Notes from the Principal's Desk: survey results, quarantine after travel, and more

A reminder that school is closed on Wednesday, October 7.

As week five comes to a close, we want to express our gratitude to the parents, students, and faculty who continue to adhere to the social contract of mask-wearing, limiting travel, and reducing extracurricular activities as much as one can. 

As week six begins, we are vigilant in keeping the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff as our top priority. We are committed to proper safety measures, transparent communication, and responsibly adapting to emerging circumstances.

Last week, we were notified that a 7th grade student in cohort A was identified as a close contact of a person outside of the school who received a positive COVID test result. Rest assured that the 7th grade student was socially distanced from other classmates and was wearing a face mask while in attendance before finding out about the close contact, per the school's safety protocols. The student has been in quarantine since the family found out, and we were made aware of the close contact. We have communicated with the Department of Catholic Schools and the Baltimore City Health department to ensure that all necessary follow-up procedures are undertaken efficiently.

Traveling out of state or vacations during school
Vacations are strongly discouraged during the school year. However, traveling out of state is sometimes unavoidable. When missing school due to travel, students must make up all missed work. Per the Archdiocesan policy, teachers are not required to provide work in advance. 

Additionally, According to the Department of Catholic Schools Covid-19 Protocols, "Those traveling (to a state with above a 10% positivity rate) will be required to quarantine upon their return until such time as either they provide evidence of a negative test result for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic or they complete an entire 14-day quarantine."

This means that students must either get a negative PCR Covid-19 test result or quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Maryland and before returning to school. Please let us know if you will be traveling out of state. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

All About Lunch
This year, All About Lunch has new owners. Despite a few hiccups with siblings receiving their lunch in the first few weeks of school, the process has been very smooth. Feedback from students and parents has been that the quality of food is better, and the portion sizes more appropriate for the grade level. If you haven't considered ordering lunch before, now might be a good time to try the new lunch service provider.

Standardized Testing
Standardized Testing continues this week. Thursday and Friday, Cohort B students and remote learning students will be taking the Scantron assessment. On October 16, teachers will be in professional development, learning more about the scores and interpreting the data.

8th grade students will be taking the High School Placement Test (HSPT) in school again this year. All 8th grade students will be asked to attend school that day to complete the HSPT, including remote learning students. A and B cohort students will be separated and remote learning students will be individually isolated to prevent the mingling of students. The date for the 8th grade HSPT will be December 2. 

Grant & Aid for the 2021-2022 SY 
Applications for Grant & Aid for 21-22 will open on November 1, 2020, for all applicants. The deadline for current families to apply is January 31, 2021. The deadline for new families to apply is February 15, 2021. Financial awards will be made by March 1, 2021, and the deadline to accept all awards will be March 15, 2021.

The 21-22 FACTS Grant & Aid application fee is $34.00. The Tax Return Requirements include:
Tax Return Year 2019
W-2 Year: 2020
Tax Return Year (if No W-2 Income): 2019

Parent Survey
A few weeks ago, we conducted a parent survey regarding the start of the school year. Below I share the responses of the parent survey. We are examining the parent, teacher, and student surveys and looking at ways to improve and strengthen our academic program and supports given this unique learning environment.
There were a total of 98 responses. Unless otherwise indicated, all answers for the questions were responded to by all 98 respondents. Below we share the responses. The numbers indicate the number of responses for a particular answer to each question.

Q1: In the last week, I received information  from my child's teacher via Class Dojo, Google Classroom, email
44 - Once a week
12  - A few times a day
25  - Once a day
17 - Have not received information that past week

Q2: Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement.  I have received consistent messaging about the school's response to CoVid-19.
61 - Strongly Agree
33 - Agree
3 - Neutral
1 - Disagree

Q3: The information I have received is in a language I can easily understand.
65 - Strongly Agree
32 - Agree
1 - Neutral

Q4: I am receiving too much information.
52 - Disagree
30 - Strongly Disagree
12 - Neutral
3 - Agree
1 - Strongly Agree

Q5: The information I have received is too complex for me to understand.
59 - Strongly Disagree
38 - Disagree
1 - Strongly Agree

Q6: My child is enjoying school.
53 - Strongly Agree
32 - Agree
10 - Neutral
1 - Disagree
2 - Strongly Disagree

Q7: My child is able to handle the workload at school and while learning remotely.
41 - Agree
34 - Strongly Agree
16 - Neutral
2 - Disagree
5 - Strongly Disagree

Q8: In the last week, I knew what my child should be learning at home. 75 Responses
30 - Agree
25 - Neutral
11 - Strongly Agree
6 - Disagree
3 - Strongly Disagree

Q9: In the last week, I was supported by my child's teacher(s) and /or school staff in implementing remote learning. 74 Responses
27 - Agree
25 - Neutral
12 - Strongly Agree
9  - Disagree
1 - Strongly Agree

Q10: In the last week, I received paper or electronic resources to support my child's remote learning. 73 Responses
32 - Agree
18 - Strongly Agree
15 - Neutral
6 - Disagree
2 - Strongly Disagree

Q11: My child has reliable access to a device they need to communicate with their teacher(s) (i.e., iPad, Chromebook, laptop, tablet). 79 Responses
48 - Strongly Agree
29 - Agree
2 - Neutral

Q12: My child has reliable internet access (Wi-Fi) that allowed them to communicate with the teacher(s). 79 Responses
44 - Strongly Agree
32 - Agree
1 - Neutral
1 - Disagree

Q13: For the following question, please share whether your child's schoolwork assignments have been grade-level appropriate.  In the last week, schoolwork assignments have been… 
70 -  Grade level appropriate
11 -  I am not sure
9  - Too easy
5 -  N/A - Schoolwork in class and at home has not been assigned
3 -  Too difficult

Q14: For the following question, please tell us about your child's teacher(s) instructions and guidance accompanying the assignments provided. In the last week, my child's teacher(s):
72 -  Provided enough instructions to complete the assignments
16 - Provided some instructions, but not enough to complete the assignments
7  - N/A - Schoolwork has not been assigned
3  - Did not provide enough instructions to complete the assignments

Q15: For the following question, please share whether your child has been given the right amount of schoolwork assignments. In the last week, there have been:
71 - Just right number of schoolwork assignments
13 - Too few schoolwork assignments
7 - Too many schoolwork assignments
7 - N/A Schoolwork has not been assigned 

Q16: In the last week, my child spent ____ hours per day on schoolwork
24 - One hour of homework
18 - I am not sure
12 - Five Hours of homework
10 - Six hours of homework
4 - Seven hours of homework
5 - Seven plus hours of homework
6 - Four hours of homework
5 - Three hours of homework
7 - Two hours of homework
*This question may have been misinterpreted.  If your child is doing more than 3 or 4 hours of homework a night please let us know so we can work with your family to make any necessary accommodations. 

Q17: Guidance on which tasks or assignments to prioritize each day.
33 - Very Helpful
27 - N/A This is not relevant to me
21 - Helpful
11 - Somewhat helpful
6 - Not Helpful

Q18: Tips about educational/homeschooling best practices.
28 - Helpful
26 - N/A This is not relevant to me
21 - Somewhat helpful
14 - Very helpful
9 - Not helpful

Q19: Tips about helping my child learn while I am working from home.
29 - N/A This is not relevant to me
27 - Helpful
18 - Very Helpful
16 - Somewhat Helpful
8 - Not helpful

Q20: Someone who can provide help or support on assignments when I have questions.
32 - Helpful
27 - N/A This is not relevant to me
20 - Very Helpful
15 - Somewhat Helpful
4 - Not Helpful

We hope to offer some tips and tricks for helping your student learn at home in the coming weeks.  We will also work to improve our communication so that parents are aware of the educational activities the students are engaged in regularly.

God Bless,
Michael Wright