Notes from the Principal's Desk: Virtual Learning from 11/30-12/2, Giving Tuesday, Re-Enrollment and more!

SCMOQ CoVid-19 Dashboard

Virtual Learning from 11/30-12/2

Yesterday we shared that we will be following the Department of Catholic Schools guidance and students will be learning remotely on Monday, November 30; Tuesday, December 1; and Wednesday, December 2. We will return to school following our hybrid schedule beginning on Thursday, December 3.

The remote learning school days will follow the regular class schedule, including morning recess and lunch. There will be no remote specialty classes these days, although specialty teachers will post asynchronous activities for the students to complete at home. These activities will not be graded.

In Kindergarten through second grade Math and ELA will be taught every day. Social Studies, Science, and Religion will each be taught on one of the remote learning days. This will help limit the amount of screen time for students in these grades.

Students will also follow the regular schedule in grades three through eight and will have Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, and Religion taught each day.

We plan to deploy devices to the 2nd – 8th-grade B cohort students on Friday the 20th and Tuesday the 24th for A cohort students before we leave for break. If you have a child in Kindergarten through second grade and require a device at home, please let Mrs. Czarnecki or myself know so we can try to get a device for your family.

We realize the announcement may inconvenience your family, but we hope you understand the necessity. It is crucial that schools in the Archdiocese take this extra measure to monitor potential symptoms and, if necessary, time to secure evidence of appropriate COVID 19 test results.

Giving Tuesday

On December 1, for the third year in a row, The School of the Cathedral will participate in Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global movement that inspires millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Last year we raised almost $5,000 for the Annual Fund, and this year I am confident we will surpass this amount. All gifts will count towards the Class Participation Challenge, and you will also be entered in a Mustang Market Swag Bag Contest! Thank you in advance for your support.

Parent Survey Link

In September, we asked families to complete a CoVid-19 Wellness Survey to gain feedback at the start of this unique school year. As the end of the 1st Trimester draws close, we ask our families once again to complete a survey to assess students' and family needs. This survey does offer some open-ended responses to discern any themes regarding feedback within the community. 

We recognize that this can be an overwhelming time for many families, and we appreciate hearing from you. Your participation is entirely voluntary, and we value your feedback.

Please respond to the survey for only one of your children. If you have more than one child at Cathedral, you can complete the survey again for your other children. The survey will close on Friday, December 11. You can access the survey here: End of 1st Trimester Parent Survey

Re-enrollment Information

It is hard to imagine, but now is when we begin the process of re-enrollment for current families. The re-enrollment fee for families who commit on or before January 1, 2021, is $300 per student, with $225 applied to the 21-22 tuition. After January 1, 2021, the fee is $325 per student, with $225 applied to the 21-22 tuition. The re-enrollment deadline is February 15, 2021. All re-enrollment fees are non-refundable.

Parent Volunteer/Proctors Needed!
 
In the coming weeks, and with the help of the SCMOQ task force, we hope to share more information regarding the possibility for students to return five days a week. Given the current nationwide trends and state positivity rate, we are not ready to bring students back yet for five days a week instruction. However, we want to be prepared when the opportunity presents itself to allow us to do so. As we begin to explore this possibility, the role of parent volunteers who can act as proctors in classrooms will be critical.  
 
We are incredibly grateful to all those parents who have signed up to volunteer at school. 
It is anticipated we will need at least 35 parent volunteers, spread equally among the 2nd through 8th grade, who can commit to being in school at least once a week to proctor a classroom for students who are not in a classroom with a teacher.  
 
We anticipate the one or two days a week commitment to last approximately nine weeks from January 4 until March 4 (the end of the second Trimester). We will have another call for parent volunteers for the Third Trimester, from March 8 until the end of school on June 10. 
 
Other details include:

  • For the protection of both the volunteer parents and the school community as a whole, it is essential that parents who have underlying medical conditions, are actively caring for elderly family members, or are employed in higher-risk professions such as hospitals, first responders, or other frontline workers refrain from volunteering at this time. 
  • Volunteers will also be expected to comply with all CoVid requirements, including masking, social distancing, and sanitization.
  • Volunteers are to be assigned only to provide support to their child's cohort. 
  • All volunteers must have completed VIRTUS and have been approved.

 
We do not yet have the number of volunteers needed to pursue in-person five days a week instruction. If you are interested in volunteering or if you are currently volunteering, please complete this interest form, Parent Volunteer Interest Form, and we will respond to you as soon as possible. There is no need to respond if you have already completed the form.

Loyola Research Study

In our partnership with Loyola University, they have asked for our help with a research study. This study is for parents of preschool-aged children, and while we don't have a pre-K program, many of our parents have younger children. Loyola has asked us to share the recruitment information below. This is a doctoral students' dissertation research and has been approved by Loyola's IRB. 
 
Parents of children ages 3 to 5 are invited to earn a $5 Target gift card by completing a brief (20 minute) online survey related to children's technology use. Please use this link to access the survey: https://loyola.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6Y9RnpYEPg5s8Dz
 
If you have questions, please contact Victoria Rizzuto, the doctoral student at vfrizzuto@loyola.edu, or Dr. Mary Jo Coiro, the faculty sponsor mcoiro@loyola.edu
 
Thanksgiving Travel

Finally, as we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday break, we remind the community regarding the protocols involving out of state travel and the return to school.

Any student returning from high-risk out-of-state or international travel will be required to quarantine upon their return until they provide evidence of a negative PCR test result for COVID-19 administered after their return from travel, are asymptomatic, or they complete the entire 14-day quarantine.

Please contact Mrs. Czarencki or me if you intend to travel to a state that is not exempt under the Maryland Health Department advisory bulletin with a positivity rate for COVID-19 of 10% or greater during the period of your stay or to an international destination with a Risk Level of 3 or 4 during their stay.  

We want to thank everyone for your resilience and patience during this unique time. By continuing to adhere to our social contract of mask-wearing and reducing interaction with others, we are confident that we can continue to operate the school safely.

God Bless,
Michael Wright