Letter to O'Neal Families on Distance Learning

Dear O’Neal Families,
State and public-health guidelines have clarified that distance learning will continue for O’Neal for the remainder of the academic year. I know that this is sad news. Our teachers and students have done an exceptional job adapting over the last few weeks, and for some students, the programs have worked very well for their learning styles and home circumstance. For other students, distance learning has been very difficult, and I ask these families to work closely with your teachers and division head. We can provide support and be flexible to help a struggling student.
 Since distance learning will complete this academic year, we are looking at ways to provide content without adding stress to families and ensure that teachers know what has been covered and where to pick-up when classes resume. We will celebrate our students and their accomplishments in May and plan to further recognize them in person whenever possible.
Of course, we will begin O’Neal’s summer programs as soon as we can safely be on campus. Even then, it is likely that there will be restrictions and limitations, and we will continue to follow the public health guidance from the local, state and federal levels. I want O’Neal to provide whatever we can to support our families once we can reactivate various aspects of our campus. In making decisions regarding campus, the well-being of the members of our community remains our overriding priority, and our goal is to continue to provide options for our families throughout the coming months.
Schools across the country are trying to reimagine their schedules, calendars and instruction to prepare for the impact of another disruption during the 2020 – 21 academic year. We are doing the same. As I said to the faculty and staff this week, a school like O’Neal is much, much more than a campus. Yes, we can provide content while apart, but this event has highlighted more than ever how critically important the social-emotional and interpersonal aspects of an education truly are. We are an O’Neal community, and in the future, we will prioritize options to assure that time away from campus is minimized.
Last week, I was so fortunate to see our amazing Class of 2020 in their cars to pick-up caps and gowns, make a presentation to our full faculty and staff and interview finalists for the Bradshaw and Holmberg scholarships via Zoom. It was wonderful to see everyone. The O’Neal School is filled with extraordinary people, and I am thankful to be a part of this community.
All the best, 
John C. Elmore
Head of School
Serving Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, Sanford, West End, Aberdeen, and areas surrounding Moore County, NC.

The O’Neal School
3300 Airport Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387

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