A Message to our Student Community Regarding COVID-19
Mar 20, 2020
a heart in a red shield against a background of clouds

To our Lambda School community:

I’m reaching out personally because it’s important to me that I reiterate that we’re committed to supporting you through this difficult time. I know the past few weeks have felt strange and uncertain for all of us, including myself. The unusual situation we find ourselves in now makes me that much more grateful for the incredible community at the heart of Lambda School.

You are that community. You make this school what it is. Effective learning and job placement is still of the utmost importance, but none of those efforts would be nearly as successful without the connections, friendships, and support the Lambda School community thrives on. It’s one of the parts of Lambda School I’m most proud of. Now more than ever, it’s important we all connect with each other and put empathy first. 

Lambda is built on a “win together” model. Now is the time to practice that. This may mean being understanding about a classmate who is taking care of their children at home, recognizing that many of us are more stressed and anxious than usual, or being extra mindful of your own needs so you can continue to show up for your family and classmates.   

We are lucky as a remote school to be able to continue and operate as normal. We are a remote school by design, so we’re not impacted by recent events in the same way as other educational institutions. As pioneers in remote, live learning and distributed teams, we’re also making our expertise and best practices available to other schools, businesses, and organizations. 

Supporting our community

While we will be continuing operations, we also recognize how difficult this time is for many of you, and after much consideration, we have decided to cancel our next Build Week beginning instead offer a week-long break for those that need it. For part-time students, your break will be March 23-April 3. Full-time students will be on break March 30-April 3. If you’re feeling burned out, we encourage you to take this time to rest. 

If you would like to continue studying, we will have optional learning activities available, including optional “Look for the Helpers”-themed projects and additional support hours. There is absolutely no pressure to participate in these extra activities – our hope is to accommodate as many students’ needs as possible, and we’ve heard some students like to have projects to focus on during this time. Please refer to the #announcements channel and the Student Guide for more details. For all incoming students –  we will still be welcoming our new cohorts on April 6, as planned (including Lambda Launch the week of March 30th).

I want to also remind everyone that all students and staff have free access to mental health and personal wellbeing resources through our partnership with Modern Health. This includes personalized need assessment, evidence-based digital healthcare, and access to licensed coaches and therapists, many of whom are equipped for teletherapy. Modern Health also offers programs focused on handling stress and anxiety, cultivating a healthy lifestyle, fostering financial well-being and addressing life challenges, all of which can provide an extra layer of support. 

I know that life happens. I have kids myself, and the only thing that comes before Lambda School in my life is my family. I know COVID-19 is a major disruption in many of your personal lives. If you or a loved one is sick or at-risk, that always takes priority. The details for what to do if your circumstances have changed due to COVID-19 are in the Student Guide. Please reach out to us at /frontdesk if you need help or have questions. The ticket volume is high, so it may take longer than normal to get back to you, but we’re working as quickly as possible.

Extra support for parents

We’re also aware that many of our students and staff have children home from school in light of the spread of COVID-19. To help make this experience a little easier, we recently announced the creation of Lambda Children’s Coding Workshops for kids, ages 6-9 and 10-12. Over the next two weeks, volunteer instructors are offering the children of Lambda staff and students the opportunity to sign up for twice-weekly live and online programming workshops, which will take place outside of Lambda instructional hours (before 8 am PST or during the lunch break). 

In addition, we will be working to add additional remote, community engagement opportunities and virtual meet-ups for Lambda students to stay connected and support each other during this time. While we’re canceling all in-person meetups for the foreseeable future, your opportunities to learn and progress in the program remain unaffected for now. As this continues to unfold, we will continue to do all we can to be part of the solution.  

No one is alone in this. We’re here to support you, and I know you will continue to be there for each other as well. That’s what I love about Lambda School – we’re a community. 

Job hunting

For those of you who are actively job hunting or about to start, my advice is to stay focused. While it’s true that in the near future some of the small to midsize businesses may pause on hiring for new roles, the tech talent gap still remains, and many are hiring now or will resume hiring soon. I encourage you to consider remote roles, new industries, and new cities, if necessary. You can find more tips for continuing your job search during this uncertain time here.

You came to Lambda School to master new skills and start a rewarding career. Our commitment to enabling you to do that hasn’t changed. In fact, the uncertain financial situation in the country may mean many of you may be feeling even more eager to land that new job and income. We understand that and are working as hard as ever to make that happen.

Stay well, 

Austen

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