administrators from the Minnesota Department of Health, Rice County Public Health, Minnesota Association of Independent Schools, and other governing bodies, to help make a decision by April 13th to either extend distance learning for the remainder of the academic year or return to school. All business operations on campus will continue as usual until further notice.
Head of School, Matthew Cavellier, told the students yesterday, “You are why we are all here. We are committed to working with all students to ensure a successful transition to distance learning and developing plans to keep our community together in spirit while we are apart.”
School leaders are confident that this challenge, like all challenges SSM students face, will help them continue to grow and, in the spirit of the School’s Mission, become “citizens of integrity for an ever-changing world.”