Eagle's Edge

St. Therese Weekly Newsletter - July 29, 2020


I’ve watched a lot of basketball in my lifetime, but I’ve never loved the sport as much as I did watching my boys play. Occasionally, I’d get to watch kids run drills at practice; focused, intent, pushing themselves, and each other, beyond the limits of exhaustion. We have been blessed with talented coaches who truly love the kids and the sport; growing a team from individual athletes.

We’ve all watched a game that just seemed off, right? Passes aren’t strong, shots just aren’t falling, athletes not talking to each other on the court – no matter what the coaches do from the bench, they just aren’t themselves. Sometimes it’s the opponent, sometimes our game is too early in the day, or too late; sometimes the team just isn’t working together. Usually, if we turn it around as a team, it’s because the coach calls a timeout, or uses the two minutes between quarters to bring the team together for some motivation. It’s time for a reset.

Even mid-play, if they can’t get a shot to line up, or things just aren’t going well, the point guard is coached to read the court and call for a reset so they can try again. If it still doesn’t open up a shot, they know to call a different play altogether. They have to be alert to what’s happening on the court, and filter information from multiple sources: parents yelling from the stands, coaches yelling from the bench, teammates calling to each other, and their own inner voice.

Right now, we are in the basketball game of our lives. We will have many off days, and no matter how good an idea is, sometimes the play won’t open up a shot and we will have to reset or try something new. We are filtering information from the government, social media, the news media, our peers, and a range of experts. No matter what research we read and review, we are left wondering what the best approach really is – and we are torn between wanting the flexibility of choice and wanting someone to just tell us what to do. Our inner voices are screaming for an answer, and the truth is there isn’t a good one right now. So, we wait.

We run drills, we practice, we plan, we talk to each other, we pray. The best thing we can do for ourselves and our community is to continue building our team – every conversation we have with a neighbor, a peer, a fellow St. Therese parent, is making us stronger. We will have to lean on each other, support each other, and although it feels like we are already pushed beyond the limits of exhaustion, we will keep going. As a community, we are so blessed by teachers and staff who love our kids, and by friends who have become family over the years. The level of trust I have in my St. Therese teammates is beyond what most principals and parents feel – our community is special and win or lose we have a bond that isn’t easily broken.

If you are a new parent, you will soon feel the warmth and support of our team. It’s why my family has stayed at St. Therese these past nine years - I’m so grateful to be on this team with you all.

Your team captain,

Rosemarie El Youssef

Principal, St. Therese School



Current plans for re-opening at St. Therese School:

* Pre-School will remain open for in-person instruction even if K-8 isn't in-person/hybrid

* We will continue to take guidance from Governor Brown, ODE Director Colt Gill, and our local health authorities

* We will continue to plan for all three models of school: in-person learning, comprehensive distance learning, and a hybrid of the two

* We will continue to watch the COVID-19 numbers and adjust our plans as we get closer to the start of the 2020-21 school year

* Our school building will be safe and ready for students on Sept. 8th even if we are not permitted to open for in-person instruction

* Temperatures will be taken and screening questions asked EACH MORNING upon arrival

* Hand hygiene will become a regular part of each classroom routine

* All students ages 5 and older wearing a face covering

* Plans for 5 days per week in-person instruction

* Option for distance learning only or hybrid

* Universal digital learning platform K-8, Google Classroom

* Each student will have a minimum of 35 square feet of space

* All staff in mask, face shield, or combination

*Planned installation of touch-less water bottle filling stations to replace drinking fountains

* Each class is a "cohort" - they will stay together as a group as much as possible

* Students will stay with their cohort in their cohort classroom for most of the day, and electives will rotate to them

* Middle school students will stay in their homeroom class and teachers will rotate to them

* Recess will be offered - outside as frequently as possible

* Brain breaks will be part of our classroom routines to keep our students happy and healthy

* Communication between school and community remains our top priority

All of this is subject to change - look for weekly updates in each newsletter. All additional information will be highlighted in bold.

Please check out the links below for more information on our new guidelines for reopening schools in Oregon, especially in Multnomah County. The Metrics document is our attempt at organizing requirements so it's easy to understand.

Parent's Club Meeting TONIGHT - 7/29 at 6 p.m.

Please join us for a Parent's Club Re-Set Meeting from the comfort of your own home!

Last night we had a group of 30 at Parent's Club - let's see if we can beat that number tonight.

The goal of PC this year is to restructure it and put it back into the hands of parents and families. YOU are the driving force at our school, and we will not be successful as a community unless we are working together. As partners in our children's education, we can accomplish so much!

Look for a link to the Zoom call in your email. We will start the meeting on time, and end on time, because we believe in honoring your time!

Link to PC Agenda!

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 THIRD CHALLENGE: How do you and your family beat the heat? Take a photo of something you like to do when the weather is hot! Swimming, running through the sprinklers, fishing, or making homemade popsicles are all examples of "beat the heat" activities. See some examples below!

Practice Mindfulness

In the coming weeks we will face many obstacles, and as our return to school continues to create a lot of uncertainty, you may notice your child is acting strangely. Maybe they are more naughty, more moody, or more prone to tears than usual - or maybe you don't notice a change in their behavior at all. Like adults, children handle stress in a variety of ways, and mindfulness is a good practice, even when we aren't experiencing stress.

Last week we worked on Belly Breathing, and this week our focus is on using our breathing to find a quiet place to rest and recharge - even if your physical place isn't quiet. See the video "Bulldog Finds His Quiet Place". It's for young children, but even older kids and adults will get the hang of it by listening and watching.


I'm including a few new links to other articles and tutorials about mindfulness, so check them out if you are interested. If you have any other ideas, or have a mindfulness practice that you'd like to share, send it to us so that we can include it in the next newsletter.



Be well!

Eagle Athletics Update

Hello St. Therese families,

I have been hearing from a few of you with questions regarding fall sports at St. Therese. In speaking to CYO, they are trying to assess what the fall will look like with regard to sports at the high school level and what the schools will be doing. A few of the larger school districts are deciding to go virtual this fall including Beaverton, Portland, North Clackamas, Tigard-Tualatin and Salem-Keizer. We are still waiting to see what the Catholic Schools will be doing.

CYO will be sending out a survey on August 10th to get a sense of what our plans are, in school, virtual, will our gyms be available, etc. That will give them a sense of what our possibilities may be. CYO is also looking at starting Cross Country this fall if possible. The idea of lawn volleyball has also been considered if traditional volleyball is not allowed. Once they have received all the surveys back from the Athletic Directors they will then make decisions on what they will do this fall at that time. Schools must have their plans submitted to the Oregon Dept. of Education by August 15th and that is why CYO is working around that date. I would like to gauge the interest of St. Therese families in cross country or lawn volleyball prior to sending out the survey to CYO. That would be very helpful to us on the Athletic Board. Please look for a survey from us in the next week!

Thank you all for your continued support of St. Therese athletics and your flexibility and understanding in these very weird times. We want to be flexible and adapt to whatever changes come our way but also be prepared to start sports at the drop of a hat if necessary.

George El Youssef

Athletic Director

St. Therese School


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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.