The Inside Scoop on Distance Learning  
In her blog post, Zoom Calls and Virtual Zoos: Persisting with Distance Learning , Erin Kenny, a 3rd grade teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas shares her unique perspective on the distance learning journey - from the process of adjusting to this new “normal” of working and learning from home, to reminiscing on what she misses most about being in the classroom with her students. Ms. Kenny concludes: "As we continue to navigate this challenging time, one thing that remains is the love we at IMS have for our scholars. All of us–students, faculty, families–are surely embodying this year’s quote: 'We are doing the best we can with what we have, and where we are, all while never losing sight of that higher goal–to serve children and to encourage them to continue to flourish and succeed!'"

Counting Our Blessings

Thanks to the generosity of our community partners and friends who have made ALL THIS possible:
• Tuition payments for the month of May are being waived for ALL IMS families
• Tuition Relief Fund was established for those facing COVID-related hardships and in need assistance for March & April tuition
• 1,300 Chromebooks were distributed to families without access to any device at home (with the help of our Police Youth Alliance Officers)
• Distance learning continues to be in full motion (and student engagement remains high!)
• In addition to distance learning, teachers and leaders are working hard to strengthen their skills in our new math program & prepare for the rollout of a new literacy program in SY21

Appreciation for Our Teachers...
This month, our virtual Teacher Appreciation Week was a huge success... Our leaders created an online "Kudoboard" for each school for parents, students and staff to share their appreciation for our teachers. All 15 boards were flooded with heart-felt notes, videos & pictures - a true testimony to the amazing work that our teachers do each and every day and the love that our students and families have for them.
Pray With Us: IMS Rosary for the Month of May
To honor our spiritual mother, Mary, this month and to ask for her intercession during these difficult times, every Friday in May, as part of our #FaithFriday on social media, we have posted a new video featuring IMS students from our network of schools in their distance learning classrooms praying the rosary "together"! A big thank you to Alex Noguerola, AP at DePaul Catholic, for producing these videos, which you can watch and pray along with anytime:

Joyful Mysteries : DePaul, St. Veronica, St Cyril, SMdP & St. Barnabas

Sorrowful Mysteries (St. Raymond, SMT, St. Gabriel, OMSSI & St. Malachy)

Glorious Mysteries ( St. Raymond, St. Rose of Lima, St. Gabriel, St. Thomas & DePaul)

IMS Network Holds First-Ever Virtual UN-Gala
On April 30th, we had a network first: a virtual Un-Gala which was held for the benefit of St. Rose of Lima (who had to cancel their annual in-person event). We celebrated the virtual Un-Gala with a Day of Giving where we brought the spirit of St. Rose of Lima directly to their supporters through recorded messages by teachers, parents and students .

Even during these difficult times, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we not only met, but surpassed our goal! Thank you to all who participated in our St. Rose of Lima Un-Gala!

We look forward to bringing the success of this virtual event to the other schools in our network.

COVID-19 Emergency Fund
Thank you to those who have already given to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund ! This fund will help schools alleviate challenges, from purchasing Chromebooks to basic operating support. Your support will make an immediate impact in the lives of our students.
We Are Still Enrolling for the 2020/21 School Year!
IMS schools are actively enrolling for the 2020/21 school year ! Did you know that word of mouth is the #1 way that most of our families hear of us? That's right, YOU are our best marketing tool! Please help us reach families that are looking for a school for their child - let them know about our network of 15 Catholic schools located right here in Philadelphia! Spread the word by following IMS on social media and sharing our posts with your network. Refer new families through our Family Referral Program (see your school's website under "For Parents").

Are You Following IMS?

In a world of social distancing, social media may be our best bet for staying connected and supporting one another during this difficult time. If you're not already, there's no time like right now to start following IMS on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn . Simply scan our social media QR code with your Smartphone! We're always sharing photos of distance learning across our network of 15 schools, as well as weekly regulars like Monday Motivation, Testimonial Tuesday, Why IMS? Wednesday and Faith Friday! Together, we will get through this!