Eagle's Edge

St. Therese Weekly Newsletter - August 12, 2020

Opening the Envelope

We've all experienced it before - a long, agonizing wait. Time seems to pass so slowly, your focus on the one thing occupying your mind. Maybe you're waiting for the results of an exam, a call back for an audition or job interview, or simply waiting to see if the 3-pointer Kyle Kuzma threw up in the last seconds of the game is going to fall - you want to look, you want to know...but you don't.

Knowing means that a decision has been made - you passed, failed, got the job, didn't get the job, or the shot wasn't good (or it was...sorry, Denver). Knowing is so final, and that finality chases away the hope that filled your mind and your heart all the while that you waited. It's like opening a present that sounded like a video game every time you shook it, only to open it and find a book where your coveted video game should've been. In that moment, hope leaves you in a flash - like the wind being knocked out of your lungs.

We've spent the summer in waiting, hoping that fall would see us back in school under more "normal" circumstances. I feel like we are close - the envelope is in the mailbox, waiting for me, but I can't bring myself to walk out there and get it. I have lived in hope; I've breathed it in, surrounded myself with it, obsessed over it, and tried to spread it throughout our community. I think we have all embraced that status, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it to end. We are all "in a relationship with hope, and it's complicated."

I'm a planner, like most of you. I want to know so that I can be prepared - but I also just want to live in this little bubble of hope a little bit longer. I want to soak in that precious optimism before the envelope is opened and it is replaced with whatever reality we've met the metric for.

The envelope will be opened, and whatever lies inside will be shared with all of you by Tuesday, August 18th. It isn't an easy decision to make without all of the information - for us to make a fully informed decision we would have to wait to see what the numbers look like as of August 24th, and that simply isn't enough time for our families to prepare. Right now, Multnomah County is not meeting the metric requirement, so unless this changes significantly we will at least be starting the school year in comprehensive distance learning.

Sometimes when we open the envelope, or open our eyes, and face whatever is coming, we really are bracing ourselves for a blow that doesn't come. You get an A on the exam, the part, the job, or you're a Lakers fan and that 3-point shot made your night. I'm optimistic, even as I cover my eyes with my hands because I can't look - my fingers slide open just enough for one eye to peek out and embrace the reality of what's ahead.

Yours in hope,

Rosemarie El Youssef

Principal, St. Therese School


Click here to see the Metrics as of 8/11/2020 as compiled by Reynolds School District.

To open for in-person learning for all grades, Multnomah County must see 81 new cases per week or fewer, for three consecutive weeks. Test positivity rates in the county and state should be 5% or lower.

To open for in-person learning for kindergarten through 3rd grade, Multnomah County must see 243 new cases or fewer for one week, and test positivity rates in the state and county must be 5% or lower.

Reporting has a one week lag - if you get tested today, and test positive, your positive test is recorded ON THE DAY YOU FIRST SHOWED SYMPTOMS. If you show no symptoms, the default reporting is 2 days before the test is administered.

Keep wearing those masks, practice good hand hygiene, and P-R-A-Y!

Click here to see Oregon’s Epi Curve: COVID-19 cases

Big picture

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 FIFTH CHALLENGE: Random Acts of Kindness!

Individually, or as a family, commit to completing at least one random act of kindness each day for a full week.

* Do something kind.

* Post a bitmoji or an emoji describing how it felt to do kind things for others with the comment "Kindness, pass it on!" and the hashtag #StTSummerChallenge.

* Tag a friend in your post to pass on the challenge.

* You could also email Mrs. El Youssef with a brief note, picture, bitmoji, or emoji.

Let's practice being unusually kind to one another - it does your heart good.

Check out the links below for some ideas, information about how to be a RAKtivist (a Random Acts of Kindness Activist) and a list of kind things you can say. Below those links are two videos - the first is a Ted Talk hosted by Orly Wahba about her experience spreading kindness, and below that is the full video she made, "Kindness Boomerang". They both contain powerful messages about kindness.

TED Talk - Kindness - Orly Wahba
Life Vest Inside - Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"

Practice Mindfulness: Mindful Affirmations

This week we are focusing on mindful affirmations - words you say to yourself, like a mantra, to lift your spirits and help you to focus on the positive.

For a list mindful affirmations that you can use as examples, Click here - there is no pressure to use one of them. Help your child create an affirmation that is specific to their needs. Struggling with anxiety? "I am ok. Happiness is just around the corner." Feeling frustrated? "Words can hurt others, so I only think and say good things." Write them somewhere, or draw pictures so your child can reference them when needed. Encourage them to speak with you about their feelings so that you can help develop the words they need. When words fail, never underestimate the power of an emoji!

I use sticky notes as reminders - perhaps you could create a mindfulness corner in your home. This is a place your child could go to practice their breathing, or find the mantra that fits their mood. My mantra comes from Psalm 46: "Be still..." Two small words that have a tremendous impact on my mind and heart in times of stress.

Be well!

Eagle Athletics Survey

St. Therese Families,

Please take a moment to complete this survey (link below), and help shape our athletics programming for the 2020-2021 school year. Our goal is to continue to build our community, and give our students as many opportunities to engage in activities as possible. We need this information no later than Wednesday, August 19th.


St. Therese Athletic Board


Parent/Families Informational Meeting

Mrs. El Youssef will be hosting two Zoom calls on Thursday, August 13th to answer questions and hear concerns about the reopening of school. There are two time slots: 6 -7 p.m. and 7 - 8 p.m. The link is the same for both calls! The link was sent in an email on Monday evening. If you don't see an email, even after checking your "junk" folder, please contact the school and we will happily assist you.

Parent's Club Meeting, August 19th

We will host Parent's Club Meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Our meetings will be held from 6-7 and again from 7-8 and remember that this hour counts towards your fair share hours for the year.

We will be discussing the results of the survey and take next steps towards securing some fundraising opportunities for the year. If you would like to add an item to the agenda, please email Rosemarie by Monday morning (8/17) at 10 a.m.

Agenda and Zoom link will be sent to families on Monday!

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.