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COVID-19 KMS Update: Academic Update

Dear KMS Community:

As KMS navigates our second week of remote learning, I wanted to take a quick moment to update everyone on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last night, Governor Scott issued a new Stay Home - Stay Safe Order, directing all non-essential businesses and nonprofits to cease in-person operations. Additionally, the Governor’s order also has led Killington Resort to ban up-hill travel at Pico and Killington, which means many of us will have one less outlet for physical activity… bummer.

I want to acknowledge our hard working and innovative faculty and students. Last week’s full-faculty meeting, and yesterday’s all-school meeting are reminders of what makes KMS such a special place and the bonds that tie us together. I’m sure it was the same for everyone on the calls, but my heart swelled to see us gather as a community for our regularly scheduled rituals. On Thursday, we had over 60 people on our call, and Monday's All-School Meeting brought 112 of us together. That KMS can so quickly and nimbly pivot from normal operations to robust on-line learning and a resumption of our traditions, is a reminder that “We are a community, united by shared passions and a competitive spirit.” I want to thank each and everyone one of you for making KMS what it is today.

I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize our hard-working faculty, who all have complex situations to manage, including children, parents, etc. and a home that they are trying to run, while still preparing for and teaching a full load of KMS classes. I have yet to see any other school attempt what we are doing now, and the coaches’ and teachers’ dedication to strong academics, athletic continuity and our students is unparalleled.

It is important that we continue to remember to “Take care of ourselves. Take care of each other. Take care of our place in the world.” This is a time for everyone to focus on what truly matters: Our KMS Values and Education, Adversity, Responsibility and Character, Athletics and Academics; Good health; Family; Friendship; Equality - this virus affects all, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or financial standing, and is a reminder that we are all human and equal regardless of social or financial standing, or national identity; The importance of a healthy Environment; The bonds that connect us as a school, a state, a county, a people; The essential, such as food, shelter, clean water, air, sanitation, sleep and love, vs. materialistic pursuits and an endless hunger for “more” and “bigger” - “biggering and biggering,” as Dr. Seuss so aptly described in The Lorax; And, hope, for better things to come.

We are currently working on cataloguing the sublime and the mundane of our everyday existences. Ansel Dickey and Chris Bianchi are working to create an easy way for faculty and students to submit short video clips of daily activities to share online. We have started to discuss plans for a spring return to campus, although there is so much unknown currently, we are waiting to make this determination after we have started spring break. In addition, we will have a mechanism in place by the end of next week to share our Awards and Recognition Ceremony with each of you.

Life is far from normal, but we can and will continue to find ways to maintain our connection and our traditions, and at the same time reinforce KMS values in each of our daily lives and activities.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those around the globe most adversely affected by the coronavirus. May each of us continue to remain healthy and secure.


Tao Smith

KMS Head of School




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