April 29, 2020
4th grade students worked on Holy Week stained glass window projects -- click here to view a slideshow of some of their work!
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The O'Reilly Minute
Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that we have not been in school since March 13th. While the time has moved quickly because we have all been so busy trying to figure out the new normal, it has also been stressful: stressful for our country, stressful for families, and stressful for our teachers and staff. All of us had to switch quickly to different learning and work environments, and the learning curve has been steep. We have appreciated the feedback from our families and students. Our teachers and staff meet several times a week, providing feedback and supporting each other by sharing skills and ideas we are learning daily. All of this is really helping us to refine our e-learning practices. This time of reflection and feedback and trial and error is so important. These are skills that we teach our students every day. We talk about growth mindset with our students, and we talk about not being afraid to try and fail as long as we learn and try again. These are life skills that are the premise of being able to function in today’s world. Our quick transition to e-learning has magnified these skills for students, parents, teachers, and administrators.  

Based on feedback from parents, students, and teachers, we are going to further refine our e-learning practices and add what is called a FLEX Friday. All of our students will now have one day a week (Friday) when teachers do not assign new work for students.

FLEX stands for fun, leisure learning, emotional time, and extra learning and support.
On Fridays in May, beginning with Friday, May 8th, students will be able to focus on catching up on work from the week, getting extra help from teachers, working on special area subjects (art, music, physical education, and Spanish), working on their emotional health, trying a new virtual experience, being creative, and exploring.  

Teachers are going to allow all students to use Fridays as a time to regroup. This will help us to focus on the whole child, realizing the social-emotional impact of this e-learning and missing school routines and friends. Students will have extra time to finish up work they were doing during the week and to spend time in small groups to touch base with teachers. Teachers might set up social visiting groups that could include a dance party or sharing. If there are students who have regularly scheduled meetings with support staff (intervention, speech, OT, or counseling) on Fridays, these will still occur.

You will notice a change in the weekly agenda starting on Monday, May 4th. Friday will not have any new assignments, tests, or due dates. All of the special area subjects will now be listed in a separate box so that you can easily locate them. You can choose to do these assignments on the day your child would have had that class, you can choose any other day during the week, or you can use FLEX Fridays.  

The focus on emotional and spiritual health for students, families, and our teachers is an important piece of this refinement. A FLEX Friday model will allow us to better pace our week and make it work with all of the other commitments that must fit into our schedules. I am hoping this model will also allow more time for you to pray and be reflective, perhaps creating more time to attend the Thursday school Mass, to practice the meditation and Lectio Divina opportunities that our teachers are offering, and also to just have some time for FUN! 

Thank you to our parents for the great job you have done supporting your children and our teachers during this time. You did not know that you were going to suddenly be put in this role of supporting school at home. You have been patient, flexible, and understanding. We appreciate being able to partner with you to support our work with your children. Please know that we will continue to reflect, learn, and refine e-learning and blended learning opportunities.  

There is a wonderful article below from America magazine. The article shares the reflections of a parent now having the wonderful opportunity to attend Catholic school daily with his daughters. Please take a few minutes to read it sometime this week.  

Take care, and continue to pray for each other and for our school and parish,

Kathy O'Reilly
New Updates: E-Learning Resources
We have added many new virtual learning resources and activities to the E-Learning webpage. To view the items newly added this week, look for the red NEW icon.

Items newly added this week include:
  • New Flipgrid E-Show & Tell Talent Show videos
  • Book of the Day: Magic Tree House Home Adventures
  • WOSU Activities based on age: Dinosaur Train Jurassic Jr.
  • The Arts: Hamilton History Program
SPiCE Skillbuilding Scoop - Tips for Virtual School Success
By Mrs. Mazon, Intervention Specialist

Now that we will be in school mode at home for at least the rest of the year, here are some tips to help you and your kids get the most out of your day and stay sane! It is never too late to start good habits. Most of these tips are from a free online webinar from ADDitude. They offer many free resources for parents of students with ADHD. Though geared towards students with ADHD these tips would benefit many students.
Victory Gardens Inspire Wellness Gardens
The chilly spring weather in Ohio is almost gone! April 28th is our frost-free date! If those two thoughts don’t inspire you to get outside to plant a garden, then read this inspiration from The Old Farmer’s Almanac … https://www.almanac.com/gardening/grow-victory-garden-coronavirus

“The fight against Coronavirus has been likened to a war—some have even referred to it as “World War C”. World War I Victory Gardens were grown as fresh produce was scarce and mothers with children were at home.

Today, we also have more family time at home and our interest in fresh produce for healthy meals is ripe. Let’s plant a Victory Garden turned Wellness Garden in 2020! Your first spring crop can be salad greens grown directly from seed. Here is some help:

Take some pictures of your Wellness Garden and forward to mrs.iannarino@stbrigid-school.org
Also reach out to “Papa Jack” Rekstis at (216) 832-7666 (cell) or jack@rekstismediation.com with any garden questions.
Coming Soon: Hounds at Home: Parent to Parent Tips & Tricks for E-Learning
Are you looking for ways to keep your students engaged and motivated while learning from home?

Have you stumbled upon creative ideas that have helped in your home that you'd like to share with other parents?

Maybe you've invited a family member to be the "guest teacher" for the day via Zoom meetings. Maybe you've surprised your student with a creative way to make learning fun.

Hounds at Home will be coming soon! We are in the process of collecting helpful tips and tricks to share with you.  Please email Megan Wachalec at mrs.wachalec@stbrigid-school.org with any suggestions you would like to contribute. 
Read Aloud: The Story of the Oyster and the Butterfly: The Corona Virus and Me, Read by Ms. Williams
Our Guidance Counselor Ms. Williams recorded a read-aloud of The Story of the Oyster and the Butterfly: The Corona Virus and Me.

Take a few minutes to watch and listen to this great story read by a familiar voice!
Let's Stay Connected: Share Your Learning!
During this complicated time when we can't be together physically, let's lift each other's spirits and stay connected virtually!

We would love to see your photos of your children continuing their learning and creativity while social distancing.

Please share your photos and a short description via emailing them to Allie Wing at mrs.wing@stbrigid-school.org and they will be featured in the Wolfhound Wednesday as well as on our Facebook page. Feel free to also upload to social media and tag our Facebook page at facebook.com/stbrigidschool!
Jackson in Mrs. Troutman's class listening to his class sing him Happy Birthday!
Annabelle McCoy (Mrs. Springer's class) misses school and came downstairs ready to learn virtually in her uniform!
Cade (5th grade) read to his cousin on her birthday -- one of the activities on the BINGO board from Mrs DeSocio.
The Whites (Lexi, Max, Jaxon) inspired by Papa Jack and in celebration of Earth Day, started their indoor garden. They are growing tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, succulent plants and a snake plant named “Mr. Jack” (because he grows like a giant beanstalk).
Register for Bus Transportation for 20-21
The transportation departments from Dublin, Hilliard and Olentangy schools require all new and returning families to register your students for busing this fall. If you are a new family moving to the area, and don't know your new address yet, please contact them as soon as you have this information.

They would like these forms to be completed by June.

If you have any questions, please contact Megan Wachalec at mrs.wachalec@stbrigid-school.org.
PERC Dublin Resources & Update
PERC Dublin would like to continue to share some helpful resources with you during these unprecedented times.

  • Please be sure to check out Dr. Mike Patrick's podcasts for parents. He is a doctor with Nationwide Children's Hospital and hosts a weekly podcast. The newest one is called, "Academic Fitness during a Pandemic." It is available at pediacast.org
  • Also, Syntero is partnering with P.E.R.C. to provide virtual parent workshops in May 2020. The goal of these workshops is to provide education for parents and caregivers around topics related to mental health, well-being, and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please help us gather more information about timing and topics that you would be most interested in by completing this brief, anonymous survey: click here to take the survey.
  • Syntero has created a wonderful video for parents. It is titled, "Supporting your children while staying at home." Click here to view the video.
  • This fall, Syntero will be doing a presentation based on the books by Peggy Orenstein, "Boys and Sex," "Girls and Sex." You may want to start reading now.
SAC Applications Due Tomorrow - April 30
Take an active part in making our already amazing school even better. Apply for a position (3-year term) on St. Brigid's School Advisory Committee (SAC). The purpose of the School Advisory Committee is to provide the pastor of Saint Brigid of Kildare Parish and the principal of Saint Brigid of Kildare School with advice and to make recommendations regarding issues affecting the school.

The mission of the School Advisory Committee is to promote and support a distinctive religious learning environment that provides for the propagation of the Catholic faith and values, fosters academic excellence, and develops fully the intellectual, social, physical, and emotional capabilities unique to each student. SAC meets once a month during the school months on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 PM. Prior to applying, please consider if you can commit to this time commitment for a three-year period.

The deadline for applications has been extended to April 30, 2020 and they can be submitted via the link below. Please contact Ann Sage (annosage@gmail.com) with any questions.
Article: With my daughters ay home for school, I am finally getting a Catholic education
“Good morning, Reverend Brown Bears!” My wife stands at the kitchen counter, and my twin daughters rush to her side, belting roars appropriate to their school’s mascot. She is a school counselor, and if anyone has the patience and skill to handle two homebound first graders, it is her.

“In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We cross ourselves and then say the Our Father and the Hail Mary before asking Our Lady of the Lake to pray for us. It then gets silent for a few moments—a miraculous event for nearly 7-year-olds, accomplished by standing between them—as we send our special intentions to heaven and then conclude with an amen.

For my daughters and wife, this was nothing new. They have lived in the world of Catholic education. But for me this was a window into parochial education. It has been a revelation of sorts.
Alumni: College Signing at BWHS
Congrats to BWHS senior and St. Brigid alum (class of 2016) Ben Wilson on recently signing to play lacrosse at Ohio Northern University.

Congrats Ben!
Receiving the Eucharist During a Pandemic
By Brian Vetter, C.S.C.

Brian Vetter, a St. Brigid of Kildare parishioner since 2009 and St. Charles alumnus, is a seminarian in the Congregation of Holy Cross. He is currently at the University of Notre Dame studying for a Master of Divinity degree.

As I have been spending these days of quarantine in Moreau Seminary at Notre Dame, I have found myself unsettled by the fact that because I am in a seminary, I am still able to attend daily mass, something 99% of Catholics cannot do right now. I have often asked myself, “Why me? Why should I be one of the lucky few who still gets to carry on and receive the physical presence of Jesus every single day?” In asking this question, I have come to realize a simple and crucial truth: this is not about me.