A Note on Reopening from our Management Team Chair

July 20, 2020

Over the past 13 years the Pacific School has played a central role for our family with my oldest son, Logan, graduating high school this year. Our family has chosen to be a part of this school community because of its empathetic spirit, project-based learning, collaborative classrooms, field studies, and family participation.
After all these years at the Pacific School, I didn’t anticipate that I would be stepping from the role of parent to Management Team Chair in the midst of a global pandemic. In this new role I’ve worked closely with Todd Orenick as K-8 Director and Michele Taylor-Jones as our new High School Director to develop a plan for reopening our school that keeps our community safe. Together we are participating in meetings with the County Health Officer, County Superintendent and California Department of Education as well as following local and state guidance.
We are working diligently to consider the needs of students, families, and staff to create a program that not only addresses the challenges presented by COVID-19, but that also aligns with our school values. I also recognize that every model of schooling that we’ve considered has advantages and disadvantages and may not be the preferred choice for every family.

Here is what we currently anticipate for the beginning of the school year:
  • Distance learning will play a vital role.
  • Outdoor place-based programs may offer an opportunity for in-person learning across the grades but are contingent on local health guidelines.
  • Students will need laptops for distance learning, and we are seeking funds to purchase more devices.
  • Our teachers need professional development and improved technology to develop and deliver engaging online lessons.
I encourage you to complete our family survey as a way to provide input to the school reopening plan. We will discuss our Reopening Plan and Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan at the August 5th Governance Council meeting—all are welcome to attend this GC meeting (contact me to receive the Zoom meeting link). We will hold a K-12 Family Forum on Wednesday, August 12 at 5:30 via Zoom.
Despite these challenging times, I am determined and inspired to offer a dynamic education to our students that also keeps our community safe. Please feel free to reach out to me directly via email or phone with questions or concerns.
I look forward to the time when we can all gather together again in-person. In the meantime stay healthy, stay safe and enjoy the rest of summer break.

-Jennifer Ketring
Management Team Chair