Notes from the Principal's Desk: May 26, 2022
Certainly, this week has been emotionally draining. First, I want to thank the students, faculty, and staff for surprising me with a wonderful “Goodbye” assembly and celebration on Monday. The students sang a wonderful song to me and surprised me with a wonderful memory book of my years at Cathedral. I truly felt the care and love from the students, faculty, and staff. My heart is filled with gratitude, and I am blessed to be a part of the fantastic SCMOQ community.
Second, I want to share that we are heartbroken to have learned about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It is maddening to think that as parents and educators, a school is potentially not a safe place to work and care for children. I can share that the school has an emergency response plan, and we practice our ALICE procedures with the students. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. It’s not designed to be sequential but instead utilized interchangeably depending on each unique situation.
We are grateful for the teachers' calming influence on the children this week. When questions arose regarding the mass shooting, we have, empathetically and compassionately, redirected the students to talk to their parents about the events.
Below I share a reflection and prayer from Xavier.edu that the school prayed together on Wednesday.
It’s difficult to fully let go of our anxiety, or the world around us when we can’t see evidence of all that you’re doing – when we can’t understand or see your purpose or plan. Today, we pause and remind ourselves of our dependency on you, for we know in our hearts that our circumstances and futures are touched by your hands.
Isaiah 55:8 reminds us that our thoughts are not your thoughts – and that our ways are not your ways. When we are struggling to see clearly and make decisions, we are not alone and that inner peace is something only you can supply.
So today Lord, we purposefully, even urgently, say again that we choose to believe in you. We know that it’s often in the most challenging times that you are most at work. Thank you for being the one who gives us the strength to help each other and to see distinctly the choices we face. As we scan our personal horizons, we know that we also must look to you alone for the power and possibility that is our future.
We ask for your guidance so that we might walk fully in your path – a path that you have blessed. We also ask for your face to shine on us – individually, and as a team of colleagues and partners.
Please bring to fulfillment all that you have given us to do in the weeks ahead. Give us a heart of wisdom to hear your voice, and then make our footsteps firm. Please make us strong through your favor and grace.
- Offered by Greg Christopher
Additionally, the Department of Catholic Schools has written a communication about the shooting, which you can find here: DCS Communication
Updated COVID Protocols
Yesterday, we shared an update on the most recent COVID response guidelines from the Department of Catholic Schools. If you missed the email, we share the revised protocols below.
Period of Isolation:
- If an asymptomatic student tests positive, they should isolate for at least 5 days. The date the test is administered is considered day 0.
- If the student develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should isolate for at least 5 days from the date the symptoms began, with the date of symptoms onset being considered day 0.
- With the recent resurgence of omicron and the significant spread we have experienced within households across our Catholic schools, we recommended that a family consider keeping siblings home until the household is healthy.
- Families with vaccinated children have the option of sending their students to school, as long as they have no symptoms, wear a mask, and have generally been quarantined away from the COVID-positive family members.
- Parents can also advocate keeping the children in school in these cases by using 'test to stay' by using home tests or rapid testing at school. However, If the child is enrolled in Pre-K, "test to stay" is not an option per the Maryland State Office of Child Care.
We appreciate the Cathedral community’s patience and cooperation as we continue to navigate these challenging times.
2022-2023 School Calendar
We have updated the website and added the 2022-2023 school year calendar.
Students can order their 2022-2023 Yearbooks now! These Yearbooks are for all students - get your physical copy to remember the wonderful 2022-2023 school year.
You can order them on the free MySchoolWallet app for only $35! The deadline to order yearbooks is June 10th.
We are once again faced with the tragic news of another school shooting resulting in the death of educators and children in our schools. This can be a scary, confusing time for many students, faculty/staff, parents, and community members.
The American School Counselor Association provides excellent resources for us to refer to and explain this tragedy to our children in a developmentally appropriate way. Please remember that these are only guides. As always, parents are the primary educators for their children and the experts in knowing what is best for their children.
1. Talking to children about (terrorist attacks and) school and community shootings in the news.
The National Center For School Crisis and Bereavement- Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.
This guide offers advice on how to talk to children about tragic events, such as shootings and terrorist attacks, that they are likely to hear about from friends and/or on the news.
2. Talking to Children About Violence. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by violence.
5/27 – Memorial Day Weekend – No School
5/30 – Memorial Day – No School
5/31 – Graduation rehearsal – The Cathedral – 12:30 - 1:30 PM
6/1 – 8th Grade Awards Ceremony – Gym – 9 - 11:30 AM
9 - 9:45 AM: Awards ceremony in the gym
10 -11:00ish AM: Brunch in the cafeteria for gr. 6-8
11ish - 11:30 AM: 8th Grade Video (just 8th grade)
6/2 – 8th Grade Hershey Park Trip – 8 AM - 6 PM
6/3 – 8th Grade Graduation – The Cathedral – 3:30 PM
Students Report at 2:30 PM in the Undercroft
6/8 – K-7 Grade Awards/Promotion Ceremony – Home Rooms – 9:15 - 10:30 AM
Parents are invited
Last Day of School
6/9 – Last Day of School for students – Early Dismissal – 11:50 AM
I hope that everyone has a peaceful and restful long weekend. I know we need it!
Dr. Michael Wright