I also appreciate the work of our St. Mark's faculty, every one of whom approached the challenge of putting together remote learning plans with a "can-do" attitude and receptivity to thinking differently. Our faculty listened carefully to the guidance provided by the Remote Learning Team which took a number of forms: video instructions, written material, and most importantly, individual tutorials. Our faculty also benefited from the support of our technology department who deserve great praise for quickly putting new tools at everyone's disposal and for solving the inevitable technical problems with dispatch.
I appreciate, too, the receptivity and resilience of our students to the new way of learning to which they needed to adapt at the end of March. The first week, especially, featured a learning curve for everyone which has continued. Patience and communication have facilitated the necessary refinements in courses as we all continue to learn what approaches work best and what need to be altered or discarded.
Finally, I appreciate the collaboration of parents with the School as we launched the remote learning program. I am well aware that challenging adjustments to home patterns were often required as parents, with their sons and daughters, lived into an approach to a St. Mark's education that is nobody's first choice. I recognize that many St. Mark's parents are confronting their own challenges which make supporting the St. Mark's educational program in the home all the more complex. We continue to benefit from parent feedback as we continue to refine the remote approach to school.
I am heartened by the way the St. Mark's community has pulled together with grace and generosity of spirit during the time since COVID-19 changed so much about our lives. This spirit ensures that the essential learning and the essential strength of our community carries on this spring. Indeed, Age Quod Agis is on display every day across 17 time zones!
I am also heartened by the way many essential elements of St. Mark's have transferred to the new way of "doing school" that COVID-19 thrust upon us. One of those essential elements is intellectual vibrancy.
Granting that the learning looks and feels different in many ways, examples abound of that vibrancy in online classes just as it is evident when we are all together in the Main Building. III Form Global Seminar students, for example, engaged in spirited discussion about the obligations citizens have to each other, in their own communities and around the world, informed by the principles Jean-Jacques Rousseau conveys in The Social Contract. The topic felt very relevant to each participant because of the well-publicized risks caused by ignoring COVID-19 social distancing guidelines on the one hand, and protests in some states about government abridgement of the right to free assembly, no matter the risk. Math teachers are adapting white board technology to Zoom classes so that students can collaborate on complex mathematical proofs, while teachers in all disciplines are using a Zoom feature, "breakout rooms," that allows students to engage in small group exercises that they then bring back to the class as a whole.