Dear Parents and Guardians,
It has been an extremely long week with constantly changing information and decision-making regarding the Coronavirus. We continue to remain vigilant and take all precautions and we are very happy to say our absentee rate remains extremely low and we have no illness to report in the building. That being said, we have been asked to prepare for the eventuality that the Mayor may make the decision to start quarantining communities and/or the entire city.
Our Diocesan Superintendent is challenging us to continue to serve our students even if we all need to stay home. With our 1:1 device program, class Dojo, and Google Education platform, St. Gregory’s is an excellent position to do so. Teachers already have plans in place to do “Distance Learning” with their students. We have been in communication with our tech people to set up the structure necessary for this. You will be receiving an email this evening with a Google survey asking you about your family’s technology capabilities. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SURVEY TONIGHT. This will help us determine if there is anything we can do to assist you. Included in the survey, is a special question for students in grades K-2 asking if you would like to temporarily borrow a school tablet. Again, we need to know this information by tomorrow, so please complete the survey tonight. The survey will also be posted on the school website, if you do not receive my email. We are asking you to complete one survey per family.
Students in grades Nursery and Pre-K will be bringing home packets of work to be completed IN THE EVENT THAT WE NEED TO CLOSE SCHOOL. Please set these packets aside – it is NOT homework for your child – we will use it ONLY if school is closed. For grades K-8, work will be posted digitally. This process will vary from grade to grade, and you will be receiving instructions from the teachers. Also, please understand that these instructions will ask your children or you to log in at certain times of the day. This will be our method of “taking attendance,” so it is very important that you follow instructions. Teachers will have “office hours” online so they are available to answer student questions. Again, this will vary by teacher, and you will be given a schedule. An important thing to note, is that some new features will be turned on so that teachers can video conference and communicate with students. This also means that students will be able to communicate with each other, so some additional monitoring of your child’s activities may be necessary. We feel the benefits of allowing these apps to be used, outweigh any negative impact.
On Friday, teachers may be asking students to take home extra textbooks and workbooks so they are prepared in case of emergency closing. We know the inconvenience of bringing all of these books home, but again, we ask for your understanding.
We will continue to update you as we receive information. We will use our Parent Alert system, as well as post information on our website and social media, when necessary. Please be pro-active in monitoring school communications. We think it is important that we do our best to prepare, but remain calm. We can only hope that we will not have to take any of these measures, but can take comfort in the fact that we have done all we can to be ready.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Lynn M. Alaimo