Parent Bulletin
September 17, 2020

MR. FITZ'S BLOG
I've got terrific news! King County's current COVID-infection numbers have been trending in a very healthy direction, and our schools can now choose to reopen for in-person instruction in grades K-5!

As you know, the Department of Health's decision framework was the basis of the Archdiocese making the decision in August for all Catholic schools to start the school year remotely. Now that we are reaching 14 straight days of 75 or less COVID-cases per 100,000 of the county population, the Archdiocese is allowing individual Catholic schools to choose when they each will reopen for in-person instruction for grades K-5.

At St. Louise, we will return our K-5 students on Monday, September 28 (one week from this Monday)! Your kindergarteners through fifth graders will be joining our PreK students on campus for the typical daily 8:30-3:00 school time (2:00 dismissal on Mondays). Our preschoolers have been having school in their classroom since last week, and all is going well!

Unfortunately, grades 6-8 (and 9-12) have to wait until there are less than 25 cases per 100,000 to return to in-person learning, per the decision framework. Grades 6-8 will continue to have online lessons daily from 10:00-4:30.

For any K-5 parents who won't want their children to return to in-person learning starting on the 28th, teachers will continue to offer online-learning at the same time they teach in-person to the majority of their students. If you recall, we sent you a parent survey this summer, and many of you offered great edit-suggestions to our draft plan for reopening procedures, including the need for the school to address the needs of students who choose to stay home indefinitely for online-learning. We listened and incorporated your feedback.

Tomorrow I will email each of you our updated document: "Reopening Plan with Precautions & Special Procedures." It will address everything for when we reopen in 11 days and bring back the grade K-5 students - from how we'll be handling physical distancing and mask-wearing with your children, to how recess and carpool will be handled differently, to how online-learning will continue for those whose family situations do not allow them the ability to return to school just yet. You'll note in tomorrow's document that parents of grade K-5 students who will be choosing to NOT have their children return to in-person learning will need to inform both their child's homeroom teacher and me by no later than Friday, September 25.

As for you grade 6-8 parents who would give anything to have YOUR kids return to in-person schooling by the end of this month, I am so sorry you'll have to wait. Keep praying that the threshold will soon be reached that moves King County to the "less than 25 cases per 100,000, low-risk" category. Fortunately, your children are the most optimal age for being able to handle online-learning, and the middle school curricula is the most adaptable to being converted to a digitally-presentable format. That being the case, our grade 6-8 teachers definitely understand there are mental-health and social-emotional reasons that your preteens and teenagers need to return to "normal" school!

Finally, the grade K-5 teachers and instructional assistants will need time to prepare for our true first day of school, with training for using technology to teach in a hybrid method (i.e. some students learning at home at the same time most students are learning in the classroom) and with training to understand our new protocol for physical distancing, mask-wearing, scheduled hand washing etc. Therefore, all grade K-5 online classes will be canceled next Thursday and Friday, September 24th and 25th. We apologize for any conflict this creates with this sudden calendar change.

Although we won't have school for grade K-5 students next Thursday and Friday, we will be streaming our Mass of the Holy Spirit at 9AM next Friday, with all our faculty present in the church, and we would like all of your children watching live from home. See the article below about next Friday's special Mass.

Blessings on your day,
MR. FITZ

p.s.
Next Friday, I will be sending every grade K-8 parent a survey to evaluate how online-learning is working for you and your child after the first 13 days of remote lessons over Teams. Please be prepared next weekend to complete this vital survey. We wanted you and your kids to get two weeks of classes under your belts before we then asked for your input on what seems to be working well with our online-learning plan and what needs adjusting, adding, or deleting. Based on your feedback, we then can tweak how, when, what, and how often the teachers teach online. Even with K-5 grade levels resuming in-person learning soon, we still want to make any needed improvements in our online-learning procedures, preparing for future periods when we might be forced - by pandemic or snow storm - to revert to remote instruction.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS

Today
  • School Commission and Parents' Club hold their first meetings of the year; on Teams at 7:00PM; all parents are welcome to join in. Log-in here.

Saturday, September 19
  • Saturday Spruce-Up of the parish and school grounds is today from 8-11AM; please arrive at the north wing of the original school will work gloves, rakes, weed digging tools, and other gardening equipment you may have.
  • School is open and accessible from 8AM-3PM only for parents whose children's teachers have informed them to come to school this day to drop-off and/or pick-up students' assignments on each child's desk. For this Saturday, this pertains only to grades 3, 5, 7, 8.

Tuesday, September 22
  • Mandatory parent meeting for those 6th-8th grade families signed up for the Speech Team; see article below for registration information.

Thursday, September 24
  • All online classes for grades K-5 are canceled today and Friday.
  • Free parenting webinar for Catholic school parents; see article below for registration information.

Friday, September 25
  • All online classes for grades K-5 are canceled today.
  • Mass of the Holy Spirit at 9AM; all K-8 students are asked to join by watching the live stream.
  • Expect a Parent Survey this date regarding parents' evaluation of our online-learning plan and daily Teams lessons, after two full weeks of remote instruction.

Monday, September 28
  • In-person schooling reopens for grades K-5; the tardy bell rings at 8:30; dismissal on Mondays is 2:00 (3:00 the rest of the week)
  • Kids' Club resumes daily daycare for grade K-5 students; see the article below.

Wednesday, September 30
  • Pre-order your School Yearbook by today's deadline to receive 10% off the price.

Thursday, October 1
  • Today is the deadline to opt-out of participating in Charger Cards by paying the reduced opt-out fee of $100; after today, the opt-out fee increases to $150; see the article below for more information.


CHECK OUT OUR COMPLETE SCHOOL CALENDAR HERE
Kids' Club Starting Up in 11 Days
Our before-school and after-school daycare for grade K-5 students will begin the 2020-21 school year on Monday, September 28. Parents can choose to have their children supervised in the Lavelle Center between 7:00-8:15 AM and/or between 3:00-5:45 PM (2:00-5:45 on Mondays).

Kids' Club is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing environment before and/or after-school hours for children of working parents. Our goal is to ensure a smooth transition between the school day and the before-school and after-school program. Activities are designed to spark academic interests, recreation, physical fitness, and nurture social-emotional growth. We also provide the time, the place, and the assistance to ensure your children have enough time to complete their homework. Take a look at this Kids' Club video.

Kids’ Club is under the direction of the school, with Maria Zambrano and two other supervisors following the same policies and procedures of the school in regards to student behavior.

If you are interested in your child joining Kids' Club, please contact Maria and go HERE to sign up. For those families who have already signed up for 2020-21 Kids' Club and paid your first month's fee (last spring), your second month's fee won't be due until November.
Join Us for a "Streaming" Mass Next Friday; Some Classes Are Canceled
Traditionally, the first Mass of a new school year for a Catholic school is the "Mass of the Holy Spirit," when the Catholic school community prays for God's guidance, wisdom, and grace for the coming months of schooling. Because of the current situation with limited numbers of people allowed in churches and with online-learning, we will not be able to have an a traditional, all-school Mass of the Holy Spirit this year that the classes will attend in-person. However, we still have a special liturgy planned.

On Friday, September 25, at 9:00AM, Father Gary and Father Carlos will concelebrate Mass from the St. Louise Church, and we would encourage all school families to be watching live at home over their screens. The Mass streaming link can be found that morning at https://www.stlouise.org/livestream-mass. There will be special prayer intentions for our school students, parents, and teachers. There will also be some familiar faces praying in-person in the church - all your teachers and school staff!

Grades 6-8 students should begin their learning day as usual at 10:00, logging in to their homeroom immediately after the 9:00 Mass ends. PreK will not be viewing this Mass.

Prior to Friday, September 25, it would be helpful for parents to watch this video with their children. This was a special message from Father Carlos (pictured above) on how to get the most out of watching a Mass online.
St. Louise School welcomes a number of newly enrolled school families this year!

Thank you, veteran school parents, for making the newest parents in our St. Louise community welcome by reaching out to say hello. (New school families, if you haven't yet done so, please email Cindy Wagner with a family photo and your bio.)

Shown above, the Nieuwenhuis Family tells us about themselves:

"We're excited to join the St. Louise Community! Alexa will be starting kindergarten this year and can't wait to meet her new classmates and friends. Jared works as a Director of Marketing and is currently serving as Deputy Mayor to the City of Bellevue. Lori works for T-Mobile's Corp. Real Estate department in Project Management."


Shown below, the Gonzalez-Diaz Family introduce themselves:

"Juan Pablo & Juanita, and children Jeronimo and Alejandra are natives of Bogotá, Colombia. We immigrated to the U.S. in 2015, initially living in Southern Illinois, and now call Redmond our home. Jeronimo (entering 5th grade), and Alejandra (3rd grade) love to read and play with their LEGOs. As a family, we enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, and playing with our dog, Oreo."

Shown below, the Minotte Family tell their story:

"We are excited to join St Louise community. Anthony and Renata have two children joining St Louise - Sophia in the 7th grade and Jake in the 3rd grade. Sophia loves swimming and music. She plays the piano and the viola. Jake loves any sports with balls and animals. We hope to meet all of you in person soon."

Shown below, the Chason Family introduce themselves:

"The Chason Clan are delighted to join the St. Louise Family! We are both East Coasters of sorts (Joe from NY and Jen from Scotland) and have lived in the Sammamish area for the last 7 years and love everything that the Pacific Northwest has to offer! We love to socialize with our friends and especially love the outdoors. Olivia is in the 2nd grade and William (4) love to hike, bike, and will be learning to Snowboard this Winter. We have 2 furry friends as well (Maggie and Freddy) who also keep us busy!"
Shown below, the Towse Family tell us about their family:

"Our family lives in Sammamish. Hudson is in 2nd grade at St. Louise this year and his sister Presley will be entering her final year of preschool. Roy is a Real Estate Agent with Compass in Bellevue and Joanna is a stay-at-home Mom. Our family enjoys being outdoors! We love hiking and biking and spend a lot of our free time over in Suncadia. We are looking forward to the new school year and are excited to be joining the St. Louise community!"
Ready to Start Volunteering? Here's How!
We are excited to announce a new way for school families to sign up for the volunteer jobs they would like to commit to for the 2020-21 school year! Thanks to the Parents’ Club purchasing a school-wide account to the SignUpGenius app, we can now use this familiar SignUpGenius process to list the dozens of school programs and events needing parent volunteers from anytime from this September to next June.
 
Please go to our new St. Louise SignUpGenius site - http://www.stlouiseschool.org/signup - and scroll through all the opportunities to be involved this school year with your child’s school and to support the teachers, staff, and program chairpersons who would love your assistance.
 
We realize some programs might not take place this year due to COVID--precautions. Nevertheless, please sign up with the understanding that volunteering will be in flux until we can get all the kids back in school and the health concerns minimized.
 
If you have any questions about signing up or about volunteer requirements, you may contact Kelly Miller of the Parents’ Club or Mr. Fuerte or Mr. Fitzpatrick.
 
We will continue as the new school year proceeds in the fall and winter to also list new volunteer opportunities in the Thursday Bulletin and via individual teachers’ newsletters. So the jobs listed on SignUpGenius will not be your only opportunities to volunteer in 2020-21.
 
The process for recording your volunteer hours throughout the school year will continue as always. When you are ready to log your hours as you start your volunteer position, you do this at the “submit hours” link at http://web2.stlouiseschool.org/volunteer. Our target is for each family to volunteer at least 40 hours from now through next June, 2021, but due to the limitations put on us by COVID-precautions, 20 hours is the minimum requirement for this school year.
 
Thanks in advance for the time and energy you give in a myriad of ways to St. Louise Parish and School!
Thank You, Volunteers!
We appreciate these members of our Emergency Preparedness Team for coming in last week to restock the classroom emergency backpacks and to reorganize the emergency water we have stored in our cargo container (to be used in the event students must remain on campus overnight due to an earthquake): Dominic Eala, Joe Dickinson, Carolyn McHugh. If you would like to join the Emergency Preparedness Team for their next task, please contact Joe.
Bring Student Supplies to School on Monday the 28th
For all the grade K-5 students who will return to in-person schooling on September 28, don't forget to bring all your school supplies to school that day. The supplies list may be found HERE on our website.
Free Parenting Webinar for Catholic School Parents
Stressful current events and unforeseen setbacks can sometimes make life at home feel downright chaotic. Fortunately, families can look to our Catholic faith for ways to create calm and stability in the home. A live webinar by the Archdiocese of Seattle Office of Marriage and Family Life is being presented this coming Wednesday:

Finding Calm in the Storm: Practical Ways to Find Peace at Home
Thursday, September 24, 7-8 PM PDT 

To join this free webinar to learn practical ways to bring peace and balance to your home life, register HERE
Calling all 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders
Even in this virtual learning world, the renowned St. Louise Speech Team is gearing up for another season! We hope to garner strong interest once again in the program, building off our recent success. Speech practices will take place virtually each week, starting in late September.

This is a great opportunity for grade 6-8 students to develop confidence and improve their speaking skills in an ever-changing communication landscape throughout society. Speech team fosters more confident, enthusiastic speakers and builds skills for life! Registration for 2020-21 is $50.

As of now, Bishop Blanchet has confirmed they will be hosting their annual speech tournament virtually on Saturday, December 12th.

St. Louise’s annual tournament will also tentatively take place virtually on Saturday, November 14th.

Our mandatory Parent Info-Night is next Tuesday, September 22nd, starting at 7:00 pm. It will take place on Teams and parents will be given an invite.

Sign-ups are open to all 6th-8th graders. Any questions? Contact: speechlead@stlouiseschool.org

A link to the online registration form may be found HERE.

A link to the online payment site may be found HERE.
Opt-In Now to Receive Emergency Texts from School
St. Louise School uses a messaging-app as a notification system for emergency messages or important announcements. This system allows the school to send a text message and/or email message to the contact information the parent has on file with the school. You will not find St. Louise’s notifications regarding closures or late-starts on TV or radio stations; parents will only be notified via our group texting service through BrightArrow.com and/or through a group email from school. School parents must opt-in to our emergency texting service by texting the word YES to 87569. Only then, will parents be sure to receive texts from St. Louise during emergencies.
CYO Cross Country Starts This Week
Even though there will not be an "in-person" Cross Country season, CYO has come up with a “virtual" Cross Country season that sounds really exciting for your grade K-8 child to join! Please read the following letter from the St. Louise CYO Cross Country Coordinator, Amy Wilken...


Dear K-8 Parents,
Our St. Louise team has been CYO Cross Country Champions these past 5 years, and there is no reason why we can’t try to be the "virtual" CYO Cross Country Champions this year!

Because this is virtual, there will be no in-person practices or meets. The participation in the program will rely heavily on members of each household (parents, responsible family members) to support our young athletes to run distances on their own, and send their run times to their coaches. Our cross country coaches will post all the times on Athletic.net each week and coaches from all the other schools will be doing the same.  Here is a video from the Director or CYO Sports, Scott Bailey, encouraging families to sign-up for Cross Country.

You may sign-up your grade K-8 child HERE. Registration is free!

If you would like a CYO Cross Country t-shirt, there is a $15 charge. (Note: These t-shirts are different than last year's red St. Louise team t-shirts. These new shirts will be designed by CYO Athletics and will be the same for all CYO Seattle schools.)

The CYO Cross Country season will have four virtual meets:
  1. Meet 1 – September 15 – September 20
  2. Meet 2 – September 22 – September 27
  3. Meet 3 – September 29 – October 4
  4. Meet 4 – October 6 – October 11
 
Each Meet will be set-up as its own virtual event in Athletic.net with the following events per grade:
  • Kindergarten - 0.25 mile
  • Grade 1 - 0.25 mile
  • Grade 2 - 0.5 mile
  • Grade 3 - 0.5 mile
  • Grade 4 – 1 mile
  • Grade 5 – 1 mile
  • Grade 6 – 1.5 miles
  • Grade 7 – 1.5 miles
  • Grade 8 – 1.5 miles
  • There will be a 2.0 Mile Category open to all grades, with runners choosing to compete in the 2-mile race if they would like that added challenge.

There will be no distinction in Athletic.net using last year's different race locations (Woodland Park, Lake Sammamish State Park, Mt. Tahoma) and different league configurations, since in this virtual format, our varied geographic distances will no longer separate us from competing with all the schools in the greater Puget Sound area.

Course maps we have used at Woodland Park and Lake Sammamish State Park are already available on the CYO website. When you register, I will send your family more information. I also will send warm-up ideas, dynamic stretching, and different course options (Blueberry Farm, Robinswood, Lake Sammamish).

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Amy Wilken
Cross Country Coordinator
St. Louise School
214-793-0242
Even During COVID, Charger Cards Are Still Available
We are adjusting our requirement that parents participate in the Charger Cards fund raiser as explained on the Charger Cards participation form you previously completed. You either marked on that form that your family:
  • Will participate by purchasing enough gift cards through June 2021, that will generate a minimum contribution to the school of $125 in Charger Card rebates
  • Will not participate but instead will send in a $250 check (or $200 if paid by October 1).

The adjustment we are making for this school year is that families will have their cash amounts reduced in the one choice they make:
  • Will participate by purchasing enough gift cards through June 2021, that will generate a minimum contribution to the school of $100 in Charger Card rebates
  • Will not participate but instead will send in a $150 check (or $100 if paid by October 1).

Our Charger Cards program chairperson, Marsha Rampersad Zope, is still working with parents on making physical gift cards available for you to pick up on a weekly basis from the school, as well as to help you purchase digital gift cards and reload current cards! Parents who wish to drop by for purchasing cards are asked to email Marsha at Chargercards@stlouiseschool.org, and she will confirm the time when you can stop by the Charger Cards office for your transaction.

Again, if you're opting out of Charger Cards, please send in your check for $100 to the school office or Charger Cards office by October 1. (Sorry, Charger Cards does not take credit cards for this opt-out fee.)
Volunteers Wanted This Saturday Morning - Rain or Shine
We hold occasional "Saturday Spruce-Up" mornings, when parents come to the St. Louise campus from 8-11AM to work on various yardwork needs - from weeding to raking, from pruning to planting. This is a great way to earn volunteer hours while also helping beautify the school and parish grounds.

Our first Saturday Spruce-Up is this Saturday the 19th. We will gather at 8AM in the parking lot outside the north wing of the original school, and we ask that you please bring gardening gloves and yard tools, such as weed-digging tools, rakes, and wheelbarrows.

If you have some teenagers who need to gather their own service hours (or just need to get out of the house), please bring them to help. If you have questions, please email Mr. Fitz.

Looking ahead, please note other Saturday Spruce-Ups will be held this fall on October 10 and 24.
Come to one...come to all!
Order Milk for Your Grade PK-5 Child
Half pint cartons of 1% milk are purchased only through a pre-pay process for the entire year. It is $75 for an entire school-year's supply of milk. If your grade K-8 child (or PreK extended-day child) will be drinking milk at lunch, please order and pre-pay online now at https://osvonlinegiving.com/1369/DirectDonate/46872.

Daily milk service begins on September 28.

School Lunch orders with our vendor, Lunch Ladies, will resume at the end of the month. Stay tuned for upcoming news from Lunch Ladies on this year's options for ordering school lunches.

If you have questions on milk or school lunches, please contact Mindy Morgan in the school office.
Charger Gear Unveils New Designs and New Clothing Styles
St. Louise Parents' Club oversees the CHARGER GEAR program, which consists of uniform and non-uniform items with the St. Louise logo, that are sold for the purpose of raising school spirit ... and at the same time, raising some funds for the Parents' Club.

This fall, CHARGER GEAR is unveiling some brand new items with more variety of styles, colors, and logos! We are teaming with SquadLocker.com to offer St. Louise families some great, new products!

  • FRIDAY WEAR - St. Louise-logo hoody sweatshirts, track jackets, and other tops - may be worn by all students on Fridays during the school year in place of the regular school uniform sweater.

  • ADULT WEAR - Moms, dads, and grandparents can purchase St. Louise-logo tops to wear at CYO games and around town.

  • BAGS & PACKS - Great ways to carry sports practice gear or to hold your PE shoes/clothes.

Go HERE to order CHARGER GEAR and FRIDAY GEAR and see all the new fall 2020 styles!

Note that you can click on whichever available logo you want, as well as which color you want! Design your favorite top! Here are the easy directions for ordering:

  1. Open the St. Louise link for SquadLocker.  
  2. Click on any selection. For clothing, if there is more than one color, select your color.
  3. Below color choices there are logo choices; select your logo.
  4. Most articles may have personalization and you can select the name you want to use.
  5. Purchases are made online and are sent directly to you.

Please contact Kelly & Grant Kenn at chargergear@stlouiseschool.org if you have any questions on ordering.
Thursday's Theology: The 7 Sorrows of Mary (A Devotion for September)
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