In early March, IDMS regretfully suspended on-site classes through the end of the school year in compliance with Governor Ducey’s orders and the guidance of health authorities. (To be clear, the school has experienced no exposures or infections.) You can read Head of School Cameron Taylor’s March 25 report to the school’s Board of Directors on the challenges and changes of this time here.
While the building is closed, IDMS staff is working to support our families by continuing Family Pantry distributions with changes in operations to comply with quarantine precautions: We are now packing between 30 to 50 food boxes twice a week for families to pick up curbside. This is made possible by our partnerships with Trader Joe’s (Campbell and Limberlost store), Midwest Food Bank, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, Pivot Produce, Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, and Casas Adobes Rotary Club. Marcie and Gordon Beggs, parents of Imago Dei math teacher Ariel Beggs, and many other members of the wider community have also made generous donations in support of the pantry.
A school laptop went home to each student along with a first shipment of school supplies and assignments on Monday, March 30. We were able to assist a number of families who did not have internet to get online. Our awesome faculty, who are working from home, adapted quickly and creatively to remote instruction, and have been teaching a full roster of classes, including art and PE, online. Attendance is taken and students are accountable for homework. Both teachers and students are happy to be back in touch and working together.
Meanwhile, Dana Smith and our dear friend Susan Gamble are using the mostly-empty school as a base for organizing refugee women in Tucson, to sew masks in their homes. Thousands of masks have been distributed for free to school families, to healthcare workers and others in need of them. Large donations of masks have been made to El Rio Clinic and the Tohono O’odham Nation. To read more about the mask-sewing effort, click here.
Contributions to support this effort may be made through the school – just make a note on the check or online form.
Generous and timely emergency grants from Stonewall Foundation of Tucson, UNIDAS (the Women’s Foundation youth arm), McCallister Family Foundation, and Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, plus extraordinary gifts by the school’s Board members and other kind community supporters have made this response possible.
Here are a few scenes from these busy days. We are all missing the lovely faces and voices of our kids! (To see more photos of our doings, please follow us on Facebook at Imago Dei School, Tucson.)