November 20, 2020
Good afternoon IJP families,
I hope this finds you safe and doing well! I am so happy to report that we have made it to Thanksgiving! I have to admit, I had my doubts. But here we are!
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope that you have found a way to make yours enjoyable even amidst the current state of our state and our country. It is important that everyone consider our school, the safety of all students and staff, as well as the agreement that all in person families signed and agreed to abide by. If you are traveling outside of our state, your students need to quarantine for 14 days upon return. I might also suggest that if your family is hosting or attending a big gathering of people from various households, that you plan to quarantine students for 14 days as well. Students who are learning in person will not be counted absent during this time if students engage in remote learning. They must be present from 8:00 am through 3:00 pm, the regular school day, to be counted as present. The Arch is implementing mandatory remote learning in January in the hopes that people will visit and travel over Christmas break not Thanksgiving. As usual, if your student is absent, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. With everyone’s cooperation, we can all stay safe.
Perhaps you responded to the Arch’s recent survey. They surveyed pastors, principals, staff members, and parents. Generally speaking, all stakeholders are comfortable with in person learning protocols. The Arch recognizes teachers’ and principals’ fatigue and burn out. They reported that teachers are resigning at a higher rate this year than in the past (even teachers at public schools who are implementing only remote learning). They also recognize that people are also stressed about the rising numbers of cases here in Illinois. (Our overall Arch infection rate is less than 1%.) Because there is wide variation across the Archdiocese, decisions for schools are being made on a case by case basis. We will continue on as we have been, some students learning in person and some at home.
Speaking of students at home, please remember that students should be in uniform tops. Some of the students are giving teachers grief about this policy. I appreciate you helping enforce our policies.
We have been working hard to update our technology here at school. We have increased our internet speed through Comcast and purchased several new platforms that make instruction and learning more engaging, EdPuzzle and Pear Deck, with title funds from our public school districts. Our new Promethean boards are going to be installed in the classrooms over Thanksgiving break. We have also added GoGuardian, a program that will help us manage our technology, with our CARES Act funds. It is activated on devices from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm to help teachers keep students on task (not searching on Hulu or shopping on Amazon as we have found) and to help students when they are struggling in a particular program or app. For more information, go to https://www.goguardian.com/.
Thanks to our Family Reading Night team of teachers who planned a fun event. Thanks to the Grajales and Mack families who gave special presentations about their families’ reading habits and favorite books. Thanks, as well, to Mrs. Southall and her eighth graders for reading the excerpt from The Wednesday Wars. Students who attended will get to pick out a free book!
Thanks to our School Board, PTO, and several of our families for yet another treat today! We really appreciated the delicious Panera lunch! Thanks again!
I am thankful to have you all in my life. I hope you have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving!
Thankful, grateful, and blessed,