The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle
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Bridges Newsletter 4-2-2020

Download the 4-2-2020 (PDF) Bridges Newsletter


Principal’s Coffee
Thanks to the 35 families who attended our first virtual principal’s coffee. It was great to see parents and have the opportunity to share information and hear suggestions. Several teachers were also present. It was particularly gratifying for them to hear the praise and appreciation of parents. The discussion centered around details related to what parents and students should expect after our Easter break. These are discussed in the article below entitled “Distance Learning.” One of the other items discussed was volunteer service hours. It is difficult to make a final decision regarding service hours until we know for certain when we will return to school. However, it is safe to say that modifications will be made. Parents who attended this morning’s ZOOM meeting earned 1 service hour. Parents were reminded that ESP charges are no longer being debited and credits will be applied as necessary in June. Finally, families who experience a furlough or job termina-tion are asked to contact the principal so that a deferred tuition plan can be established. Parents who have not experienced a change in work are expected to continue to pay tuition. Anyone with questions, is encouraged to contact Mrs. Schratz.

In this stressful time, all are encouraged to reach out to teachers when clarification or extensions are needed. Our school counselor, Mrs. Rampey has been on some of the student meetings and will continue to reach out. If your child is having anxiety and you would like Mrs. Rampey’s help, you can email her at Self-care for adults and children alike is very important. Take breaks, get outdoors, exercise and pray often. Together we can stay Mustang Strong!

Distance Learning
Prior to the first day back from Easter break, which is Tuesday, April 14, your child’s teacher will send his or her distance learning plan. This will include topics and learning objectives for all core subjects, a sample schedule including guidelines for the amount of time students should be working per subject, and how learning objectives will be assessed, including what work is required and what is enrichment. After the Easter break, the teacher will be incorporating more face time instruction with their students in whole class and/or small groups. Parents are always invited to be with their child for this instruction, but it is not a requirement. Teachers will never meet one on one with a student. The work for each week will be sent out prior to the start of the week, but a daily morning message that includes the daily learning expectations will also be sent. On-line video instruction will be recorded for students who cannot attend in real time. Finally, the learning plan will include information on what work will be graded and grades will be recorded in Rediker.

KUDOS to the Kids!
Our students have answered 111,442 questions on IXL and counting! Most importantly, they have reached mastery on 2354 skills, are proficient in 2785 skills and practiced 4323 other skills! Congratulations to grades 1,2,6 and 8 who are earning “awards” and doing an outstanding job! IXL has been used for growth and practice in math, reading, science, social studies and Spanish.

Report Cards
Report cards for the third quarter will be mailed to parents as soon as possible. Teachers are currently working on grades. The quarter ends tomorrow. Students with late work should be sending that to their teachers. The honor roll awardees will be announced in Bridges and certificates distributed at our first school mass when we return to school.

Additional Tuition Assistance
The principal is now completing the request for the second round of archdiocesan tuition assistance known as the Pastor Tuition Assistance Program. Please note, only families who are enrolled for next year can be considered. If you have received Pastors’ Assistance this year and are not yet enrolled, please enroll in TADS today. The discounted enrollment fee of $200 per family is still available. The deadline for the Pastors Assistance requests from the principal is April 15. Families who are adding a pre-school or kindergarten child are particularly urged to enroll and to be sure they have completed a financial aid application in TADS.

BOOST Deadline Extended
The State of Maryland announced yesterday that the deadline to apply for BOOST has been moved from April 24 to June 1 at midnight. If you received BOOST funding this year, you MUST apply before the deadline. If you believe your family will qualify and this can easily be determined by visiting the website at , then you are strongly encouraged to apply. Please note your children MUST be enrolled in TADS in order to apply. You must also upload all required documents to have your application considered. Again, the complete application and documents must be in before midnight on June 1. Some deserving families were denied last year because they either missed the deadline or did not upload their tax or other needed documents.

Books Left at School and Chromebook Requests
Parents of students who need textbooks that were left at school are asked to contact Mrs. Blackburn. We will arrange for pick up one day next week. The items will be in a marked envelope on a table under the overhand at the front door. Families who are in need of a Chromebook in order for their child to complete work and participate in the teacher’s lessons, are asked to contact Mrs. Kelly. These will also be available for pick up on that same day next week. Parents who receive a Chromebook must sign an agreement regarding care and return of the device.

School Mass
Father Jack will be offering Mass on line one day next week. Details will be sent through email, text and on the school website.

Community Prayer
Join us for a brief prayer every weekday at 4 p.m. on Facebook.

Best wishes for a blessed Holy Week. Please look for our Easter message in next week’s Bridges.

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