September 18, 2020
Good Afternoon SMS Families,
As we complete week three of the school year I want to say what a good job the students are doing overall. Our in person students are arriving with cheerful attitudes. Our little ones in PreK and Kindergarten are keeping their masks on and following our many guidelines throughout the day. Our remote students are working hard at home and enjoying seeing their teachers and classmates each day. I am amazed at how well all of the students both in school and at home are doing through this very “interesting” start to the school year!
I want to ask for everyone’s help with something very important. Our teachers are nothing short of amazing for all they are doing during this time. They are planning for in person and remote lessons - double planning with much less planning time than they had last year - along with the introduction of new technology in the classrooms. Some of our teachers only have a 30 minute “break” in the day and during that time they need to make copies, prep packets, upload documents, check and respond to emails and oh yes try and eat a quick lunch and use the bathroom! Our teachers are planning tirelessly during the evenings and weekends to meet the needs of both our in person and remote students. They are going above and beyond to make sure all of our students feel included and important in the class. Our Specials teachers are teaching special area classes and other subject areas and taking on extra duties as well. Our office staff and nurses are juggling all of the new procedures and protocols.
Where I ask for your help is this...a kind email, a word of thanks, a “thumbs up”, a positive comment or two through the computer screen, etc. Be patient with the teachers as they navigate instructing both in person and remote students at the same time - an overwhelming task that not many other schools are doing! We have lost good teachers and staff members already due to the Covid situation and I do not want us to lose any more of our teachers. Without them we have no school. They are here for your children. “Be a light” for our teachers to see. When I receive a positive email I forward it to them so they can see how much all of their hard work matters! What is going on “behind the scenes” here to keep our doors open for your children and to keep things running smoothly is unbelievable! I am so proud of our teachers and all of the Catholic school teachers in our Archdiocese! Thank you for continuing to support our SMS teachers and staff!
Remote Reminders - Remote students please remember to sign in for homeroom. Attendance is taken during this time and we do not want any of our remote students to be marked absent. Our Remote Picture Day is October 14. We will send a signup genius in order to allow for social distancing and limited traffic on campus. We understand if you are uncomfortable coming on campus at this time and if so you can email your child’s picture to us to be included in our yearbook. No class pictures are allowed to be taken at this time.
Weekend gatherings - Please be aware of the risks of large gatherings, parties, etc. involving our students. We see what is happening at many high schools when large social gatherings are occurring. We are working hard to minimize the risk here at school so please help us to help you!
HSA - Last call for HSA nominations for the 20-21 school year! Please complete this Google Form to list any nominations https://forms.gle/rPs8Y4VT16BkcPef9
SMS Spiritwear - Our SMS Spiritwear store is open until September 27. Use this link to order https://smschoolfall2020.itemorder.com/. We will have our first SMS Spirit “out of uniform” day next Friday, September 25! Students may wear SMS Spiritwear and/or school colors blue and white if you do not yet have SMS Spiritwear. Our awesome SMS masks will be available for purchase soon! Look for an email with more information.
Calendar Updates - Please continue to review the school calendar on the website www.smsch.org as it is updated throughout the school year. We will have to add a few upcoming early dismissals to the calendar. Fr. Kevin has requested some time with the students out of the buildings in order to complete maintenance and repairs that were not able to be completed before the school year started due to all of the Covid related prep that had to take place. It is difficult for the maintenance staff to get all of these things done in the evenings along with all of the extra cleaning and sanitizing that takes place each day. On these early dismissal days Extended Day Care (EDC) will need to be closed as well since students will need to be out of the buildings. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and cooperation and understand this will benefit all of our students in the long run.
We have had some questions about recess and PE equipment. We cannot touch, therefore use, any of our shared equipment at this time. We are on the lookout for recess and PE materials that we can “bag up” individually to give to the students to use for a bit more fun! So far I have seen students playing “walnut soccer” and “grape baseball” (bless their hearts). They really know how to get creative! I am so grateful for the laughs our students give us when we need them the most.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for being a part of the SMS family.
Anna C. Shanahan
St. Margaret School
"Be a light for all to see." Matthew 5:16