March 26, 2020
Dear DSU Families,
I hope this message finds you and your family members in good health during these trying and uncertain times. With the local impact of school closings through May 4th, shelter-in-place advisories and the closure of all non-essential businesses and services in Massachusetts, I would like to take this opportunity to share how the DSU is responding to our community’s new reality.
COVID-19 is unusual and overwhelming some, with parents adjusting to a work from home environment with kids out of school. For children, no matter how much we try to shield them from COVID-19, they could be worried about the health of grandparents, family and friends. The psychological trauma can’t be ignored as they are physically isolated from their peers and the normal life and structure they have enjoyed, has vanished.
DSU’s values of collaboration, inclusion, innovation and FUN define all our programs and events for school-aged children. The tough reality right now is pre-COVID-19 programming that kids and families have depended upon, no longer exists. Staying true to our values and quickly responding, our “Virtual Playground” through daily ZOOM videoconference, engage kids in new games and activities (art collaborative projects, global scavenger hunts, trivia games, pet parade etc.), with a sense of normalcy, that we are all ok. You should be receiving daily newsletters with ZOOM links. Please let us know if you have not received them, Further to this, if you need any assistance with technology, we can arrange for a laptop loaner.
Our goal is to keep our DSU kids engaged, stimulated and confident as we all navigate this uncertainty together. In that context, please know that it is our intention to continue to retain our small staff with proper remote work and distancing protocols in place. They are actively preparing dynamic daily curriculums for our Virtual Playground and, with proper distancing and protection, some are assisting with deep cleaning efforts in our building in preparation for our eventual return.
Through all of this, I’m compelled to share the following. As many of you know, we are a self-funded non-profit organization with no financial support from the school budget or the Town of Duxbury. What we generate from tuition is all that we have available to pay our staff, our operating expenses, and the utilities we pay to the town for our space in the Wright building. While your children are home with you, these expenses continue.
With this in mind, we recognize that the next month of on-site DSU participation must be achieved virtually. A few of you have paid for the full year of DSU tuition while a large portion of you have 2-3 more monthly installments remaining via auto pay agreements. We do, sincerely, hope that each of you will value the ongoing contribution that our virtual programming can offer your family and, as such, continue to stand behind the financial support that is so critical to our ongoing operations. Nonetheless, there can be no doubt that some of us will face greater financial hardships than others as a consequence of this crisis. For those who are struggling, we want to support you as you have supported us over the years. If you feel that you cannot shoulder the upcoming DSU cost to your family, please reach out to us at email@example.com and we work with you, confidentially, to get you to a suitable resolution. If you are on a payment plan and feel the need for relief, please be sure to reach out before April 1st so we can make any necessary adjustments before another payment is collected.
As we all do our part over the coming weeks, and possibly months, to support our families and our community, let us remind ourselves, and our kids, that we live in a wonderful community where the incredible powers of creativity, education and cooperation have always, and will always, overcome the extraordinary challenges sent our way. The DSU is committed to doing its part to support you in every way we can.