Official JMPS Directors Statement re: Covid 19 situation 30 March 2020 To the James Madison Preparatory School Community- Students, Parents, Teachers, Staff, Coaches and Governing Board Members Governor Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffmann announced this morning that Arizona public schools will be closed through the end of this academic year. This means that public school campuses will be closed. AZ schools are expected to continue to provide online instruction or enrichment opportunities for their students. As a public charter school, James Madison Preparatory School is under obligation to follow this order, and is also under legal and contractual obligation to provide alternative methods of instruction. Of course, this is also the right thing to do for our students. It seems somehow appropriate to be receiving this news today, as we officially begin our school’s online courses, already implemented in response to the current Covid 19 situation. Today’s announcement represents an unfortunate and unavoidable development in this unprecedented event in our history. As we approach the end of our twentieth school year, this represents a disappointing end to such a wonderful school year. Our students have had so many wonderful successes this year, and this spring promised to be another great season for academics and the arts and sports and student travel. As a result of this announcement from the authorities, please be advised that all school activities for this spring have been cancelled. This cancellation includes: all on campus academic and after school meetings and activities, including graduation and 8th grade recognition; second and third trimester awards ceremonies; all spring sports practices and competitions; music and dramatic rehearsals and performances; Team 2449 Robotics, Academic Decathlon, and Odyssey of the Mind; all student travel and field trips, including the Jr/Sr Trip to the East Coast; and all school social activities, including Prom 2020. At this time, we have not yet put together a plan regarding any refunds for any fees paid. Certain costs have already been paid out to vendors and providers, from whom we will attempt to get refunds. However, we do not yet know how that will work. We are currently seeking advice from our business management advisors, as we have received numerous donations for these activities via the AZ Tax Credit. We will be providing information to the JMPS community as soon as possible, and wherever we can, will be issuing refunds. Please be patient, as we hope to have answers to these issues within the next couple of weeks. As the school itself is closed, please understand that the school offices will also be closed, or operating on very limited hours. Please use email or text to contact the school, utilizing the following point of contact: Mr. David Batchelder (Mr. B), available via text at 602.705.2737, or at email@example.com. Mr. B will pass along all communications received to the appropriate staff member(s). We will be picking up mail regularly, but the office will not be open for any regular office hours. We have received many very supportive emails, texts, and phone calls from families who are genuinely appreciative of the school. We deeply appreciate those emails. We have also received a few breathlessly panicked or angry emails from some members of our community regarding the actions taken by the Directors on behalf of the school. To our entire community, please consider the following:
As a charter school, we operate under a contract with the State of Arizona to provide a free appropriate public education to students. As such, we are under the authority of the Governor, the AZ Legislature, the Department of Education, and the AZ Board for Charter Schools, as well as the US Department of Education. The decision to close the school, or end the school year, or decide that a JMPS education would be online for the time being, was not up to us. We are in every way obligated to do our best in such a situation as we find ourselves, and we will do nothing less than our best. Our teachers and staff are doing their very best, right now, for all of our children.
The fact that our seniors have had their senior year so quickly changed is not lost on us. We are aware that wonderful experiences like graduation, trips, sports, prom, college visits, etc. have been irreparably impacted by the current situation. COVID 19 and the world’s response to it is not something that any of us can do much about.
We are also reminded that this situation is being endured by everyone on the planet, and while it is undeniably awful, it can be overcome. If we give our children the positive and optimistic message that life and family and school and fun will go on, even if it is not how it was imagined or how it was ‘supposed to be,’ they will rise through it and be stronger for it. If we choose to complain and blame and whine about it, then that will be the lesson learned. We have every reason to be proud of our students as they find new depths of character and toughness in these difficult times.
Our students CAN do a lot during these times to help: help organize the family’s food and necessities, spend time working on positive projects around the house or in the neighborhood (pull weeds, pick up trash), learn an instrument, become a better artist… the list of positive actions is literally endless. AND OF COURSE, to be the very BEST students they can possibly be! Let’s teach them to be tough, resilient, optimistic and helpful.
We will rise through this, and we look forward to starting classes ON CAMPUS again in August.
Emphasis on academic traditions and American history
Tuition free school
Enforced dress code
No cell phones during the school day
Real world knowledge and skills reinforced
Travel opportunities in and out of state
Community service emphasized
Small Class Sizes! 14:1 Student: Teacher Ratio
Emphasis on Code of Conduct
Low teacher turnover
Honors and AP courses
High quality theater program
Variety of music performance groups
Academic competition teams
Small school, big opportunities
"Teachers who Care, Administrators who Listen, & students who Succeed"
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Patriot of the Week: Alyssa Perez
Alyssa has been a great student in class and a quiet leader to her peers. Alyssa is a well respected student on campus, and a role model of what a JMPS student should be. Keep up the great work, Alyssa!