MCCHS FRIDAY FOCUS
186th EDITION: March 12, 2021
From the Desk of Ms. Debra Novy
Happy Spring! (Well, almost)
This weekend we “spring ahead” as we move our clocks in preparation for warmer, longer days. Preparation is also part of our Lenten journey as we prepare, through prayer, penance, self-denial, and reflection, to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Lent is actually a shortened word for lecten, meaning “spring season,” so we have much to celebrate during this season of renewal!
Here at Marian Central, we are also preparing to spring ahead. The CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have recently updated/revised their guidance for schools regarding Covid precautionary measures. Marian’s administrative team, in partnership with the Diocese and the McHenry County Health Department (MCHD), is currently combing through all of the revisions and is working to determine the next course of action that we will be taking to continue providing our students with the best balance of academics, activities, and safe environment as possible through the rest of this school year.
Our first step in hopefully bringing all of our students back into the building full time is to bring back all of our senior students starting April 6 (the first day back after spring break)! Our team has worked tirelessly to lay out plans to ensure that both classes and lunch times can handle the increase in students in a safe way. We felt that this was a priority to provide the class of 2021 some semblance of normalcy for the end of their senior year in high school. It will allow them to be with all their high school peers, reconnecting and restrengthening the bonds that have developed over their high school career, before they graduate and go on to bigger and more exciting things. We wanted our seniors to remember that no matter what we went through this past year, Marian is and always will be their family… and family sticks together!
Once our seniors are back, administration will be monitoring and reviewing the procedures and safety protocols to determine when we may have the ability to bring more students back into the building in person, with the hope that all can return before the end of the school year.
Within the next week, we will be communicating directly with our senior students and their parents regarding how this transition will occur. Please be watching your emails for further information. In addition, we are continuing to iron out plans for the usual end-of-year senior events, in a not-so-traditional way. As we solidify these plans, again, seniors and their parents will be notified.
Finally, one big change that will start on Monday, March 15 is that we will no longer be taking temperatures of students as they enter the building. Instead, we will be relying on our parents (who have already done a fantastic job) to make determinations regarding their students’ health prior to sending them to school. More information is provided below. (Students will still be required to enter through Door #1 starting at 7:30 am) Also, please note that although students will not be required to have their temperature taken when entering for school, all IHSA regulations are still in place, so athletes will still be required to follow those safety guidelines set by the Marian athletic department.
All these changes give me increased optimism and excitement for what is to come for all of us this spring. Many look at spring as a new beginning… as the flowers and trees begin to bloom, the sun shines more, and the days get longer. I hope that we can continue these positive changes through the end of the year so Marian can once again provide the positive and enlightening experiences that our students and staff are accustom to as proud Hurricanes!
Adolescent Mental Health Information for Parents
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in so many challenges this year. One major challenge is and will continue to be the negative impact on our student's mental health. This year in the Guidance Office we've witnessed more unusual and extreme cases of struggles than ever. We realize the critical role that parents play in promoting the health and well-being of our students - especially when it comes to noticing changes in behavior that might be concerning. The earlier we identify issues, the more likely it is that a positive outcome will be reached.
The statistics on adolescent mental illness are alarming (according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness):
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
- 20% of youth (1 in 5) ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24
- 90% of those who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness
Common Warning Signs of Mental Illness/Risk for Self-Harm:
- Feeling very sad or withdrawn (i.e. crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated)
- Having lost interest in things they used to enjoy
- Having low energy
- Sleeping too much or too little, or seeming sleepy throughout the day
- Spending more and more time alone, avoiding social activities with friends or family - withdrawing or isolating
- Fear gaining weight, or diet or exercise excessively
- Engaging in self-harm behaviors (i.e. cutting or burning skin), or making plans to do so
- Smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs
- Engaging in risky or destructive behavior alone or with friends
- Having thoughts of suicide
- Having periods of highly elevated energy and activity, and requiring much less sleep than usual
- Saying that they think someone is trying to control their mind or that they hear things that other people cannot hear
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge - involvement in many fights or desire to badly hurt others
- Intense worries or fears (with a racing heart or fast breathing) that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes
- Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still that causes problems at home or in the classroom - can lead to failure in school
- Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Drastic changes in student's behavior or personality
If you observe one or more of the above behaviors, especially if they're uncharacteristic for your child and last for a span of two weeks or more, it is recommended that you seek help. Support for mental health can begin by talking with your pediatrician, by getting a referral to a counselor or therapist, and/or by connecting with your child's school counselor. Contact either Mrs. Hilton (Sophomores, Seniors) at ext. firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Kruse (Freshmen, Juniors)at ext. email@example.com.
The following are some things you can do to promote mental health and wellness in your teens:
- Remind them to find creative ways to spend time safely with friends
- Encourage them to be active and do things they enjoy each day
- Create ways for them to write or talk about the way they feel about current events and their own struggles (without judgment)
- Talk with them about healthy eating, sleep, and exercise
- If you see them struggling to cope, ask if they need help
Thanks to each and every one of you for all you do to support our precious students!
Virtual Car Race - Win Prizes Weekly!
Congratulations to our four winners from our first Virtual Car Race! Check out the new raffle items that have been added for next Monday’s race at marianrace.givesmart.com. For updates on prizes, races, and winners, join "Hurricanes, start your engines" Facebook group here.
Paint and Sip - Save the Date!
Marian Central has received approval to host an in-person Paint and Sip event. Please mark the event on your
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Location: Marian Central Catholic High School
Start Time: 2:00 PM
More information will be coming soon.
In the meantime, please SAVE THE DATE!
All student-athletes who intend to participate in interscholastic athletics must be registered prior to the first practice (see below for season start dates). Registration can be completed on Marian Central’s athletic website or by clicking here: https://il.8to18.com/MarianCC.
Cheer - practice starts Tuesday, March 16th for those interested.
Dance - practice has started
Volleyball - practice has started
Boys Tennis – April 5
Boys Lacrosse – April 5
Girls Soccer – April 5
Softball – April 5
Boys & Girls Track and Field – April 5
Wrestling – April 19
If you have any questions please contact the athletic director, Mr. Curtis Price, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-338-4220, Ext 119.
Next Week's College Visits
Wednesday, 3/17: University of Akron-1st period
Thursday, 3/18: McHenry County College-8th period, DePaul University-9th period