Tiger Talk! March 12, 2021

Dear Families,

I hope everyone had a terrific week. I want you to know that I prayed for everyone’s continued health and happiness while on retreat with the Diocese last week. Our school family is always in my prayers. As we move through this season of Lent, we are ever mindful of all of our blessings and of those less fortunate than ourselves. We continue to teach the Corporal Works of Mercy and remind our students to care for others. They really are a very thoughtful and kind group of students. We focus on empathy in all guidance programs with Mrs. Angelo, and we see signs of that empathy every day. Keep up the great work of raising compassionate individuals. Parents are their child’s first teachers. We thank you again, as always, for sharing your children with us every day. I am so happy and grateful at the end of every single day when the sun sets. I never take a single day on this Earth for granted. When we all leave safe and healthy at 6pm, I thank God. I feel so fortunate to work in a school where we have been safely in-person for two-thirds of the school year already. Thank you for making this happen for our school family!

Today marks one year from our last day in the building last school year. This day last year was the beginning of the pandemic for many of us, and we had no idea what to expect. Our staff is having professional development today, just like a year ago on March 13th. I received notification just before it was ready to begin that all schools would be physically closed beginning on Monday. This amazing team switched gears without any notice and put together a plan of action. We did not miss a beat. Our staff planned for during those four hours, and our students were able to start virtually the very next week. I thank this staff again for their willingness and readiness. When we needed them, they rose to the task. They never signed up to be essential workers, yet they were asked to report back this August, and they did so happily. There is great value to all of us being in-person. Our mental health and ability to socialize are at risk when we can’t be together.

Diocesan Pilgrimage Cross – Our Pilgrimage Cross leaves us today to travel to Maryland. I hope you follow us on Facebook and were able to see the cross fill up with prayers and special intentions. This was a special gift to have this in our midst. Although we have not been able to attend Mass as a student body, we were able to take small groups and classes (socially distanced) into the hallway for Lenten prayer services. Thank you to my teachers for doing individual classroom activities centered on the Pilgrimage Cross.

Lenten Rice Bowls – Please remember to send in your rice bowls by Friday, March 26th. The money collected goes directly to the Missions and is very much appreciated. Due to COVID, we ask that you keep the box at home and send in the donations (no matter how small) in an envelope or Ziploc bag (if loose change). Thank you in advance for this contribution that reaches out to the community outside of our own.

Thank you! – I want to also thank you for the generous donations of canned goods during Catholic Schools Week. It was a short week due to snow, but our St. Anthony families were generous as always. I received a thank you note from the St. Patrick’s Center. They appreciate us helping them live their mission and provide a welcoming, dignified, respectful, and caring environment. They have responded to the growing needs of the people of Wilmington’s East Side, offering access to food, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare, and a community for all. We donated 744 pounds of non-perishables, which was even better than our Thanksgiving donation of 510 pounds.

Congratulations to Lena Padovani!  – Lena was our schoolwide winner for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She represented us at the Statewide Spelling Bee at St. Mark’s High School this past Saturday. Great job, Lena!

Congratulations to our former graduates, now Padua Pandas! I am so proud of these wonderful young ladies. Senior Katie Collier earned Distinguished Honors during the first term. The following students earned High Honors: Amanda DeFrehn, Olivia Segeda, Lauren McLaughlin, Ashley DeFrehn, and Noelle DiVirgilio. The following students earned Honors: Eva Pellegrino, Hannah Fagioli, Allen Martin Del Campo, Madison Rieger, Leah Rizzo, Colleen Banker, and Rachel Tomlinson. Great job, Ladies! You continue to make us proud.

Water Filling Stations – Our new water filling stations are open and ready for use. With that being said, I want to explain how these will work. There is still a button to push. Students will have to be able to push the button on top and hold their cup into place. Unfortunately, it is not a simple machine that I assumed would have sensors for the bottles and automatically refill it. For this reason, students will need to use hand sanitizer before and after using it. We will not have water refill breaks for an entire class as this would take longer than a class period. Please continue to send your children with a full water bottle every day and a separate one for lunch. The refill stations are there, but will not be used by every student every day. They will be used as needed.

Early Dismissals no later than 2:40pm – Please do NOT come into school after 2:40 for an early dismissal. 2:40-2:50 is a small window of time where we double check to be sure all changes are made with regards to dismissal. Dismissal begins at 2:50 for preschool. Families often call between 2:30 and 3 to make changes to transportation. It is our top priority that those calls are answered and messages are given to both students and teachers. We may not call a student down after 2:40 since dismissal procedure of announcements and prayers will be occurring within the next 10 minutes. If you need an early dismissal for your child, the procedure is to send a note first thing in the morning. Please use early dismissals for emergencies only. If you have a doctor appointment scheduled, arrange for an early dismissal by 2:15 pm at the latest. Remember that our staff is spread throughout the property so that all exits of the building are covered. We do not have extra staff on site to call children to the office. I appreciate your cooperation with this.

Parent Involvement Workshop – Join Gina Castelli and Learn It! Academic Services on Wednesday, April 21st from 6:00-7:00pm. This workshop will take place using Zoom. The topic will be Supporting Your Family’s Social & Emotional Needs During A Pandemic: Tools & Strategies for the Present and the Future. More information containing a Zoom link will follow. A flyer was sent home this week via email.

Report Cards/ Renaissance Results – Report Cards will be distributed next week. We will also be sending home Parent Reports from our most recent Renaissance Testing. If you do not receive a copy of the test results, your child was either absent, late to school, or unable to take the test due to fine motor skill issues (inability to use the mouse – typically Kindergarten and First Grade). Contact your child’s teacher directly with any questions about these tests.

  • There is a signature line on the Renaissance Parent Report. No signature is required. I am unable to edit that form, as it comes directly from Renaissance.

Staff Development Today – Today, our staff is participating in professional training from noon until 4pm. We will be working once again with DeVon Jackson from Chānj Consulting. This professional development opportunity is a follow-up to our August Diversity and Social Justice training.  The positive response to our August session made it an easy decision to bring Mr. Jackson back. Teachers were interested in having more in-depth discussions on the topics of diversified instruction and dialogue in all areas of curriculum. Our school is very diverse, yet we are well aware that our school staff is not. We continue to learn new ways to make sure all of our students feel included, valued, and understood. We want to be sure we are doing everything we can to highlight and celebrate our differences and recognize all parts of our history; the good and the bad.

Shout out to St. Francis Hospital! Thank you to our neighborhood friends at St. Francis Hospital. We received calls this week for our staff members who have yet to be vaccinated. We are hopeful to have our entire staff vaccinated within a month. This really helped boost our chances of staff vaccinations.

Easter Holiday: Our school will be closed Thursday, April 1st through Tuesday, April 6th. School will reopen on Wednesday, April 7th. I hope your Easter season is a blessed and peaceful one.

I hope you were all able to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we had this week! Our next Tiger Talk! will be after we return from our Easter Break. Enjoy this time with your family.

Lenten Blessings,

Mrs. Judith J. White

“The Lord always forgives us and walks at our side. We have to let Him do that.” ~ Pope Francis