April 14, 2020
Dear Ursuline School Community,
We reach out in a time of unprecedented challenges, stress and worry among those in our beloved school community. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you, secure in the knowledge that we will emerge different, and stronger, at the end of this challenge.
As you may know, Ursuline's campus closed on March 11, 2020. Immediately, the faculty, staff and students launched the School's distance learning platform. The transition entailed incredible planning, practice and patience by Ursuline's Administration and Faculty. The School's long history of innovation and technology, coupled with the caring nature of our community, supported this effort from the very beginning. It has been a testament of Ursuline's Mission to educate, inspire, and empower young women to witness the staff's unyielding dedication to the emotional and academic well being of the students entrusted to our care during the past month.
The perseverance, flexibility and creativity of our students stands apart, once again. Each school day starts with virtual prayers which offer solace to us each. From sixth graders to seniors, students are working on complex math using Scribble Together, practicing conversational foreign language via video conferences with native speakers, and sharing art and photography from their "outdoor studios." Serviam also adapted to the current challenges, with social-distanced-collections for a local parish and the elderly at the Jeanne Jugan Nursing Home. Last week, the tradition of a school-wide Field Day continued with innovative daily competitions. This month, the Class of 2020 makes us even prouder as we join in celebrating their outstanding college results. We look forward to celebrating the Seniors in person as a community when conditions allow.
Our $8.5 million campus enhancement project (which had been ahead of its scheduled completion date of mid-October 2020) continues with an exemption from the City of New Rochelle which designated the project as "essential". All on-site workers are adhering to social distancing protocols. The sold-out Evening of Innovation gala will be postponed until Fall 2020. Nonetheless, the enthusiasm for this remarkable project remains steadfast and we look forward to the day when we can throw open the doors of this exciting new space to our students and alumnae.
As theologian Brooke Foss Wescott noted, "Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to our eyes." We conclude by extending our deepest gratitude to President Eileen Davidson, Principal Rosemary Beirne and the entire Ursuline staff. At no time is the value of an Ursuline education more evident, and we are grateful for their heroism during this turbulent time.
During this Easter season, we extend our prayers and wishes for the health and safety of all members of The Ursuline School Community. We look forward to the day we can be together again.
Ann Gillin Lefever '82
Board Chair, on behalf of The Ursuline School Board of Trustees