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Shelter and Connection

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hi TLS Families,

Shelter. It’s a really beautiful word. If you are a TLS student, the word “shelter” might inspire a vision huddling together and whispering wonderful secrets to one another in the playhouse after rest time. It could also mean designing fantastic forts for solace in the Village. However, at its core, shelter means “to protect or shield.” As a school, we have been taking shelter in the service of protecting ourselves, each other and our communities. Thank you for caring for one another and demonstrating it in your actions and your words.

Last night, the governor formally ordered shelter in place. It feels unsettling. The order adds a seriousness and heaviness to our reality. It creates an urgency to pull together as a society. We are banding together to keep people healthy by keeping our physical distance. That doesn’t mean that we need to be isolated.  We are doing what we can to facilitate connections. We hope you are also reaching out to each other and checking in on family and friends. This is what we need to do.

Connection is not a perfect science. In fact, the beauty of connection is that it is so personal. As a school, we are examining what makes connection meaningful to your children right now. Is it meeting for a virtual Lego playdate with a treasured friend? Is it sharing a journal entry at morning meeting? Is it watching a video and singing along? Is it a one-on-one conversation with a loved teacher? Is it something else entirely?

We want to thank so many of you (38%!) who took the time to complete our distance learning survey. This adds another important layer of understanding for us about what is working and what needs adjustment. We will use much of our faculty meeting time tomorrow to synthesize and plan our next steps for keeping your students connected and learning. One of the fun parts of doing something you haven’t done before is that there are continuous opportunities to improve. It’s a powerful experience to design so responsively. We will share a summary of feedback and next steps with you all on Friday.

As we engage the rest of the week, we are sending your family ease and wellness. Here are some questions that might offer some ways to see light and hope in this moment.

In partnership and care,



*Credit to Brooke Anderson for the visual.