June 26, 2020
Dear Preschool Families,
I hope that this note finds you well and that you have had a wonderful first week of summer!
Last week, you should have received an email from me with an update about preschool re-opening based on the information that I had. As a reminder, preschool students are currently scheduled to return the week of August 24 th . It remains to be seen if this date will need to be altered.
In formulating re-opening plans, I am very conscious of the balance that keeps the health and safety of our students/staff/families as a top priority, but also maintains the integrity of what preschool is meant to be. It’s intended to encourage a child’s overall development through play learning. It also strongly emphasizes those social-emotional skills which will help children to develop self-worth, to learn compassion and kindness, to build relationships, and to respect the world and people around them. With that being said, I am sure that you recognize that social distancing for preschoolers is not realistic. There are things, however, that we can do to minimize exposure to other children while still allowing for those vitally important social experiences. I am continually working with our preschool re-opening task force, our parish leaders, and the other Diocesan preschool directors to develop plans to maximize safety while preserving what is necessary for a preschooler’s learning. 
In my previous email, I also mentioned that Governor Cooper was scheduled to make an announcement about phase 2 of his re-opening plan. As you are probably aware, he is continuing this phase for another three weeks due to the rise in the number of COVID cases in our state. Next week, around the first of July, he is supposed to provide more information about the re-opening of schools for the upcoming year. Following this update, the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) of the Diocese of Raleigh is meeting with all preschools and schools on July 6 th to discuss Governor Cooper’s plan and what it will mean for the schools within the diocese. Shortly after this, you will hear from me about how preschool will be affected. You may also know that the governor has asked all K-12 schools to make 3 plans for re-opening. The options include: in-person, virtual, or a combination of in-person & virtual learning. For preschools there are only 2 plans: in-person or a delayed opening. Virtual learning is not meant for preschoolers. We were able to implement it this past Spring because each class and family were already well-established. Expectations and the routine of school were familiar. Needless to say, anything less than an in-person start to our school year would not be ideal. 
Since things are still so uncertain, we will continue to be diligent about making our plans for students to return, getting necessary safety supplies, and keeping our families as informed as possible about next steps. I am sure that, even with some new procedures and modifications to what has previously been done, we will be able to welcome our students again! I also believe that any changes will also present opportunities for growth. I know that our dedicated teachers will find ways to embrace any changes and help students navigate them too. In working cooperatively, we will keep the foundation of what makes our preschool so vibrant and special! Thank you for supporting our school and making this unprecedented journey with us!  
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or additional thoughts. Although I am generally not at preschool since parish offices remain closed, I can receive messages by phone or email. 
I send my prayers to you for continued health and all good things this summer!
With Joy,

Heidi Hobler
St. Francis of Assisi Preschool
11401 Leesville Road Raleigh, NC 27613
919-847-8205 ext. 240