THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020
ICCS Mission Statement:
By: Christi Jarreau
Since our return from Thanksgiving, we have been fairly busy with quarantined students and have had to conduct specific contact tracing in three different grade levels. In every situation, the process has allowed us to reflect on what is working well and what can be tweaked to keep our quarantine numbers even lower. As you can imagine, it is difficult for us to send students home knowing there is no real substitute to face to face instruction. We also know the challenges it can present for our families.
Throughout this process, we have continued to reflect on each experience and the feedback received to consistently give our best effort in providing a safe environment for all students with as little disruption to the academic process as possible. Stakeholder feedback is always appreciated, especially when it helps brainstorm solutions and problem solve. Unfortunately in this situation, the feedback also brings a reminder of the unrest, uncertainty, and divisiveness that can surround this issue. In the last two weeks, I have received passionate feedback ranging from concern over a lack of protocol and adherence to the guidelines to concern over too much adherence to the guidelines with a comparison to a prison environment. No matter the varying degrees of medical information, scientific facts, and political viewpoints, the feedback has been passionate, genuine, and from the heart of the person sharing and that is what allows me to remain confident that we are a united community and will one day regain the normalcy we long for.
At the Mass I attended last weekend, Father Caraway reflected on our call to seek and live out the Good News during this advent season, even during these not-so-normal times. He mentioned Mark’s Gospel letters being written in a time and place not absent of the unrest, uncertainty, and divisiveness we feel today, but with the faith and hope we are intentionally called to during this season of Advent. Recounting the events of Christ’s birth also reminds us of the challenges that faced Mary and Joseph as they prepared for the birth of our Lord - the unrest, uncertainty and divisiveness of that time. We also know that, even with Mary’s faithful “yes,” a delivery in a stable was not what she wanted for her child. She experienced fear and discomfort beyond what many of us can even imagine, but with steadfast patience and faithfulness in God’s promise.
During Advent, we are called in the spirit of hope, peace, love and joy to open our hearts and receive the miracle of Christ’s birth and God’s promise to His people. We often use these weeks before Christmas to find everyday, tangible ways to prepare, reflect, and open our hearts so that we can “be ready.” This school year is certainly not as we would have imagined it, nor as we would like it to be for our children. Especially this month, it can be tempting to be the scrooge that focuses on what is lacking rather than the shepherd that sees the star of blessings shining brightly, even through the clouds. What an opportunity, though, to tangibly and intentionally focus on patiently working together in the spirit of hope, peace, love and joy so that those who are fearful can be filled with trust, the skeptical filled with patience, and all of our hearts filled with the grace to persevere, not only for the time at hand, but also for the promises to come!
Thank you for your continued support in ensuring our students continue learning and growing while staying safe and healthy. I pray everyone enjoys a blessed and fruitful advent season!
By: Mrs. Blair Tadlock, Assistant Principal of Curriculum
Distanced Learning Grit
I think it is fair to say that in schools and education in general the best formed plans always lend themselves to minor tweaks and changes as we consistently strive to improve for our learners. This year, however, we are often pulling from plans C, D, and sometimes E --and don’t forget the various caveats in each of those plans -- to keep our doors open, to keep our students learning, to best support our teachers, and to hold true to our mission of strengthening spirits, minds, and bodies through the teachings of Jesus Christ. While we are all struggling to find peace with the inconveniences that seem to swirl about us, what I can say of our ICCS Panther community is that we are making great strides together for the sake of our learners. Regardless of whether you are a teacher, a staff member, a parent, or a student, all of our panther community members are working exceedingly hard to make these temporary distanced learning spurts work. We are growing each day and we are learning through this process as a team and to me, regardless of the inconveniences, it is a truly beautiful thing to witness.
To our staff, who are all going above and beyond to keep us safe and follow the protocols and procedures set before us, thank you for your overwhelming efforts. Everything that our staff does on a daily basis supports our teachers and our learners. We are so appreciative of all that you do!
To our teachers, who are challenging and connecting with our in-person and virtual learners with an impressive spirit, thank you for your open minds and hearts. Thank you for being so willing to grow, to learn, and to make the small tweaks each and everyday that matter the most. There are many, many things required of our teachers behind the scenes that will never be fully realized by our community. What these abundantly gifted teachers have done and continue to do is reflected in our outstanding screening test scores and in the work our students are producing day in and day out. Abundant kudos to all of our faculty!
To our parents, who are challenged with balancing home, career, and virtual learners, thank you for being so understanding of the challenges we all face. Thank you for communicating with teachers and administration in a prompt, clear, and kind manner. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. What you all are doing, in more ways than you realize, is allowing our students to continue to learn and grow in the face of challenges. Thank you!
Finally, and MOST importantly, a huge thank you to our amazing ICCS students. All that we as parents and educators do is for your benefit. In so many ways, our students have risen to the occasion and have done the hard work required to continue learning. I have been impressed beyond measure with the ability of our students to navigate learning from a distance. I can see a newfound determination and perseverance that has been cultivated in our students. It is this grit that is most impressive, and we are all grateful for your efforts!
As we are in this time of Advent where we anticipate the birth of Christ, I recognize in reflection on this past year how our ICCS community has overwhelmingly persevered, banned together for better or for worse, and have been strengthened in spirit, mind, and body. This year our faculty, staff, students and parents have all experienced eager preparation and anticipation of a new school year and the start of in-person learning after going home in March and having to then wait even longer for this because of Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The waiting was certainly difficult and like the lessons of our Advent season we know glorious, holy, and abundant goodness is right around the corner. We are nearly there and I am prayerfully thankful for our community that is ardently determined in faith.
May peace find you and remain with you during this Advent season and always.
NEW COVID-19 GUIDELINES
The following information was released by the Office of Catholic Schools on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
The new guidance listed below impacts close contacts and goes into effect immediately. The Diocese of Lake Charles Catholic Schools shall adhere to the following guidance:
If an individual is a close contact of an individual infected with COVID-19:
• Quarantine can end after Day 10 post-exposure without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
• Quarantine can end after Day 7 post-exposure if an individual tests negative following a molecular/PCR or antigen test and no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. A molecular/PCR test may be taken on Day 5 or 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation, but quarantine cannot be discontinued any earlier than Day 7.
• In both cases, continued symptom monitoring and masking through Day 14 MUST continue. If any symptoms develop prior to Day 14, the individual should immediately self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider and supervising principal to report their change in status.
We will continue working with the Louisiana Department of Health and our health partners to update guidance when it becomes available.
Source Material: CDC - Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with COVID-19<https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html?preview> - Updated December 2, 2020
THE VIRTUE OF GENEROSITY
Let me share myself with others as You share Your life with me. Amen.
LAST CALL FOR YEARBOOKS
SIBLING FORMS DUE NEXT WEEK
REFER A FRIEND TO ICCS
CHRISTMAS T-SHIRT DAY COMING SOON
THERE IS STILL TIME TO SUBMIT YOUR GREENERY PICS
PERKY PRIZE RAFFLE DRAWING NEXT FRIDAY
The 2020 ICCS Perky Prize Raffle was originally scheduled to take place on Monday, March 23. Due to the pandemic-related school closure back in the spring, the annual PTO Auction and Perky Prize Raffle had to be cancelled.
GREAT NEWS! The Perky Prize Raffle drawing has been rescheduled for Friday, December 18. Students will have an opportunity to purchase tickets (or additional tickets) Monday, December 14-Thursday, December 17 ONLY during their homeroom class period. A Perky Prize Raffle form went home with students today. For more information, please contact Perky Prize Raffle Committee Chairperson, Jennifer Authement at email@example.com.
CLASSROOM AND SCHOOL NEWS
MODIFIED ICCS BASKETBALL SEASON
The 5th Grade boys combined to make two teams that play each other and will hopefully scrimmage other teams in the area.
The 6th Grade Boys are playing in a Lafayette league. They will alternate playing on Saturdays in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Finally, the 5th and 6th Grade Girls teams combined to play round robin games on Saturdays in the ICCS Gym.
To view photos of the teams in action, check out the ICCS Athletics Instagram page. Go Panthers!
"KICKING" UP SOME FUN IN P.E.
PRAYER AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS
O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
FACTS FAMILY PORTAL
Parent Portal access to student grades and assignments.www.factsmgt.com