Dear Parents and Guardians,
Happy Friday! I hope this email finds all of you happy, healthy, and well. Despite the craziness of the outside world this week, we all had a great time, learned a lot, and did not panic over the coronavirus. We followed the CDC recommendations and kept your children safe while they were with us. Mr. Miguel has been hard at work, constantly sanitizing all railings, door handles, and light switches. Teachers have been cleaning and sanitizing desks and computers as well. I am always proud of how clean our school is. This is a time when it is most important. In this technological world we live in, we have no worries if we have to close school for an extended period of time (past the 27th). We are prepared and can communicate through our teacher websites, School Messenger emails, and social media.
On to lighter topics, thank you for participating in the exciting new version of Open House last night. We really enjoyed the new spin on things, “Family Fun Night” with games and crafts throughout the building. New families were met with hospitality as I knew they would be. Current families enjoyed game times with their children and their peers. A good time was had by all. I was so happy with the turnout in light of people canceling events around us. I love our school families!
Recently I have been checking student assessments and reviewing the tests, quizzes, and projects of all students. The work I am seeing is impressive. You may notice my trademark black tiger paw stamp and orange writing on your child’s work. Each teacher sends me work samples, and they invite me into their classrooms when students are working on a project or doing presentations. Most recently, I had the pleasure of observing Third Grade making wagons out of tissue boxes. They made wagons after learning about the pioneer’s journey across America. See Facebook for pictures! I had the joy of doing centers with Second Grade yesterday. Ms. Lofink makes learning fun. Children played games and used kinetic sand to learn to spell this week’s spelling words. What a creative idea! I saw the Preschool 3 year olds’ Religion packet on singing our prayers to God. Yesterday, I saw Preschool 4 year olds’ work on colors, counting, and graphing. Middle school Religion projects were really impressive. I posted them on Facebook as well. First Grade did a terrific job on their most recent Reading test. Fifth Grade did an amazing job on their Number the Stars book test. In Kindergarten and Third Grade, I reviewed a few awesome English and Phonics assessments. I stopped into Mrs. Tannenbaum’s room to view all of her works in progress. Students created geometric figures that are above my brain capacity (judging by my recent origami fail at the principals’ retreat last week). Way to go, students! We have a bright group of youngsters in this building. I am sure I missed someone, but I wanted to let you know that I am proud of all the hard work I see coming across my desk each day.
Speaking of the diocesan principal retreat, I really learned a lot. As promised, I prayed for each and every one of you and for your extended families. I prayed for my continued faith formation in this spiritual mission. I was reminded of how important the work is that we do here every day in a Catholic school. A young student this week told me that he was shocked that Jesus loves us no matter what we do or how bad our behavior is. It made me think of how hard we can all be towards ourselves. Our retreat leader asked us to think about vulnerability. Initially, as leaders, we all felt that vulnerability had a negative or weak connotation to it. As a principal, we are called to make hundreds of tough decisions every day. We have to be strong in our convictions and know that everyone will not agree with our choices. We learned on retreat to think of the fact that being vulnerable makes us human. Not one of us is perfect. We need to be open to others and find the grace in our trials and anxiety and in this mission. During this time of Lent, I ask that you all remember that each and every one of us is vulnerable. Be kind to others and most of all, be kind to yourself. I think we are successful in helping and being kind to others. We need to have the same patience with ourselves. Look at your vulnerabilities and find strength and faith there; not weakness. Forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. And remember, like a wise Third Grader told me, “No matter what you do, God is there; loving, forgiving, and accepting you just as you are.” He is there when we are most vulnerable. I can assure you of that from first-hand experience. You simply have to be open to see and hear Him.
In the weeks ahead, I do not know what will come of this coronavirus, but I have complete and total faith that we will handle it. My son missed a year and a half of his Junior year at Salesianum as he battled cancer. He returned Senior year, graduated with his class, and is now a Junior at the University of Delaware. I assure you that if we have to miss just a few weeks of school (at the elementary or middle school level), it is simply a tiny little blip in the rest of their lives. So, let’s keep washing our hands and avoid putting ourselves in any unnecessary danger. Let’s pray for those who actually are sick and suffering, and not cause undue anxiety by giving too much information to our children. May those who are sick, find strength and faith in God and in their vulnerability.
Reregistration Reminder – Thank you to all families who have registered for next year! We are very happy with our numbers so far. If you have not done so at this time, please send in your paperwork immediately. We are planning on book ordering, staffing, and online subscriptions based ONLY on the number of students registered thus far. As you can imagine, we need an accurate count of students so that we can staff accordingly. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
“Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.” ~ St. Francis de Sales