Spring 2020 State of the School Presentation

Watch the Video Replay, View the Live Q&A Transcript and Read the MEMO that was distributed during the event

On Monday, May 27th we held a live (virtual) State of the School event that was open to all current families, new families for 20/21, and prospective families. The event started off with a brief introduction by our Co-Directors Mara Jenkins and Taylor Simmers. After the introduction, a MEMO was distributed and participants were given 20 minutes to read and prepare questions. When everyone returned to the call Mara, Taylor and Ken Martin (our facilities and operations manager) answered the questions on the Zoom event.

If you were not able to attend the event, or are here to review the content again, we suggest you begin by reading the memo, then reviewing the Q&A transcript below at the bottom of this post, and then view the video.





Video Recording of Live Introduction and Q&A Session.

Live Q&A Transcript

17:50:15 From Peter and Irene Jun : Prospective family. Do you offer tuition insurance in the event that TEA doesn’t work for us?

17:52:28 From rherman : would it be possible to review a more detailed financial model? in particular, i am wondering about capital improvements and what else comprises the cost increases over the 3 year forecast.  happy to discuss off-line as necessary of course.

17:53:14 From Tracy and Niles : For HS students under Scenario 3, please describe how the one day per week in the field will work.  Will students be doing the field work individually or in small groups?  Transportation provided in groups? Continue through winter months, etc?

17:54:49 From davidzimmerman : What are the specific ideas MVEF has for outdoor facilities for the Fall?

17:55:48 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : Do you have an ask of parents … ways we can most help the school and mission at this time?

17:55:49 From Abbie Lara : Congrats on all the accomplishments!

17:56:05 From charlespeipher : Do you envision the possibility of (for example) TEA@Home through winter break and then determine if its safe to return to the campus in some way/shape/form?

17:56:07 From David Prince : How will the PPP be used? And then adjusted for in future years

17:56:31 From Jenene Slatt : New Family: Is there consideration of starting school year earlier to take advantage of outdoor friendly weather.

17:57:20 From Matt Tucker : How would transportation for field studies work? Social distancing in a bus would be difficult to achieve.

17:57:33 From Khal Pluckhan : TEA has done an amazing job for virtual learning.  Has TEA consider marketing their virtual program.  Maybe at a reduced tuition?

17:57:34 From Isabel Domeyko : for the in school scenarios, what would the school day hours be?

17:58:17 From christian.juhl : It looks like a large drop in staff cost from last year to this year, can you expand on what that entails?

17:59:08 From Fletcher : it’s my understanding that the phase 2 and phase 3 CA reopening plan the teachers are not allowed to rotate among different groups of 12 or 16 kids. the plan suggests teachers would rotate between groups of kids in scenario 2. am I misunderstanding the CA rules or the plan for scenario 2?.

17:59:41 From Kevin M : can you share some thoughts on a backup plan if we are not able to secure the portables for next year? Thanks and don’t forget your sunscreen, Taylor.

18:02:35 From Rajashree Karwa : What is the planned process for deciding which scenario to follow and when / if to switch?

18:08:59 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : fingers crossed 

18:16:24 From adriannekimber : Scenarios 2 and 3 will be most challenging for scheduling academics; the benefit of these scenarios is that they enable as much socialization as possible. How do you view the trade-off between academic and socialization emphases? Is there a point where you’d go toward scenario 4 to preserve academic groupings over social ones, even if some in-person work was possible/allowed?

18:17:57 From Melissa’s iPhone : hi. can you dive into the block schedule groupings a little bit?  for example, will students in G3-5 be instructed in grade level groups with the teachers teaching each grade separately or will instruction be across the grades at the same time?

18:18:45 From Jenene Slatt : Current students will be receiving personalized recommendations for support around summer academics. Any support for new incoming students?

18:19:17 From Fletcher : can you provide prospective families with examples of what TEA@home looks like?  we have a rising kindergartener and second grader.  even providing a link to a daily plan/schedule from this past spring would be helpful.

18:19:56 From Stefanie Trenchard : We’ve lived through virtual on boarding for my 6th & 8th graders (we joined in early April) and felt incredibly welcomed by both staff and parents! 

18:20:12 From Pam Abby and Sam : Would the summer contact with crew leaders be with last years teacher or the Fall teacher? (Will 1st grade kiddos communicating with Miss Brenda or the next year crew leaders?.

18:28:30 From Arnaud : TEA at home has been great! Alexis R

18:28:57 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : tea at home has been so good 

18:29:41 From Pam Abby and Sam : Miss Brenda ROCKS!!!!

18:30:15 From Melissa’s iPhone : our grade 2 and 4 teachers have been amazing with TEA@home. 

18:30:18 From rherman : super great job with the remote learning this year.  you guys have been awesome!

18:30:24 From Stephanie Pereira : A huge heap of gratitude to our teachers and leadership. You all have done an amazing job with all of the curve balls you’ve been thrown.

18:30:25 From Birdie : Kindergarten crew leader Miss Rosie is a shining light in our house.  She’s gone above and beyond for our daughter and the rest of her crew.


18:31:45 From charlespeipher : What if a family doesn’t feel comfortable sending their child(ten) into the school? Any chance for continued TEA@Home? LOTS and LOTS of compliments about how well it has worked!

18:32:56 From Patricia/Tom Jones : You guys ROCK!……..Hit the ground running and maintained it all the way through.

18:33:04 From Stefanie Trenchard : TEA@Home is all we know, and we are STOKED on it! HUGE KUDOS to the teachers for spreading the magic to each of our homes!

18:33:47 From James Sohn : I just want you to know that we love you and support TEA’s mission.    We are doing an amazing job.   Thank you

18:34:10 From Karla Jones : Or 3rd and 5th grade crew leads have been amazing.  We also have access to additional support for the kids which has been incredible!  Thank you

18:34:33 From StellaOliverCamilla Baceda : Thank you for inviting new potential families!  Really great way to learn about the school and community!

18:34:44 From Stephanie Pereira : I am so proud of how our communiTEA has pivoted so well during this time. We should be very proud of ourselves.

18:34:48 From rherman : big big kudos. it is so appreciated.

18:35:01 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : huge appreciation to Courtenay Wallpe for incredible inspiration work that makes us sustainable. 

18:35:30 From Jen : Miss Carolyn has been amazing and we LOVE TEA!

18:35:58 From Matt Tucker : Big kudos to whole Middle/High school staff! You all are amazing! Our kids are thriving with TEA@HOME

18:36:13 From Courtenay Wallpe : TEA@Home is amazing!  My boys haven’t missed a beat academically and have been sustained socially as well.  The program TEAm has done a spectacular job.  You ROCK!

18:36:23 From Caroline Kaplan : Thank you for making the transition to TEA at Home absolutely incredible. The teachers and leadership continue to inspire everyday. We, as a family are so grateful

18:36:44 From Arnaud : Great job laying out all the potential solutions. We are so grateful for your hard work. Alexis and Arnaud

18:36:45 From Isabel Domeyko : thank u for not reading the letter out loud over zoom!  seriously, though, i really enjoyed the format of this meeting.

18:36:46 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : Welcome! 

18:37:00 From Julia Babiarz : Had a chance to

18:37:10 From John Law : great job on home virtual schooling. Sebastian is very engaged and positive about it. Lotta work to make it happen. thanks

18:37:38 From Julia Babiarz : We watched a lot of the eight grade passage presentations and Wow! So impressive and inspirational.

18:38:12 From Julia Babiarz : Also thanks to everyone who welcomed us into this amazing communiTEA this year!

18:39:49 From Fletcher : kudos to everyone involved in getting our kids through this. 

18:41:07 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : so grateful for you Stephanie 

18:41:17 From marshallkoch : Thank you to all the amazing teachers and staff at TEA!!  You continue to blow us away with your creativity, kindness, and perseverance.  We are blessed to be part of this school!

18:43:20 From susansandberg : Thank you for a seamless transition to TEA at Home. It has been engaging, challenging and fun. Great job and we are so grateful for the amazing teachers and communiTEA!

18:45:13 From Abbie Lara : Hugs

18:45:27 From Stefanie Trenchard : you got this, Taylor!

18:45:32 From Courtenay Wallpe : We love you Taylor!!

18:46:00 From Stephanie Pereira : Go T!

18:46:03 From Chase Family : Virtual Hug T!

18:47:05 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : tears

18:47:30 From Jenene Slatt : Taylor, we haven’t met you in person but already feel blessed to have  you be a future influence and role model in our children’ s lives. Thank you!

18:47:34 From Karla Jones : You got this T! You are amazing

18:47:37 From Shelley Bolen : we’re crying too… we’re so grateful!!

18:47:43 From Sarah Walters : We don’t even go to TEA and I’m crying!  Sending love from Austin, TX!

18:47:50 From bwalker : Thank you!

18:47:59 From Julia Babiarz : You’re amazing, Taylor! Thank you

18:48:06 From Christina Harbridge, she/her : we love you

18:48:18 From Lesley’s iPhone : beautifully said Taylor

18:48:29 From Cara Pitchford : We love TEA!  Thanks for all you do!

18:48:42 From Lisa Toutant : The TEA Community is amazing!  Thank you to everyone.

18:48:49 From Jim Kaplan : Thank you all!!!

18:48:51 From Margaret : thank you!!

18:48:56 From Abbie Lara : Thankyou!

18:48:56 From Pam Abby and Sam : thank you!

18:49:05 From adriannekimber : Thank you!!!