In this important message from the Summit Charter School Foundation, we want to inform you on the decisions Summit is making during this public health crisis and how you can further support our school and community as we navigate this time of uncertainty. Enclosed please find a letter from Head of School Kurt Pusch and information on the ways you can help empower our children, including donating and supporting community resources. Let's work, together, to persevere and turn the tide against COVID-19.
Head of School Letter
Dear Summit Supporters,
Two weeks ago, our students and teachers were busy closing out the final weeks of learning in our third academic quarter. From crafting their analyses of George Orwell’s Animal Farm to finishing personal narratives, capstone math projects, and wrapping up lessons in ecology in preparation for the Xth annual Barrier Islands trip in middle school–Summit’s mission was felt in full spirit across our campus.
Last week, as communities across our country closed doors and quickly adapted to new norms of social distancing, our Summit-way on campus faced a new and sudden change in reality. Seeing our responsibility as vital members of our community on the plateau, we closed our doors and set in place new guideposts for learning in the homes of our families and the trails and spaces of our great outdoors. Our faculty responded with poise, coordinating learning plans and social-emotional supports for our students and families within 24 hours, setting in motion remote learning plans and family support services in close partnership with each of our Summit families and our partners in the community.
Reflecting on the challenging circumstances of this past week, I am filled with gratitude by the inspiring response of our students, families, faculty, and community members. The constraints of this time challenge us to find new routines, balance, and a sense of normal. As we’ve seen this week, these same constraints can also inspire innovation and creativity, and reveal the true strength of our community and the Seven Virtues that anchor us at Summit.
We saw and felt this empowering and inspirational spirit throughout the week... in pictures enclosed of Mr. Loyd and the Dyer family delivering the fruits of Summit’s canned food drive to Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry in a most timely period of need, in the pictures of our kids connecting their learning to their daily acts of service at home, and on Friday morning as we tuned in for an unprecedented Virtual Round-Up. Amidst the certain disruption and stress of this time, together we’ve uncovered countless moments of learning, connection, and joy with our kids.
With this same spirit, we now take on these weeks ahead in shaping what is now evolving to be a formative chapter in our children’s lives. Through the adversity, may our kids build resilience. Through physical distancing, may our kids find greater connection. To the best of our ability, as families, parents, and as a Summit community, may we shape an experience from which our children grow stronger and wiser as people. As we rally together as a community, your continued support of Summit and the many vital organizations serving the needs of our community are incredibly valued and deeply appreciated.
Summit Strong. Cashiers Strong
Head of School
How you can help
1. If you are able, please consider donating to the Summit Charter School Foundation:
Summit relies on loyal and new donors to provide our children with the education they deserve, and giving the gift of education is more crucial than ever before. Summit currently supports 276 children, faculty, and staff that live in Jackson County, Macon County, Transylvania County, and Haywood County. To further mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and to respect the challenges our families now face, Summit has canceled its family-led Family Fund efforts, including the second annual Cinco de Mayo fundraiser, and will experience a loss of budgeted income of at least $50,000 for the 2019-20 school year. Furthermore, the public health crisis causes us to move to a long-term scenario for remote learning instruction. It will be at least May 15 until students return. Many students in our rural community lack access to technology, the internet, food security, and mental health services necessary to successfully continue to navigate their education. For these reasons, we are launching a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to cover both unexpected budgeted income shortages as well as new expenses to ensure our students and teachers can continue a quality education, regardless of circumstance. To contribute, please donate via this donation page.
2. Support and share community resources!
Resources that our families depend on will need increased support during this time and anything you can do to support or share these resources would go a long way. One example is the Meal Assistance Programs for families in need through Jackson County Public Schools, Fishes and Loaves, Boys and Girls Club, and other local dining establishments. Help increase access to food, order take-out, or simply share these programs with those in need. The Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic is still serving dental emergencies and they are working on a remote hygiene program for local students. The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation has created a wonderful summary of factual information and national, regional, and local resources. A full list of Cashiers and Highlands services and resources from medical to utilities and legal aid assistance can be found on our COVID-19 Information Center Page.
Questions? Please email Development Director Melissa Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-395-8461.