News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.5, August 27, 2020
"God sends us friends to be our firm support in the whirlpool of struggle. In the company of friends, we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal."
~St. Maximilian Kolbe 

Building a community of support is important at The Atonement Academy. Even with our COVID-19 precautions, we are always aware of the need to help our scholars and their families create a community that strengthens and empowers us.
Mrs. Fitzgerald took this great photo of her entire kindergarten class. Note the students "present" on the laptop: the remote learners!
REMOTE LEARNING
 
Electing Remote Learning for the 2nd Quarter 
 
While we are glad to be offering Remote Students the academic excellence an Atonement education affords, we certainly look forward to seeing them on campus again soon. As we have asked families to renew their choice to continue Remote Learning on a quarterly basis, please note that the first quarter ends on October 9th.  Families who wish to continue Remote Learning for the second quarter should email Mrs. Powell (apowell@atonementonline.com) their intention to do so by September 25th.  
 
Remote Learning FAQs
 
Although there are no updates this week to the Remote Learning FAQs, families should be familiar with them whether or not they have chosen Remote Learning. Even Traditional Students may need to transition to Remote Learning if, for example, they are required to quarantine at any point. The latest version of the Remote Learning FAQs may be found here.
 
Office Hours for Remote Students
 
Zoom office hours provide an opportunity for Remote Students and parents to check in with teachers and ask questions about work assigned for the week. Teachers will post a link exclusively for their Remote Student office hours on the LMS. Student attendance at these meetings is entirely optional. The teachers’ office hours are listed here.
GENERAL INFORMATION

UPCOMING LABOR DAY HOLIDAY

The upcoming Labor Day holiday may be a compelling time to get together with friends and family, but please do exercise every precaution regarding exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Our health coordinator, Dr. Tovar reminds us: "For the first time in months, we have seen a decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. During this holiday weekend, let us continue to work together and stop the spread of COVID-19. Per the Texas Medical Association, 'a student is considered to have been exposed if he or she traveled to an area with high community transmission of COVID-19 identified by a federal, state, or local health authority (within the last 14 days).' Thus, if you are traveling during this holiday, please check the area’s COVID-19 statistics before traveling." See additional information in Dr. Tovar's article below.

SCHOOL UNIFORMS
 
The Atonement Academy will continue to accept any reasonable substitute for any uniform item out of stock. If you have any questions, email Mrs. Powell at apowell@atonementonline.com.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS

During this most unusual time, our precautions for COVID-19 spread include limiting volunteers on campus, too. That said, many of our teachers would welcome assistance with tasks that can be done at home or, on a very limited basis, in the classroom. For Lower School, check with your child's teacher; for Middle and Upper School, contact Mrs. Johnston Let your teachers know if you have some time for projects!

SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS

Mrs. Johnston is accepting applications for the substitute teacher pool. See her announcement later in this newsletter.
NOTA BENE: NOTE WELL

Thank you for partnering with us to carry forward the mission of Catholic classical education in these challenging times. Please remember that our comprehensive Safe Return Plan and all updates and revisions will always be sent first to your email inbox and then will be posted on our website at this link.

August 28
Upper School Picture Day
(On Campus Students: 1:00-2:00 p.m.; Remote Students: 4:00-5:00 p.m.)

Upper School Tea (2:00 p.m. in Library)

September 4
Coffee with Mr. Watson (8:00 a.m. in St. Anthony Hall)

September 7
Labor Day (and Fr. Lewis's Birthday)

September 10
Holy Name of Mary Commemoration

September 11
Parent Teacher Conferences (Student Holiday – No Classes)

Always check our school website for updates and details.
IMPORTANT NOTES FROM OUR HEALTH OFFICE

Carline and Walk In Temperature Checks

Just a quick note to remind you to wait for your child to be cleared after temperature checks during the morning drop off. Please remember, carline starts at 7:25 a.m., any child dropped off before that time needs to be dropped off at St. Anthony Hall for before school care.
 
Even if you let your child walk from the parking lot, we need to see you to give you the "thumbs up" after the temperature check. It is best if you walk with your child to the entrance. Please remember that if your child is running a 100 °F temperature, we cannot let your child in the building for the safety of the whole school. Please wait for the "thumbs up" sign before walking away.
 
Daily Self Checks

Please check yourself and your family on a daily basis for the following symptoms:
 
New onset or worsening cough OR shortness of breath OR difficult breathing;
 
At least two of the following symptoms: fever of 100 °F, chills, muscle ache, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell);
 
And no alternative more likely diagnosis (e.g. asthma, heat exhaustion, dehydration -- for people with chronic allergies/asthmatic cough, a change in baseline uncharacteristic of underlying illness, especially after treat­ment is administered).

Also, for your reference, a Metro Health screening tool may be found here. 
 
Upper School Students (Who Drive Themselves)

If your Upper School student drives himself or herself to school, please advise the health coordinator.
 
2020-21 Flu Season

Flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be likely spreading this fall and winter. Thus, it is more important than ever to follow CDC recommendations that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine. Please visit the CDC website to get more informed about the flu shot: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm
 
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Tovar at (210) 695-2240 or via email at health@atonementonline.com
ATHLETICS UPDATE FROM COACH VIDAL
 
Our Middle School teams are hard at work with their practices alongside our Upper School practices. We are moving forward as both of governing leagues have come out and stated we are still having fall sports. We are looking forward to hosting our first athletic events on campus since early February, and welcoming fans back little by little. For indoor fall sports, we will be limited to 60 fans, being split half and half for home and away team spectators. Outdoor fall sports will have a limit of 100 fans, being split the same way.
 
This past week, we had our Upper School fall sports teams take their team pictures. Our three varsity teams and their coaching staff are featured below.
Varsity Cross Country Team
Top Row: Head Coach Jennifer Gray, Coach Bridget Kennedy
Middle Rows: Matthew Petroff, Madelyn Landry, Nathan Groh, Madison Vale, Xavier Magallanes
Bottom Row: AnaMarie Santos, Victoria Watson, Madelline Magallanes (Not Pictured: Andrew Sackett)
Varsity Football Team
Top Row: Coach Michael Hegedusich, Ian Pro, Head Coach Dakotah Vidal, Gabriel Wendtland, Coach Robin Cox
Middle Row: Mason Wendtland, Andres Sanchez, Mick Skeens
Bottom Row: William Jones, Michael Cantu, Nicholas Cosnowski, David Henriquez
Varsity Volleyball Team
Top Row: AnnMarie Groh, Talen Skeens, Coach Alejandro Oliveros, Katie Cerda, Sian Wendtland
Middle Rows: Coach Megan Alvarado, Isabella McHugh, Katherine Monroe, Hannah John, Daria Cosnowski, Karolina Garza, Head Coach Alex Alvarez
Bottom Row: Perla Robledo, Jordan Davis, Lauren Dietert-Deschenes
Booster Club Registration 2020-2021

From our Booster Club President Brian Schott and Vice President Chris Wendtland: Booster Club registration is now open! The Booster Club is looking for dedicated individuals who are looking to provide the best support for the student-athletes of The Atonement Academy.

The Club will be having Officer Elections at the September 9th meeting. They are currently looking for officers to fill the following positions:

Treasurer

Ensures all money from Club activities is properly accounted for and exercise adequate controls to safeguard assets (cash and inventory). Term limit of one year.

Secretary/Membership

Keeps minutes at all officer meetings. Maintains a roster of current booster club members. Works with the Treasurer to ensure all dues are paid and up to date. Term limit of one year.

Communications

Maintains communications for all booster club members and update booster club news via the sports website. Updates the sports website with information on Crusader merchandise. Works closely with the Secretary. Term limit of one year.

We will be having a few fundraisers this year with the goal in mind to raise the rest of the funds for a new scoreboard on Crusader Field. We have meetings the first Wednesday of every month in the conference room of the school. We look forward to welcoming new members this year, and a great start to the 2020-2021 school year!

For membership information as well as officer positions, contact Coach Vidal at dvidal@atonementonline.com or Brian Schott at btschott1@gmail.com.
KING'S FAIR IS COMING!
SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS NEEDED

Interested in working with students from time to time, as your schedule allows? Take a look at this announcement from Mrs. Johnston about joining our pool of substitute teachers!
YARD SIGN SALE -- AND DRAWING

Get your "Crusader Family" yard signs on Monday, August 31st and Thursday, September 3rd, during afternoon carline or unless other arrangements are made. Here is the link for the $10 “contactless payment” to prepay for a yard sign. 

To enter the drawing, send in your yard sign photos to Ms. Nieto at anieto@atonementonline.com.

We will have a drawing for a $50 gift card as well as a "swag bag": a gym bag with two coffee cups, a water bottle, a Christmas ornament, and a few other Atonement Academy branded items.
SAVE THE DATE: THE BIG GIVE IS SEPTEMBER 10

Funds will be used for Security Access Controls for our main entrance, as well as for the new building and teacher entrances.
FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: ANA POWELL

What do you currently teach, and what do you enjoy about it?
I am currently the College Counselor and School Counselor at The Atonement Academy. I have been at Atonement for the past 14 years and have taught for most of those years. I began as the fourth grade teacher then moved to middle school where I taught English, Religion, and Athletics at different times. During those years I became the school counselor. Three years ago I stopped teaching to focus on college and school counseling. I find it very rewarding to help our upper scholars hone in on their college choices and get their acceptances.

What do you most appreciate about teaching at The Atonement Academy?
There are many things I appreciate about The Atonement. What I appreciate the most is the Mass and the strong Catholic faith that is reinforced each day. During my work day, I go to Mass daily and receive Christ in the Eucharist; I am truly blessed.

What are you looking forward to during the 2020-2021 school year?
I have been looking forward to this school year since May! For me, the need to get back into a routine and have some normalcy was great. While this year presents many challenges, it is also a chance for us to have many rewards. For example, I was honored to teach fourth grade for the first day of remote and the first two days of school. This type of opportunity would not have come my way in a normal year. I am also comforted knowing members of our school community (students, teachers, staff, and administration) are doing all they can to keep me safe while I am here. I enjoy the energy the students bring to the campus while they are here.

Tell us a bit about yourself: how you spend your leisure time, or what you are reading right now, or a favorite inspirational figure or quote, updates on you immediate family, or the like.
The month of August has been a month of celebrations and change for our family. August 2nd my husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. We spent the day in Fredericksburg and had dinner. On August 14th we took our oldest daughter back to college to begin her sophomore year at the University of Dallas. My oldest son began his sophomore year of college at home. Finally, our youngest who is a 7th grader this year at Atonement, had her 13th birthday on August 16th. Our family is excited to see what this school year will bring.

What is something you wish we had asked?
Where did I work before I came to Atonement? I worked for NISD for eight years as a Texas History teacher at Stevenson Middle School. Mr. Chude and I actually worked on the same hallway for one year and we both came to Atonement the next year. One of my former students from Stevenson has their children here at Atonement. 

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: DANIEL ROSA

I graduated from The Atonement Academy in the class of 2015 and from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in the class of 2019. During an amazing senior year at the Atonement Academy, I proudly remember winning our first football game of the season in San Marcos. As the clock showed 0:00, I walked off the field arm in arm with my classmate and friend Gabriel, tears in our eyes and joy in our hearts as we began an incredible campaign finishing the season 7-3. We had a brief playoff run for the first time in our school's football history. 

In the next four years, I obtained a BBA in Marketing from the Cox School of Business with a minor in Spanish. By God's grace, I traveled the state, the country, and the world for academics, for job searching, and for mission.

After four mission trips, three Catholic conferences, and several retreats during my time with SMU Catholic Campus Ministry, I discerned to join the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) immediately after graduating. On a day to day basis, I serve with three teammates on a college campus to win souls for Christ, build the Kingdom of Heaven, and send students out as missionary disciples to continue the work of evangelization (we are pictured below). Our apostolate serves at over 180 campuses worldwide with around 800 missionaries. After serving at Rice University in Houston my first year, I now serve at Texas A&M University - Kingsville for my second year. The larger group photo depicts the larger FOCUS group that was commissioned to serve a variety of locations.

God has blessed me with time, energy, and fervor to immediately give back what I've been gifted. It remains in the forefront of my heart that not everyone can serve as a missionary full-time. All the skills I developed in leadership roles at The Atonement--from the choir loft, the altar, the field, and the classroom, all the knowledge from my classes, and all the deep friendships--paired with a wildly transformative experience at SMU have led me to truly see myself and others as beloved children of the Father in search of our Eternal Home. God has been overly generous to this little servant, and now, I get to say thank you by giving back.

In my leisure time, I enjoy riding my bike, playing pick-up basketball, playing Minecraft with my high school friends, and learning. I learn by reading fiction books (currently the Harry Potter series), listening to podcasts (currently the Lanky Guys), or catching up with friends. 
BIOLOGY LAB MOVES TO ST. ANTHONY HALL
Miss Gray's Biology class conducted their lab in St. Anthony Hall to adhere to social distancing protocols, and there was a remote student that was also participating in the class. Students obtained water samples from the fountain located outside of the Church and examined microorganisms. Miss Gray explained, "After learning about one of the ten themes of biology, cells make up all living things, the class took to their microscopes to investigate microorganisms found in water. It's always a joy to see the students get excited when they discover something new!"
SCENES ON CAMPUS

Depicted here are Miss Szyszkiewicz "elbow bumping" her class to greet them at the door as well as upper scholars at work in their classroom. Lower scholars are also quickly getting into routines and displaying their classwork in the hallways.

Also, remote learning includes experiments, as Mark Lane shows as he follows along with Mr. White's directions. Additional photos show lower scholars enjoying mask-free time and lunch in their classrooms as well as new student Tyler Herrera.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

Join us on social media! Even if you are not one to post your personal activity, it IS a vehicle for information and engagement with our school!

FACEBOOK is an online social media and networking platform that uses the written word, photos, and videos to communicate with the world.

The Atonement Academy page is our public page. Anyone with an account can see the information here, so it is great for getting information out to the public and advertising our school to interested families. "Like" us on Facebook and ask your friends to do so as well! It can be a great venue for us to share all the good news about our school community! The page is managed by school representatives.

Atonement Exchange is a private group. Participation is limited to currently enrolled families and graduates of our upper school. A series of qualifying questions must be answered before a person is allowed to join the group, and at the beginning of each school year, the group is updated with our current families. It is a great private forum for our Atonement community to exchange information, books, uniforms, photos of school sports and events, and parent formation ideas. Posts to the Exchange are managed by school personnel.NOTE: There is still time to advertise and trade or sell your gently used textbooks and uniforms on the Exchange!

Atonement Sports is a public page that is managed by our department of athletics. School sporting events and photos are promoted on this page. "Like" the page on Facebook to follow sports-related information and activities.

INSTAGRAM is an online, worldwide photo/visuals platform.
Our account is found under theatonementacademy and is managed by school personnel. It provides visual content similar to what is found on The Atonement's Facebook public page.
The Atonement Academy, founded in 1994, is a PreK through 12th grade Catholic, classical school. It is the parish school of Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church, one of the founding parishes of the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter, established by Pope Benedict XVI and located in Houston TX.