Dear St. Isaac Families,
Well it’s Friday and I believe we have had an extremely successful week of remote learning. As I walk through the building, I often can’t help but laugh as I observe our teachers standing in front of the television screen and teaching in an animated voice, calling on children to participate within the class, sharing their screens for presentations, answering questions from our primary students, “…when is it snack time?” and conducting well executed lesson plans from start to finish. Thank you for assisting your children if they needed help to access Google classroom and thank you for continuing to keep our school community as safe as possible. In person learning will resume on Monday, December 7th. At this time it is my intention to also resume in person learning on Tuesday, January 5th (as indicated on our school calendar) after our Christmas Break. That is 10 days after Christmas. Again I ask each family to assess your personal situation. If you’ve traveled or had potential exposure to the virus, please continue to access our remote learning platform.
When remote learning, the expectations communicated to our students is that all classroom rules apply at home. For example, emailing a classmate about topics unrelated to schoolwork, or accessing the “chat” would never be allowed within our classroom setting. We have the ability to shut off those capabilities on individual iPads. Should your child tell you that their email or their chat isn’t working, that might be the reason why.
This was an exciting week for our Class of 2021. Confirmation was celebrated among 4 different ceremonies on Tuesday and Thursday. It was a proud moment for all as our students committed to their Catholic faith after an extensive period of preparation to receive the sacrament. As I stated in church, it was evident that the Holy Spirit was watching over us as He kept all of us safe to be able to welcome Bishop Perry to administer the sacrament of Confirmation.
On another note, tomorrow is the day for the entrance exams for the Catholic High Schools in the area. We wish all of our 8th grade students well as they demonstrate their knowledge for admission to the high school of their choice.
There has been a lot of press these past few days regarding the new CDC guidelines on quarantine time. This morning I received the following message from the Diocese of Joliet:
At this time, the quarantine time of 14 days stands regardless of what the CDC states.
That being said, we will continue to implement the 10 day isolation period for a positive case along with a 14 day quarantine for exposure to the virus.
We will have our scheduled Professional Development day for teachers on Thursday, December 10th. We will dismiss at 11:00 a.m. The topic for the afternoon is the implementation of our Social/Emotional Learning Program, Friendzy. I had mentioned to everyone last May that this was going to be a goal for this school year especially given the current challenges during the pandemic. The delay in implementation stemmed from the purchase of the materials. All the materials have arrived and we will train the staff on Thursday. Upon the return from Christmas break, the children will have one lesson each week. There will be a parent component sent home to make you aware of the topic of the week so you can further discuss the topic with your child/children. A big thank you to Ms. Fons, our Director of Student Services, who is going to lead this initiative with our teachers.
As we approach the second Sunday of Advent, let us all remember that Advent is the season of anticipation and reflection while preparing our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth. We remind ourselves of the true meaning of Christmas. This year, unlike any other year, has caused us to dig deep into our souls and realize all of the blessings we have in our family, faith, and community. The first Advent candle, which is purple, symbolizes the hope that people felt before the birth of Jesus. Let us fill our hearts with hope as we approach the Christmas season and look forward to a healthy and safe 2021.