St. Joseph eUpdate

Hearts Aflame For the Love of Christ


Dear St. Joseph Families,

What an amazing opportunity we have been given. A unique time with each other to shift our priorities to items that truly matter: our faith, our families, and our health. Thank you in advance for your support and flexibility, we are in this together. The transition to digital learning may be challenging for families, and we realize we will be asking parents to think differently about academic learning and to actively take on the responsibility of supporting their children in this digital process. We will be asking you to create structures and routines in your own home that will foster growth, and promote continued learning. Some students will thrive with digital learning while others may struggle. Please trust that we are working hard to make sure lessons and objectives are clear, reliable, and accessible for all. We have also developed a plan with guidelines and clear expectations to help your children find success in this new digital learning environment.

This week our teachers will continue to evaluate essential learning outcomes to finish the year, and they will send you a few items to try with our new online learning process. We will begin digital learning officially on Monday March 30, 2020. If you ever have questions within this process, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or your student’s classroom teacher.

With A Grateful Heart,

Jodie Maddox

Principal, St. Joseph School

Plan for Continuous Learning

1. Define the physical space for your child's study

Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time, as will be the case when this Continuous Learning Plan (CLP) is implemented. We encourage families to establish a space/location where their children will learn most of the time. This should be a public/family space, not in a child's bedroom. It should be a place that can be quiet at times and have a strong wireless internet signal, if possible. Above all, it should be a space where parents are present and monitoring their children's learning.

2. Establish routines and expectations

From the first day StJ implements its CLP, parents need to establish routines and expectations. StJ encourages parents to set regular hours for their children's school work. We suggest students begin their studies at 8:30am. Keep normal bedtime routines for younger children and expect the same from your middle school-aged students, too. (Don't let them stay up late and sleep in!) Your children should move regularly and take periodic breaks as they study. It is important that parents set these expectations for how their children will spend their days starting as soon as distance learning is implemented, not several days later after it becomes apparent a child is struggling with the absence of routine.

3. Establish times for quiet and reflection

Scheduling time within the day for quiet reflection and prayer will help set the tone for your family and day. To help with that, we will live stream the pledge and prayer at 8:oo am on the Official St Joseph School Facebook page. On Wednesdays and First Fridays, we will begin our day with 8:15 Mass on the St. Joseph Parish Facebook page. A huge challenge for families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their children's needs, especially when those children are different ages and have different needs. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction. Parents may even experiment with noise-cancelling headphones (no music, no background noises, etc) to block out distractions.

4. Begin and end each day with prayer and an academic check in.

Parents are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple prayer and check-in. In the morning, ask what is your child learning today? What are their learning targets or goals? How will they spend their time? What resources do they require? What support do they need? This brief grounding conversation matters. It allows children to process the instructions they've received from their teachers. It helps them organize themselves and set priorities. Older students may not want to have these check-ins with parents (that's normal!), but they should nevertheless. Not all students thrive in a digital learning environment; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure. These check-in routines need to be established EARLY, before students fall behind or begin to struggle.

5. Monitor communications from your children's teachers

Teachers will communicate with parents through Google Classroom as necessary. The frequency and detail of these communications will be determined by your children's ages, maturity, and their degree of independence. StJ wants parents to contact their children's teachers. Teachers will be checking email regularly, but in addition, teachers will be required to share their office hours with you for each day. Parents can email or message using Google Classroom as teachers will not be contacting parents via their personal phones. It will be critical for you to check your e-Update every Thursday and to join our official School Facebook group during this time.

6. Take an active role in helping your children process and own their learning

In the course of a regular school day at StJ, your son or daughter engages with other students or adults dozens if not hundreds of times. While some of these social interactions will be re-created on virtual platforms, others will not. Human beings learn best when they have opportunities to process their learning with others. Beyond the check-ins recommended at the start and end of each day, parents might be wise to regularly circle back and engage with their children about what they're learning. However, it's important that your child does his/her own work; don't complete assignments for them, even when they are struggling. Generally, assignments will be posted on Monday and due on Friday at noon. Some teachers may have exceptions to this.

7. Encourage physical activity and/or exercise

Make sure your children remember to move and exercise. This is vitally important to their health, wellbeing, and to their learning. Ms. Monroe will recommend activities or exercises through our e-Update, but it is important for parents to model and encourage exercise! Think also about how your children can pitch in more around the house with chores or other responsibilities. Each week our e-Update will include extra activities for music, art, P.E., and spanish.

8. Monitor your child online (how much time and exposure to content)

We do not want students staring at screens for 7-8 hours a day. We will be sending home a variety of learning experiences. At this point, families should consider gradually replacing screen time for LEARNING/SCHOOL only. This will include encouraging kids to communicate with friends verbally versus texting, playing outside for physical activity instead of playing video games, and giving them a daily chore list to accomplish to help foster life skills beyond the digital world. At StJ, we have content filtering at school that keeps our students safe from harmful internet websites. While your child is engaged in distance learning, we rely on parents to watch student screen activity to ensure they are only on the websites that StJ teachers have assigned.

9. Targeted Work expectations for students

  • Primary (K-2)

1-2 hours of engagement per day (broken into 20-30 min. blocks of time)

  • Intermediate (3-5) (broken into 30-45 min blocks of time)

2-3 hours of engagement per day

  • Middle School (6-8) (broken into 45-60 min blocks of time)

3-4 hours of engagement per day

10. Specialty classes Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, P.E., Spanish

Initially we will be focusing on core learning: Religion, Math, and English Language Arts. Speciality classes will be offered through links in our weekly e-Update and possibly social media after the initial start up window is complete. As we continue to monitor the situation and receive guidance from our State Officials, we are hopeful that at some point, teachers will be able to visit face to face, with their students.

Parent Support Information

Support Personnel Contact List

Academic Questions: Your child’s homeroom teacher

Social Emotional: Cindy Jussel,

Technology: Colin Richardson,

Administrative Assistant: Beth Pigott,

Principal: Jodie Maddox,

Achievement Center/Special Services: Sarah Heidesch,

How Will It Work?

In general teachers have been asked to follow these guidelines:

  • Post a weekly lesson plans for Religion, Math, Reading/Writing to Google Classroom by Monday morning for the entire week. All assignments should be due by Friday at noon.
  • Use Google Classroom to post assignments and collect assignments. Post videos to Google Classroom for students to view for instruction.
  • Use Zoom 1-2 times a week to stay connected with students, answer questions, and continue to establish a relationship of care and concern.
  • Post/Maintain daily office hours.
  • MAPS Teachers (Music, Art, PE, Spanish) Social Studies and Science will provide supplemental lessons in our eUpdate weekly.
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Resources for Parents For the Interim

School doesn’t officially start until March 30, but your teachers have got you covered if you’re looking for a little something for your kids to work on to keep up those sound minds and powerful, loving spirits. See below for some of our favorite (totally optional) links and resources while we get the official schooling ready to roll.

Grades K-2

Worksheet Fun has all sorts of skills pages and extra materials.

Middle School

free 1-month trial for ages 8-13, from the creators of ABCmouse


Check out this 25-minute workout for kids AND parents!

Pick Up and Go Meals for Children starting March 24, 2020

Beginning March 24, 2020, free breakfast and lunch will be provided to all children ages 1-18 at four school sites in Shawnee Mission School District.

Students must be present to receive a breakfast and lunch.

No reservations are needed. Meals will be available for pick up outside the school front drive.

One breakfast and one lunch meal will be given to each child present Monday thru Friday.

An adult accompanying children may pick up the meals for each child without all children needing to exit the vehicle.Please follow social distancing and avoid crowding when coming to the table.Students are allowed to walk to school to pick up their meal. Parents are not required to bring the students.Meals are prepared by the District Food Services staff and distributed following food safety and sanitary practices.These meals are funded entirely by the US Department of Agriculture.


Comanche Elementary, 8200 Grant St. Overland Park

Rosehill Elementary 9801 Rosehill Lenexa

Shawanoe Elementary 11230 W 75th St Shawnee

Hocker Grove Middle School 10400 Johnson Dr Shawnee

DATES: MARCH 24, 2020

TIME: 10:30-11:30 Monday through Friday

Contact the Food Services Department with any questions 913-993-9710 or

Each breakfast and lunch meal with also include Fruit, Grain and Milk.

The Knight School- Online Chess Academy

The Knight School, has made good and is now nationwide, in 21 cities from Seattle to Miami, teaching 3500 kids each week in high-energy, kid-oriented afterschool chess. They are offering WebParty's.

The Mondays 3:00 WebParty is for complete beginners and whole families, the Tuesdays 3:00 WebParty is for kids who play chess already, Wednesdays at 3 pm is for preschoolers and kindergartners, and Thursday at 3:00 is for advanced chess players. Enrolling in one course means full access to all four.

Email Brian email at to enroll!

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