Good afternoon, SAP School Family,
Praying this email finds you and your family well. I just finished a Zoom conference Archbishop Jose Gomez, Msgr. Albert Bahuuth, and our amazing ADLA Pastors and Principals. I was assured by the support we are receiving from our spiritual leaders in the Archdiocese. They are shepherding Christ’s church at this uncertain time, and they continue to serve all people. They urged us as parish and school leaders to Trust each other, and most importantly, Trust in God. They are here for us. We are one Church, and they assured us that they are here to support us now and in the future. The webinar was called to tell school leaders that the ADLA is totally committed to support parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as needed. We were encouraged by our pastoral leadership that they are listening to us, addressing our needs, and here to support us. I was encouraged and I hope you are, too. Rest assured, that I am also here to help support families at this time as principal of St. Anthony of Padua.
As you know, yesterday, the church announced that we would have all Masses and services suspended through 4/19. That includes Holy Week. More information will be coming directly from the Archdiocese, and when I get those updates, I will add them to our News and Events page on our school website, so you can go there for the latest information. For now, any updates have already been posted to our website. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always email me at email@example.com.
Below is an article that sheds more light on Spiritual Communion during this time of our Great Fast from Holy Communion. For the faithful, it’s sad to see that our Masses have been canceled, Good Friday Lenten observances, Stations of the Cross, and….well….the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry have all been canceled…We pray for all those who are sick, suffering, dying, and all those at the front lines of this pandemic. Here are some tips on Spiritual Communion at this unprecedented time http://www.catholic365.com/article/11244/what-is-spiritual-communion-and-how-to-use-it.html
As of tomorrow, 3/25, schools are being asked to NOT open our physical doors to the public for safety reasons. I am encouraging all parents to continue to call/email our school during office hours from 7:30-4 Monday to Friday. We will have someone here to answer your calls and hear your concerns. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Once again, we will NOT have our doors open during the MAIN OFFICE HOURS. However, our virtual school office hours are still 7:30-4pm. We encourage you to call or email us. All contact with teachers and staff moving forward should be done remotely, as much as possible. We will respond to you as soon as we can. For now, please check your child’s blog under Teacher Blogs on the www.stanthonygardena.org website.
The Church offices/rectories around LA are all closed to the public now, only a few staff members can come in: the 10 person limit must continue to be observed and 6 foot social distancing measures must still be taken. Everyone is encouraged to stay home to stop the spread of this virus and to free up hospitals taking care of the health of those most in need. Thank you for doing your part in this united global effort!
All updates to parents and students are now being done on the classroom blogs and via email/Remind/Seesaw/Band App/Google Classrooms or whatever online platform your teacher is using.
I want to sincerely thank all of my teachers and staff for their incredible work over the past 2 weeks. They have been literally working overtime, even on the weekends to prepare for the quality distance learning your children are receiving, without any prior training.
All my teachers have posted their lesson plans for the week ahead on their classroom blogs. Things are running smoother for everyone. Our school is ahead of the game when it comes to planning and delivering lessons to our students. I have been told by other friends that their children in other schools (and even those in college institutions) have little plans or NO work assigned to their children, since the school closures. I’m so proud of all teachers and staff for delivering excellent service, even though it may be overwhelming for them. Please keep us all in your prayers as well.
To all our amazing parents who are working as primary educators to your children at home. Bless your hearts! Trust me, my husband and I know the challenges you are facing, with 5 kids of our own to manage continuing education for. Please take a breath with me, and be comforted knowing that your children and teachers are settling into their new online routines, much like the first 2 weeks of school. This experience is new to all of us, so let’s breathe and take it moment by moment. Keep the faith…this too shall pass!
Please communicate with your child’s teachers if something is confusing, too hard, or too easy. We want to give each student and each family what they need, but these first 2 weeks we are all easing into a new normal. We want to be flexible with assessments and assignments, and work with your work and home schedules, and personal situations. We know not everyone is in the same situation. Do reach out to your teachers and me to let us know your needs and how we can best support you.
My teachers are working individually with students via Zoom and on the chat feature, and are providing help to those who need the extra help one-on-one during office hours. Some teachers may assign a project on Monday and have it due on Friday. Encourage your children to work in partners on group assignments over Zoom/Facetime (under your supervision) so they can collaborate online and report back to their teachers in a journal reflection.
Remember that for primary grades, students who are typically homeschooled only have between 1-2 hours of work assigned a day. Middle school students have 2-3 hours of academics daily. High school students have 3-4 hours. Other than that, please find balance in your lives: physically, spiritually, academically, and socially That goes for parents and students! We all need to take care of ourselves at this time. Don’t overdo it!
From one parent to another, work smarter, not harder. Get your kids on a schedule and routine at home. Ask help from the teachers if you need it. We are a faith community and we are all in this together. You have all worked so hard at home setting up your work spaces for your child, getting them onto online apps and working through glitches in uploading projects and information. We thank you for a job well done. Your children are reaping the benefits of order and structure, which our teachers provide. Once they have routines and procedures down, you can take a step back and let them be self-directed learners at home. Kids need guidance at first from their parents, and then they can do things on their own to give you space to do what you need to do to keep your household running. You need your sanity!
Please be sure to schedule time for your children to talk to their friends socially. We all miss each other! Think about Zoom playdates and Facetiming family members during recess/lunch hours on the daily schedule. And get up and move...there are opportunities for family workouts and dance videos online. Mrs. R is doing a great job of giving PE homework that kids can do daily.
Now that a process is in place for distance learning for St. Anthony of Padua School, the students and teachers will start to have more fun with it in the coming weeks. The first 2 weeks are still considered a trial and error period. Please don’t worry if your child is having a hard time submitting assignments. This week we will continue to be understanding and lenient with technically difficulties. For Google Classrooms, please save and upload attachments to and from the Google Drive. Do not upload using Camera Roll/Pictures, as this is not working on the system. Once uploaded as an attachment, students need to click TURN IN. Hope this helps in troubleshooting your technical issues! I learned this on my own when helping my child upload his work, and the teacher wasn’t getting it.
To reiterate from yesterday’s announcement, our school is now closed till 4/19. That means we are closed through Lent. I will send more updates from the ADLA as I receive them.
I pray we return by 4/20, as scheduled, so the 8th grade can go on their pilgrimage and the 2nd graders can receive their sacraments on 4/25, but it’s all in God’s hands.If the closure must be extended in everyone’s best interest, we will do what officials tell us. We are trying to prepare for anything that comes our way. As I tell the students in our emergency drills, “When you’re prepared, you won’t be scared.”
Next week, on 3/30, we were scheduled to have a faculty retreat. It was cancelled. I want to still have a Student Free Day so all parents and students can take time to rest and rejuvenate spiritually as well. Our staff will meet online to do spiritual retreat together. Please note this. Perhaps students can work on an ongoing project on 3/30 if they so choose. Communicate with your child’ teacher if you would like them to assign your child work that day. They will not be available for Zoom calls, though, on 3/30, due to our staff online retreat.
Students can also have that day to socialize with their friends by Zoom (I would suggest schedule Zoom play dates with the friends and parents to keep in touch with each other socially, which is also very important at this time).
Blessings on you and your families,