Dear Maumee Valley,

This week we delivered graduation signs, caps, and gowns to our senior class. What a joy it was to see some of our seniors and their parents again! These glimpses of normal—students with their families, kids riding bikes in the street, siblings playing catch—bring me hope that we will weather this storm. May this Friday’s newsletter find your family healthy and well. 

Yesterday, Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton amended the School Closure Order, extending building closure for all K-12 Ohio schools through June 30, 2020. During this time, faculty, staff, administration, and vendors are permitted to operate within our buildings. Our Dayal House international boarding students remain on our campus, so we will continue to enforce our no visitor policy in order to safeguard our Dayal family’s health. This extended building closure order does not apply to camps, so we will be carefully monitoring the regulations as they emerge over the next few weeks in order to determine whether we might be able to safely run SummerTime camp within the state guidelines. Obviously, the safety and health of those who would attend camp, as well as our instructors, will drive our decision-making process. 

Next week is Faculty Appreciation Week, and I want to take this opportunity to shout from the rooftops that our faculty is AMAZING. Through this remote learning process, I have seen creativity, resilience, and a student-centered approach to educating students at a distance. They are keeping kids connected and learning. None of our teachers chose this learning approach, and yet they have responded well to the new complexities of their roles. We knew before remote learning how incredible our faculty and staff are, and even in this socially distanced world, they continue to inspire and amaze me. Should you feel inclined, show our faculty and staff a bit of appreciation this week. They are working very hard to serve our students and families well.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
 
Lynn D. Casto
Head of School
lcasto@mvcds.org
419-469-0240

WHAT'S HAPPENING?

      

Upper School

End of Spring Rotation
It is hard to believe that next Friday, May 8, is the last day of the Spring rotation! Please be sure your children are aware of the dates and times of any final assessments in their classes and the due dates for final projects and assignments. Students should reach out to their teachers if they have any questions or need additional support in completing the remaining coursework. Please don’t forget that our Student Support team is also available to support your children with their learning and social/emotional needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our Student Support team members should your child need additional support. Their contact information is below:

Tara Morrin, Student Support Specialist - tmorrin@mvcds.org 
Rachel Spiegel, School Counselor - rspiegel@mvcds.org 
Sara Dowling, School Psychologist - sdowling@mvcds.org 
Jackie Wells, Dean of Students - jwells@mvcds.org 

Spring Intensives
Please note that there is no school for Upper School students on Monday, May 11, as this is a scheduled Work Day for US teachers. US faculty will be using this day to prepare for their Intensive courses, which will commence virtually on Tuesday, May 12. Your child should reach out to their Intensive teacher should they have any questions about preparing for their scheduled Intensive. 

As I explained in last week’s letter, Spring Intensives will run as scheduled. However, with the mandated campus closure, the learning experience will be different. Dr. Paula Apostolou and I have been working closely with teachers to support them in transitioning their Intensive courses to the remote environment. While the learning objectives will remain the same for each course, the instructional strategies will be adjusted to best ensure a positive and meaningful experience for the students in their home environments. 

We are encouraging teachers to allow for student choice in project-based learning and to use best practices for student collaboration in an online environment. Teachers are reaching out to guest speakers who will perform virtual class presentations, and are optimizing their use of the world wide web to bring relevant, real-world experiences to the students’ home environment. Thanks to the incredible dedication and talent of our wonderful faculty, I am confident that your children will enjoy a novel and meaningful Intensive experience! Please stay tuned for our plans to showcase the students’ Intensive work via a virtual Intensive Fair in June. 

Spring Events
I am pleased to share with you our revised plans for Upper School spring events, to include the Awards Ceremony and Graduation. While I wish circumstances were different and that we could host these events in-person, I do believe that the revised format for these events will still ensure a special and memorable experience for all. 

Awards Ceremony
The Awards Ceremony will be presented in a virtual format on Friday, May 29. The faculty and staff have carefully selected the awards recipients and are in the process of preparing and recording their speeches for each recipient. The awards videos will be posted to the school’s private YouTube channel and available to view on May 29. In addition, a special Awards Ceremony tradition is the presenting of books personally selected by the faculty for each award recipient. The award certificates and books will be ready for pick-up or delivery by May 29. Future communication will provide more information about award pick-up or delivery times. 

Graduation
In response to proposals presented by the Senior Class Leaders and Student Council Presidents, we are planning to host a unique “social distancing” Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, June 4 at the Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater in Liberty Center, Ohio! The Graduation Ceremony will be presented as a pre-recorded video projected on the movie screen. The video will include all of the components that would be included in a live ceremony (music, speeches, names of graduates, etc.), with the exception of diplomas being presented to students in-person. 

In lieu of presenting diplomas in-person at the drive-in ceremony, we will include in the video pictures of students in their caps and gowns holding their diplomas. We would, therefore, like to invite each graduate and their family to schedule a time to have their picture taken by a professional photographer at Maumee Valley on the Bluestone.  Families are asked to follow the instructions below to sign-up for a 15-minute appointment during one of the following time frames: 
  • Thursday, May 7, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Friday, May 8, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 
  • Friday, May 8, 1:00-4:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 9, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 9, 1:00-4:00 pm
Please follow these instructions to access the MVCDS Graduation Picture Schedule & Sign-Up:
  • Log into MyMV
  • On the main Resource Page, click on the Volunteer icon
  • This should take you to the ”My Info” tab
  • If it’s blank, fill in your information.  Be sure to select the “interval” for which you want a reminder for your slot. Click SAVE at the bottom
  • Click the Volunteer tab
  • Click Choices next to MVCDS Graduation Pictures
  • Time slots are every 15 minutes over 3 days  (only 1 slot per senior is needed)
  • Click the Sign-Up box next to the time you want
Please note that security and staff members will be present at the ceremony to help ensure that all in attendance respect and adhere to the social distancing measures that must be in place to protect the health and safety of all of our guests. We ask that all guests remain in their cars while at the drive-in. A restroom is available at the facility; only one person will be permitted in the restroom at a time. Concessions will be closed. 

Additional information will be forthcoming with more specific details about the graduation ceremony (e.g., invitations, tickets, online video access, etc.). In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Olivia Spencer (ospencer@mvcds.org).

Molly Macek
mmacek@mvcds.org
443-286-9773

Middle School

Another successful week of remote learning is in the books, and teachers and students continue to grow and thrive with engaging remote classroom experiences!  As an example, take a look at what is happening in Sra. Rodriguez’s Spanish classes:

Señora Rodriguez has been utilizing the breakout room feature on Zoom to start meetings with a quick warm-up, allowing students to catch up and share what they have been doing to maintain relationships and connections. They are encouraged to speak Spanish and to be ready to share out about their group members once they return to the whole group.

In Spanish 2B, students are wrapping up a unit on hotel stays. The students have been reading and learning about hotel stays in the US in comparison to Latin America and Spain, where many young travelers also have the option to stay in youth hostels to save money. Students have discussed making reservations and everything from checking in to who helps clean rooms, who helps guests with their luggage, and the types of breakfasts served (American vs. continental).  This coming week they will use Flipgrid to submit their speaking assessment explaining why they prefer one hotel over another after looking over the details of the shared options.

I will continue to highlight different student learning experiences each week.  Thank you to Sra. Rodriguez, for sharing!

This week at our Middle School meeting, we continued to message to the students that eating right and exercising are of the utmost importance during this time.  Our school nurse, Sherrie Watkins, joined our community Zoom and presented on “Keeping our Brains Happy and Healthy.” Please take a look and reinforce these messages at home.  Additionally, our Athletic Director and Middle School PE Teacher, Rob Conover, created a fun video for MS students to guide them in their exercise routines through remote learning.  In addition, we could not forget the tradition of celebrating the Middle School pillars and our daily holiday.  Find our weekly MS pillar video here and Mr. Conover's videos below.  Enjoy! 
Our dynamic Student Support Team continues to work hard to help students in need and to get out in front of learning issues.  Recently, the team has designed weekly templates for families to use at the start of the week to get organized.  Please take a look to see if this is something that you think would help your family moving forward.  
 

Next week (May 4-8) is Teacher Appreciation Week, so please send along any cards or messages to me to pass along to the teachers, or feel free to send messages to the teachers themselves.  I am very proud of the Middle School teachers and the amazing work they have put into their remote Learning classes - let’s celebrate them!  

We had a great turn out for our Middle School coffee on Thursday.  I would like to have another one this week on Thursday, May 7th at 2:00 pm. to discuss developments in the end-of-year schedule, as well as any questions or concerns you may have.  I will send a Zoom invite early next week.  Hope to see you there! 

Have a great weekend!

Erik Graham
egraham@mvcds.org
419-450-9474

Lower School

Here is a silver lining to remote learning: you (Lower School parents) are experiencing a deeper connection to the day to day process of learning. You are seeing the incremental challenges that lead to larger understandings, and you are seeing the hard work kids put into each moment of school. It is not all cute, and it is not all clean. For better or for worse, you are seeing a more complete picture of your Lower School child now.

Earlier today, that picture was literally the photo my wife shared with me of our first-grade child upside down in the dining room chair: head under the table, back on the seat cushion, legs pointing up, and feet just about where a head should be. His unfinished school work sat in front of him like a plate of vegetables. My mind went immediately to his classroom teachers.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8. Could there be a better week than next to honor and appreciate classroom teachers? There is something special about a person who has the skills to keep a room full of young people happily engaged in learning throughout the day. Think back to your image of your child’s MV classroom. Were there any students sitting completely upside down? Probably not.
 
Jaime Lassman
jlassman@mvcds.org
859-806-9896

Early Learning Center

We had another busy week of remote learning in the ELC. The weekly shout out this week goes to all of our students who have been busy working away at home. My weekly video spotlights some of the work that our students have been producing. Have a look below! 

I wanted to make you aware of a couple of resources our school counselor, Rachel Spiegel has compiled for ELC students. She created a visual schedule that may help your child with following school routines at home. This schedule will help students to have a sense of the day ahead as well as help them with independence skills as they work through their day. Mrs. Spiegel has also uploaded stories about feelings to a Youtube channel. Now that students know we will not be returning to campus they may be experiencing a greater sense of sadness. These books about feelings are a great way to initiate a conversation with your child about how they are feeling. Additionally, I have added links to help you foster conversations about COVID-19 with your child at home. This includes a social story titled The Day the Playgrounds Closed: A Social Distancing Story. Finally, CNN and Sesame Street recently partnered to hold a town hall for children. You can view that video here.

Next week is an action-packed week! It’s teacher appreciation week. Please check your email for details on how we are celebrating the ELC faculty and staff. May 4-8th is also National Children’s Book Week! We will be celebrating in the ELC with different activities each day. On Monday we will have a reading challenge for the children to participate in throughout the week. Students are also invited to wear their favorite outfit and read stories to family members at home. Tuesday will be pajama day where we encourage children to stay in their pajamas and read stories in silly voices. Wednesday encompasses wearing your favorite colors and reading a book to your favorite lovey or family pet. Thursday is a challenge to read a book and watch the movie version of the book. What was the same and what was different? We will continue our tradition of dress up as your favorite storybook character on Friday. Be sure to send us photos of your children if they choose to participate in the book week events! I will also be going live on the MVCDS Facebook page every day at 11:00 am next week to read a special story. Furthermore, we will be hosting our spring book fair online next week to coincide with national book week. You can read more about the online book fair here. Thank you to Mrs. Nixon for organizing this event! 

Click here for Nurse Sherrie’s newsletter.


Michelle Thomas
mthomas@mvcds.org
419-601-5611

School Resources

Technology
As we spend more and more of our day on devices, this message from the Student Support team is great advice for our students and bears repeating:
  • Try to balance looking at a screen by focusing your eyes on something else for a few moments. 
    • 20-20-20 Rule 
      • After looking at a screen for 20 minutes, look at something 20 ft away for 20 seconds. Repeat as needed. 
  • Be cognizant of how much time you’ve spent in a day on a screen. Try to limit the amount in a day as much as you can. 
Details about device and school material drop off will be finalized and communicated next week.

Student Support
Sunshine really can lift your spirit and mood! The student support team encourages our entire community to put down the screens, enjoy the outdoors, and connect with nature this weekend! As we continue to navigate the nuances of remote learning, we strive to develop new tools for students and parents. This week, we shared a new problem-solving tool with Middle School and Upper School students. We encourage you to review the problem SOLVING DURING REMOTE LEARNING (MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL) tool with your children. Even better, print a copy and post it in their workspace! A similar tool was developed for our Lower School families -PROBLEM-SOLVING DURING REMOTE LEARNING (LOWER SCHOOL). Depending on the age of your child, this may be an appropriate resource for your kiddo to use independently or for you as a parent. We recognize how much you are doing to support your children during this time - bravo to you all!

Yearbook Photos Needed
The yearbook committee would like to make a special request to parents for photos of students either doing online school or activities throughout the house. Since we aren’t gathered on campus as a community, gathering candid pictures of students engaging in year-end activities is proving difficult. Please consider helping this year’s yearbook committee by sending your photos to Colette at 20cjar@mvcds.org, Megan at 21mmcn@mvcds.org, or Alana at 20apap@mvcds.org.

SummerTime
SummerTime registration is open and available to families interested in interactive, hands-on, fun camp experiences this summer.  Register online today at this LINK!

Athletic Information
Please visit the OHSAA site for the latest update from Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director at THIS LINK.

Book Fair
There’s nothing like a good book and an actual book at that! I’m excited to share that we’ve partnered with the Perrysburg bookstore, Gathering Volumes, to host our Spring Book Fair - ONLINE! Featuring books for Preschool aged students through 12th grade, this is your opportunity to refresh your child’s at-home library with some new favorites, all while supporting your school and a local, Maumee Valley family-owned business. 
  • The Online Book Fair will run from Saturday, May 2nd - Friday, May 15th.
  • Orders can be placed directly through the WEBSITE or by calling the store directly, 567-336-6188. Be sure to include in the comments that you are ordering through MVCDS.
  • Books ordered online receive free shipping directly to your home through USPS or will be available for curbside pickup. Due to delayed shipping times experienced through USPS, free contactless delivery is also available for orders placed over the phone.
START SHOPPING FOR THE MVCDS ONLINE SPRING BOOK FAIR!  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me MNIXON@MVCDS.ORG.

Admission Office Update
The admission team is actively working with families interested in learning more about our school. If you know anyone considering Maumee Valley, please encourage them to reach out so we can schedule a personalized virtual meeting, or encourage them to attend one of our scheduled VIRTUAL ADMISSION MEETINGS.

Advancement Office Update
IT’S AUCTION TIME!!!
Remember that on Saturday, May 16th we kick-off SOAR, A BLUE AND WHITE BENEFIT. Open from Saturday to Saturday, the auction will feature an incredible array of events, items, and experiences for all ages! Registration is free and participation makes a difference. REGISTER HERE and join MVCDS supporters from around the country and the world as we celebrate and support our incredible school. We look forward to seeing you all on the 16th!

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Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only age 3 - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.