St. Mary's School
Thursday, April 16, 2020
I want to applaud our teachers and students for their hard work as they continue to progress through the curriculum. While we know there is no replacement for the face-to-face classroom experience, the work they have done together since the initial closure on March 13 has been tremendous and has allowed us to continue to meet our benchmarks. The teachers and I all recognize that this success would not be possible without your help at home. Many of you are also trying to manage remote working of your own, so we are so thankful for your partnership as we ensure our students continue their learning.
Next week was originally scheduled as April break on the school calendar. Though we continue with a remote learning mode for the time being, we will still be observing the scheduled April break. Our teachers need a break, our students need a break, and I imagine you could use the break as well. This Friday, April 17 will be the last day of remote learning lessons until we resume on Monday, April 27.
These past four and a half weeks have presented us with a challenge never encountered before in our lives. In many ways, a near complete shutdown in response to the pandemic has been a wonderful reminder to us of the importance of family and reliance on our faith. However, it has also been a reminder to us of how our children can be so resilient at times, but also so fragile. As we all struggle with the demands of stay-at-home orders, remote learning/working, and the uncertainty of the future, please know of our continued prayers for the health and well-being of your families. If there is anything you need from us, please feel free to reach out. Best wishes for a restful and rejuvenating April break.
Mr. Christopher Beza
In This Issue
Easter - The Many Rays of Hope
CARES Act Petition
Resources for Supporting Your Children
Art at Home
Easter - The Many Rays of Hope
The Easter season is a time of hope. There still is fear, there still is a painful awareness of sinfulness, but there also is light breaking through. Something new is happening, something that goes beyond the changing moods of our life. We can be joyful or sad, optimistic or pessimistic, tranquil or angry, but the solid stream of God's presence moves deeper than the small waves of our minds and hearts. Easter brings the awareness that God is present even when his presence is not directly noticed. Easter brings the good news that, although things seem to get worse in the world, the Evil One has already been overcome. Easter allows us to affirm that although God seems very distant and although we remain preoccupied with many little things, our Lord walks with us on the road and keeps explaining the Scriptures to us. Thus there are many rays of hope casting their light on our way through life.
- Henri Nouwen
Your Help Is Needed - CARES Act Petition
As Governor Baker considers the use of Coronavirus Economic Relief Funds for schools in Massachusetts, we hope you will join us by signing a petition (link below) requesting that Catholic schools receive equitable participation in the distribution of federal funds within the CARES Act.
During the past four weeks, our teachers and hundreds of other Catholic school teachers within the Archdiocese of Boston have been connecting with students and caregivers through remote learning environments where a sense of community and faith-filled learning continues at home. Catholic schools, as well as their dedicated teachers and students, deserve equal participation in relief funding opportunities.
We are grateful to the Lynch Foundation for working directly with Governor Baker, Secretary Peyser, and Commissioner Riley to assist Catholic schools with accessing their fair share of these funds.
To ensure that Catholic schools receive equitable consideration within the April 27 application, we hope you will complete and submit the Private School Support in CARES Act petition today.
Sign the petition to Governor Baker by clicking here: https://forms.gle/SbQLsZx9fLxRcTXM7
Thank you for your help with this important effort.
Resources for Supporting Your Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Below please find a list of resources you may find helpful as you support your children through this difficult time.
- Dr. Ashley Miller, Helping Children and Teens Cope with Social Isolation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
- Psychology Today, How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
- Dr. Nancy Rappaport: What Cancer Taught Me About Navigating a Pandemic
- Dr. Robert Brooks: Resilience in the Face of COVID-19
- National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19
- Joanna's Place: Tips to Help Families through the Coronavirus Crisis
Please let me know if the current situation is causing your family financial hardship. We have resources for emergency financial aid through the Catholic Schools Foundation. We know some of you are concerned about loss of wages and ability to pay bills. We share your concerns. Last week the Catholic Schools Foundation sent an important message to schools. They will continue the Emergency Fund with added rounds and frequency. If you need assistance, please be in touch with me.
Art at Home
Mrs. Caruso is regularly updating her website with ideas for at home projects, as well as a weekly suggested art lesson. If your child completes the weekly art project, please consider emailing a photo or scan of the work to Mrs. Caruso. She'd love to include some of our students' artwork in the Masterpieces of the Month virtual gallery on her website.
Thank you to those who have reached out to let us know you could use an extra iPad. We continue to deliver disinfected iPads to those who express the need. To reiterate our original message, we are offering an iPad to any family who does not have a device at home for their child to use during the extended closure. If you are in need of an iPad to borrow, we are collecting that information on the report card receipt form, which can be accessed by clicking here.