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March 15th-COVID-19 update

3/16/2020
March 15, 2020
Dear St. Mary's School Families and Guardians,

I hope you all are doing well.  Please know that the health and well-being of our families are in the hearts and minds of our faculty and staff.  I would like to share with you a few updates at this time.

As of now, we are still officially closed next week- March 16th to March 20th.  Many districts, including Waterford-Halfmoon, have closed for a much longer length of time.  There is a great deal to consider when making these decisions and the Diocese will make a decision as a system of schools later this week.

Tomorrow, March 16th, will be a Professional Development Day for our staff and will take the place of the previously scheduled PD Day on March 20th.  Our teachers will be taking advantage of a series of workshops to continue to develop their educational technology skills.  Although many teachers may already be communicating and posting assignments, please understand that the first official day of distance learning will be Tuesday, March 17th.

I think one of the most important things that we all can do during this uncertain time is to keep our lives as routine as possible.  While this will not be easy, I will be doing my part by sending a video of my Morning Meeting each day around 8AM.  Although I will miss the chorus of kids responding, "Good morning Mr R!", I hope this small piece of consistency each morning provides some sort of comfort for our students.

I understand the importance of consistency and the continued education of our students, however I also realize that this situation brings unpredictable challenges to our families and staff. While daily assignments will be provided, I do not feel that I can require students to complete their school work during the typical school hours because many families may not be able to.  However, teachers will be available to communicate with their students during their normal scheduled class time or through email.

Our staff worked hard this past Friday to make sure that all students left school with any books, materials and devices that they may need during this closure.  If your child was absent on Friday or needs any additional materials at school, please reach out to me.

I understand that you likely have many more questions that I have not been able to answer tonight.  I will continue to provides updates as they are available.  Thank you for your patience during this time.


Sincerely,
Mr. Matthew Rucinski