"The Messenger"

          September 25, 2020
     Vol. VIII, No. 4
St. Michael's Academy
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St. Michael's Academy 


Historically, one of the highlights of the year, is the annual Walk-a-thon. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we will not be able to conduct it during the school day this year. Very sad...I know it's one of the most popular days of the year for everyone (especially me!). However, we don't want to eliminate it for two very good reasons:

First, the Walk-a-thon is a great event to promote physical fitness and social interaction, while having a lot of fun. And secondly, the Walk-a-thon is one of two major fundraisers that SMA conducts each year to support our budget and to keep tuition at a reasonable cost. Last year we raised over $21,000 and our school needs that to happen again this year.

So, this year we're conducting a virtual Walk-a-thon. We're hoping (counting on) our families embracing the idea and running (walking) with it! In your child's backpack today, is paperwork outlining the specifics. Please take time this weekend to review it and to begin making plans with your child(ren). Half the fun for the kids is planning, discussing and anticipating the event...don't miss out on that. The other half will be in spending a great time with your family. There are a few ideas of places and things to do farther down in the newsletter. And when it's all done, you'll be patting yourself on the back for organizing a good time with your family and supporting the ongoing mission of St. Michael's Academy! 

Enjoy a nice weekend!

Ms. Ann E. Dougal

 Extended Day Program

Before and After School Billing

The invoices for the Before and After School billing will begin going home today.  Please note that these invoices are due on a weekly basis and should be paid before Wednesday of the following week.

Thank you!

 Remote Learning
Attention...Remote Learners!

We want to make sure we include YOU in our newsletter! You can email us some photos or examples of the things you are working on at home or you can even submit a brief article and update us on what is going on in your world! Items can be emailed to n.coley@smaspringfield.org and, if appropriate, you might see it in a future issue of the Messenger!

We are ALL part of the SMA family!

School Safety

 From The Nurse

We have been in school for three weeks now! It has been great to see so many of our students for in-person learning! It has also been wonderful to hear from our remote learners joining in daily to participate in the learning experience!
As allergy, cold, and flu season begin, at the same time we are dealing with Covid-19, some questions have arisen about what to do if your child is ill or exhibiting Covid-like symptoms. Hopefully we can help resolve some of those questions here. We are following all guidelines from the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and the Diocese of Springfield Catholic Schools Office (CSO).

What is the Daily Student Wellness Check Form?

The Daily Student Wellness Check Form is a list of symptoms that should be referred to daily before you send your child to school. It is very important that you utilize the Daily Wellness Check Form to assist you in monitoring your child on a daily basis. The form is located under the Nurse Office link on St. Michael's Academy website. If you check off any of these symptoms, on the list, you should keep your child home and call the School Nurse (413-782-5246) to discuss the symptoms. Together you and the School Nurse can partner on deciding the best way to proceed so that you child may return to school in a timely manner.

What if my Child is ill? What should I do?        
First, keep your child home. Then call the School Nurse to discuss the illness. You should also call your child's pediatrician to determine the need for an appointment or Covid-19 test. The current recommendation is that the default practice is to have a Covid -19 test. Your provider and the School Nurse can assist you in locating local testing centers.

Does my child, who has symptoms with an alternative diagnosis, such as strep throat, still need a Covid test before returning to school?

In order to protect schools from the introduction of Covid, testing of symptomatic individuals should be the default practice. Students with sudden new symptoms (especially respiratory such as cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or fever should almost always receive a negative Covid test before return to school.
Health care providers have clinical discretion to consider chronic illnesses or symptoms such as headache, abdominal or gastrointestinal symptoms and use clinical judgement to defer testing when an alternative cause is established.

My child has seasonal allergies. 
Can they come to school?

It is important for you to partner with the School Nurse and your child's pediatrician to document a seasonal allergy issue. That will allow the School Nurse some discretion when assessing your child for referral for further evaluation.
My child has asthma and will often have a cough due to a flare up in asthma symptoms? What should I do?

It is important for you to partner with the School Nurse and your child's pediatrician to document your child's asthma diagnosis. That will allow the School Nurse some discretion when assessing your child for referral for further evaluation. Also please provide the school nurse with an inhaler and spacer for school with doctor orders. The School Nurse can assist you in obtaining these items.

My child has a headache or runny nose, 
what should I do?

If your child has these symptoms, refer to the Daily Student Wellness Check Form. If your child has just a headache and no other symptoms, he may come to school as long as they can participate fully in the in person learning model.
If your child has a runny nose or nasal congestion that is new in combination with other symptoms, please keep your child home. If the runny nose is due to documented seasonal allergies and your child has no other symptoms they may come to school as long as they can participate fully in the in person learning model.
In an effort to maximize the health and safety of the St. Michael's Academy community, our collective health relies on all of us (students, parents, and staff) adhering to the guidelines outlined in the Daily symptom checklist and remaining home if ill.
Thank you for partnering with us in keeping everyone healthy!  If you have any other questions, please feel free to call  me.
Nurse Maureen Penna, BSN, RN
(413) 782-5246

From The Classroom Of Mrs. Cullen - Counseling

Welcome Back - Strategies For Success!

I am blessed to be in my third year as a School Counselor here at SMA!  It is a very odd start to the school year for all of us.  I have been supporting all teachers and staff in welcoming back our old students (via computer and in the classroom) and getting to know our new students!  I also have been one of the many community adults supporting the physical, emotional, social and spiritual safety/well being of our students. Eventually, I will get back into the classroom to deliver a variety of wellness lessons as I did last school year.

Please continue to ensure that your children are eating well, getting a good night sleep, establishing study spaces in the home free from distractions, and using their planners to keep track of their work. More details about successful learning can be found here . This document has many links to other ways to take optimal care of yourselves. You also can find lots of information on our SMA website here. (under parents & guardians then Teacher Websites).

Please let the homeroom teachers know if you have concerns about your child and they will reach out to me if I can provide any additional information or help needed.

A quote..."The only constant at this time is that there WILL be changes" (UGH) - As God tells us in John 16:33..."...in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  

I am not sure about each of you but I find this a very difficult time especially during the pandemic, political tensions, social justice issues and personal struggles. However, when I do lean back on this amazing promise by sitting quietly with God, I do find peace even if only for a few minutes.  

May we remember God's peace never leaves us!

Mrs. Deanna Cullen
School Counselor

 New From Grade 2
Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!

The 2nd grade celebrated Johnny Appleseed's birthday today.  The students wrote in their journal about their favorite apple dessert, made a Johnny Appleseed booklet, and tried Macintosh apples!  


Join Us At Mass

Don't forget... St. Michael's Academy has a daily Mass beginning at 1:35 p.m. Each day a different grade will have the opportunity to attend Mass with Fr. David Raymond and Deacon John Miller. 

Why not join us if you are able?!


The Walkathon Is Approaching! 

Need Some Suggestions On Where To Walk?

For An Outdoor Family Hike Or Walk:
  1. Ashley Reservoir - Holyoke, MA (NO dogs allowed)
  2. Enders State Forest - Granby, CT (dogs allowed)
  3. Fanny Stebbins Memorial Wildlife Refuge - Longmeadow, MA (dogs allowed)
  4. Forest Park - Springfield, MA (dogs allowed)
  5. Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary - Hampden, MA (NO dogs allowed)
  6. Ludlow Reservoir - Ludlow, MA (NO dogs allowed)
  7. Mt. Tom - Holyoke, MA (dogs allowed)
  8. Quabbin Rerservoir - Belchertown, MA (NO dogs allowed)
  9. Robinson State Park -Feeding Hills, MA (dogs allowed)
  10. Stanley Park - Westfield, MA (dogs allowed)
  11. Peaked Mountain - Monson (dogs allowed)
  12. Mount Holyoke Range - Amherst (dogs allowed)
  13. Mt. Monadnock - Jaffrey, NH (feeling ambitious?)
For An Indoor Walk:
  1. The Holyoke Mall - Holyoke
  2. The Eastfield Mall - Springfield
  3. Tower Square - Springfield
  4. An indoor track at your local high school or college
  5. The Springfield Quadrangle Museums
  6. Make a course in your house and include stairs if you have them!
  7. Know anyone with a treadmill?
  8. Know anyone who works in an office building with lots of stairs?
  9. Live in an apartment building with stairs?
For An Urban Walk
  1. Plan a course in your neighborhood if you live in the city
  2. Take your dog for a long walk
  3. Take a walking tour of Springfield
  4. Visit downtown Northampton for a walk
  5. Walk the Fresh Paint Mural Walking Tour in Springfield (download the guide here.)
  6. Visit the steps of Springfield City Hall - there's a lot of them!
  7. Make a day of it and go to The Hartford Riverwalk
  8. Get crazy and visit Boston!
The possibilities are ENDLESS!

And don't forget....Friday, October 9th will be a remote learning day for ALL students.

Food For Thought

"Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you."

                                  - St. Thomas Aquinas
 Prayer Corner

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us! 

We pray for our brothers and sisters across our nation and across the world. May God give everyone strength during these especially stressful times.

We pray in a special way for all of our families and friends.

We pray for our recently departed and for all those lives that have been taken by the Covid-19 virus across the world.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. 

Thank you for your interest in St. Michael's Academy. To ensure receipt, please add smanews@smaspringfield.org to your address book. 

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