“Everything has suddenly changed. What we previously took for granted seems to be uncertain: the way we relate with others at work, how we manage our emotions, study, recreation, prayer, even the possibility of attending Mass…….”
Strong in the Face of Tribulations:
A Sure Support in Time of Trial
The week is upon us. August 12th is 152 days since the last time we had students in our building. That is close to ½ a year. Though we have remained a strong faith filled community, it has been a difficult road for many families and staff members. We approach this day with a multitude of feelings. There is excitement to see each other, apprehension about safety, and confusion about how everything works.
We are offering eLearning and in-person learning simultaneously. This provides the appropriate learning environment for each family situation. We understand that you may need to change your mind to support your child’s needs or your family situation. Please make sure you notify your child’s teacher and me if changes need to be made so that we can prepare a support plan. If you are switching from eLearning to in-person learning we require 2 weeks notice. This gives us the opportunity to manage schedules, seating, and staffing.
Prayer life is an important aspect of our daily routine. We encourage you to continue to pray for all who are sick and suffering and those that care for them. We ask that pray for the safety and peace of all staff in education. Many are nervous about initiating new protocols and teaching in ways that are new to support social distancing and digital learning. Collaboration, teamwork, community, and support of each individual is at the core of our being. We continue to find ways to implement these practices safely.
Our facility has changed. We removed furniture to create more student spacing options, marked the halls with arrows for movement, eliminated access to the cafeteria for lunch gathering, and created detailed schedules for all grades to organize movement throughout the building. Teachers have had over 20 hours of professional development on everything from safe practices to social emotional support of themselves and their students.
Our school also has remained the same. We have demonstrated compassion for our families, students, and staff in development of our plan and continued to focus on Christ as our source of nourishment and support. An inviting student isolation area was created to keep distance between the ill and the healthy.
We have a good plan but we need your support. Check out our Facebook page for some details @SMSchoolIndy The following are necessary to keep everyone safe and support the hard work of our St. Monica School staff:
- Pray. Pray. Pray. Continue to develop your family faith life.
- Use the COVID checklist every morning with everyone in the household. If anyone has symptoms, stay home and call the office for further instructions. Do not come to the school until your family member has been evaluated.
- Take your time- Do not rush. We understand that you may be running late but our primary concern is the safety of our staff and students.
- Follow all staff directions. We have a plan that must be followed. If you are asked to wait, wait. If you are asked to schedule an appointment, schedule an appointment.
- Read everything that is sent to you.
- Ask questions if you do not understand.
If we all want to have a successful school year it starts with all of us demonstrating dignity, compassion, and understanding.
So you chose in-person learning:
- We look forward to having you join us in the building if your family is healthy.
- Use the COVID checklist with all family members before getting in the car. If anyone has symptoms, do not come to school. Email the office and your teacher to let them know you are not able to attend. Your child can join through Google Classroom and Google Meet until it is safe to return. If you send your child to school you put us all at risk and could be the reason we have to close the building.
- If no one in your house has symptoms, enter the property from the Fox Hill entrance only. All other access points are closed or for exiting the property.
- Show appreciation for the staff that have chosen to open the school and welcome your child.
- Arrive between 7:20 and 7:45 and follow staff instructions. You will need to all be masked and ready to exit the vehicle before getting in line. If you do not have masks you will be asked to go home and get them. You must register in order to drop off prior to 7:20am.
- 1 family at a time will enter through the door with the overhang. Only students can exit the vehicle. You will then be instructed to exit at Michigan Road to go North or Knollton Road to go South or East.
- Breakfast is offered inside the door and staff will be present throughout the building to guide your children to their rooms.
- The office is open from 7:45-2:30 Monday-Friday. If you are not able to come to the office at that time you are welcome to make an appointment at [email protected]
- If you need to switch to eLearning for any reason contact your teacher. They will inform the office.
- Breathe. We will do this together. Just be willing to listen and we can help.
So you chose eLearning:
- Come to the back gym door between 9am and 6pm on Tuesday, August 11th to pick up materials. Devices will be provided at that time if you designated a need on the survey. If you did not designate a need, do not panic. We will not have something for you on Tuesday but will work to get you a device quickly.
- Teachers will contact you with a direct instruction schedule. You can contact them on Tuesday if you have not heard from them.
- Maintain open communication with your teachers. If you need to make adjustments to the amount of screen time please work with them so that they can keep your child on track.
- Log on August 12th for synchronous learning following the teacher instructions.
- Your teacher has a device set up so that your child can attend classes live. In most cases they will not be recorded and need to be attended as if they were coming to school.
- You may attend Mass virtually with your child. We will livestream all morning Masses on our parish Facebook @saintmonicaindy
- Email your teacher and Mr. Schommer [email protected] if you would like to switch to in-person. We will give you the first available date to return.
The messaging seems harsh at times but we do look forward to seeing you soon. We must open in an intentional and safe manner. Please remember that school dismisses at 1PM until August 24th.
Our campus will be used for outdoor classrooms throughout the day. We are not able to allow families to arrive early for dismissal at this time.
Here are your pick up instructions:
- You may arrive as early as 12:40 with a 1:00 dismissal but not earlier.
- You may arrive as early as 2:40 with a 3:00 dismissal but not earlier.
- Please do not arrive earlier and do not park on Knollton.
- If our gates are closed, please turn around and park in the South lot near Michigan Road and come back at the correct time.
- You will enter from Knollton Road and we will direct you to the North or East lot to get in line.
- Your teacher will ask you which lot you will be in so they bring your child out to you.
- It will take longer than last year to exit so please be patient. Our goal is to calmly exit the building and get children safely into their cars.
- Once parked, turn off your engine and prepare to exit the vehicle and stand by your driver door when instructed.
- Bring an umbrella if it is raining.
- Stay at your car. Your children will come to you.
- North lot is only allowed to exit North on Michigan Road.
- East lot exits onto Fox Hill. You may turn left to head East or right to head toward Michigan Road. If you get to the light at Michigan Road you must go South so the North lot can exit. If you go North, ask to be in the North lot.
- Remain calm. We will help.
We are closing at 1PM for the next 8 school days so we can review and continue to evolve our plans and procedures for improved safety and effectiveness. Please understand that if you do not pick up your child, those staff members will not be able to be a part of that development.
Thank you for your support and for choosing to educate your child with Christ at the heart,
St. Monica Catholic School