Eagle's Edge

St. Therese Weekly Newsletter - August 26, 2020

Fred Rogers: Look for the Helpers

Look for the Helpers

Helpers are all around us. They are the people who text to ask how you are doing, and then offer to take on some of your burden. They are the people who work behind the scenes to make the school safe and ready for opening (Penny Montani, Angie Barnett, and Matt Shelton, that's you!). They are health care professionals, public servants, clergy, grocery store employees - we have called them essential workers because society can't continue to function through this pandemic without them. They are the helpers.

I loved Mr. Rogers growing up and looked forward to visiting his neighborhood each day after I watched Sesame Street. Like most kids, I was drawn to his gentle voice, calm demeanor, and gift for storytelling. As an adult, I'm drawn to his lessons - what we didn't realize he was teaching us about how to be a member of a community and take care of our neighbors. The video above is really one of my favorite Mr. Rogers Message: look for the helpers.

Our school year is about to begin and there's no telling how long we will be using the distance learning model for school. My message to you is an echo of Mr. Rogers' message: look for the helpers, and be a helper. Attend class meetings via Zoom and get to know the other families - how can you help them during this time? How might they be able to help you? Perhaps its just a regularly scheduled Zoom call so the kids can talk to each other and maintain a connection, or maybe it's ride sharing to attend in-person learning sessions at school. Whatever it is, helping each other will make it better.

Today I challenge you to make a list of the helpers in your life; the people you know you can count on to assist when you need it. Whether the list is long or short, reach out to some of those people this week. If you are a helper, reach out to the people you know will need you and help them make a plan for how to get in touch when they do. Helpers are the worst at asking for help, so maybe put them at the top of your list! Ask your kiddos to do the same - I bet it won't surprise you who they list, but I encourage you to have that conversation with them, especially now. Our young people are struggling with the distance, and being able to ask for help when they need it has a tremendous impact on their mental and physical health.

In times of catastrophe, look for the helpers, "because if you look for the helpers, you'll know that there's hope." Thank you, Mr. Rogers, and thank YOU neighbors. I love being in your community!


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.

Some things to expect from Welcome Week 2020:

* Scheduled conferences with teachers (in person or via Zoom)

* Orientation videos

* Supply check-out: devices, textbooks, and other materials

* Competitions and special prizes

Expect detailed information from your child's teacher next week. 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.

Some details:

August 31st - September 4th: Teachers come back to school

Teachers will design class schedules and call families to schedule in-person orientation meetings for each student with their parents/guardians.

September 8th - 11th: WELCOME WEEK!

Special activities, orientation videos, and class meetings to get to know each other. In-person orientation meetings will take place this week in classrooms, and students will be given the materials they need to be successful. This week will run on a special schedule (will be sent to you by Monday, August 31st).

September 14th - 18th: 1st week of regular classes

Students will log in and follow their regular schedule of classes. School staff will be in the building to assist students and their families as needed.

September 21st: Begin limited in-person instruction with small groups

We are permitted to bring students into their classrooms in groups of no more than 10, for no longer than 2 hours each day. This time will be used to build connections with teachers and peers, receive learning support, and participate in hands-on learning experiences.

September 28th: Begin St. Therese School-Age Learning Program (child care for ages 5-12)

Still waiting on our final approval, but we have pre-approval for a Recorded Child Care Program at our school. This learning program is separate from school, so students will be participating in their distance learning in the same manner as students who are at home. It is one way we can take care of our families and support our students so that parents/guardians can work.

New ODE Dashboard

ODE’s Ready Schools Safe Learners Page

COVID-19 Rates by County

Oregon Health Authority – epi curve

Update: Uniforms are optional during distance learning

Thank you to all who reached out to share your thoughts on uniforms. The decision comes after considering the intention of uniforms, and their place in the distance learning model. We can achieve structure and normalcy in many other ways, so that's where we will put our energy - feelings are too mixed right now for this to be beneficial to our community.

When we return to a hybrid or in-person model, uniforms will be required. During limited in-person learning, students are not required to attend in uniform.

An updated parent handbook will be included in next Wednesday's newsletter, and it will include an updated student code of dress.

School Office Hours

The school office is open from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m each day. We love it when families drop by, but when the school-year begins we will need to be more careful about how we meet with you.

Beginning Monday, August 31st please call ahead if:

* You need to meet with a staff member (Rosemarie, Penny, teachers, etc.)

* You need to pick something up, or drop something off (materials, payment, etc.)

If you are in the parking lot, please just call us from your cell phone, if you can. We will do our very best to meet your needs and appreciate your cooperation as we work to keep our students and staff safe.

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.

OUR 7th CHALLENGE: Blazers are down 3-1 and tonight is a BIG GAME! How do you show your Blazer Pride? Take a photo and share it on social media! Go Blazers!

Remember it's not too late to catch up on the other 6 challenges to earn your t-shirt! Only 1 challenge left!

Parent's Club Meeting TONIGHT - August 26th.

The first meeting begins at 6 p.m. and we will stop admitting people into the meeting at 6:20 so that we can stay on agenda and finish in enough time to start the next meeting at 7 p.m.

We will be discussing the school budget and Parents' Club commitment for the year. Also on the agenda is organizing auction donations to see if we can raise some funds!

The final part of each hour will be spent answering question about school reopening.

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!

Jonathan, from Schommer & Sons, came by and put up our sign - we appreciate the generosity and support of the Schommer family. Thank you Jonathan and Schommer & Sons!

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Have Fun - Learn Spanish

I received this letter and flyer from Lili Rampton, who is interested in teaching your children Spanish. It will not be offered in connection to St. Therese, but is something you might choose to participate in! I encourage you to email or text Lili by using the contact information on the flyer for more information.

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 12

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!

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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.