St. Francis of Assisi School

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STFOA Newsletter

Friday, October 15, 2021

Dear Families,


Last week’s Red, White and Brown dinner and tasting Zoom was great. A big thank you to our Red, White and Brown organizing team- Meghan Finney, Tamera Nealey, Gretchen Longridge, Megan Howel, and Amy Easley and all of the other people who helped to make it happen.  Thank you also to those who participated either by joining the online event or purchasing Red, White and Brown items.  Although we weren’t in person, having the opportunity to gather even virtually was wonderful.  It was a step in the right direction.

It is important that we celebrate steps in the right direction.  When I first started teaching, we called it “successive approximation”.  If I wanted to teach a new, complicated skill or help a child change a behavior that wasn’t working, I would teach, recognize and/or reward the skills or behaviors that would lead to mastery of the new, complicated skill or beneficial behavior.

Successive approximation works for many thing- beginning an exercise program, teaching your dog to lay by having her sit first, learning to drive in a parking lot before taking the car on the street , or moving  forward as teachers, learners, parents, a school and a community.

We are living through a very challenging time.  Last spring, many of us believed that COVID would be behind us by September.  It isn’t, but we have moved forward.  Last October only kindergarteners and first graders had the opportunity to be in-person learning. This October, all of our students are back in-person learning- successive approximation.   

Last year, we reduced the amount of material covered and homework given at each grade.  Distance learning was challenging and getting use to all of the different protocols put in place to keep us safe was difficult.  We needed a break.  This year, we have bumped up the amount of material covered, brought back homework and are working to prepare our students for high school and beyond.  Are we where we were pre-pandemic? No, but we are moving towards it- successive approximation.

These are hard times for all of us. Successive approximation relies on appreciating steps in the right direction.  It comes from hope and respect. It happens when everyone involved works together to move forward. 

Today, Friday, October 15, is an Archdiocese in-service day.  It focuses on Christ in the Classroom and Learning to Pray:  Claiming our Sacred Story.  It reminds us all to turn to God now and always.

Time belongs to the Lord.  Trusting in Him, we move forward with courage, building unity through discernment, to discover and implement God’s dream for us, and the paths of action ahead.
        Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, Pope Francis, 2020

We will only do this day, this week, this year once.  Let’s do each as well as we can.

Breathe. Pray. Be kind. Consider others.  Thank you for being a community that rises. Reach out if you can help or need help.


Peace and blessings,
Rosemary Leifer

STFOA 10.15.2021 Newsletter