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March 13, 2020

Jeffrey M. Howard
Our Plans and COVID-19 
The last days and weeks have, as you know, been filled with questions, reflection, prayer and concern about the coronavirus, its potential impacts on our Mullen community and our extended family and how we continue to do our utmost to protect that community, keep it whole and keep it safe. It is not an exaggeration to say that the administration, faculty and staff have agonized over striking an appropriate balance between instituting reasonable, proactive measures and overreacting to this complex situation.
I know very well that, while many believe we have taken appropriate steps, not everyone agrees with the plan we have put in place. While I wish there was a way to have everyone on board with each course we chart, that is a practical impossibility. What I can say is that we do not arrive at decisions capriciously or lightly. We take our time. We have conversation. We consider as many alternatives as we can.

And we pray.

We pray about what we are doing and about our students and about our choices. We pray that our good and loving God will bless us and our community. We pray that we are doing right by you all.

I firmly believe that we made a good decision to close, to clean and to collaborate with our faculty on professional development for possibilities. Picking up these two days, even at the cost of two class days, was the move. The faculty and staff spent time this yesterday and today discussing continuity of education - an important topic in-and-of-itself - and preparing their spaces to prepare for our deep cleaning. At 12:30 today, we closed the school and the cleaning began in earnest. It will continue over the course of Spring Break and the extra two days ensures it will be complete.

I am looking forward to being with the faculty and staff for a day of service to our community on March 23 and seeing our students back and ready to complete the year on March 24. These are our plans today! 

Spring Break
I do hope that everyone has wonderful and restful spring breaks! I hope that the time is reflective and restorative for our students and that our shared Lenten journeys continue to enrich us. 

The Five Core Principles
One of the many blessings of working at a Lasallian school like ours is living the shared history and community of the broader Lasallian world. Over the course of the next few editions of the  Mullen Weekly, I am going to highlight one of the five Core Principles that we hope to instill in our students and that I hope we are living in our work with them. This week, we continue our conversation with Respect for All Persons.
From the Lasallian District of San Francisco/New Orleans:  “The Lasallian school engages its members in a concerted effort to respect the dignity of all persons. It calls all to respect-filled relationships as the heart of Lasallian education and a key expression of their identity as children of God..”
“Respect filled” is a powerful concept. If we can teach our students and model ourselves as adults that we are full of respect for others, for their opinions even when they might diverge from our own, for their dignity, then we will have gone a very long way to help bring forth the Kingdom. This is a principle for which we should all strive. 

See you in a few weeks!