Weekly Update
John Thornburg
Headmaster
thornburgj@maldencatholic.org
Dear Parents,
 
Hello! I hope you have been well and had a restful weekend. It's hard to believe that we are in the last few weeks of the school year and summer is quickly approaching. It's been incredible how our faculty/staff and students have adapted to distance learning and we will end the year strong, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. This is a testament to the MC spirit which is such a tremendous part of our culture. Our close knit, family-like atmosphere has never been more important than during this crisis. I want to thank the families that have risen to the occasion and provided us support, ideas and resources to make sure everyone in our school community knows they are valued. It does take a village and our MC families have demonstrated how our community is like no other. Thank you!

We are continuing to move forward with our strategic planning efforts. As you remember, we sent out surveys earlier this year to obtain feedback from parents. This feedback was shared and discussed with an MC steering committee made up of faculty, staff, parents and board members. As a result, we identified six "buckets" or themes that will be the foundation of our next strategic plan. I have prepared a short video with more information to keep you in the loop.  

Additionally, Malden Catholic will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 25. Classes will not be held.  
 
Thank you for your prayers and support.
 
John K. Thornburg
Headmaster
What's New?
Shifting my Classroom - From 101 to a Laptop
With school remaining closed longer than initially anticipated in response to the Coronavirus I quickly realized that reviewing previous lessons, providing enrichment materials to enhance learning, and communicating with students and their families through Google Classroom, LancerLink, and emails would not be enough. I needed to shift to a more robust model of distance learning that would allow for new assignments and new concepts. I have found in my years of experience that there really is no one-size-fits-all way to teach in either an actual classroom or in a distance learning context. What works for one teacher or student will not necessarily work for another, so, I decided to identify what I do best and stick to that as my focus. My usual concerns about preparing meaningful lessons and worrying about the physical, social, and emotional well-being of my students and colleagues is heightened these days. I teach 95 young men in my four English classes. My hour-long sessions meet twice a week from home using Zoom, a video conferencing program. While this setting is not Room 101, it does allow me to adapt the same lessons that I would have been teaching in the classroom to accommodate remote learning. There are still lectures, discussions, readings, note-taking, brief video clips, questions and answers, quotation analysis, vocabulary, and writing. Teaching Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the research paper, a senior requirement for graduation, have proven to be quite challenging. Preparing my AP students for their newly revised 45-minute examination has been especially difficult.

Getting myself and my students acclimated to distance learning has had its ups and downs as well. My mornings commence with a quick check into Google Classroom to see if students turned in their work. I respond to countless emails throughout the day and night, prepare my lessons, teach during Zoom sessions, and correct papers. I consider myself a hard worker to begin with, and I find myself working longer and harder than I have ever worked before. I can glance at each of my students to gauge their understanding and attentiveness only briefly as I move from one screen to another, and when I am screen sharing, hardly at all. Minor disruptions such as ringing cell phones sometimes disrupt the class when students forget to mute their microphones and parents or siblings do the same when they inadvertently walk in front of students’ screens, vacuum, or engage in loud conversation. While our students do have personal laptops and/or iPads, some unfortunately do not have access to the internet at home. Despite all of this, distance learning seems to be working. It is important for students and teachers to stay connected.  
 
I am encouraged by the way my colleagues and I are adjusting to online instruction. Those of us who were new to the technology figured it out and are excelling! I see the biggest hurdle that distance learning poses lies in the fact that we miss being at Malden Catholic. Going to school is simply a way of life. We get up, we go to classes, we learn, we have fun… sometimes, we build relationships with one other, we go home, and we do it all over again the next day. I think that what keeps remote learning going for us is the fact that we built relationships before our school closed on March 13 and that MC has united as a family, adapting and working through these challenges together!
 
Until we can all be together again…
Stay well! Stay safe! Stay in!
 
Thoughtfully,
Ms. Angela Lee
Coffee Hour With Headmaster Thornburg
Headmaster Thornburg, along with Senior Administrators Brother Puccio, Robert Bucchino and Jeff Smith, will host a Coffee Hour this Wednesday, May 20 to discuss the plans for the Malden Catholic Senior Class of 2020 events and graduation. Please join us for the GoToMeeting at 4 PM.

The plans for celebrating the Senior Class of 2020 are available on the MC Website under Student Life/Seniors.

Senior Spotlight
In honor of the Class of 2020, our stadium lights are illuminated daily from 8:20 p.m. (that’s 20:20 hours military time) to 8:40 p.m. until June 20, 2020. This symbolic lighting of the stadium for the duration of 20 minutes starting at 20:20 hours demonstrates our pride for the Class of 2020. Additionally, leaders in our Senior Class will be featured over the next few weeks at Gilbert Stadium while maintaining appropriate social distancing.

Headmaster Thornburg kicks off our Senior Spotlight with this special video message.
Senior Lawn Sign Video
Last Tuesday, every Malden Catholic Senior had an in-person visit from a member of Malden Catholic's faculty, staff and administration including Headmaster Thornburg, Brother Puccio and Principal Cenca. This was just the first of many special surprises and treats we have in store for our AMAZING Seniors. Congratulations to each and every one of you!
Friday Funday - MC Art Contest
Congratulations to MC's Got Spirit winner, Sebastian Vasquez '23. Way to go, Sebastian!

Our next Friday Funday's challenge will be an MC Student Art Contest. Students are invited to create a piece of art in any style (ie; portrait, landscape or still life) using any medium. Take a picture of your creation, and submit your photo to Mr. McCormack at mccormackj@maldencatholic.org by Friday at noon. The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate!
Girls Lacrosse Team Continues Their Training
According to Coach Erin Brogan, the Girls Lacrosse team has kept their focus on improving themselves as athletes both physically and mentally during their time apart. While they all would have loved to spend this spring on the field, part of being an athlete is adjusting and they have adapted a great “adjust we must” attitude. The team has shown tremendous self-discipline by keeping their stick skills and fitness sharp, but most importantly they are committed to keeping their team cohesion and building a strong team culture through weekly Zoom calls. It is the drive to improve -- together -- that is so impressive!
MC Senior Visit Day
MC Seniors will be able to enter the Malden Catholic facility for a special visit tomorrow, May 19, to clean out lockers, pick up a "Class of the Quarantined" t-shirt, receive health records/stored medications and take photos with the Headmaster and Brother Puccio. To honor CDC guidelines, a limited number of Seniors will be allowed in the building at a time and masks are required.

May 19th
Period A - Mr. Cleary - may enter the building from 8 AM to 9 AM.
Period E - Ms. Lee - may enter the building from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM.
Period F - Ms. Lee - may enter the building from 11 AM to Noon.
Period G - Ms. Lee - may enter the building from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.
Campus Ministry
Morning Prayer
Campus Ministers, Dr. Baccari and Ms. Foley, have provided us with a morning prayer that features the poem, Falling in Love by Joseph Whelan. Prayers are created Monday through Thursday and available on MC's YouTube Channel.

Virtual Lunch
Students are invited to check-in and connect with Campus Ministry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for Virtual Lunch from 11:30-12.

If you are interested in attending, please email campusministry@maldencatholic.org.
Moms in Prayer - Tuesday at 5 PM
Campus Ministers, Ms. Foley and Dr. Baccari, would like to invite all MC moms to join Moms in Prayer on Tuesday, May 19 at 5 PM. This is a great way to connect with other moms during the school year.

Ascension Thursday Prayer Service
Information for All
Students Doing Their Part to Help
Along with so many restaurants, Turner's Seafood in Melrose has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 quarantine. As a family business, everyone has worked hard to adapt and contribute during this challenging period, including Maddie Turner, Grade 10. Maddie has been helping her family safely prepare meals to-go and if you are looking for a great take-out dinner this week, be sure to call Turner's Seafood.

Julia Kruse, Grade 9, and her family have also been working together each week to provide to-go meals for My Brother’s Table in Lynn. My Brother's Table is a food pantry that offers over 100 bag lunches and hot meals for individuals and families in need. Way to go Julia, thank you for your leadership! If you are interested in assisting with to-go meals program, check out the link below. 

Governor Baker Announces Phase 1 of Reopening
Today, Monday, May 18, Governor Baker announced the first phase of reopening Massachusetts amidst the COVID-19 virus. Phase 1 will include:
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Hair salons/barbershops
  • Office spaces
  • Car Washes
  • Places of Worship
  • Outdoor Recreation

These places will abide by social distancing rules and will start opening operations on Monday, May 25.