Southwestern Academy completing the second week of sheltering in place

Southwestern Academy completing the second week of sheltering in place

We are completing the second week of sheltering in place at San Marino and Beaver Creek campuses, or at global homes.   We are all safe so far..  The campuses are closed to all visitors, but with studies, food service, dormitories, recreation, and supervision continuing for students staying at Southwestern, and teachers conducting classes for all here or away.as usual except with no face-to-face contact.
Everything but essential services is closed around us.   This as you know is to slow the spread of sickness from the coronavirus.  New cases continue to rise across the United States and much of the world, mainly in places where people continue to live and meet close together.  So far there have been no cases in our city of San Marino or in the Verde Valley around Beaver Creek..
When will this end, here and globally?   No one knows.  Our president says “quickly”, but our governors are in charge under our system of two sovereign governments.    They says”not so fast, we face many more cases and must stay sheltered for safety”.  That is what we are doing at Southwestern.
My wife and I join students and resident staff staying comfortably on campus, with teachers continuing classes for students here, for day students living nearby who come usually for classes, and for students who have gone home.
We feel safer on campus than we would be going through crowded airports or gathering in groups, remembering to key washing hands, keeping two meter distance apart, feeling calm, and taking care of ourselves and each other.  We’re happy our students can enjoy the gym, sports fields, and other facilities in San Marino, and the beautiful canyon, swimming pool, and many activities at Beaver Creek..
We are keeping others off campus except for our good suppliers, who are bringing us plenty of food and other needs.  Our faithful food service, janitorial, maintenance, dorm parents, and office staff are working with me daily.  We thank them often for cleaning our bathrooms,serving us good food, mowing the lawns, counseling students, and keeping students studying as usual though we can’t leave campus until this is over.
Our distance learning experiences were smoother this week than at the beginning, and teachers are happy with the studies most students are doing.   Third quarter exams will be next week, with the quarter report cards to be sent you April 10, and semester final exams will be May 28 through June 3 as scheduled so our Class of 2020 will graduate June 4 (provided each student keeps up with studies).   We are prepared to continue with our summer sessions and the 2020-2021 school  year starting September 8th.
All “F-1” student visas continue to be valid,  with all students here or home in status.     As the school’s official for student visas (I-20’s and F-1 student visas), our government has said I can extend visas when needed without waiting for the federal government to approve.   There is no worry about visa problems if students continue to study.
Of course parents and friends are concerned about their children, as we are.  Please, try not to worry.  We are doing all we can to keep them healthy and progressing with classes as if they were our own children.   We must stay safe until this violent storm passes.  And it will pass.
Kenneth Veronda