Notes from the Principal's Desk: A Prayer for Unity, Testing Info, and more

The dashboard above displays cases and close contacts of students and teachers impacted while school is in session, including this week, and does not account for any cases or close contacts during Christmas break.

It is wonderful having the students back in the building to begin the new year. While I am sure we all hope that 2021 will bring some normalcy back into our lives, the events that unfolded yesterday in Washington, D.C., were unsettling. Please know that throughout the day today, teachers are addressing the events that occurred in an age-appropriate manner and ensuring the students continued social and emotional well-being. In the older grades, some Social Studies time will be dedicated to processing what took place at the U.S. Capitol. This morning during the morning announcements, we prayed as a school for unity.  I share the prayer below.

A Prayer for Unity
In this century and in any century,
Our deepest hope, our most tender prayer,
Is that we learn to listen.
May we listen to one another in openness and mercy
May we listen to plants and animals in wonder and respect
May We listen to our own hearts in love and forgiveness 
May we listen to God in quietness and awe.
And in this listening,
Which is boundless in its beauty,
May we find the wisdom to cooperate
With a healing spirit, a divine spirit
Who beckons us into peace and community and creativity.
We do not ask for a perfect world.
But we do ask for a better world.
We ask for deep listening.
Amen.

Looking ahead, next week, we will begin Standardized Testing for grades 2-8.  Testing will take place during students’ scheduled ELA or Math time. The focus will once again be on Math and English Language Arts. In the spring, standardized testing will include Science and Social Studies. The schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, January 12th:
    • Cohort A students testing - Reading
    • Cohort B students & 100% remote students - Complete independent activity at home
  • Wednesday, January 13th:
    • Cohort A students testing - Math & Language Arts
    • Cohort B students & 100% remote students - Complete independent activity at home
  • Thursday, January 14th:
    • Cohort B students & 100% remote students testing - Reading
    • Cohort A students - Complete independent activity at home
  • Friday, January 15th:
    • Cohort B students & 100% remote students testing - Math & Language Arts
    • Cohort A students - Complete independent activity at home

Additionally, Grades K-1 will begin their Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) Testing starting January 11th. This is a Benchmark Assessment System used as a tool for assessing our readers in K-1.  As a part of this assessment, your child will be asked to read a leveled text.  With the information gathered, our teachers will be using differentiated instruction to support your child’s reading development.  The F&P testing reports will be sent home at the end of January, which will include an Assessment Summary, which will provide a breakdown of your child’s testing results. You will also find a Reading Guide that includes the characteristics of a leveled book and suggestions for parental engagement with the text.

Looking towards the days ahead:
  • Friday, January 8th: Birthday Dress Down Day
  • Monday, January 11th: Birthday Dress Down Day
  • Friday, January 15th: Cathedral Spirit Wear Day
Finally, a reminder that the following days have been switched to B cohort days. This is reflected on our website calendar, as well. 
  • Wednesday, February 10
  • Wednesday, March 24
  • Wednesday, April 14

God Bless,
Michael Wright