The Morning Star Weekly Newsletter Vol 5, Edition 2 8/18/2020
Dear Morning Star Families & Friends,
It's exciting to welcome our children back to school! We are looking forward to a great year. I am so proud of our faculty and staff. The past two weeks have been so busy but I'm certain it will be exciting for our students. We are a family and we will get through this year together. No one is an island unto themselves.  Let’s all say a prayer for one another.

Bishop Estevez requested that the Sisters of St. Joseph take the lead in the Diocese of St. Augustine on the Year of St. Joseph. He wanted something special done this year as it is the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX making St. Joseph the patron of the Universal Church in 1870.

The Sisters of St. Joseph’s theme for the year is Go to Joseph and they have reached out to the schools of the diocese. They have designed and printed a St. Joseph prayer card for all the students and staff of our schools and are encouraging the schools to pray the St. Joseph prayer at least once a week, if not every day.

At Morning Star School, we have decided to pray this prayer at mid-day every day, asking for St. Joseph’s protection and guidance during this challenging year. We have shared this prayer below for you and your family as well.

God Bless,
Elaine Shott, Principal
Office Hours & Contact Information
Tomorrow is the first day of school. We can't wait to see our students!

The front office is open every school day from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. To contact the front office call (904) 721-2144 or email Jackie Rodriguez at
Virtual Back to School Orientation Video
If you haven't already, please take the time to click HERE to view our Virtual Back to School Orientation video.
Please Send Us Pictures of your At Home Learners
We want to know how your student is doing with their virtual classes! Please keep us posted by sending us pictures and information about their classes, projects, and studies. We will share these in our weekly newsletter and on social media!

Send information to
New iPad Learning Platform
All students will have their own iPad for school AND home use. They will use a new learning platform (Student Google Classroom) designed over the summer. Please take a minute to watch this tutorial about the new learning platform.  

iPad Learning Platform TUTORIAL click HERE

iPad Learning Platform click HERE

To download written instructions click HERE

NOTE: Student Google Classrooms will not be available until the first day of school, August 19th. You can access the main page, but you will not be able to see student pages until the first day of school.
School Lunch and Drink Program Suspended
Due to health and safety concerns our lunch order program and the sale of Power-Aid, juices, bottled water and lemonade have been suspended.

Please NOTE:
  • All students must bring a packed lunch and drink to school every day.

  • Use of school water fountains is also suspended so please make sure to send your student to school with an ample supply of water for the school day.
Medical Authorization Form
Please return the Diocesan Medical Authorization form signed by a doctor if your child will need any prescription or non-prescription medicine at school.

To view and print the medical authorization form click HERE.
School Picture Day "Say Cheese" 
Wednesday, August 26th is our student photo day! Please make certain your children look neat and wear dressy clothes or their school uniform.
Weather Alerts
Superintendent Deacon Scott will inform all Catholic Schools of school closures due to severe weather.
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Kick-Off
Our annual Cookie Dough fundraiser runs from August 24th through September 9th. Not only cookie dough, but gourmet treats, snacks, gifts, magazines and more! Keep an eye out for information packets sent home with your students. Let's have the best fundraising year ever!
Ease Back-To-School Anxiety
Brought to you by Stomp Out
The coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruptions to daily life and our youth are feeling these changes deeply. While the return to school will be welcome and exciting for many students, others will be feeling anxious or frightened. There are many reasons why going back to school might be anxiety-provoking for your child:

  • Grief/loss over changes in lifestyle
  • 'Normal’ won’t be the same as before COVID-19
  • Return to pre-COVID-19 stresses, like school bullying
  • Life was better in isolation, e.g. more time with family
  • Feeling safe at home and unsafe/out-of-control in public
  • Fear of COVID-19 second-wave

It’s very normal for children and young people to experience re-entry anxiety in the midst of a pandemic. Here are tips to help young people navigate the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school:

Get back into routine. Routines are safe and familiar which can help reduce anxiety. 

Focus on what you can control. It’s hard getting caught up in the unknown and ‘what-if’s'? Helping your child identify what they can control and practical things they can do can help them be more in the present moment and reduce anxiety. Practical strategies can include getting organized, making plans for the weekend, preparing their school bag, etc.

Revisit social distancing rules and good hygiene practices. Reviewing these can help your child feel more at ease about their safety when in public spaces.

Provide reassurance. Sometimes we can’t solve all our children’s problems, but they don’t always need solutions – just to feel understood and supported.

Explore the positives. Even if they are worried about returning to school, there may be some things they are looking forward to. It can be helpful to chat through these together   

Be curious. Ask open questions and actively listen to understand more about your child’s thoughts and feelings.

Normalize and validate their feelings. Let them know that what they are feeling is normal, other people feel the same way and that there is nothing wrong with their feelings. For example, “It must be hard to have so many worries, but it’s normal to worry about getting sick when you go back to school.” 

Help them limit exposure to the media. If they are younger, this might include reducing their exposure to the news. If they are older, it might be helping them to critically think about media messages they are exposed to or ensuring they are accessing reputable sources.

Create a plan around transitioning. Planning can help alleviate some anxiety, especially fear of the unknown. Having a plan for the first day of school can help.

Remember, it’s ok to not have all the answers. If your child asks a question you can’t answer, or needs help with something you don’t know how to solve, be honest. It’s a great opportunity to do some research and learn something new together. 
Will you be joining us for the August 20th, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time viewing and panel discussion of...

This hour long documentary explores the different forms of anxiety, and lets real individuals with anxiety tell their stories.

Angst is a film-based education program designed to raise awareness around anxiety, with an emphasis on youth and families. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, experts, and parents. Our goal is to help people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety and encourage them to reach out for help.

We will be showing the film, which will promptly be followed by a panel discussion and include access to further resources and materials.
It's exactly like Amazon but you'll make a difference!
If you shop on Amazon, make sure you shop on AmazonSmile. It's exactly the same Amazon you love but a portion of your purchase price will be donated to our school each time you shop!

1. Visit AmazonSmile
2. Select Morning Star School of Jacksonville as your charity of choice and start shopping! 
3. Bookmark the AmazonSmile link and use it each time you shop with Amazon!  (Proceeds will only be donated if you are logged into AmazonSmile).
Download the NEW Box Tops App Today!
Box Tops is a great way to earn fundraising dollars! And now there is a new phone app which makes it easier to earn points for our school! Shop as you normally would, then simply scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit your school's Box Tops earnings online. It's a much easier way to help us earn dollars.

Download the new Box Tops App HERE.
Watch a video about the new process HERE

You may still clip Box Tops and send them to school. Physical Box Tops clips are being phased out of production but may continue to be found on many products throughout the store.

  • Turn in your box tops weekly. They do expire.
  • Be sure to NOT cut the code off. We cannot use it if the code is missing even one of the digits
  • Place them in a zip lock bag and send them in with your student.

Thank you for supporting our fundraising efforts! Questions? Please reach out to Jackie Rodriguez, our Home & School Box Tops Coordinator at
If you have a great story, please share it with us. We love showcasing the many talents of our students and their families. To submit a story click the button below.
Our School Mission Statement
Rooted in the Gospel and strengthened by the sacraments, the mission of Morning Star School is to provide a unique, inspiring education empowering students with learning differences to achieve their full potential.
Copyright © 2019 Morning Star School, all rights reserved. You are receiving this email because your student is/was enrolled at Morning Star School.