April 1, 2020 - Anchored in His Love
Hope - St. Therese & St. Francis Xavier
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, HOPE , 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 HOPE 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.
 
E-learning Update
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.
 
COVID-19 Update
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 mdevine@stisdiore.org. 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. Click here to view the agenda. Click here 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!
 
God bless,
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 rmotas@stisidore.org. Scrip e-cards provide an easy way to shop while supporting SIS.
Prayers
Please pray for all those who are suffering or in need of our thoughts and prayers, especially Will Pringle and Mrs. Koskowich's sister who are both ill. Please pray for the grandmother of the Chatman Family who is recovering from surgery and all those affected by the Coronavirus across the globe. May God keep them in His tender, loving care.
PTG News
Calling all interested and energetic families! Do you want to be more involved in the school? Do you have ideas on how to make our school even better? Here’s your chance!  We are in the process of accepting nominations for the 2020-2021 PTG Board Vice President , as well as shadow positions for President,   Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary for ‘20-‘21 and continue on for the ‘21-‘22 school year. Other fantastic opportunities available are Sip & Shop Chair and Auction Committees. Please contact  ptg@stisidore.org  if interested or would like to make a nomination. Thank you to those who have already reached out to volunteer!

Dad’s Dodgeball and the Father–Daughter Dance have been postponed. If you purchased tickets at the auction, stay tuned for new event dates. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Library Corner
A message from Mrs. Lewis! Hi from the SIS School Library! I hope you all are settling into your new school routine AND finding lots of time to read these days. Here are several ideas to try something different while we are staying at home. I miss you all and cannot wait to open our library doors.

  • I highly recommend Libby from your public library. Libby is an audio/e-book resource with thousands of e-books and audiobooks. Click here to get started.
  • There are numerous sites, especially on Instagram and YouTube popping up recently with famous people reading picture books online. They are heartwarming and fun. 
  • Read a book together – the whole family chooses the book to be read aloud. Schedule a time, place, and don’t forget the snacks!!
  • Read a book aloud with a group of friends on Google Chat. Just like a book club but you take turns reading it aloud online.
  • Start a reading competition with your friends.
  • Take a good look at your book shelves…there are probably books just waiting for you to try but you were too busy. Now would be the time to dig in!

I just finished The Serpent’s Secret and The Storm Runner . These are two great new mythologies coming to the library! My next book is Archenemies , Book 2 of the R enegades . I’m so excited!! Whatever you choose, keep reading. It is a great source of comfort and entertainment. Let me know how you are doing and what you are reading!! I’m always looking for new stories to try. Click here to email Mrs. Lewis.
Counselor's Corner
Thank you to everyone who participated in our virtual spirit week. It was so fun to see your pictures! It was such a hit that we are carrying it to next week. Check out next week's spirit day themes! Click here to view class colors or wear your SIS spirit wear. Pictures can be texted to the school phone at 925.389.8190 or emailed to mdevine@stisdiore.org.

Check out these helpful tips:
  • Support for our Challenge Success Family during Covid 19: Click here.
  • A few good articles from Bay Area Parent: Ok, Teens what is your coronavirus plan? Click here.
  • Keeping your Cool from coronavirus quarantine: Click here.
Random Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness are deliberate attempts to brighten another person's day by doing something thoughtful, nice, and caring. Go out and spread kindness, SIS! Please let the office know if you do or witness a RAOK.
Everybody needs a buddy! The 5th grade students were recently encouraged to send their Kindergarten reading buddy a read aloud video featuring their favorite story. The kindergarteners adore the fifth graders and look forward to the weekly interaction. This SIS tradition does a great job connecting the older students with the younger students.
Pictured is 5th grade student Reagan Fullerton videoing her read aloud for her Kindergarten buddy, Isabella Bialy. Good Job Reagan!
Support Loaves and Fishes! Loaves and Fishes is working hard to help those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.  As of Monday, March 16, all four dining rooms are serving meals in "to-go" containers as well as filling grocery bags with food for those in need. They are asking for donated bags (plastic, paper, reusable). They are using approximately 1900-2500 per week. The number of people being served is growing rapidly so please consider helping Loaves and Fishes during this critical time.
Message from the Bookkeeper
St. Isidore School Tuition Assistance Applications: Tuition Assistance applications for students in Grades 1 through 8, for the 2020-21 school year are now available on the school website, click here . Please complete and return to the bookkeeper no later than Monday April 20, 2020. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Melanie Fake at mfake@stisidore.org .
SIS Family Highlight
Say the 2019-2020 School Prayer with your child! This year's prayer, inspired by our 2019-2020 school theme " Anchored in His Love " was written collaboratively by the current 8th grade students along with the Staff Religious Committee. The students enjoy saying it together during morning assembly. We hope you enjoy saying it too.
Room Parents Needed
Calling all interested room parents! Planning for next school year is already in full swing. If you are interested in being considered for a room parent position for the 2020-2021 school year, please email Rory Motas at rmotas@stisidore.org by Friday, April 3rd with your name and grade of preference. Click here for the Room Parent Job Description.
Parish News & Notes
Join us for Mass! St. Isidore posts Mass at 3 PM daily on the Facebook account (St. Isidore Church Danville - https://www.facebook.com/StIsidoreDanvilleCA/ ). It will be on there until 3 PM the next day when the new video of the mass will be posted.
Receive Parish Updates! If you would like to receive updates from St. Isidore Parish, please follow the directions below to sign-up for Flocknote. 
  • Option 1 - To sign up via a text, just text SIFN to this number 84576 and the reply text will share the link to sign up. 
  •  Option 2 - To sign-up via the web, click here. .
ALL ABOARD the SIS Summer Faith Camp! Don't miss the Rocky Railway 2020 where Jesus’ Power pulls us through! Click here for more information. Please note teen volunteer sign-ups will open after Easter.
School Sponsorships
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