I know that this has been a difficult week or so, after the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests around the nation and the world, including right here in Tacoma and throughout Washington State. It causes so much raw emotion and it is difficult for adults to process, much less for children who may hear about it or see the video on the news. This turmoil and pain adds more stress and anxiety to an already difficult situation for our children and our families, who have been facing uncertainty and fear from the Covid pandemic and being away from friends, family, and school. There is no one way to deal with this. Children have many questions and the answers depend on the child's age, experiences, and level of understanding. As adults, we don't have all of the answers. The important thing is to be open to an age-appropriate discussion, which will allow children to lessen their anxiety and better understand what is happening in the world around them. At this time, we cling to our faith and the direction given to us by Jesus to "Love one another, as I have loved you" (John 13:34). As a Catholic school, we (all of the staff) take seriously our role to form the next generation with not only the academic knowledge necessary for their future, but also a strong moral foundation to do what is right in the face of opposition. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world". At Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy, you can be sure that this is something that we teach to our children each and every day.
While I do not have the answers on exactly what next Fall will look like for school, I am including information that we are discussing with the Seattle Archdiocese at this time, as well as what I think the most likely scenarios are. Please read the information below on this and let me know if you have any questions. I think our school is well positioned for being in session next fall, due to our small class sizes and ability to social distance...it just depends on the directive from the governor.
There is a lot of very important information below, so please take the time to scroll through and read about:
- Pick-Up/Drop-Off/Yearbooks this Friday from 1 - 5 pm
- Meet our new 2nd/3rd grade teacher...Ms. Strode
- What will next year look like for school?
- Seattle Archdiocese planning document for Covid-19
- Auction Update
- Spring Fundraiser billing
Pick-Up/Drop-Off/Yearbooks THIS FRIDAY
Welcome, Ms. Strode...Our 2nd/3rd Grade Teacher
Hello families of Holy Rosary Bilingual School,
I am so excited to be joining your school and church community!
I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona, where I have taught in Early and Primary education for 10 years. In June, however, I am coming back home to Washington to be closer to my family and parents. I have an education background with a Child Development Degree, a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Kinder through 8th grade) and a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. My passion in education is Differentiation and Acceleration, as I believe all children are capable, if given every opportunity!
Again I am so excited to be part of your community!
Ms. Josie Strode
What will the 2020-21 School Year Look Like?
- Current Governor's orders
- Phase for the county that your school is in
- Local Health Dept/CDC Guidance
- Guidance from the Archdiocese of Seattle's Office for Catholic Schools
- Individual student population
- Size of classrooms and overall school facility
- Number of staff
As we all know, based on the decision to move to Fife and make changes to the educational program, our enrollment numbers are down for next year. For once, that may actually be a good thing, though. The reality is that small class sizes may put us in a remarkable situation for the fall. IF the governor says that schools can open, then it will likely come down to a look at how social distancing can occur. Our classrooms at the Fife campus are really good size. I measured them the other day and they are roughly 910 SF each. So, depending on the space required for each child (if that is part of the metric), we will likely be able to accommodate full classes. There is talk of some schools having to do 1/2 days or have kids go to school every other day to limit the class sizes. I think this looks unlikely for us. YEAH! All of this depends on a few things, though, and we are still waiting on those answers. Based on the information provided, I feel that there will likely be 3 scenarios for next year at our Fife campus:
- Full Distance Learning (if the governor requires schools to be closed)
- Full On Site Learning (if we are allowed to be back at the school building with all PPE and health precautions in place and the proper amount of space per child)
- Remote Learning for Certain Periods of Time (Likely either due to the flu season, the start of the school year, or if a case/outbreak was to occur at the school requiring the switch to distance learning)
There are many parts of a plan, which has been put together as a working document by this team of Executive Principals. It includes items such as space, class size, recess, sick protocol, cleaning in the facility, band/music/PE, and many other items to consider. The entire document, which is just a working copy (not a final version) is available for your review, in case you would like to know the considerations being discussed right now. See the attached document below, titled: Planning for Reopening During Covid-19 2020.pdf
Right now, the Archdiocese is trying to look at any and all likely scenarios since much is unknown and they have schools in many counties and with various enrollments/class sizes. They may also be asking families to complete a survey to get more information on your thoughts for the next school year, though we have not received this survey at this time. Please know that we are aware that the uncertainty is not only external, but also internal (in our families and school community). We are doing our best to plan for the fall, with consideration of student/family/community safety, student growth (academic, social/emotional, physical, spiritual), and the needs of families to be able to work while their children are in school. We know that, no matter what, things will look and feel different when we return to school with social distancing guidelines in effect and (likely) the need for masks to be worn in school. We hope to know more soon and will be in touch with you throughout the summer, if you are registered for the fall. If you are not registered and would like to remain a part of our mailing list for these newsletters after this school year ends, please let Ms. Nina or Ms. Dempsey know. Thanks!
Important Info: Auction Update and Spring Fundraiser Billing
Our final "fund raiser" of the year is the spring fundraiser that is a part of the family contracts. We have held off on this, hoping that we could find an innovative way to do something like a read-a-thon or walk-a-thon, since we had to cancel the fun run. Unfortunately, with the lock down order from the governor and everything else, we have not been able to do it. Therefore, we will need to bill out the $100 commitment per family in the June billing. With that said, however, we are conscious that a number of you have had to deal with job losses and hours being cut. If that is the case for you, please just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can work with you on the commitment dollars. Don't stress...just email me. Again, please let me know if this causes you a major financial strain due to the circumstances surrounding the virus and your financial earnings. We will happily work with you on this. Please remembers that, unless you had to extend your tuition payments into June, your last tuition payment was in May so that should be all done...until August. :)