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April 2, 2020

Dear Gooden Community,

Yesterday Governor Newsom announced that California public schools would implement distance learning and would be physically closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The Pasadena Area School Heads (PASH) agreed that community safety is the primary concern, and decided that we would continue with our distance learning programs as long as we need to do so.

In previous messages to the Gooden community, I have said that we will reopen for in-class and in-person instruction when it is safe and appropriate to do so. This remains true; if it becomes safe to return to classroom teaching, we will be able to pivot quickly.  However, it now seems unlikely that our teachers and students will be able to meet together in our classrooms during the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We remain hopeful and are looking forward to the day when we can meet together in fellowship and joy to celebrate what we have, as a community, accomplished together. 

So quickly the world as we know it has changed and instead of encouraging gatherings that bring people together, we must stay apart. Our staff and students have been engaged in distance learning for just over two and a half weeks, as opposed to the up-close and personal norm they experienced in their classrooms. It has certainly taken a lot of work (on the part of our teaching staff), a lot of support and cooperation (from our parents), a willingness to make an effort to stay focused (by our students), and a commitment by everyone to make the best of this new normal. Thank you all!

Next week is Holy Week, the start of Passover, and Gooden’s Easter break. I hope and trust that your families will be able to take some time to reflect upon the renewal that this season brings with it. 

Salvete ! (Be well)

Jo-Anne Woolner
Head of School 

 


 

March 19, 2020

Dear Gooden Community,

As we began the distance learning instruction this week, many teachers opted to work remotely from home, for a variety of reasons. It appears as if our teachers were ahead of the curve, as this evening, the mayors of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach, as well as other county and local officials urged residents to stay at home. The governor then also issued a similar order for the entire state of California. 

Gooden’s teachers will continue to work from home, or, because schools are exempt as institutions providing essential services, some may come in to get and use resources, or choose to film or Zoom in classrooms. We will continue to offer our distance learning program as long as we need to, but it may be for longer than we planned at the start. Our teachers are creative and resourceful and I know that they will do what is needed to provide the best educational experience they can for your students. 

Thank you for all you do. You are the best!

With appreciation,

Jo-Anne Woolner
Head of School


 

March 18, 2020

As you know, the news about the coronavirus, COVID-19, changes by the moment.  On March 12, the City of Sierra Madre asked all schools in its boundaries to close, and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Pasadena-area heads discussed the advantages of suspending in-person instruction before we were told so that we all had time to adjust. At this time, there are no known cases in the Gooden community. 

Therefore, Gooden elected to suspend in-person classes and all instruction, student-related activities, and events effective Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 3, 2020 (with our Easter break occurring April 4 through April 12) and enacted distance learning which began on March 18, 2020.  The school has also canceled all field trips and postponed the biennial Gooden Gala to a date yet to be determined. 

In order to support our families, all students in first through eighth grades have been provided an internet-ready device to access the distance learning classes provided by the school. These include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous academic classes, co-curricular classes and other activities, as well as office hours for teachers, advisors, the chaplain, school psychologist, and the educational therapist.

We also encourage our families to practice social distancing in their own lives. This means avoiding large-scale events such as professional sports competitions, large gatherings, or smaller but highly social events such as parties. In addition to social distancing, another critical way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene. This includes washing your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds or/and using hand sanitizers, especially after using the restroom or touching common area surfaces such as doorknobs, railings, and countertops. Remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Please do get a flu shot if you have not done so already, and continue to follow the CDC guidelines when it comes to traveling. 

We are grateful for the support and willingness of the Gooden community to pull together and work together to get through this difficult time. Let's be kind to, and take care of, ourselves and each other.

Jo-Anne Woolner
Head of School

COVID-19 UPDATE