Dear Parents/Guardians of MMA Cadets:
This week has been full of energy as our teachers and Drill Instructors prepared to welcome students to our official first day of school tomorrow, August 26, 2020. I know many of you already miss your son. On top of that, you have the added concerns of COVID-19 and the safety of your Cadet. Please know that we also are genuinely concerned about the safety of your Cadet as well as the entire MMA community. We do not take this task lightly.
MMA remains committed to developing and validating each Cadet’s well-being, and to delivering effective school specific education at the highest levels of achievement. We strive to ensure our Cadets prosper in a positive environment created by a routine and a safety net of measures protecting them while still allowing them to grow as individuals mentally, physically, and emotionally. We are going to hold your Cadet accountable, and we are going to do everything possible to support your Cadet in his education and character development. Please continue to encourage your Cadet and if he has not done so already, with time he will adjust and realize that this is where he needs to be – where he can be successful and evolve into the young man he is destined to become.
I implore you all to remain flexible with respect to schedules and events that may change throughout the school year because of COVID-19. If you have not received the MMA Parent Handbook, then please contact your Cadet’s Drill Instructor (DI) to request a copy. Due to the global pandemic, this year will be unlike any other year at MMA. We must all be flexible and work within the laws, rules, and regulations that govern our operations during this period. With that being stated, you will see in the MMA Parent Handbook that we have canceled the Thanksgiving break this year and will instead, allow the Cadets to leave a week early for Christmas Break. This was a necessary concession to convince the governing forces that we can do all we can within our power to keep your Cadets and therefore our community safe. We will work with the companies to do some type of remote event over Thanksgiving to allow the Parents/Guardians an opportunity to be with their Cadets remotely. Those details will be passed along from the individual Company Drill Instructors. Upon return from the Christmas break the Cadets will be tested for COVID-19 just as they were tested upon arrival here at MMA.
We are not sure how our extracurricular activities or sports season will look this year as the county and state governing bodies have not solidified any guidance in these areas yet. We will prepare our Cadets as if everything is going forward but prepare them to be flexible as well.
Additionally, this year we will not be having an in-person Parents’ Weekend. We will conduct the Parents’ weekend remotely. We are working on the details for that important event and will pass those along soon. That also means that we will not be hosting a Marine Corps Birthday Ball this year. We will instead hold a private Celebration with the Cadets here on Campus. All these measures are taken to keep our Cadets and our community safe.
I know this is difficult, but I am asking that you all forego visiting your Cadet here on Campus or taking him away from Campus. Although we will not prevent you from such activities please know that before your Cadet returns back to his Company area he will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test at your expense and will be required to be monitored and tested until the 14 day quarantine period is passed. This may also mean that he is removed from his company and from in-person classes. If that happens, he will be placed in our Quarantine Barracks and will be attending classes remotely and be completely segregated from all school activities. This in no way is a punishment as there may be valid emergency reasons for having your Cadet away from campus. However, this is a safety measure we must follow to continue to operate safely during this pandemic. This is one of the distinguishing factors that is allowing us to hold in person classes in our county. They know we can keep our Cadets and staff safe by limiting their activities outside of campus.
In closing, thank you for trusting MMA with your most precious asset…your son! I want to thank you for your commitment to MMA during an unprecedented year. Together, we are forging a path to carry out the School’s mission in new ways!
Christopher S. Dowling
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) President
Marine Military Academy
320 lwo Jima Blvd Harlingen, TX 78550