Page 9 - BusinessWest July 6, 2020
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Wilbraham Monson Academy
At This School, Pandemic Has Been a Real Learning Experience
Brian Easler still recalls the name of the briefing staged by the Centers for Disease Control in Washington, D.C.
more than a decade ago: “The Impending Pandemic.”
Brian Easler says Wilbraham Monson Academy was per- haps better prepared for the pandemic than some other institu- tions, but pivoting to online learning was still a stern chal-
Actually, what he remembers even more was the subtitle to the program: “It’s Not a Matter of If, It’s a Matter of When.”
He took the content to heart, and because of that, he believes Wilbraham Monson Academy (WMA), which he serves as head of school, was in some ways better able to handle the arrival of COVID-19 in mid-March.
“We had prepared pretty well for something like this, actually,” he told BusinessWest. “That was a three-day workshop I attended in Washing- ton led by some of the country’s leading epide- miologists. I came back to the school with a lot of good information on how to prepare.”
Elaborating, he said that, because of that warning, the school was well-stocked with what everyone knows now as PPE, and there were plans already in writing for several different sce- narios depending on when in the school year the pandemic actually hit.
Such preparation certainly didn’t make the closing of the campus to all but a few interna- tional students who simply couldn’t get home,
or the transition to remote learning, easy. But it probably made it easier, said Easler, comparing what has transpired over the past several months to a military operation — and he should know, having served in the Army Airborne Rangers.
“You’re getting swept up in something bigger than yourself, where there’s risk involved and a
degree of planning,” he explained. “And the deci- sion making — the emergency decision-making process — is much different. During normal times, a decision might be very difficult to make; during an emergency, that decision becomes very easy. We wouldn’t normally turn our school meeting space into a second dining hall — that would be a big decision during normal times. But under these conditions, it was an easy decision to make.”
“We had prepared pretty well for something like this, actually.”
Flashing back to March — and then further back to what he heard all those years ago — Easler said the pandemic did not hit quite like those experts projected it would.
“What tripped up us a little bit is that the CDC was anticipating a pandemic that would be fast- moving,” he explained. “We were prepared for three weeks; that was fine when it came to PPE because all the students went home. But it didn’t help us with transition to an online education
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During the month of July, buy any preowned vehicle from Balise and we’ll include a 3-year maintenance plan.
One thing is certain in these challenging times: we’re all in this together. Being there for each other is what will get us through it all, and Balise is here to help. That means we’ll cover every factory-recommended oil change, tire rotation, and multi-point inspection for the next
three years so you can keep that cash for life’s other necessities.
Plus, qualified buyers who finance through Balise may defer payments for 3 months.
We hope that this summer special can be the bridge to better financial times for our valued customers.
With Every Used Vehicle Purchase
    36-month maintenance plan included with purchase of any used vehicle from 7/1/2020 through 7/31/2020, commencing on agreement application date. Plan valid for oil changes, tire rotations and multi-point inspections at Balise dealerships for vehicle manufacturer’s normal usage scheduled intervals only. Severe/heavy duty schedules and additional maintenance items may be required or recommended and are not included. Plan is not transferable to another vehicle or owner. Not valid for purchases made prior to 7/1/2020. Some exclusions may apply, see dealer for details. Customer has option to defer monthly payments for up to 90 days (must finance with dealer, not all will qualify). Monthly payments begin 90 days from contract date. Contract date must be between 7/1/2020-7/31/2020. Customer responsible for accrued interest charges. Down payment may be required. Not valid for purchases made prior to 7/1/2020. See dealer for details.
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