One of my great joys of serving at St. Bart’s has been seeing all the activity surrounding our Preschool. It is for that reason, among others, that I am very sorry to let you know we will not be able to open this fall as originally expected.
There are several reasons for this: first and foremost, we have not found a viable candidate for Preschool Director. Sheila Martin showed us all what a dedicated and very competent director is like and we do not want to hire anyone less qualified. Our plan is to continue networking and recruiting vigorously so we can open in January of 2022.
Second, due to construction delays that are out of our control, it looks like construction on the upper parking lot and former parish hall site will not be completed until October. We do not want children near a construction area for obvious safety reasons. However, come January when preschool parents and their children return they will find a greatly enhanced parking lot and drop-off area.
Finally, with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in our area, there are many unknowns as to how this will affect schools. As always, our primary concern is for the safety of our children, our teachers, classroom aides, and our beloved preschool families. We will continue to vigilantly monitor best safety practices as we head towards reopening in January 2022.
We will of course refund any monies that preschool families have paid towards tuition and fees for the Fall 2021 semester.
I can only imagine how difficult this is to hear. Our preschool is and continues to be one of our most important ministries here at St. Bart’s. We have an obligation to our preschool families, teachers and aides to open under the safest and most supportive conditions to allow our young people to thrive. We will keep you informed on progress in hiring the new preschool director, construction and COVID-19 safety updates.
Please keep the preschool, preschool families, teachers and aides in your prayers as we work to have a robust opening, and celebration, come January 2022.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas