St. Francis of Assisi School

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STFOA Newsletter

Friday, October 23, 2020

Dear Families,


Last Saturday our Red, White and Bourbon went virtual. A huge thank you to:

  • Megan Finney, Tamara Nealey, and Gretchen Longridge for chairing, organizing, and making last weekend’s R, W & B possible.  Without missing a beat, they took this annual gathering online and made it something special.
  • Nathan and Marissa Kaiser, school parents and the owners of 2bar Spirits, for donating the bourbon samples and the hand sanitizer and for discounting the bottles of bourbon. We greatly appreciate their generosity.
  • Lavish Roots, the dinners were delicious and easy to put together.
  • Chef LaVielle from Lavish Roots, Browne Family winemaker John Freeman, and Nathan Kaiser of 2Bar Spirits for hosting the ultimate happy hour.
  • You, our fabulous school community, for supporting this event and our school. You really are amazing.

This week, parent/teacher/student conferences went online.  Thank you for taking the time to Zoom with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and discuss your child(ren)’s progress. Fostering the school/parent connection is especially important this year. 

I was able to join a number of conferences. Although they were different than the in-person ones we are used to having, they were good.  There are some definite advantages to meeting online:

  • You can Zoom from anywhere.  Families who are out of town during conferences can meet with teachers Zooming from school or their homes.
  • Families with more than one child can log off of one Zoom conference and join another in less than a minute and without leaving their chairs.  No running from the kindergarten building to a third grade classroom two minutes after your second conference was scheduled to start. I have three kids; I have been that running parent.

In the last eight months, our lives have been turned upside down.  So many things have changed, and so much of what we once took for granted has been lost. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the negative and lose sight of what we have learned and gained.

  • Our teachers have come together in support of each other and our students in unprecedented ways.
  • Our children have learned to navigate Google Classroom, Zoom and online learning, to make videos using Screencasifty, add cards to Flipgrids and so much more. They are getting real time experience navigating in a changed world.
  • We have new ways of connecting with old friends. I now have a weekly happy hour Zoom with one of my very best friends. She lives in California and before school buildings shut down last spring, we only talked on the phone once every few months. 

When I slow down and think about it, there is so much that this time has taught me. 
Two weeks ago, we brought most of our kindergartners and first graders back.  In doing this, we learned a great deal about navigating in-person learning during this very challenging time.  It is a puzzle with many pieces.

One of the pieces is the need to safely bring only one grade back at a time. We will continue to add our youngest learners first.  Research tells us that they are the ones who most benefit from in-person learning. The next grade to come back to school will be second grade.

Next week, second grade parents can expect a link to a new survey about returning to school or continuing to distance learn. This will help us with our planning. A date for second graders to return to the building will be shared next week.  We will proceed carefully. Parents can expect to have at least ten days’ notice before their child’s grade returns to school.

Thank you for your patience and your flexibility as we negotiate our way through unchartered waters.

Breathe. Pray. Continue to be kind. Thank you for being a community that rises.

Reach out if you need help or can help. Join me on the principal/parent Zoom Tuesday mornings at 7:00 if you want to talk.


Peace and blessings,
Rosemary Leifer