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COVID-19 President Update April 1

Dear Cushing Community,

It has been three weeks since we have closed our day programs at Cardinal Cushing Centers. We are all trying to find balance in what has become our new normal, and this time away from our routines truly seems like an eternity.  Our vibrant community that focused so much on community integration, employment, friendships and social opportunities is now challenged with ways we can think differently about staying connected while staying safe. 

Since Governor Baker’s extended closure announcement, our management teams have been participating in several calls with DDS, MassHealth, EOHHS and the DESE to get clarity and guidance on how to best support our students and adults during this extended time at home. I am happy to announce that we will be rolling out remote learning/program initiatives this week with the hope that all of our day programs will be offered remotely beginning Monday, April 6th

Remote learning/remote programming can encompass a wide variety of opportunities. Examples of remote learning/remote programming includes large-group video or audio conference calls, social skills groups, 1:1 calls & videos, email, use of Google Classroom and other online platforms.  These online tools will be used to provide enrichment opportunities, links to resources, lessons/trainings, and to connect our community with one another. While technology can be a supportive tool, we will also be looking at other low tech learning opportunities that can continue learning and enrichment offline. These activities can include nature walks, scavenger hunts, hands-on projects and artistic creations that stem from each individuals own passions and interests. 

We understand that the change to remote learning/remote programing is an adjustment and can be overwhelming for those that we support.  Every individual’s interest and learning style is different and their capacity and attention varies. Our goal is to provide a sense of structure with a variety of educational and enrichment resources and supports that can be utilized throughout their days at home. Our teams will continue to provide frequent phone calls to check in and will be sure to provide clear directions and support to access online resources.   

We remain hopeful and committed to our mission during this challenging time. I am grateful for our Cardinal Cushing Families and even more grateful for our incredibly dedicated staff.  Please stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram as we enter the world of remote programming. We hope to share lots of photos of our community making the most of distance learning.

Be Well,
Michelle Markowitz
Interim President & CEO