SOUTHWESTERN CONTINUES OPEN

SOUTHWESTERN CONTINUES OPEN

Saturday, April 4, 2020:   SOUTHWESTERN CONTINUES OPEN at both campuses for students to continue studies as usual.  Some are continuing to live and study on campus, others at homes all around the globe.  All are studying at a distance from a few meters apart to far across continents and oceans.  We join more the half the people in the world this weekend who are sheltering at home.   Campuses are physically closed to people coming or going, but we’re not closed to learning.  We do not permit people to come onto our campuses except for trusted vendors and faithful staff members serving the students, administrators, and supervisors who are feeding and caring for us very well.   And our campus residents, including me, are not going away campus, as we’ve lots of exercise and sports facilities right here and there’s no need to leave but to stay “safer at our campus homes”.
Our California governor ordered all public schools to close their campuses until at least graduation time next month.  This order for schools to close confused some of our families, thinking it meant “no more studying”and that we were closed.  No.  The order is for government ‘day’ schools, not us.  Public schools are distant-teaching as we are doing, with buildings closed with no face-to-face classes, but  lessons continuing.   As an essential service Southwestern continues with some of our boarding students staying here and others away, but all studying.
We are preparing for our usual SUMMER programs and for the 2020-2021 school  year, though no one knows how long the spread of this coronavirus will last.  Sickness cases continue to rise around us, though we are all encouraged that California’s start on closing most businesses and having people stay home is just beginning to slow the number of new cases.   The next few weeks will be very important, and our resident students and staff understand that we must continue to stay safe on campus or at home for some time to come.
The third quarter of the school  year ended yesterday.   All students, on our campuses or elsewhere, took quarterly ‘midterm’ exams.  Teachers are correcting the tests they gave this past week, and midterm grades and comments will be sent by email to students and parents by next Friday, April 10th.
Next week is “Spring Break,” with no new assignments until Fourth Quarter begins April 14th.  It’s a time to take a deep breath, sleep late, and relax in dorms or at homes around the world.  Some students are behind with some homework and lessons due teachers.  They will receive “I” – incomplete – grades.   The week’s break is an important time for those students to catch up and send any missing work to their teachers as soon as possible, before the “I” grade becomes a failure.   Students with missing work will be sent reminders by teachers, and it is very important for them to do the work first.   Then they can relax and enjoy a break until Tuesday the 14th.
This coming Tuesday, April 7th, is Southwestern’s official 96th anniversary.   Traditionally we celebrate by planting a tree at each campus, eating ice cream and cake, and enjoying an afternoon of “Anniversary Antics” with games and fun.  On Tuesday the 7th this year of coronavirus each student on campus will join in planting springtime flowers, eating home-baked cupcakes, and enjoying a beautiful spring day in California and Arizona.   When we’re together again next school year, we will catch up with a delayed tree planting ceremony and double-big servings of ice cream and cake to celebrate this stressful time has eased.
Meanwhile, join us all in staying safe, and may we all stay healthy.
Kenneth Veronda