Eagle's Edge

St. Therese Weekly Newsletter - August 5, 2020

Catch and Cultivate

I don't enjoy fishing - I don't have the patience to sit and wait for a slimy, scaly, swimmer to bite whatever bait happens to be dangling beneath the surface of the water. I am not good at waiting and trusting that I've chosen the most enticing bait. I don't like that I can't see beneath the water's surface, and can't anticipate when or if a fish will even come near my line.

I feel like I've spent the past month fishing - working to design a model for reopening school in the fall that will be the most enticing to our families. I fully realize that you choose us; that in a river of fishing lines and bait, there is something about our school that draws you in and you are "hooked". I'd like for you to think about what that is - is it relationships? Community? Convenience? Tradition? Faith? Whatever it is, hold it in your mind right now.

Now imagine we are distance learning this fall, because Multnomah County cases don't drop enough and we don't meet the metrics. Imagine that your children are learning from home and St. Therese teachers and staff are in the building, working hard to provide them with an engaging, robust learning experience. Imagine that together we can find a way to preserve that special thing that drew you to our school in the first place; would that be enough? If it isn't enough, what do you need from your St. Therese community to make it work?

To be honest, I'll give credit for the fishing metaphor to an article I read about transactional vs. transformational relationships. For those of you interested in reading it, you'll find the link below. Basically, transactional relationships are "catch and release" or "catch and cook" - the relationship is temporary and serves a function. Transformational relationships are "catch and cultivate" - we meet, we connect, and we work together to make each other better. Transformational relationships are those that involve an investment of time, effort, and care; it's the type of relationship I believe best describes the one between our school and our families.

I'm invested in our transformational relationship - I'm invested in our school, our students, our families, and what we can and will build together. Please lean on me, lean on us, and lean on each other - call, email, come by the school for a chat. Your worries and your concerns are completely valid, and we want to support you however we can.

Just please don't invite me fishing!

Peace with you all,

Rosemarie El Youssef

Principal, St. Therese School


On Monday principals from all regions met with the Department of Catholic Schools to discuss the metrics released by Governor Brown last week, which we all must follow. The guidance DCS has given us at this time is - wait. It's too early to make a decision about how we will reopen, especially with so much still up in the air, and time for the numbers to start dropping again. We pray, and we wait.

I've submitted an application to be a temporary childcare provider - this will allow us to support our students in school during distance learning. We pray, and we wait.

We have prepared classrooms and common areas for students to return. Our drop-off and pick-up plans are almost set. We pray, and we wait.

We published school supply lists and have started to shop sales for markers, crayons, and new backpacks even though we may not get to use them at school. We pray, and we wait.

Families are trying to plan for at-home learning by hiring nannies, reaching out to family and friends to cohort kids so they can learn together and share the burdens of supporting their little learners. We pray, and we wait.

Everyone in the family is practicing safe mask wearing and hand hygiene - try saying the "Our Father" while you wash your hands. It's one more way we can pray, while we wait.

I'm a planner - I understand how difficult this is. As soon as I know anything, you all will be the first people I tell. In the meantime, continue to pray while you wait.

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.


This idea was inspired by our very own Mrs. Baumbach! See her love rocks below, along with a link to the Love Rocks website that tells the story of how they came to be, and some other creative ideas. Paint your rock and leave it somewhere you can see it - or put it in your neighborhood for others to enjoy. Just take a picture and share with us! Spread the love!

Practice Mindfulness

This week we are focusing on Mindful Walking. Paint your Love Rocks (or you might choose to call them peace rocks, or kindness rocks) and then take a walk in the neighborhood or through a park and leave them for others to find. As you walk, pay close attention to sights, sounds, smells, and your own breathing and steps. Here is a video walking you through it - it's meant for younger children, but it's a good tutorial for adults!


Hopefully the weather will be cooler this week and you can get out for some fresh air and enjoy some quality family time.

Be well!

Eagle Athletics Survey

Still waiting on the survey from CYO to help guide our St. Therese Athletics survey - we will keep you posted!

Parent/Families Informational Meeting

Mrs. El Youssef will be hosting two Zoom calls next week on Thursday, August 13th to answer questions and hear concerns. There are two time slots: 6 -7 p.m. and 7 - 8 p.m. The link is the same for both calls! Look for an email from St. Therese with the link and an informal agenda; notes from the meeting will be shared with all families.

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

We understand that supplies are on sale right now, and you want to stock up! Please know that we did everything in our power to be thorough in our supply choices - we want you to have as much info up front as you can. Each grade has their own list and it is COMPLETE. You only have to download or print the list for your child's grade.