"The Messenger"


            September 4, 2020
     Vol. VIII, No. 1
St. Michael's Academy
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St. Michael's Academy 

 :

I cannot tell you how happy we are to welcome back our students to St. Michael's Academy. The faculty and staff have been working overtime during the month of August in order to prepare for their safe return and we are ready to get to work!

Following are a few very important back to school reminders:

In-School Learners:

- School officially begins on Tuesday, September 8th for students in grades 1-8. Students should wear their dress uniforms on Tuesday. After Tuesday, students may wear their gym uniforms on their scheduled PE and Health days. Our PreK and Kindergarten students will begin on Thursday, September 10th. Please remember that this first week will be half days with a noon dismissal. Full days will begin on September 14th. The breakfast and lunch program will begin on Monday, September 14th when we begin full days.

Morning Drop Off:

- Morning drop off will begin at 8 a.m. Traveling the one way pattern around the school (click here to download map), parents should drop off their child on the school side of the street. Students should have their masks on as they exit the car and proceed directly into the school building. Teachers and staff will be positioned both outside and inside the building and will direct children to their appropriate classrooms. All students should arrive to school no later than 8:30 a.m. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we ask parents not to enter the building during morning drop off.
 
- New this year is the PreK drop off door located on Arvilla Street. Parking on the school side of Arvilla Street is reserved for PreK parents only for unloading purposes.

Dismissal:

- Dismissal car lines will be long this year. Due to a lack of buses and no after school program for at least the first two weeks of school, everyone must prepare themselves to practice patience. New this year, we will have three car lines: 
  • Wheeler (last names ending A-M)
  • Eddywood (last names ending N-Z
  • Arvilla (all PreK students and their older siblings).
 
The PreK car line will need to form on Arvilla Street and cross Wheeler Street to approach the PreK dismissal door on Arvilla. Fortunately, we have a four way stop sign at the corner of Wheeler and Arvilla and with good safe driving skills and basic courtesy, we should be able to make this work.
 
- The Eddywood car line needs to understand that the Arvilla PreK car line will need to cut through the line in order to keep their line moving smoothly (again, good safe driving skills and basic courtesy).
 
- Teachers and staff will be positioned at the corners to facilitate the car lines as we settle into our routine. Returning parents, please remember that the new parents need time to learn the car line routine. Everyone needs to remember to move slowly, both at arrival time and dismissal time.

Walkers:

- Walkers will be dismissed when we can see the end of the car lines. This timeline is in place strictly to discourage parents from parking on the side streets in order to avoid the car lines. Walkers are defined as students who walk home from school.

Early Dismissal:

- If a student needs to be dismissed early from school, they should be dismissed by 2:30 p.m. A note should be sent in to the teacher in the morning notifying the teacher of the early dismissal and the reason for the dismissal. 

- Parents should not enter the building after 2:30 p.m. to request early dismissal for their student simply because they are discouraged by the length of the car line.

- After 2:30 p.m. our students are in various stages of preparing for dismissal, and asking office staff to locate your student at this "organized chaos time of the day" jeopardizes everyone's safety. If parents have other individuals picking up their children, please advise them of our dismissal procedures. 

Please remember, car lines are always slow going during the first few weeks of school. Once we all become adjusted to the procedures, the lines will move faster.

Remote Learners:

- During the first week of school, teachers will be primarily focused on transitioning the "in school" students safely into the school routine. A good portion of each half day will be spent practicing routines and understanding safe environment language. Therefore, as noted in our Remote Learning Handbook, we will officially begin delivering remote learning on Monday, September 14th. However, during the first week of school, grade level teachers will touch base with their remote learners.

We are looking forward to delivering remote learning to our students. New technology has been purchased and the teachers are very excited about using it. We have also increased our broadband to the maximum level. The only question remaining is how our broadband will respond to all the new technology being used all at the same time. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Grades 5-8 textbooks for remote learners are ready for pick up. When all the workbooks for Grades 1-5 are delivered to school, we will notify those parents of a pick-up time.

Returning To In-Person Learning From Remote:

As the year progresses, parents may decide to have their remote learners return to the classroom. To accommodate this desire, scheduled transition days will occur on the first school day of each month. For example, the first transition day of this school year will be Thursday, October 1st. These designated dates allow both parents and school to prepare for a safe return to the school setting for all students.

We look forward to teaching the students both in school and remotely as we work together to educate the whole child: spiritually, academically, socially, physically and emotionally. Thank you for your patience and support as we transition our students back into their learning environments. Please know, your children are our children. We will do everything in our power to provide for their safety and well being.

May God bless all of us throughout this new school year.


Ms. Ann E. Dougal
Principal



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St. Michael's Academy 
153 Eddywood Street - Springfield, MA 01118
www.smaspringfield.org
413.782.5246 office 
413.782.8137 fax