Friday, March 27, 2020
Good Afternoon St. Margaret Families,
I hope that you are all staying safe and healthy! We made it through Week Two together! Thank you for your support and patience as we worked through practice sessions of Google Meet and Zoom in all grade levels Preschool through Grade 8! It is amazing to see even our youngest students on these “meetings”! The teachers have commented on how “seeing” their students has made them smile during this stressful time. This week we continued with review of concepts. With the extension of our school closure until April 24, we are prepared to move on with teaching new material. This week we met through a virtual session as a faculty to plan for Week Three and beyond.
Moving forward new material will be taught from the curriculum. Teachers are planning and designing learning opportunities to provide students continued education through means of online programs as well as the use of the materials the students brought home with them (packets, textbooks and other curricular resources). All of this is continuing the educational experience your child is receiving; the teachers are continuing to teach and plan each day during this closure. Specials activities will be posted beginning next week - one activity per week not per day. The addition of Special area subjects is not meant to “add one more thing” or overwhelm the students. In fact, we hope that the activities given by our Special area teachers will allow the students to step away from the computers and have a little fun as well!
The students in Grades K-8 will have a live/face to face teaching session for ELA and Math each week via Zoom or Google Meet. Preschool students will also have a live meeting once each week. The live sessions will be recorded so students have access at a later time if needed. There are expectations for the students while they are participating in these live/face to face sessions. The students should find a quiet place in their home where they can focus. Students should not be “lounging” in their beds or laying on the sofa under covers. Appropriate attire and behavior and respectful interactions are expected during live sessions. Please discuss these guidelines with your children. Thank you!
It would be unrealistic for us to expect that every student would have a live teaching session five days per week and for every subject area. Some families only have one device at home and have to share with siblings who also have work to complete. Some families are still going to work and their child is with a relative, friend or neighbor all day. Some individuals are working from home or are running their business from home and are not able to provide the assistance or guidance to their children during normal business hours. We have to think beyond “my child” or “my class” and work collaboratively as a school community.
While we know that we will not be able to please everyone with the amount of work or digital learning taking place (some are saying "too much" and some are saying "too little") we are working hard to best meet the needs of our students during this challenge we are facing. We will strive to make this a collaborative effort between the teachers, students and parents and we truly appreciate everyone’s support. We will continue to evaluate what we are providing for the students. I will be sending a brief Google Survey regarding workload and distance learning next week to help provide us with valuable feedback moving forward.
As you know we are not scheduled to return to SMS until Monday, April 27 at this time. Keeping with the Department of Catholic Schools calendar, we will still have Spring Break from April 4th – April 15th. There will be no work assigned during our Spring Break and we will pick back up on Thursday, April 16th. I hope that everyone will use the break to add some time for prayer, fun family activities and a pause from school work and hectic schedules. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me, Mrs. Kimmel or Ms. Cody. The administration, faculty and staff will continue to do all we can to support you and your children. Keep the prayers coming for all of us and we will do the same for all of you!
SMS STRONG...we’ve got this!
I am asking you to please be mindful of your presence on social media. This is not a time for "Facebook drama". We are all in this together and we need to lift each other up during this and show our values as a loving, Christian community. Thank you in advance for remaining positive and supportive!
*Standardized Testing is postponed - more information will be sent to us - testing will not take place the week we return to school
*Our NCEA Conference in April is cancelled - more information will be sent as the AOB receives it
*Spring Break should not be impacted at this time - no decision of adding days in June at this time
*Communication will continue to come from the AOB and will be sent to you
Update on school programs, events and Hot Lunch as of 3/13/20:
We will be cancelling MS Grandparents Day. The Passion Play will take place at the MS campus only, there will be no ES performance of the Passion Play. The Grade 2 Seder Meal will be rescheduled. Tuesday hot lunch for March 17, 24 and 31 will be cancelled. Accounts will be refunded so money can be applied to later in the year or next year. Good Taste Catering lunches will be cancelled for the two weeks we are closed. We will re-evaluate Hot Lunch service on April 1st and 2nd closer to that time and keep you posted.
I want to thank all of you for your patience with all of my emails. This is "uncharted territory" for all of us! We will get through this situation like we always do...together as a school community! If you have any questions or concerns over the next few weeks please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Be safe and stay healthy! Thank you for being a part of the SMS family.
Anna C. Shanahan
St. Margaret School
2019-2020 The Year to Lead
“I have called you by name.” Isaiah 43:1