Bridges Newsletter 4/30/2020
From the Principal
Across the nation, next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Although there are many challenges facing teachers and students in our new learning environment, I do know that the teachers are working hard to provide instruction and learning activities for their students. I meet weekly with all of the faculty and see most teachers at least two or three additional times during the week and I can tell you not being with the children is the greatest challenge for each of them. This challenge, unlike tackling technology glitches, keeping up with hundreds of posts and learning new ways to better teach remotely, is getting harder with each passing day. I know that everyone is super busy working from home, helping children with classwork and dealing with the stress of not getting out, but remembering our teachers with an email of encouragement or gratitude would be a tremendous boost for them, especially between May 3 and 9.
And speaking of appreciation, I would like to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am for all the ways you are supporting your children’s education and for your patience and support throughout this trying time. The St. Matthias community is truly awesome and getting stronger every day.
Seventy-Three percent of the 81 families who responded to the survey indicated a desire to attend a Zoom parent meeting. Predictably, there was no consensus as to the best time to hold the meetings. Therefore, there will be two sessions of each meeting. One of the topics of discussion will be grading in the 4th quarter. Because the report cards of grades K-3 are so different from grades 4-8, there will be two separate meetings, one for PK-3, and one for grades 4-8. The four meeting dates are: Tuesday 9:30 A.M. and 6:30 P.M. for grades 4-8, Thursday 9:30 and 6:30 for grades PK-3. Please look for an E-vite to the meetings. The meeting link will be sent to those who respond. Attending parents are asked to submit their questions in advance to help the meeting go smoothly.
Family Volunteer Opportunity
Our school garden is in serious need of attention. The strawberry crop which is quite abundant is covered with leaves and weeds are thriving. If you can help, please contact Mrs. Smith as soon as possible. Since this is an outdoor activity and only one family would be permitted to work at a time, it is in compliance with the Covid-19 regulations. There are also a few other outdoor maintenance tasks that we could use volunteers. This work could be done on the weekend. If you can serve, please contact Mrs. Schratz.
We have suspended the service hour requirement for the rest of the year. However, families who had not clocked half of their service hours will be billed for those hours. Please check the weekly newsletter, Bridges for other service opportunities.
Third Quarter Report Cards
We are still waiting for a response from Rediker as to why some of the report cards that printed did not match the grades in some of the teachers’ gradebooks. Teachers have reviewed all of their report cards and corrected copies are being emailed to those families where a discrepancy was found.
The raffle drawings will continue to be pulled twice per month. Our most recent winners are Wanda Washington (Isaiah and Nehemiah Gr 8), Eugenia Morales (Sofia Reyes PK) and Earleen Robinson (Tori Gr 3). Congratulations to our winners!
Mass and Worship During the Pandemic
All students are encouraged to join us for Mass on Friday, May 8 at 2:30. The focus of the Mass will be on celebrating our Blessed Mother during her special month as well as our own mothers. There will be a special tribute to our teachers during Mass. Every morning at 8:05 Mrs. Schratz and several teachers and students gather for school prayer via Zoom.
Finally, families are encouraged to attend Sunday Mass at St. Matthias at facebook.com/StMatthiasLanham/ or in their own parishes. Directions for attending Catholic masses can be found on the Archdiocese of Washington website at www.adw.org.
Google classroom is one of many planforms that are being used by our teachers to support of distance learning. This is the predominate learning tool in grades 6-8. To learn more about how Google classroom works, click on this link.