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April 10, 2020

Jeffrey M. Howard
Easter is (Almost) Here
I begin in the hope that your family is in the midst of a blessed Triduum and that you have a lovely Easter on Sunday. The miracle of the Resurrection feels to me almost tangible this year as I continue in hope… hope in Christ, hope in our Mullen community, hope in all of you. On Sunday we will sing from our apartments and homes “Alleluia! Christ is alive!” He surely is. May that knowledge touch all of our hearts with hope. God bless you and your families.

Our Sad Announcement 
Obviously this week we announced that Mullen High School will not return to in person classes this year. While we are greatly saddened by this development - especially as it affects our Class of 2020 - we know that this difficult decision was the right thing to do and that, as members of a Lasallian community, we have to do our part to help in this crisis. We look forward to being back together in groups small and large as soon as restrictions and recommendations are lifted. We live in hope of that day.

And, speaking of hope...
Emergency Remote Learning Week Three - Hope Is Not Canceled 
One of my hopes is that your students remain connected to their classmates and teachers and are finding new ways to “do community.” As the days pile into weeks, I know that our students’ creativity and energy will build and grow and I am excited to see what potential will be unleashed. 

The careful readers among you may notice that I have changed the title of this part of my offering from “Distance Learning” to “Emergency Remote Learning.” There is a reason for that. While I have unwavering faith in the abilities of our teachers to continue to deliver connection an content to your students and while I have equal confidence in your students to receive it and connect back, I have been reading and reflecting on the fact that the we cannot pretend we were ready to be in the situation we are in and, though (as you know) we continue to adapt our efforts and improve our systems, we are in an emergency posture. Knowing that helps me give myself a bit of a break. 

I am not going to be expert in this situation. None of us are. I need to give myself some grace, cut myself some slack and accept that this is unprecedented. 

And I have to apply that same latitude to the staff, the faculty and the students. 

I want to thank all of you who have understood that before I have and have given us grace and slack and acceptance. While these are always qualities that should be present in a Lasallian community, I hope we can embrace them all the more in these days.

Another of my hopes is that the adjustments to our Emergency Remote Learning Plan that we will announce at the beginning of next week will be good ones and will serve our students well. We are working so very hard to learn and grow and adapt. Hours of committees and teachers pouring over the data from the student and faculty surveys, reflecting on it, discussing it and and planning as a result of it have been rewarding and directed towards improving our work.

Not everyone on the faculty and staff will agree with everything we are doing and I suspect that not everyone in the community will either, but I am confident in these things: First, we will do all we can to best serve our students. Second, we will learn from these latest adaptations as we go. Third, we will adjust again as needed going forward.

We have to allow ourselves to try, fail, try again and move forward. My hope is we do so with compassion, confidence in one another’s best intentions and grace.

Hope is not cancelled. 

What’s Next?
Please continue to watch your email for updates from the school. We are balancing communicating about our changing posture with not wishing to bury folks in email… there are more important announcements coming. 

And, a reminder, there is no Emergency Remote Learning on Easter Monday.
Timely Updates
For the most timely updates of what is going on this trimester, please visit the SPRING 2020 page on the website. 

Blessings of the Easter Season to you and your family.