April 2020
Family Newsletter
Stay current with Marist news and events
Letter from the Principal
April 1, 2020
Dear Marist Families,
I hope and pray that you and your extended families and friends are all doing well. These are indeed difficult times. 
The prevailing wisdom during a crisis is to establish a sense of normalcy, to stick to routine as much as possible.  This will help us navigate the daily challenges and looming uncertainty.  

As Marists, we have two other sources of strength: the first is our Marist family. We are here for you in any way you need us. We are only an email away. If you need to talk, we can set up a Google Hangout: with a teacher, a counselor, or an administrator. Secondly, we have our faith in God. As Holy Week and Easter approach, let us renew our faith in a God who loves us, and who sent his only Son to remind us that after the suffering comes resurrection.

With there being no end in sight for the spread of the virus, a definitive reopening date is uncertain. Accordingly, all school events, such as Academic Awards Banquet, Prom, Graduation, Retreats, etc. are currently on hold. These are wonderful celebrations for our students and families; we hope they will be held, if not on their currently scheduled dates, then sometime in the future. At this time, we must be guided by and trust in the best minds in healthcare to guide us through this crisis. Face-to-face classes and school activities and events will resume only when it is safe to do so.

I couldn't be prouder of the overwhelming success of our remote learning program. At our virtual faculty meeting yesterday, teachers reported that 90% or more of the students are thriving, responding well to the demands of e-learning. Although we are not physically in class, our teachers continue to teach and our students continue to learn. Our teachers are displaying their skills and dedication while our students are showing how resilient and creative they are.
The administration and the school counselors will be reaching out to the 10% of students who are struggling either with academics, with the challenges of technology, with submitting work on time, or with attendance. Please look for our emails and above all, parents, check the portals!!!!
Our School Counselors are available to address any issue that may come up -- academic or otherwise. Please be sure that you check your emails often. If you hear from one of them, kindly be quick to respond. Here are the email addresses for each of them:
          Ms. Miriam Eisenmenger: meisenmenger@marist.org
          Ms. Nancy Heymer: nheymer@marist.org
          Ms. Maria Pagano: mpagano@marist.org
Marist has always prided itself in taking the broader view in education, encompassing Mind, Body, and Spirit. To this end, we will be drawing on the strengths of several of our student leaders to help us design some Virtual Activities. These will be posted on a newly designed homepage on our current website. Look for that unveiling hopefully on Monday, April 6.
Even though we will not have classes from April 9-19, many teachers will be providing Spring Break packets, as we have always done, which will be due on April 20. Doing a bit of work over the break will help us stay on track with our curriculum goals for the year. We are also hoping that these packets, along with the Virtual Activities being designed, will lend some structure, motivation, socialization, and fun during the break.

Our Pathways Forward program must continue. Reach out to the Admissions Officers at the school of your choice and find out how you can register on-line. Parents, apply for FACTs. This is also a reminder that if you will be attending a Catholic School next year and are an SFIC recipient, you must reapply by May 31. E-mail them at schofund@rcan.org if you have questions.

Sadly, Marist lost one of its own yesterday. Damone Smith was one of our assistant basketball coaches. He died suddenly. As you can imagine the basketball players are shocked and devastated. Please pray for the repose of his soul.

On a positive note, Mr. Kane made the news by delivering some much needed supplies to Bayonne Hospital. Check out the article  here.

Don't forget to fill out the census if you haven't done so already!  Just go to  2020census.gov!  It's easy!!!  Let's stand up and be counted.
Just a quick reminder that if you are in need of food, beyond what we offer on Wednesdays, you can find a list of food pantries in your area at www.cfbnj.org.
Although we need to continue social distancing, it should only be in a physical sense.  Let us not isolate, but integrate through effective communication.  Let's stay connected and remain a family, a Marist family.
Above all, let's be smart . . . stay safe and stay healthy. And let us remember . . . to pray for each other.  

Ms. Alice J. Miesnik