Notes from the Principal's Desk: Liturgy begins, Chick-fil-a days, standardized testing, and more

As of today, there have been no reports of students, faculty, or staff testing positive results for Covid-19.
 
As week four comes to a close, we have enjoyed some beautiful weather, which has allowed us to get the students outside as much as possible.  There is a lot of information in this week's communication, and we ask that you take a few minutes to read the newsletter in its entirety.

No School Wednesday, October 7
Yesterday, Chancellor Jim Sellinger and Superintendent Donna Hargens announced that AoB schools, including The School of the Cathedral, will be closed on Wednesday, October 7, to recognize teachers' and schools' tremendous efforts in reopening schools. Although this notice is later than we would have liked, we appreciate your understanding.

Art
We have begun the process of hiring a new Art teacher and will be conducting interviews over the next several days.

Parent-Student Handbook
We also would like to share the 2020-21 Parent-Student Handbook with the community. In the handbook, you will note that we have added information regarding the response to a Covid-19 incident and the decision tree. We ask that you sign the acknowledgment page and return it to school via backpack mail.

Weekly Liturgy 
Beginning the first week of October, we will start to have weekly Liturgies and prayer services for the students. The Liturgies will occur on Tuesday and Thursday, so both A cohort and B cohort students can attend. The services will be streamed, so students not in attendance can participate remotely. Students will participate in grade bands to accommodate social distancing. See our website for the schedule.

Band
Band will be offered for students in 4th through 8th grade this year, but a little bit differently than in years past. Lessons will be held via Zoom after school hours. The teachers will show a demonstration video on Friday. If your child would like to register or is interested, you can complete and return these forms:
Band Interest Survey
Registration form
Instrument rental information

Standardized Testing
Next week Tuesday, September 29, we begin standardized testing for students in 2nd through 8th grade. Cohort A students will take the assessments on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Cohort B students and 100% remote learners will take the assessments on Thursday and Friday. These assessments will make up for the missed spring testing. Students will be assessed in Math, Reading, and Language Arts. Students in grades 2-5 should bring in headphones/earbuds to use for the assessment's Math portion if the headphones/earbuds are not already at school. 

100% remote students will be able to take the assessments from home. We will be sending instructions on how to do so on Friday. 

In-person cohort students will take the assessments at school during their regularly scheduled class time in school. Cohort students and 100% remote students not taking the assessments will complete independent work, which will be found in their Math and ELA Google Classrooms. Below we share the schedule.

Tuesday, September 29:
Cohort A: Math & Reading Assessment in school during Math & ELA classes
Cohort B & 100% Remote Students: Independent Math & ELA Activity (no online class - log into Google Classroom to find assignment)

Wednesday, September 30:
Cohort A: Language Arts Assessment in school during ELA class 
Cohort B & 100% Remote Students: Independent ELA Activity (no online class - log into Google Classroom to find assignment)

Thursday, October 1:
Cohort B & 100% Remote Students: Math & Reading Assessment in school during Math & ELA classes
Cohort A: Independent Math & ELA Activity (no online class - log into Google Classroom to find assignment)

Friday, October 2:
Cohort B & 100% Remote Students: Language Arts Assessment in school during ELA class 
Cohort A: Independent ELA Activity (no online class - log into Google Classroom to find assignment)

2020-2020 Archdiocese of Baltimore Income Survey 
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is using a Google form survey to collect family income data for the 20-21 school year. This safe and secure electronic income survey will automatically collect a family's data as they complete the survey. These numbers will serve for the Title I submissions and can also be used for textbook funding and grant requests. Collecting family income data is a requirement of MSDE, and we must do so annually. Families will need to complete one survey per student. The survey takes approximately 2-4 minutes to complete. Income surveys must be completed by October 15, 2020. The survey may be found here.

Virtual High School Fair 
On September 28, October 6, and October 19, Catholic High Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore will host a Virtual High School Fair for all prospective families. From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, families will have the opportunity to engage with representatives from Catholic high schools throughout the diocese. The sessions will provide a glimpse into the admissions process, highlight signature programs, and share information regarding scholarships, financial aid, transportation, and much more! Participating schools will rotate live video sessions, and families may register for up to three sessions. Please visit AoB Virtual High School Fair to register for the event and to receive access details.

Chick-fil-A Days & Individual Picture Day
Our first Chick-fil-A days will be Tuesday, October 13 & Thursday, October 15. The 13th will be for students in Cohort A and faculty/staff. The 15th will be for Cohort B and Kindergarten through 1st-grade students. We are so grateful to CASPA for paying for these Chick-fil-A days!
 
The Chick-fil-A lunch days are on the same days as individual pictures. Pictures will be taken in the gym this year. All students should be in their winter uniforms. Students will keep their mask on until they are in front of the camera. Once they have their picture taken, they will put their mask back on.
  
Parents of 100% remote students need to schedule a time with Mrs. Seiler - email her at sseiler@cmoq.org to do so. Remote students will come in first in small groups, and they will exit the school before any classes come down. All remote students must arrive wearing a mask, and parents will wait in their cars in the circle.
 
Picture proofs will be mailed to homes, and parents need to place their orders from home. We will not be collecting the orders at school.

Halloween
Finally, Halloween will be celebrated a bit differently this year. As you know, October 30 is a half-day with dismissal at 11:50 AM. Students will not be wearing costumes this year, nor will there be a parade. We will have a dress down day, and students will be permitted to wear orange and black clothes. 

God Bless,
Michael Wright