I want to start by saying how extremely proud I am to be part of this amazing community. During these past three weeks, I have seen some really incredible things. This is a very scary and uncertain time for all of us, but it has shown us so many blessings. I am truly impressed with my staff. They have never taught remotely (solely) and have adjusted to this new way of life so positively and openly. They are excited and learning as they go and really challenging themselves to do new things.
Three full weeks have gone by, and everyone is starting to feel more uncertain about the end of this pandemic. Uncertainty leads to stress. I do not wish that for any of you. Be certain that we will all come through this and support each other as needed. I ask that you all have patience with others but first with yourself. This is an idea from St. Francis de Sales. Parents, you are not teachers, so please do not expect to be teachers. Our superintendent today told the principals that we should all be focused on “compassion more than content.” If you are anxious and stressed, imagine what our children are feeling. They will not remember what they learned, but they will remember how they felt and how they were treated. I have said it before but it bears repeating. These children are going to remember you being present for them. They are going to remember going for walks, watching movies, playing games; all of those things we never had time to do. They will remember family dinners; not what food they ate. They will remember the patience you showed when you walked away or humbly admitted you did not understand a lesson they were asking for help with.
Hang in there! Your children have shown tremendous responsibility and independence, particularly in the upper grades. They are turning in work in new ways and reaching out to ask for help. Let them do that. Let them ask the teacher for help. Grades 4 through 8 have email accounts and have been using those accounts long before this pandemic. Teachers are available 7:30-3:30 every day, Monday through Friday. Next week, we will still honor our scheduled Easter Break. I am not making any changes to the school calendar at this time. Students will have very little work on Holy Thursday (noon dismissal), as we really want to focus on Holy Week and all of the hope, joy, and renewal that Easter promises. This is the most important week in the Catholic church. It is the basis for our beliefs. Enjoy this special time with your family.
All events for April and May are canceled. We hope to reschedule many fun activities when we are back together. As you may have read, our Italian Festival has been canceled for the first time in 50 years. This is sad but it comes with a promise for new ideas and opportunities for fundraising events. Casino Night will most likely be our next main event. We hope to have a huge turnout for that once we are able to secure a new date.
In the meantime, please just love each other, stay safe, and be well. Please stay in touch with your child’s teacher. They miss your children very much. I just had a virtual meeting with my entire staff. It was so nice to see them. The recurrent theme from every one of them was how much they miss seeing your children. It is a new normal. I miss everyone very much. Keep plugging along. We will be together again soon.
Right now we remain on track, technically not having missed any school days. Some schools are just starting online education, while others still have no plans. We are ahead of the curve. I have total confidence that we will finish our school year strong, whether in the building or not. Only time will tell at this point.
Let’s hold each other in prayer. This Sunday is Palm Sunday. I hope it brings you some peace. If you are not friends with us on Facebook, I urge you to do so and stay connected. That is my primary means of communicating all of the good things that are still happening every day. It will make you smile. Today’s Gospel reminded us that Jesus has shown us many good works of His Father. Look for those good works. They are all around you.
I know some parents want more work for their students. Some parents want less work and are feeling overwhelmed. We continue to find a middle ground, and I believe it is working well. Just breathe this weekend. This is an elementary school. Your children will be fine. I assure you. You have my word! Remember that compassion outweighs content. You are doing your best. Teachers are doing their best. And at the end of the day, everyone’s best is enough!
I love all of you and hope you can relax this weekend. No more parents and grandparents teaching for two days!
Stay safe and be well!
Mrs. White 🙂
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.” St. Francis de Sales
***Please excuse any typographical errors!