Welcome to Emmetsburg CATHOLIC sCHOOL!

April 8, 2020

Dear Parents, 

I hope this update finds you all well and enjoying time with your children.  This is the most unusual Holy Week any of us have ever been through. I hope that you all can find the schedules for services and Masses online for your family.  Please check the Palo Alto Catholic Community Facebook for links and places to view your Masses. Fr. Bill put out a new letter yesterday on Facebook, please check it out. 

Holy Week Teacher availability:  Starting noon on Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday the teachers will not be available.  If you send questions during this time they will reply on Monday.  

Following is an update on how Emmetsburg Catholic School will be handling the next 3 weeks.  Each teacher will be reaching out to their students and giving guidance on the next few weeks.  The Iowa Department of Education gave guidance how we can legally proceed with Continuous Learning for our students.  Iowa Schools were given 3 choices:

1.  The schools can do nothing to provide Continuous Learning for their students.  This would mean that the days off school from April 13, 2020, to April 30, 2020, would have to be made up. 

2.  Schools can provide Voluntary Continuous Learning to all their students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.  This means that what we have been doing the last 4 weeks will be “amped” up a bit.  We will work to increase contact with the students and give them regular feedback. The contact and feedback can be through Google Classroom, Seesaw, email, Zoom, phone, and text.  It is up to each teacher how they want students to reach out to them. Students should share their work with the teachers so that they can provide feedback on the learning process. Parents can take a picture of the work and send it to the teacher through email or text.  The work will not be graded. Teachers will take attendance for meetings and keep a checklist of assignments they see so that we know where each student is at when we are able to return to school. Teachers will be available during regular school hours for the most part or they will notify you of the hours they are available. 

3.  The 3rd option is Required Continuous Learning.  This would mean that all assignments would be graded, students would be required to attend online sessions, and complete work assigned.  The teachers would need to guarantee equity and rigor with this option. 

Emmetsburg Catholic School faculty met via Zoom on Monday to discuss our options and determine how we will move forward.  It was decided that ECS will move forward with Voluntary Continuous Learning at all grade levels including preschool.  This is what we have been doing, we will just take attendance, keep track of completed assignments and give more feedback.

We highly encourage all families to take part in the Voluntary Continuous Learning in some way.   This will help keep your child from losing ground in their skills and enable us to know where each child is academically when they return to school.  This does not mean 5-6 hours of class time daily; teachers will vary assignments so that the work is not overwhelming. Please reach out to the teacher if things get overwhelming for your child. I have heard from several families that the students are doing the work, but the teachers are not seeing it, so please check with your child’s teachers. 

Technology: 

Each student was offered their Chromebook or laptop to take home.  Please let us know if you have difficulties with the device or you need help with internet connections.  We will work with you to help you find a way to make it work. 

Please remind your child that these are school property and they should be treated as such.  I would recommend monitoring what websites your children are on while they tell you they are working on homework. 

Easter Miss You Bags:

Here’s the fun part!   On Saturday, April 11, from 9 AM - 10 AM there will be a drive through pickup in the school parking lot.  Each family is invited to pick up any packets and/or materials from teachers as well as an Easter Miss You Bag.  The bags are filled with treats and Easter eggs. Twenty eggs with money in them have been randomly placed in the bags! Be sure to stop by and pick up your Easter Miss You Bag on Saturday morning.  Teachers will let you know if there are packets to pick up with the Easter Miss You Bags.  Please do not get out of your car.  Just pull up, roll down your window and we will hand you the bag.  


Blessing for a peaceful Easter.  May you and your families find ways to enjoy Easter with online prayer and Masses.  


Remember, we are here for you, please contact any of us with anything you need.  We miss you and continue to pray for all. 


Blessings, 

Jean and the Emmetsburg Catholic School Staff.



Update: 

April 2, 2020

Dear Parents, 

Today, the Governor extended the school closure through April 30, 2020.  The Iowa Department of Education is providing guidelines with what we should be doing over the next 4 weeks.  We are a bit ahead of the game since we started many of their recommendations March 23, 2020.

I will be meeting with my staff, through Zoom, to determine how we continue forward.  We will have a complete plan sent out to you by Wednesday, April 8, 2020.  

I cannot understand or know what each family is going through during this time in history.  We are definitely making history with the events that are unfolding in our midst. Please know that our prayers as a staff and parish continue for each and every one of you.  If there is something that I can do or a teacher can do to make things easier for you or help your child, please let us know. We are always willing to help if at all possible.  

It is a day by day, week by week situation that is very difficult for all of us, especially those of us that like to plan everything out and know what is going to happen next.  Please continue to watch Facebook, email, and the website as plans continue to evolve over the next week.  

Prayers for you and your family, 

Jean Hyslop and Staff 

I have attached a message from Pope Francis that was shared with me.  Please share with others in your family.  

THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020

“We continue to pray for people who have fallen ill in this pandemic.  Today I would like to ask for a special prayer for families…I think especially of families with a disabled person among them. The welcome centers for people with disability are closed and the person stays with the family.  Let us pray for families that they do not lose their peace in this moment and that they succeed in moving forward with strength and joy…We ask the Lord today for the grace of not falling into indifference, the grace that all the information we have about human suffering might penetrate our hearts and move us to do something for others.”   

Pope Francis 




Update:
March 23, 2020
Due to constant changes:  The school will be open by appointment only. We will not have drive through pick up services for student materials after today.  We will keep you posted on any further changes.  Please contact the student's teacher or myself with any questions.  I will still be available by appointment to scan documents for TADS/MLTF.  
Per the Bishop the church will be locked until further notice.  
The parish office will be closing on Tues., March 24, 2020, at noon.   Leave a message at the parish office or school if you need something and we will return your call.  
Prayers and blessing to you and your family.
My cell phone:  515-320-0757
Jean

Update:  March 22, 2020 
Monday, March 23, 2020 
From 10:00 to 6:00 pm pick up for students' books, assignments, spring pictures, and  requested, computers.  Here is how it will work:  
1.  No one but staff will be allowed in the building.  
2.  Drive up and a staff member will bring the items to your car.  If you let us know ahead of time you want the computer, we will bring it out the first trip.  
3.  If the line is long, pull into the parking lot.  
4.  We will work as fast as we can and as efficiently as possible.  
5. We have the lockers cleaned out so a few who haven't picked up their lockers items, we will have that ready as well. 
6.  Finally, any one needing documents scanned for TADS or MLTF tuition scholarship contact Jean Hyslop immediately, so that it can be done when I am in town.  I don't plan to be in town everyday.  Also any help needed with the scholarship form call Jean Hyslop or email.  DEADLINE IS STILL APRIL 1ST.  
Blessings to all!  See you tomorrow!  
Please share with all the families.
 
March 17, 2020

Parent Communication Regarding Covid-19 Temporary School Closure

Dear Parents,

The Department of Ed.., the Governor’s office, the diocese and the Iowa Department of Public Health have made changes in the recommendations and requirements since yesterday.  Some of these are very specific and some give us more leeway in meeting the needs of our families and students. 

  1.   The Governor has waived the requirement to make up these four weeks of school. 
    1. In an effort to maintain and move students forward in their learning during this time, ECS teachers will provide lessons on Google Classroom for grades 5-8 and videos and packets for K-4.  Be aware the state has mandated that we cannot require participation or assign grades.  In the best of the students, we feel that providing parents with curriculum for their children will benefit our students in the long term. 
    2. Teachers will post lessons or have packets available to pick each Monday for the week. There will be 3 to 5 lessons per week.  Our aim is to increase learning, but we realize some students will become anxious, so please let us know if we can help with this.  We will not be grading these lessons but will provide support and if needed answer keys to the parents.  Each teacher will provide guidance on their lessons.  We do not intend for students to have a full load each day.
    3. Students may move at their own pace but should especially in math do the work consecutively. 
  1. Meals – at this time we will not be providing meals. 
  2. All church services and activities in the parish have been cancelled for 8 weeks This includes the use of all buildings on campus, even the gym.  NO use of the gym at all.  This is Diocesan ordered. 

Our goal is to keep everyone healthy and safe.  We know that this is a difficult time for all. Please encourage your children to use the social media, etc. to get help with questions they have regarding the lessons.  While this is voluntary, we hope that our families will take advantage of the learning opportunities provided by the ECS staff. 

We will continue to update you as information is given to us.  We expect that changes will be ongoing.  We encourage you to provide feedback on how we can better serve you. 

Prayers and Blessings,

Jean T. Hyslop
Principal

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the

present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.

Thomas Merton





Jean Hyslop jhyslop@e-irish.org

9:41 PM (1 minute ago)
to me
Monday, March 23, 2020 
From 10:00 to 6:00 pm pick up for students' books, assignments, spring pictures, and  requested, computers.  Here is how it will work:  
1.  No one but staff will be allowed in the building.  
2.  Drive up and a staff member will bring the items to your car.  If you let us know ahead of time you want the computer, we will bring it out the first trip.  
3.  If the line is long, pull into the parking lot.  
4.  We will work as fast as we can and as efficiently as possible.  
5. We have the lockers cleaned out so a few who haven't picked up their lockers items, we will have that ready as well. 
6.  Finally, any one needing documents scanned for TADS or MLTF tuition scholarship contact Jean Hyslop immediately, so that it can be done when I am in town.  I don't plan to be in town everyday.  Also any help needed with the scholarship form call Jean Hyslop or email.  DEADLINE IS STILL APRIL 1ST.  
Blessings to all!  See you tomorrow!  
Please share with all the families.

Jean Hyslop jhyslop@e-irish.org

9:41 PM (1 minute ago)
to me
Monday, March 23, 2020 
From 10:00 to 6:00 pm pick up for students' books, assignments, spring pictures, and  requested, computers.  Here is how it will work:  
1.  No one but staff will be allowed in the building.  
2.  Drive up and a staff member will bring the items to your car.  If you let us know ahead of time you want the computer, we will bring it out the first trip.  
3.  If the line is long, pull into the parking lot.  
4.  We will work as fast as we can and as efficiently as possible.  
5. We have the lockers cleaned out so a few who haven't picked up their lockers items, we will have that ready as well. 
6.  Finally, any one needing documents scanned for TADS or MLTF tuition scholarship contact Jean Hyslop immediately, so that it can be done when I am in town.  I don't plan to be in town everyday.  Also any help needed with the scholarship form call Jean Hyslop or email.  DEADLINE IS STILL APRIL 1ST.  
Blessings to all!  See you tomorrow!  
Please share with all the families.

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