St. Mary's School

PARENT/GUARDIAN COMMUNICATION

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Dear Parents/Guardians,


I hope you are healthy and well. Please know that the teachers and I miss your children terribly and would like nothing more than to be in the classrooms with them rather than communicating via remote learning. It has been a long week for us, and I'm sure you feel the same. I know many of you are trying to work remotely from home while managing family responsibilities, which is a challenge that many of the teachers and I also face in solidarity with you.
So I want to thank you for your cooperation and patience, and for your efforts to help your children through remote learning each day.


As I am sure you are already aware, Governor Baker has ordered all schools closed until Monday, April 6. Therefore, remote learning will continue until then, though we should all prepare for the possibility that it could be extended further. Establishing routines is essential for children to reach their benchmark objectives and goals for the year. If we work together, they will enter the next grade completely prepared for what will come. This is all quite new, so we will have to be patient with each other as we navigate what may be a prolonged period of learning from home. However, I have no doubt that St. Mary's School will do it well!


Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Brother living in Ireland, has written a beautiful poem entitled "Lockdown" that I hope you will take a moment to read. I have included it at the bottom of this newsletter.


Sincerely,

Mr. Christopher Beza

Principal

Remote Learning Catch-Up Day


On our school calendar, tomorrow (Friday, March 20) was originally designated as a no-school day so the faculty could participate in the Area Catholic Schools Professional Development Day. We will be using this day as a catch-up for students who may have had difficulty accessing remote learning earlier in the week, as well as a day for our faculty to continue to plan and participate in professional development to build their capacity to lead students in remote learning. Therefore, no new work will be posted on remote learning webpages tomorrow. New work will next be posted on Monday, March 23.


Direct links to each teacher's remote learning page can be accessed by clicking here.

Report Cards


Report cards were sent electronically via email to all families today. If you have any questions or comments after you receive your child's report card, please email your child's teacher directly. If you did not receive your child's report card, please check your spam folder for an email from reportcard@stmaryschoolmelrose.org. If you still are not able to locate the email message with your child's report card, please reply to this newsletter and the report card will be sent to the email address you reply with.


In lieu of the parent signature, parents are asked to confirm receipt of the report card by completing a google form that was included in the email message. The form also asks two questions regarding access to remote learning. If you have not completed the form yet, please click here.

Lunch Orders


Ms. Mobilia has credited all lunch orders back to OrgsOnline accounts. The credit reflects the days off due to extended closure during the month of March (Monday, March 16 - Tuesday, March 31). If you have any questions regarding lunch credits, please contact Ms. Mobilia at mrs.mobilia@stmaryschoolmelrose.org.

iPad Borrowing

The faculty and I have been in communication throughout the week to identify families who may not have access to remote learning due to lack of a suitable device. 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.

"Lockdown" by Brother Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing