Dear Royals Family,
As many of you know, summer strength and conditioning programs for our student athletes recently resumed under rigorous health and safety checks and under the close supervision of adults and Athletic Department staff. In their brief operation this summer there were absolutely zero reported cases among any of our participants but today, in cooperation with our Health Department, MCP has made the decision to suspend this program. While we value the clear health benefits of an active lifestyle for our students, we also appreciate the extreme circumstances our SLO county community is facing.
Our county leadership is currently tracking multiple health indicators (SLO County published statistics link). As one can see, those multiple indicators have almost all shifted in the past two weeks towards worsening local conditions. Our Health Department deserves considerable credit for their leadership to date and as disappointing as this development is, we are 100% committed to operating as good faith partners with our county leadership.
As was communicated in an earlier message, MCP remains absolutely committed to starting school on schedule, on campus, in mid-August with New Student Orientation on Friday, August 14th and classes for all students on Monday, August 17th. However, with conditions continuing to evolve we are also prepared to deliver excellence to our students and families under all conditions.
It should be noted by families that with the shift towards ever more comprehensive lessons, as well as the need to reduce shared materials (to mitigate the spread of illness), it will be an expectation that all MCP students be in possession of a keyboard equipped and WiFi enabled device for the fall of 2020 (phones will not meet this requirement). This device could be as inexpensive as a used Chrome Book (cost around $100) or as valuable as the limits of our technological world can conceive. But like calculators, books, and other tools for learning, it is something that will be used daily by our students. It is an investment in a student’s educational future (nearly every college and university expects that level of connectivity for their students) and one that will further push our students in their academic development at MCP.
At any time in the fall, if local conditions are such that the county mandates that schools must operate with strict social distancing limits, a well thought out plan is already in place to meet those standards while maximizing time spent in the classroom for all of our students. In this scenario, MCP students will rotate on a two-day cycle, on and off campus so every student will have the opportunity for on campus instruction at least two days a week (group placement will be based largely on alphabetical order to ease possible transportation logistics for families of multiple students). On-campus lessons will prioritize the vital labs, hands-on projects, direct instruction, and particularly sophisticated elements of a given subject. Off-campus lessons will prioritize data, reading, and research elements of a subject. Any MCP students who are off campus will still be expected every day to be logged-in ‘live’ to a classroom video conference for at least the first few minutes of class. This will enable participation in prayer, allow for final directions on the day’s online assignment, while also maintaining an element of structure and connectivity.
This plan allows for the continuation of outstanding instruction even if social distancing standards are mandated for schools. It retains some aspects of the individualized education students experienced this spring while increasing connection to classmates and instructors, which was clearly identified as an area for improvement in parent, student, and faculty surveys. We hope that such a drastic shift will not prove necessary but we are ready to support our students if called to do so.
Thank you for your incredible support of our school and for modeling resilience, faith, and hope in the face of adversity for our students. Families will continue to hear from me over the next several weeks as I will be making regular updates to our community on July 15 and again on July 30 (with continued communication as we move into the school year). There will be an after to this crisis and WeWill arrive there as a community.
Yours in Christ,