Response to COVID-19
A message from the Head of School
Our world, country, and city have changed significantly since San Francisco issued the shelter-in-place mandate on March 19. With thoughtful foresight and prayerful consideration, Donum Dei’s leadership and teachers implemented Donum Dei’s Distance Education program on March 16 for students to continue academic studies during the closure of our facilities. This shift to Distance Education required immense flexibility and innovation from not only our faculty and staff, but also our students and families.
At Donum Dei, we aimed to be laser-focused on our mission to partner with parents to educate and train students’ hearts, minds, and bodies in order that they might grow in wisdom and good character. Our commitment to provide an embodied education option for our families remained a priority as we considered the unprecedented limitations put forward in response to the rapid spread of Covid-19.
Access and Security: Since March 16, we transitioned from educating in person to educating via Donum Dei’s Distance Education program. Our community’s safety and security is of utmost importance to us; therefore, we implemented a password-protected environment. We have also launched a new, robust online platform as a means of disseminating and collecting information between our students and faculty, as well as maintaining transparency for parents.
Donum Dei Distance Education - Delivering Curriculum and Nourishing Students: Rather than providing our families with pre-recorded lectures, our teachers have appropriately adapted their curriculum and creatively engaged our students’ hearts, souls, minds, and bodies via our Distance Education program. We have provided a family-friendly, consistent schedule with clear expectations of workload. Not only that, many of our classes have included hands-on science experiments, art lessons, or other creative projects using at-home supplies to enhance student learning. The passion and preparedness of our teachers, coupled with the resilience of our students, has allowed for a seamless transition to continued learning requirements for the 2019/2020 academic year. This is no small feat!
Reaching our Community: In an effort to acknowledge and address the unique situation that families outside our community were facing, we swiftly opened enrollment to our Distance Education Program. At the start of Session V, Donum Dei welcomed 16 students from 12 families into our community! We are amazed that God would use us in this very tangible way to be a gift of God to families in need.
While we would undoubtedly prefer to meet in person, we are grateful to be given the opportunity to maintain on track with our academic year via Donum Dei’s Distance Education. As we look to conclude our inaugural year, we are filled with gratitude at all God has accomplished in and through our community, especially as we addressed the many challenges presented by Covid-19.
Looking towards the 2020/2021 academic year, we are aware of the various concerns and uncertainties that remain ahead of us with hopeful anticipation of protecting physical health, while also encouraging human connections. We are committed to acting with wisdom and prudence as we consider the guidelines and regulations put forward by national, state, and local authorities, in conjunction with California’s Department of Education and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. To be certain, my aim is to press forward upon our return with excellence by employing an incredible hybrid model of in-person learning and Distance Education learning in ways that enhance student academic development and spiritual formation.
As we navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead, we covet your prayers. We remain grateful to God for our partnership with you in these ever-changing times.
For the glory of our great God,
Christine McLean, Ed. D.
Head of School