A Message from Head of School Mike Molina:Mike Molina

The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys’ is mission driven. We nurture the spiritual, intellectual, social- emotional, artistic and physical development of children from traditionally underserved communities. We work in close partnership with students and families. We create an environment where each boy is challenged to reach his full academic potential and receives the structured support necessary to develop his unique gifts as a child of God. How can we live out this mission in the time of COVID-19, when our School community is among the most vulnerable to the direst impacts of the global pandemic?

To live out our mission, our response must be balanced between meeting the immediate challenges at hand and preparing for the long-term realities that emerge from those challenges. This requires us to build a distance-learning program that is responsive to the present needs of the Bishop Walker School community while at the same time planting seeds that can flower after this pandemic has passed. As a result, we have developed a plan for Responsive Distance Learning – an approach that will be flexible, resilient, and dynamic in the face of rapidly changing circumstances.

What is Responsive Distance Learning? Like many things in 2020, we will need to design some of the plan as we go. One of the grounding principles is that we will do our very best to root every decision in our mission, our values, and in the most accurate and up to date information from our families and scholars, our faculty and administration, and from experts in the fields of health and education. From this foundation we will work, innovate, and learn together as a community of faith. Despite many months of massive uncertainty, we must work together and count on each other to do our best to work through the challenging issues that face us all.

I want to thank all of the supporters of BWS who have contributed resources and encouragement since the pandemic first began to impact the School in March. As our Chaplain, Father Tim Malone, and others have distributed gift cards, groceries, internet hotspots, and laptops to support distance learning, other supporters have sponsored our inaugural Summer RESTORE program, significantly increased our teacher professional development budget, and provided invaluable insight and guidance. There will be more to do, but we are ready to take on these challenges because of your gracious support.

Finally, as you read this document, please know that we have made our best efforts to provide a vision for the coming year. Circumstances may change and may well require us to revise this plan. Please join us in having a learner’s spirit of courageous creativity and a growth mindset of patience and generosity with ourselves, and with other members of our community. With that spirit of collaboration, we will get through this together and be better and stronger because of that partnership and shared responsibility.

Lastly, if you have not completed the Family Engagement Survey, please do so by clicking this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3F5G8JJ. This is an important way to be a part of this process!

Michael O. Molina
Head of School