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Moving Forward

Dear Parents, 

I hope all of you are staying healthy, both physically and mentally. I thank you for the kind words, cards, and prayers after the passing of my father. It has been a wild ride.

First, we miss you terribly. The empty halls and classrooms make this place just a building, because the soul of our school is you, our families.

I know some of you are completely overwhelmed. We worry about jobs, investments, keeping immediate families healthy, keeping older family members out of the grocery stores, and keeping enough toilet tissue in the house. So, again, prayers are so important.

Now that we have had a few weeks under our new normal, I want you to know we’re still here and listening! There will be more adjustments to come as we navigate this new territory. 

We are still following our school calendar, so this week we have only 3 school days. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the week after Easter will be a break, a break for parents, teachers, and students.  

In an effort to balance our curriculum goals with the realistic daily life of many parents, we have been carefully reflecting on our instruction practices over the last several weeks. Our goal is for our instruction to remain meaningful, intentional, and focused on student engagement.

Yet, these are just not normal times. Of course we want our students to work toward their learning goals, but we also want to make sure each family still feels in balance. Our focus is on taking care of our students and reaching them personally to offer care and support. 

*After our break, elementary classes will be focusing on: 

• 3-5 reading, math, and religion assignments per week.

• 1-2 Social Studies assignments per week.

• 1-2 Science   assignments per week

• 1-2 Writing assignments per week.

** EL-2 grade, may still have some packet work, so pickups may still happen, but not every week teachers will let parents know.

*Middle school will be focusing on

• 3 assignments per week in core subjects: (Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Science, Religion, Spanish)

*Special areas (Library, PE, Art, Music, Spanish pre-5) will provide a weekly resource/activity

Parents and students who wish for additional learning opportunities will be readily supplied with additional resources. We are striving to do what is best for each individual situation and want our school to continue to be a “safe place” for your child, even when we are not physically together at the moment.

 I am in constant communication with teachers regarding our expectations for learning and how we are assessing students. We are shifting toward each grade level teacher in the school having a “homepage” online (utilizing our website, Google classroom, or Canvas). Teachers will continue sharing personal videos and face-to-face screen times.

Each week I will give updates on the school, either on our website or a video blog. These will be shared via social media and on our website. {Although I certainly know your kids are much more excited to see their teachers than the principal}.

As with every year, the teachers and I are also looking to next year and making sure students can transition into the new school year with attention on where they are individually. Based on when everything “opens up” we want to hit the ground running. I envision a great celebration on our campus where we can rejoice and reconnect with each other.

Once again, I stress, our building is closed, but we are still your child’s school. And, we are already looking forward to next year. Teachers are in conversations with each other to ensure all our students on track when we open for next year. Our teachers know what each student was able to accomplish and will know how to structure the beginning of the school year appropriately. We are all feeling the effects of not having our regular operations, but we are a strong family and we will survive and thrive. 

I want you to know we are working hard to offer the support, the compassion, and the care that you and your kids need during this unusual time. Our custodians are working to keep the building disinfected and they are working on some of the summer maintenance. Because of this limited use of the building, emails are the best option for contacting myself, or the teachers. If immediate assistance is needed, please use the after school phone (423) 366-4532.

I ask your continued prayers for our healthcare workers, first responders, and all other workers who are working to keep us safe.

God’s blessings for you and your family,

B. Schneider


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