AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School Հ.Բ.Ը.Մ. ՄԱՆՈՒԿԵԱՆ-ՏԵՄԻՐՃԵԱՆ ՎԱՐԺԱՐԱՆ At the crossroads of service, excellence, and cultural innovation.

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SCHOOL CLOSURE EFFECTIVE 3/13/2020

Dear AGBU MDS Families,

The School Administration and Board of Trustees have been closely monitoring the quickly evolving news and information about the spread of COVID-19 in our county. We have made the difficult decision to close campus to on-campus learning at the end of the day today, Thursday, March 12 and transition to remote learning beginning on Tuesday, March 17th. The school will remain closed through the duration of spring break, Monday, April 6th to Tuesday, April 14th

We did not arrive at this decision lightly and took a variety of factors into consideration, including consultation with local community leaders, health organizations, and fellow independent school leaders.  While AGBU MDS does not have a current concern of an active exposure to COVID-19, we (along with many other local independent schools), and our sister school AGBU MHS are taking this action in a proactive effort to safeguard the health and safety of our entire community. Given the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the uncertainty and concern this virus is causing in our community, we believe the decision to promote social distancing is prudent and necessary. 

This was a very difficult decision to make because we know it significantly impacts our students, families, and employees. We are sharing this decision with you this morning so you can begin arranging childcare and preparing your student(s) for online and remote learning. 

We are mindful of the impact this decision will have on our students. We will meet with middle and high school students today to discuss how the administration came to this decision and discuss remote learning. We will also provide our elementary students with information and guidance and will continue to reinforce safety practices such as covering your cough, good hand hygiene, and staying home when unwell. 

Our Action Plan:
· Thursday, March 12
  • Regular day of instruction. 
  • Inform students and make sure K-12 students take their textbooks and necessary items for learning at home
· Friday, March 13 & Monday, March 16
  • Pupil-free days (preparation days for faculty and staff).
· Tuesday, March 17 
  • Online academic instruction and remote learning will begin for our K-12 students.
· Friday, March 20
  • The previously scheduled Pupil-free day will be eliminated, and online instruction will continue 
· Monday, April 6 to Tuesday, April 14
  • Easter Break – no instruction for K-12 students 
At this time, we hope to return from Easter Break as scheduled on Tuesday, April 14.  We have established an Ad-Hoc Committee of the Board that includes medical and public health professionals, and we are in constant communication with local and regional public health experts. We have also established an IT Task Force to build out our online and remote learning capabilities. We will communicate with you continually with updates about our IT learning protocols.
 
In the coming days, in consultation with, and guidance provided by, our public health officials, we will communicate when on-campus learning will resume.
 
We are a school that thrives on social cohesion, not social distancing. We know this transition to online and remote learning will be complex, and we are committed to providing support wherever we can. The current circumstances require us to act now, and we know you understand that our actions are to protect and support the wider community so that we may return back to a healthy, close-knit community. We thank you for your support, understanding, and patience. If you have any questions, please email the school Principal, Arpi Avanesian, at aavanesian@agbumds.org.
 
Please be on the lookout for more email communications from administration and your child(ren)’s teachers. Specific details on online learning and remote learning are forthcoming.
 
Sincerely, 
School Administration