Our halls and classrooms are empty and our campus is quiet as we cancelled school last week to join with many others in an effort to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite the cancellations, we are still an active community and want to continue to nurture and engage our students especially during this uncertain and anxious time. This week our faculty and students began home-based learning that focuses on many aspects of academics, social and emotional well-being, faith formation, and physical and outdoor education.  

This Distance Learning Program (Continuous Learning) is obviously something new to all of us and something we never expected to be doing in this last quarter of the school year, but here we are. But even as we are not physically together,  we feel that the online educational experience we have to offer our students will be valuable and rich as we continue to build community and care for one another during this unconventional time. 

#HILLCRESTUNITED embodies not only who we are as a community now during this COVID-19 crisis, but it all speaks to who we are as students, faculty/staff, and alumni & friends of Hillcrest Academy. Even in our isolation we are together. We are united. 

#HILLCRESTUNITED will be a place online where our students, faculty/staff, and alumni & friends can share their experiences and how they are staying connected during this time. Feel free to share your thoughts, photos, prayers, ideas, whatever is helpful or useful for others to see. And when you do share, don’t forget to use the hashtag #hillcrestunited

As we all struggle to stay connected in spite of church and school cancellations, here are some resources from Amy Gingerich ’95 of MennoMedia that you might find helpful.

We pray for people in the U.S. and around the world impacted by coronavirus. We pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who have been quarantined and are feeling alone. We pray for healing for those who are sick. We pray for safety, strength and compassion for medical workers who may be overwhelmed caring for those who are battling various illnesses, and workers who are exposed to greater risks. We pray that our public officials act with compassion and wisdom as they work to contain the virus. We pray for those without access to health care, and for those who don’t know how they will make it if they get sick and can’t go to work. We pray that your peace will guard our hearts and minds so that we are not overcome by anxiety and fear.
God, inspire in us ways to show your love to one another and to ourselves. Guide our hearts and our actions to greater care, kindness and generosity in the midst of these fears and uncertainties.

And here, our friends The Walking Roots Band who joined us last June for a fundraiser have a special message for us all.