Eagle's Edge

St. Therese Weekly Newsletter - August 19, 2020

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

Sometimes our children surprise us and drop wisdom bombs when we least expect it – using a meme, no less.

Gabriel, our oldest son, shared this meme with me at dinner, and that’s not even the best part. The BEST part is that he looked me in the eye after seeing my reaction and said, “you’re going to write about this in your next newsletter, aren’t you?”

If you’d like to read more about the background of the meme, click on the image above. If you’d like to find out where I’m going with all this, please, read on.

In the spring, with the school closures, we were all left to improvise; parents, students, educators, small business owners, we all just had to figure it out and do the best we could. That was a short-term solution and wasn’t sustainable. We were holding ourselves and our families together with masking tape and paper clips just trying to figure it all out and get through each day.

Throughout the summer, as COVID-19 decided to settle down and stay awhile, we had to make more permanent adjustments to our lives. We wear masks everywhere we go, give air-hugs and air-high-fives, and watch mass on livestreams. We’ve heard the phrase, “our new normal” more times than we can count – we are adapting. I don’t know about you, but I don’t wipe down all of my groceries with bleach wipes anymore, and I sure don’t hold my breath when people get too close the way I did in April. We are turning a corner; accepting the reality that is in front of us so that we can…

Overcome! That’s what this fall is going to be about. It’s embracing what is in front of us in order to thrive, not just survive. We have mourned the losses of celebrations and milestones, and we will likely mourn a few more before this is all behind us – but we are not going to dwell in that darkness. Our community will climb over it, scramble under it, shimmy around it and get past whatever obstacles COVID-19 poses. We will not settle for mediocre, or for status quo, but instead we will demand better of ourselves, of each other, for our children. In making the best of a bad situation we are going to change the way we think about teaching and learning, to deliver a product to our families that we never imagined we would have to assemble.

I’m not going to lie – I’ve had some rough moments this week. I’m an optimist because I believe. I really believe. Like, in my heart and deep in my soul, believe. I’m a terrible poker player, because I don’t like to take risks, but I also won’t give up – not even on the worst hand. However, if I were a bettin’ woman, I’d be bettin’ it all on us.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Believe.


Rosemarie El Youssef

Principal, St. Therese School

Welcome Week! September 8th - 11th

In order to get everyone organized and ready for the new year, St. Therese will be hosting a Welcome Week during the first week of school. Rather than have full online class schedules, we will be hosting some activities to allow students and teachers the opportunity to get to know each other, their teachers, and the expectations of at-home learning. We will also be hosting Zoom meetings with families on various topics to prepare us all for the school year.

Our focus that week will be a parent-teacher-student conference that will take place either in person, or via Zoom (depending on your comfort level). We will be contacting each family to schedule times that are convenient for you!

Look forward to a full week of fun community building and information sharing - a detailed schedule will be released in next week's newsletter. This schedule will be slightly modified from our normal class schedules.

We are so excited to celebrate this new year with you!


Please check out the links below, or visit our website and click on the "COVID-19 Updates" tab at the top to read the latest news about school this fall.

ODE’s Ready Schools Safe Learners Page

COVID-19 Rates by County

Oregon Health Authority – epi curve

St. T's Summer Challenge!

Let's stay connected - will you accept the challenge?

Each week Mrs. El Youssef will challenge you to participate in a summer activity. We want you to send us photos of your product, or videos of you and your family participating in the activity. It's just one way we can try to stay connected during the summer months! Photos and videos will be featured on our website and on social media - but only with parent/guardian permission.

Each St. Therese student to complete all of the weekly challenges will receive a St. T's Summer Challenge T-shirt when they return to school this fall! It's not too late to start and catch up on all the challenges.

Email photos to elyoussefr@stthereseschool.org or post on Facebook, instagram, or twitter with the hashtag #stTsummerChallenge and tag @sttherese_pdx so we can see what everyone is up to.


In the spirit of Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. make your own meme using a favorite photo from this summer. It's actually one of Mrs. El Youssef's favorite things to do! You can use a free app like Mematic and turn a regular photo into something spectacularly funny! Recreate your favorite meme, or create an original.

Share your meme on social media and use the hashtag, #stTsummerChallenge. Get the whole family involved!

Remember it's not too late to catch up on the other 5 challenges to earn your t-shirt! Only 2 challenges left!

Practice Mindfulness

This week's mindfulness practice will be to review our previous lessons.

* belly breathing

* using breathing to find a quiet place

* mindful walking

* mindful affirmations

What mindfulness practices do you prefer? How do these practices help you? Set a goal to be mindful for at least 5 minutes each day - I set a reminder for 7 o'clock each morning! The message pops up on my phone screen reminding me to take some deep breaths and repeat a positive affirmation.

You can always access previous newsletters! You can access the links on our website by clicking here.

Be well!

Eagle Athletics Survey

St. Therese Families,

Today, Wednesday August 19th, is the last day to complete the athletics survey. Just click the link below - it will only take a few minutes!


St. Therese Athletic Board


Parent/Families Informational Meeting

Mrs. El Youssef will be hosting two Zoom calls TONIGHT, August 19th to answer questions and hear concerns about the reopening of school. There are two time slots: 6 -7 p.m. and 7 - 8 p.m. The link is the same for both calls! The link was sent in an email on Tuesday morning. If you don't see an email, even after checking your "junk" folder, please contact the school and we will happily assist you.

Parent's Club Meeting, August 19th - Postponed until Wednesday, August 26th.

Typically, we will host Parents' Club Meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Our meetings will be held from 6-7 and again from 7-8 and remember that this hour counts towards your fair share hours for the year.

Tonight's PC has been postponed until next Wednesday, August 26th. Please send any items for the agenda to Rosemarie at elyoussefr@stthereseschool.org by no later than Monday, 8/24 at 10 a.m. and look for the agenda and Zoom link in your email by later that afternoon.

Can't make it to the meeting? Please send any comments, concerns, or questions to Melanie Reyna (Melanie.reyna@usbank.com) Anne Herold (anneherold68@yahoo.com) or Rosemarie - we will bring your concerns to the meeting. Minutes from the meetings will be shared with all members within 2 days of the PC meeting.

Remember that we are all in this together!

SCRIP Update

While we will NOT be selling Scrip as a fundraiser this year, we have some left over that we would LOVE to sell you:

Barnes & Noble $25 gift cards x 7

Hong Phat $25 gift cards x 20

Regal Cinemas $10 gift cards x 25

Land's End $25 gift card x 1

Call the school or email elyoussefr@stthereseschool.org if you'd like to come by and purchase some!

Big picture

School Supplies

While we will never turn away donations of supplies, we pared down our supply lists to reflect what students will need during our comprehensive distance learning - the items needed for at-home learning are highlighted in yellow. School supplies are generally less expensive this time of year, but maybe stores will have a "back to school sale" when we are REALLY headed back to school later this fall!

Each grade has their own list and it is COMPLETE. You only have to download or print the list for your child's grade.