Notes from the Principal's Desk: new 8th grade graduation and end-of-year updates, and more
As the partial reopening of Maryland has begun and Phase I begins to be implemented within the state, the school faces a unique set of circumstances with regards to how we can reopen and hold our end-of-the-year closing activities.
The Governor's order allows the local governing body (county or city) to decide how and when to open businesses, churches, and schools. For example, Harford County has seen a partial reopening, while Baltimore City and Baltimore County are still under stay-at-home orders. Since the school resides within the city limits, we must follow the city guidelines as to reopening and holding gatherings of many people.
It is with regret that we must announce that we are canceling the Cathedral Summer Experience Summer Camp this year out of an abundance of caution. Any families that have already registered will have their money refunded within the next two weeks.
We had been praying that we might be able to hold a graduation/awards ceremony with limited attendance for our 8th grade students this year. Unfortunately, as the graduation date draws nearer, it appears this will not be possible. For example, we had been planning an outdoor graduation ceremony on the turf field if needed. Sadly, due to the current city regulations, this plan appears to be in jeopardy. If the city continues to keep the stay-at-home order in place, we anticipate holding virtual graduation via Zoom. While not ideal, we do want to have some closure for our graduates before they move on to high school. Next week, we should have the final plan and share the details for graduation.
The end of the school year also allows us to recognize our students' academic achievements in grades K through 7. Rather than holding these awards assemblies in school, they will likely take place virtually via Zoom. We should have specific dates next week.
When the quarantine began many weeks ago, we anticipated returning in a couple of weeks. The reality of the pandemic changed those metrics. There is a need for the school to collect the textbooks, materials, and technology deployed to the students. There is also a need for students to retrieve personal items that may have been left at school. Below is an outline of the textbook, technology, and supply swap.
On June 2nd, the 8th grade will return items to school from 9 AM to 11 AM. Families will come to school at a specific time, organized in alphabetical order. The students will drop off their textbook materials and Chromebooks in the gym foyer. The Chromebooks will be wiped clean of SCMOQ apps, and the soon-to-be graduates will be able to pick up their Chromebooks on June 11th. The 8th graders will clean out their lockers and pick up any personal effects left in the classrooms in the gym.
On June 11th, from 9 AM until 2 PM, families with children in Kindergarten through 7th-grade will arrive at school at a specific time, organized in alphabetical order. Similar to 8th grade, students will drop off textbooks and technology in the gym foyer. Students in 6th and 7th grade will clean out their lockers before heading to the gym to pick up any personal items left in the classrooms. Students in grades K-5 will drop off the materials and technology in the gym foyer before heading to the gym to pick up any personal items left in the classrooms.
To help with organization and flow, the gym will be set up so that each homeroom has a table or tables where student's items have been bagged and identified. Next week, we anticipate sharing the list and time slots for families to swap the materials.
The Cathedral Ball Auction has come to an end, but there is still some unfinished business for the Cathedral Ball Chairs, and that is the Raffle! We want to thank all of the parents, grandparents, and students for selling and purchasing the raffle tickets. Although three collections were completed before we transitioned to distance learning, there still needs to be one final collection and the drawing of the raffle winners.
Families may drop off the raffle tickets and money on the day they are designated to return textbooks and technology and pick up personal items. The two main prize winners for the $500 and $250 prizes will be announced via social media on Friday, June 15th, with awards being delivered soon after that. Homeroom winners will also be announced on June 15th.
Next week, I plan to share more information regarding standardized testing and what it is likely to look like in the fall. There will be a lot of information shared in this newsletter next week, so be sure to be on the lookout for it on Thursday, May 28th!
Finally, we will host two Cathedral Check-In information sessions for families on Thursday, May 28th. There will be a morning session at 8 AM and an afternoon session at 2 PM. The session will be an opportunity to ask any questions and share any concerns with the administration. Families may RSVP for the Cathedral Check-In here.
Stay Well, and God Bless!