Happy April, St. Isidore School!
“HOPE means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen.” – Romans 8:24
Reflecting together on a different Gospel Value each month provides an opportunity to align our intentions, attitudes, and perspectives. This month’s Gospel Value,
, defined by Wikipedia as an “optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation or desire,” comes at the perfect time! I know we all hope to see each other soon, all hope to put this behind us, all hope for a quick return to normal life, and all hope our loved ones remain safe and healthy. Having
is easy when life is going according to plan. It is during the unexpected and undesirable that we struggle to find it. I encourage you to stay true to this Gospel Value, lead with hope and navigate with love.
During the past two weeks, our school communities shifted from “brick-and-mortar” classrooms to remote learning, embracing new forms of “hospitality, fraternity and solidarity.” We have remained in communion with students, families and our faithful God. Virtual morning assemblies, daily announcements and prayer have allowed us to be together as one community of faith.
The teachers and I are working tirelessly to create remote learning plans to provide relevant and meaningful instruction. We recognize this new format of instruction cannot completely replace learning experiences that take place within the normal school day. However, our creative, talented and dedicated teachers have embraced the challenge! They are using technology and a wide variety of approaches and resources to engage, enrich and meet the needs of our students.
There have been challenges along the way, as this is new for everyone. We know coping with everything can be challenging. It is important for you to do what is best for your family. We want students to focus on the core subjects of reading, math, writing and religion. I am confident our Long-Term Dismissal Plan for sustaining student learning will improve with each passing week, especially as our collaborative efforts evolve. We appreciate your continued patience as we learn and grow together to meet the needs of our students and you as parents. This has been a shift for all of us.
It was announced yesterday that the Bay Area shelter-in-place mandate was extended through May 3. We are also aware that Governor Gavin Newsome said that schools in California will not return this academic year. We are working closely with the diocese regarding this information as we do not know if we will return to school either. I would expect that we will follow the Governor's comment but, we have not received official word from the diocese yet. We will keep you apprised of any change or updates as soon as we know more. Thank you for your continued support during this time.
Staffing Needs during Long-Term Dismissal
The activation of our Long-Term Dismissal Plan and transition to online learning required the evaluation of the work responsibilities impacted during this time. Part of the process involved making difficult decisions regarding the personnel needed for the remainder of April – and, possibly, the rest of the school year. Please know that any decision made does not come lightly, because the staff is like family. I have had the unfortunate responsibility of notifying multiple faculty members of layoffs if shelter in place extends past May 4. Those affected at this time are classroom assistants and select support staff. This call-to-action is not specific to our school alone; all schools in the diocese have had to make difficult decisions to adjust to our new way of operating.
I am grateful that tuition is still being paid and that our enrollment numbers for next school year are positive; however, the school operating budget relies heavily on fundraising revenue, which will fall short for the current school year. Please know, if layoffs occur, they are only for the last few weeks of this school year.
Rest assured that the school will be staffed as always and ready when you return. It is my goal to rehire so that our students have the support they need in the classroom. Our teacher:student ratio for next school year will stay what it is currently!
Principal Search Committee
As we stated last week, Father Moran is in the process of searching for a new principal. He has established a search committee, which includes several school faculty and staff members, school board members, members of our parish staff and Father Moran. He is also working with the diocese to gather qualified candidates. Interviews will begin in the coming weeks.
Online Safety: What is “House Party”?
In light of our current situation, most of us have seen a large increase in the number of hours our families are spending on devices, and monitoring screen time and content has become harder than ever. In our efforts to feel connected with family and friends, video and audio conference platforms have become extremely popular. Many young people are choosing to use the application House Party to video-chat with friends. As with everything on the internet, there are concerns, and your child’s content should be monitored. Please take a moment to
review the latest information
from Smart Social in regards to the House Party app. Internet safety is a concern for us all and, as an educator and a fellow parent, I am committed to passing on helpful tips.
SIS has SPIRIT!
Thank you to everyone who has participated in Sunshine Spirit Week thus far! Seeing your smiling faces truly does brighten my day. I speak on behalf of the faculty and staff when I say we truly miss our daily interactions and that life just isn’t the same without them. So keep sending in pictures and we will keep showing our SIS pride on Instagram and Facebook. Pictures can be texted to the school phone at 925.389.8190 or emailed to
Thursday is “How do you recess at home?” and Friday is the ever so popular “Pajama Day”! Due to the popularity of Spirit Week, we have extended the fun daily themes to cover Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
to view the agenda.
to view class colors.
You are remarkable
I want to take a moment to acknowledge all the parents in this community. I know under normal circumstances life is a juggling act and that each day delivers a never-ending list of to do’s. Combine that with our current situation, and life can feel chaotic and overwhelming. But I want you to know that you are doing great and that you deserve a pat on the back.
Keep going. You got this, SIS!
Maria Ward, Principal
PS. You should have received an email last week from Scrip regarding purchasing e-cards online. If you did not receive it or would like further information, please email Rory Motas at
Scrip e-cards provide an easy way to shop while supporting SIS.