St. Therese Family Newsletter - January 13, 2021
The calm AFTER the storm
Last night brought heavy rains, and wind that knocked branches right out of the trees and left many without electricity for a portion of the night, and even into today. It was messy. It was loud. Our poor, sweet dog Clover wouldn't even go outside to potty, she was so scared.
Today is a new day! The sun is shining and I just ran an errand with the windows down in my car, listening to my favorite tunes. Sure, there are still branches scattered around in the streets and the parking lot - one branch fell right out of the sky and onto my windshield as I was driving back to school, startling me. But there is a brightness to this day that we've been missing, and that's cause for celebration.
The lesson? (I like to think that I'm one of God's favorite students when I find His lesson for the day) Storms come through our lives, and often leave a mess behind, or simply leave us without power. If we only focus on that mess, we miss the shining sun, the crispness of the air, and the promise of what lies ahead. We have been through a lot as a community, and today I feel God's presence and His promise of better days to come.
It's hard work, raising up a new generation of humans. I'm so glad we are all doing this important work together!
Rosemarie El Youssef
Principal, St. Therese School
Monday, January 18th - NO SCHOOL, MLK Day
What we know as we plan our return to in-person learning...
There are many things we are still working on, but here is what we know for sure at this time:
- In-person learning will occur Monday through Thursday from 8:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Fridays will be a virtual learning day for all students with noon dismissal.
- Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, and 8th grade return on February 1st.
- 2nd grade, 4th grade, 6th grade, and 7th grade will join them on February 8th.
- Students will be required to attend in uniform, both in person and virtually for consistency.
- Students will be required to bring a sack lunch from home – we will not have hot lunch service for the remainder of the school year.
- Health checks will continue in the morning at drop-off as they did during Limited In-Person (LIP) Learning, with some improvements.
- Each student will have 35 square feet of space in the classroom.
- Face masks are required.
Below you will find a copy of the email I sent to families on Monday, January 11th.
But what about the metrics?
There is a lot of information about safety in the news that might be alarming - there are areas across the country that are experiencing major spikes in cases. In Multnomah County right now we are seeing a steady decrease in cases, as well as test positivity.
I will continue to monitor the data, and examine trends in cases in our county and surrounding areas. We know from our Limited In-Person Learning that we are capable of hosting students on campus for learning, and I am confident in our protocols and our staff. We are working with our local health authority, as well as the Oregon Department of Education and the Department of Catholic Schools to be sure that our plans are meeting all health and safety guidelines.
Return to In-Person Learning/Hybrid Learning - Info Sessions
Session times are:
Tuesday, January 19th 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, January 21st 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
There will not be an informational session on Wednesday, January 20th because we have a Parent Club meeting that evening, but Mrs. El Youssef will stay after that meeting to answer questions.
Re-enrollment/Registration Portal OPEN
The earlier you enroll, the better prepared we are to discuss next year's budget and make plans for school staffing. You can pay your $200 registration fee now, or just wait and pay before May 1, 2021.
Please give us a call if we can help you in any way!
FACTS Financial Aid - APPLY NOW!
Our school may be eligible for additional financial aid from outside grants, but only based on the applications submitted by Monday, February 1st. PLEASE complete your application prior to that date.
The deadline for completing financial aid applications is March 1, 2021 in order to be considered for financial aid.
Virtual Open House, Jan. 31st from 1-3 p.m.
The Virtual Open House is a way for families to get a glimpse at what we have to offer and ask questions about our school. We will schedule in-person tours ANYTIME!
Photo Release Authorization - REMINDER
Thank you to all who have filled out this form so far!
We would love to include photos of our students on our website, newsletter, and on social media. Please complete the photo release letting us know if this is OK or NOT OK. We will keep these permissions on file for the rest of the school year and renew each fall. Please know that this also includes the YEARBOOK - we need your permission for students to be pictured there as well.
Look for our school in the Catholic Schools edition of the Sentinel - we are so proud of our community!
Catholic Schools Week, January 31st - February 4th
If you would like to attend mass, please call the parish office at 503-256-5850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Parish office hours are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and if you call outside of business hours, Colleen, our lovely receptionist, will call you back to confirm your sign-up.
Mrs. El Youssef will have a special treat for those students who attend! Stay tuned for more information about virtual open house and other activities we are planning for that week.
St. Vincent de Paul
St Vincent de Paul thanks St Therese students, parents, and staff for their generosity during the November food drive. We collected approximately 350 pounds of food. Thank you.
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact Shasta Hatter at the SVdP office 503-253-7566.
Catholic High Schools - Recommendations and Records
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Drive-thru Friday, January 15th, 2-4:30
We are so grateful for your generosity! With your donations we purchased a Distance Learning T-shirt for each student and staff member to wear on Fridays, prizes for spirit week, and the pumpkins for our St. Therese Pumpkin Patch. We recently purchased an eagle mascot costume and our new mascot will soon be visiting classrooms to learn what it means to be a St. Therese Eagle!
The school budget is tight this year, but there are some things that we believe students shouldn't go without - your can and bottle donations make this happen!
Parents' Club Corner
Here is the Parents' Club schedule of meetings for the rest of the school year. We will meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 6-7pm via Zoom. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 20, and we will be discussing future fundraisers. The zoom link for that meeting will be sent to you via email on Monday, January 18th.
January 20th Agenda:
Fundraising opportunities brainstorming session to meet the commitment to the school.
Some suggestions from prior meetings:
- Plant sale
- Read-a-thon, jump-a-thon, dance-a-thon
- Art walk (art sale)
Please contact Melanie Reyna at 503-467-1805 or via email at email@example.com with any questions.
Please see the attachment below for the meeting minutes from 11/18.
Parent Obligations for the Year - Fair Share and Fundraising
If we all work together, we can make this happen!
Rather than having MANY events with specific obligations, we have one financial obligation for each family.
Dual-parent household - $500 (fundraised or donated)
Single-parent household - $300 (fundraised or donated)
This replaces the auction basket obligation, auction project obligation, jog-a-thon, and raffle.
If we make our goal of $36,000 and everyone pitches in, there is no reason to bill people for what they aren't able to fundraise.
Our goal is to have one BIG fundraiser in the spring - if we can generate enough money to fulfill our obligation to the school our tuition won't go up. Jog-a-thon seems doable with the changing of the metrics and there are MANY ways we can get creative to make it happen.
The key to making this happen is ALL of us working together!
You are not expected to figure out how to fundraise on your own - but come to Parents' Club meetings and share your ideas. We are always better together! Our next PC meeting on January 20th will be focused on brainstorming ideas for fundraisers.