Leadership Message Regarding Mandated School Closure

March 14, 2020

*Regarding international cadets and families – We will work with international to make specific arrangements to best support and accommodate each family’s situation. We will seek extended home-stay options as well as the ability for the Academy to continue to board international students during this period. More information will be communicated with these families in the coming hours and days. For now it is important to focus on using the time we have been given to work out the best solutions for each of our families and allow the people we have in place to coordinate these efforts, gather necessary information, and make appropriate arrangements.

Late Friday afternoon, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services to order the closure of all public and private schools beginning at 5:00 PM Central Time on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. A copy of the official notice is here: School Closure Order

This is an unprecedented event for the Academy as an independent boarding school. According to the official press release, “The mandated closure will begin on Wednesday, March 18th, in order to give school districts ample time to make plans for kids, families, educators, and staff.” This is especially important for schools like SJN so we can efficiently plan for the closure and help get students safely home. Although we generally do not agree that this is the best course of action at this time for schools like SJN, we are compelled to follow the directive.

Due to this extreme declaration, the following steps are being enacted:

  1. Classes will continue on campus through the end of the regular class day on Wednesday, March 18. This time will be vital for teachers to prepare and instruct students in how their classes will continue remotely. Teachers will develop contingency plans to deliver content online via Google Classroom and/or Academy email and explain this to students.

  2. Families should make arrangements for their cadets to travel home beginning at the end of the school day Wednesday, March 18. We will provide further information on Monday regarding travel planning and academic arrangements.

  3. Further information about how this event will affect the timing of our spring break period and the remainder of the school calendar will be provided as we make those decisions based on the conditions and progress of the situation.

Today, we are asking families to approach these events calmly and prudently. Although this is an extreme time for all of us, we must remain in control of the situation and not allow panic or hysteria to set in. Right now, everyone in our SJN community is safe and healthy and we need to work carefully to keep it that way. I ask for your cooperation and support as we work to comply with the governor’s mandate in ways that make sense for our cadets and our Academy—our family. As always, we will weather this storm together as long as we stay united in thought and action.

Thank you so much,

Eric Wozniak – Headmaster
Tom Stocks – President
Stephanie Ihler – Academic Dean
Steve Schweiss – Commandant of Cadets