STF Principal's Weekly Message
May 19 - May 22, 2020
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:22
I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a break this long weekend, and that you continue to stay safe, healthy and hopeful that the challenges we are currently experiencing will continue to diminish.
There are not many announcements this week, however, I want to share that this week is an important time for Catholic Education, as it is Catholic Education Week, and this Thursday, May 21, is Catholic Education Day. Catholic education is truly a gift; Catholic schools are publicly funded in Alberta, and exist in only two other provinces. I feel blessed to work in an environment where we believe in something greater than ourselves and where we can rely on our faith to guide us always, and especially during times of uncertainty.
There are a number of events this week that our staff will participate in that I have highlighted below, events that we are inviting you and your children to join. Community has never been more important than it is right now, and, as we are a community of faith, it is important that we come together to reflect on the great gifts with which God has bestowed us.
Have a great week ahead, as always, please keep in contact with your child(ren)'s teachers and with the rest of the staff should you need assistance with anything.
Pace e Bene, peace and goodness to you all!
News for this Week
Week 8 Distance Learning Materials will be sent out by teachers before noon on Tuesday. Teachers have shortened the amount of material sent out in order to compensate for the shorter week.
To further enhance physical distancing, access to St. Francis by parents and/or students is by appointment only. Please contact us by email or call the school phone number if you need access to the school and we will arrange a time for you.
Junior High Options selections are now DUE. Mrs. Lunn has sent you information that included step by step instructions, should you encounter any difficulties with the form please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join FRESH! Fitness for a special STF workout THIS Thursday from 2:15-2:45 pm. Let's move, keep healthy, and have some fun together as a school community. This class is designed for all ages and levels - the entire family can participate! Use the ZOOM ID: 901 280 7992 to join. :) All you will need is a space about the size of a yoga mat, a water bottle to keep hydrated, and your favourite playlist to have on in the background! If you have any questions, please email Krissie from FRESH! Fitness at email@example.com. We will see you there! Check out this document that shares more on the remaining STF Group Fitness Classes; it will educate you on how to log in and prepare successfully! There is also an attachment on Healthy Family Daily Checklist
Prayer Tree for Catholic Education Week
In order to celebrate Catholic Education Week (May 18th-24th) and the Month of Mary, we are asking for your prayers. Prayer is powerful and what better way is there than to unite our hearts in today’s uncertainty.
Starting Monday, May 18th, there will be a Prayer Tree (see pic below) near the front of our school. This STF Prayer Tree will serve as a vessel of our faith, growing our prayer life for the people in our hearts e.g. Catholic Education, family, friends, students, colleagues, the sick, and the poor.
1. Decide who you would like to pray for and collect a strip of blue fabric from your home (the color blue symbolizes Mary & Catholic Education).
2. You can take a strip of blue fabric from an old t-shirt, tie, pillow case, etc.
3. Arrive at STF’s Prayer Tree, say your prayer, and double knot the fabric strip to a branch on the tree. There will be a sign indicating which tree is the “Prayer Tree.”
1. This is a time of reflection and hope and therefore, please respect social distancing. If there is a family at the prayer tree at the same time you arrive, please wait a few minutes until they depart, to proceed.
2. The school playground continues to remain closed.
3. Please respect the 10 km/per hour limit in the parking lot.
We hope that you and your family will take this opportunity to come together in faith, hope, and love.
Mrs. Olynyk and Mr. Gibbs, STF Faith Leaders
Catholic Education Week - Message from Bishop McGrattan
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - Catholic Education Mass with Bishop McGrattan
As a way to celebrate the gift of Catholic Education within our Diocese, Bishop McGrattan will be offering up a special Mass for Catholic Education LIVE on Facebook at 10 AM here: https://www.facebook.com/calgarydiocese/
All 5 school districts will be contributing to this Mass via lectors, music ministry, prayers of the faithful. All our staff will join, so students and families, please feel free to join us as well!
WORLD CATHOLIC EDUCATION DAY - Thursday, May 21, 2020
In honour of World Catholic Education Day, we would invite all staff and students to wear blue. We would invite you to take a photo and share on your school’s Facebook page, being sure to include the hashtags #IBelieveInCatholicEd and #BlueforCatholicEd.
Division-Wide Adoration in our schools was scheduled to take place from May 11th – 22nd. Recognizing the power of prayer and community, Fr. Troy will be offering Division-Wide Adoration LIVE on CTR Facebook at 11 AM on Thursday. Join us in prayer here: https://www.facebook.com/CTRcatholic/
NEW*** Podcast from Father Troy
Father Troy, our Associate Pastor here in Okotoks, is a gifted homilist and has officially joined the world of podcasts as a way of connecting with members of the faithful during a time of social distancing. Currently available on Spotify and Google Podcast, it will be available on iTunes next week.
Something to listen to in the car, or while you work – an opportunity for spiritual nourishment and well-being.
Community News and Resources
If you or someone you know requires support from the Okotoks Foodbank Services, please see below:
Okotoks Rotary and The Okotoks Foodbank Need Your Help! Gardening For The Foodbank
Town of Okotoks Resources and Activities
Virtual Story Time – every Wednesday
The Town has a new virtual Story Time every Wednesday in May starting this week! A big thank you to the Okotoks Public Library for providing us with the books!
Youth Voices: Sharing COVID lock down stories as part of our history - Anytime
Archives are the stewards of our community’s collective history. History is happening now, and the Okotoks Museum and Archives (OMA) is encouraging residents to document their experiences with COVID-19. The OMA is collecting personal stories, documents and photographs in an effort to record the impact COVID-19 is having on our residents and our community. Whether you are a teacher, a student, health care professional, parent, traveler, business owner, politician, or survivor, your story matters.
What do you want future generations to know about how you experienced this pandemic? How has the COVID–19 pandemic affected you? Your education, social life, graduation, job hunt, opportunity to play sports or hang with friends? Submissions can be in the form of a paragraph, a poem, a photograph or drawing. Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Town website for full details.
Collecting these experiences will ensure this historically significant period is documented and preserved.
Online Environmental Field Trips - Anytime
The Town of Okotoks is offering online fieldtrips! Since we can't visit your classroom and you can't come visit the Environmental Education Centre, we thought we would provide a field-trip experience that you can participate in at home. Each topic includes a short presentation, an activity to do at home or around Okotoks, and some additional resources to learn from.
Resources Shared by Mrs. Atkinson in Previous Weeks' Message Boards
Looking for extra activities for children to engage in? French Optional Activities, Optional Music and Band Activities as well as Health and Wellness Activities are available for students and families to use. Be sure to check out the Community Members tab to access wellness information for parents.
Please see this Message from Your Superintendent, Dr. Scott Morrison to all of our students, parents, and staff.
Please contact your school principal, Mrs. Atkinson to communicate if you require additional technology and she will help you arrange pick-up. CTR has loaned out over 400 Chromebooks and laptops to support students.
Even though our schooling looks different in these unprecedented times, we are still working hard to complete our school yearbook, and we could use your help! If you (or your child) have any photos from this year at school, we would love for you to share! We welcome any photos you may have - friends spending time together, sporting events, special events from your child's classroom, Halloween, Christmas, or even what home learning looks like for you right now. We are in most need of photos from our junior high activities. Please note that all photos do need to be high-resolution, and we do ask that the faces in the photos are clear. If you have photos that you would like to share, please send them to email@example.com, or feel free to upload them into a folder on google drive and share the folder with Mrs. Bilawchuk. Both options are welcome. Thank you for your help!
Parents are encouraged to share pictures of students learning at home - send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will post them to the St. Francis Facebook page. We will use the hashtags #BetterTogetherCTR and #ABLearningathome
Please accept this as a formal invitation for your child to be a part of the first-ever Curated. Art Collective at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools. Curated. CTR Art Collective will highlight the talent, skill, and creativity of our CTR students and teachers across all of our communities from kindergarten to Grade 12. Due to the unprecedented times we are facing, we at CTR are hoping to continue to celebrate the talents of our students and teachers online. We know times are challenging for everyone. We want to celebrate student creativity and inspire our students and our teachers to tell their stories through art. Online submissions can be made by uploading artwork here: Curated. Art Collective Submission & Release The deadline to submit artwork is May 22, 2020. This year’s theme is “Tell Your Story.” We know you have many stories to share during these unprecedented times! Why not express them through art?! CTR will gather the artwork for an online art gallery which will be shared on our social media channels and CTR’s website. We will also be selecting artwork in each grade division for the Golden Brush Award! Teacher art is also welcome. Stay safe everyone and keep creating! Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A resource for your consideration: to keep reading daily, CLICK HERE to sign up for FREE Okotoks library membership which allows you to access thousands of E-Books!
Parents, do you need help with your child’s routines? Check out these info-graphics for some inspiration! K-3 Routines Info-graphic for parents. 4-6 Routines Info-graphic for parents. 7-12 Info-graphic for students/parents.
Families looking for information on healthy and active living while learning from home can check out these optional activities created by our CTR Phys Ed specialists. New healthy living and physical activities for all grade levels will be updated each week to keep students active.
Telus, in partnership with CTR Catholic, is now able to offer those in need a discounted rate for internet service. If Telus is available in your area, you can get internet installed at a cost of $9.95 a month (up to 25 Mbps download speed). If interested, please contact your school and request an “Internet for Good” code. Please share this information. If you or someone you know could benefit from this service as a way to support Distance Learning for your child(ren) please contact Mrs. Atkinson, email@example.com
Please see below a resource shared by Alberta Health Services on Building Resilient Families.