COVID-19 Communications

Zoom expectations as our students are participating in both in-person and virtual learning.

Expectations for Parents

  • Set aside a quiet, calm and distraction free space for your child(ren) to work from every day.
  • There should be no background noise (examples: people talking, television, music, etc.)
  • Have all materials ready to use in the work space area.
  • Create a visible schedule for your child(ren).
  • Ensure virtual learning equipment is ready to use and charged.
  • Help your child check Seesaw and Google Classroom each day.
  • Stay in consistent communication with your child’s teacher. .

Expectations for Students

  • Sign-into Google Classroom or Seesaw every day and complete assignments on time.
  • All students should be in SJP2CA uniform.
  • Join online class sessions as scheduled and on time.
  • Maintain expectations that classroom teacher has assigned for “Zoom Rules” (example: if your child is expected to remain on mute during direct instruction, please make sure this is happening).
  • Ask for help if you need support! We are here for you!

Please understand that we recognize this is a shift and a lift for families who may be working from home as well, however, each time there is an interruption it is a loss of instructional time. We ask that you partner with us to ensure that our students are able to maximize the amount of time on learning each and every day!

10/6/20 Letter to SJPIICA Families

October 6, 2020

Dear Families and Friends,

At SJPIICA, we have been thrilled to have been able to open for live and remote instruction this year, during a pandemic. We know there have been some challenges and we are grateful for your patience and understanding during this pandemic. Our mail goal has always been to offer our students and families a loving and caring Catholic education in a safe environment.

Our families have excelled at supporting current students and other families through mask wearing, washing hands, social distancing and keeping children home if they are sick. These measures have allowed us to open and stay open. You have truly made a difference.  Unfortunately, the virus is strong and is spreading.

Since August, SJPIICA and other Boston Catholic schools have been working with our local and diocesan authorities to make sure your children are safe and able to learn. We have been learning how to live and teach with COVID 19.

Weekly, we have received the latest COVID positivity rates and trends in our neighborhoods and the city at large through Zoom meetings with city officials. The numbers in Boston have risen over the past three weeks. We are currently waiting on updated numbers for this past week from city officials. As the numbers increase, safety for our students, families and teachers have become even more paramount.

If our numbers continue to trend and rise, we will shift to full remote learning until the positivity numbers decrease. Our teachers are prepared and will make the shift immediately. We want to share this information while families have time to prepare for child care and a shift in their daily routines.

We know that remote learning is not the best form of instruction so we are grateful for your understanding. We believe offering our students live instruction is the best option but during this pandemic, it is not possible. Our goal is to reopen for live instruction as soon as it is safe. We anticipate we may have to close for a few weeks and our goal will be to reopen for live instruction as soon as it is safe.

Once we have more information, we will share it with you. Let’s continue to pray for our school community and world as we live with COVID 19.

God bless,

 

Kate Brandley
Regional Director

Parent Letter 10-6-20 >

8/12/20 Letter to SJPIICA Families

Dear Families and Friends,

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We have missed seeing you each day this past spring and summer. I want to start by thanking you for your support and patience as we continue to work through the complexities of bringing our students and staff back this fall.  The last several months have forced us to adjust everything we do in our lives and have affected our ability to count on the normal routines we both need and enjoy, including summer programs, travel, and even returning to school.

We are deeply committed to ensuring the loving nurturing Catholic School environment will continue. We will not relent on our commitment to academic excellence in a loving and caring environment. We know that all students flourish in our Academy when they interact with their teachers and students. Live instruction is the best option for most students. Social emotional learning and mental well-being are a priority from the moment they return.

The spring emergency closure of school, and the abrupt and challenging transition to remote learning, emphasized the fact that nothing can replace having our students in front of our teachers and staff.  We share the goal expressed by the Catholic Schools Office and the Massachusetts Department of Education of bringing our students back to in-person learning this fall; however, I know that we all share the common goal of returning safely.  The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority and serves as the lens for all of our planning.

Our reopening planning process began internally during the month of June, and accelerated once the school year ended with the release of DESE’s “Initial Fall Reopening Guidance” on June 25, 2020 (http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/return-to-school/) and we have reviewed subsequent documents from DESE.  With the support of the Board of Trustees, we formed a COVID school opening committee with a broad representation including a Board member, member of the Campaign for Catholic Schools, administrators, content area directors, guidance, nursing, teachers, and parents.

Thank you to our families for filling out our survey. We received responses from 49% of our families. This data was so helpful for our planning for the future. With your input in the parent’s surveys, following the guidelines of DESE, EEC and CDC, we have an active reentry plan.  This plan is fluid and will adjust throughout the year.  At SJP2CA, we want the very best for our students and their school experience, and we want everyone to be comfortable and safe in this journey.  Survey results are attached.

We are committed to opening schools for 5 days a week and ensuring that as many students using social distancing can safely be in our buildings under the direct supervision of a teacher.

In order to meet this goal, we have established these guidelines:

  • All children must wear masks entering and leaving our buildings. Each child in grade 2-8 must wear a mask at all times. For 2.9 to Grade 1 students, mask wearing is optional. (recommendation of the DESE)
  • Each child will be distanced 3-6 feet from another child (compliance with DESE and CDC).
  • Each child will be provided a Lightweight Portable Student Sneeze Guard Desk Divider for the school year.
  • All students will need 3 cloth masks for the school year which must be washed regularly.
  • All students will stay in their classrooms for instruction.
  • Lunch will be eaten and provided in each classroom.
  • New guidelines have been created for gym, music, art, recess, dismissal and entry to school with guidance from DESE and the CDC.

All families will have the choice of in person learning or virtual learning. We have updated our infrastructure to support virtual and remote learning. All classrooms will be outfitted with technology to stream the lessons and activities live each day. If a child is sick or quarantined this will allow the child to continue to participate and learn. If we need to shift to remote learning at any time, we will be able to do so swiftly and without disruption to learning. As we did in the spring, we will provide Chromebooks for any child who may need technology. We would ask you to please email your Campus Principal by August letting them know if you will choose live or remote learning for the fall.

With parent, teacher and staff feedback, we will streamline the platforms used by our teachers and staff. SeeSaw will be used in 2.9 to grade 3 as their remote learning platform. Grades 4-8 will use Google classroom. All teachers will have professional Zoom licenses which will allow for small groups for learning, tutoring and coaching. We also hope it will make virtual learning smoother.

Title I students will continue to receive tutoring services in person or remotely.

Our teachers have participated in professional development in June to improve their skills with virtual and remote learning. Professional development will continue throughout the school year.

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are being prioritized with enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols, temperature checks and symptom screening. Our nurses are prepared to support our children and families through this pandemic. All supplies have been ordered and have arrived. We have set up a comfort and care room at each campus for those who show signs of illness waiting to be picked up by their parents. Students may not come to school with a temperature at or above 100. We will take our students and staff’s temperature as they enter the buildings.

Our custodial company will continue to clean daily and nightly with added efforts around high traffic areas. Teachers will clean desks, chairs and other pieces of furniture each day. Many soft toys, rugs and other school supplies that may hold the virus have been taken out of the classrooms.

Plexiglass has been installed in each main office. Hand sanitizer, gloves and masks will be in each classroom.

Before and After School Programs will not be available until a later date.

Many of our routines and protocols have been adjusted to ensure safety and social distancing. Our campuses will have staggered times for drop offs and pickups. All Principals will have detailed plans applicable for their community and building.

These plans may change if our state or city sees a spike in COVID cases. We will certainly listen to the recommendations of the Mayor of Boston and Governor Baker. We have the capacity at this point to pivot to complete online learning if necessary. We cannot predict the future but with everyone’s diligence around social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting, wearing masks etc, we will lessen the spread of the virus. SJPIICA will make changes to our current plan immediately to provide all children, families and staff with a safe learning experience.

The last academic year showed us the importance of communication. At SJP2CA we believe that is key in all we do. We will continue to communicate the changes as we begin the new journey together and welcome your feedback and input. It is crucial for an open partnership between home and school for the overall achievement of the children.

Like many of you, I have been watching around the world and our country as states and school districts release their plans and we have studied many of them. It will be a new normal and no one plan, strategy, guideline or executive order will return us to what was. We do know however, that as we emerge,  strengthened by our faith in Christ and accompanying each other on this journey, we will be stronger and deeply committed to leading our students to a path to success!

God bless,

Kate Brandley

Regional Director

 

Known, loved and called to excellence

 

COVID-19 Update - March 27, 2020

COVID-19 Update – March 27, 2020

Dear SJPIICA Families,

We hope this email finds you healthy and staying positive during these unprecedented times.  We realize this time is incredibly challenging for our families. We are so grateful for your support and communication with the changes due to this pandemic.

I wanted to share a few updates.

Remote learning has been implemented in all grades and our wonderful teachers are doing their absolute best to stay connected to our students and families, making sure high-quality learning is happening for our students.

At this point, the Governor has mandated that all schools are closed until May 4th and this includes SJPIICA.  At our January MAP testing, our Academy tested above average in relation to the national averages in growth in reading, math, language and science. We know that time out of school has not been optimal for learning yet learning has been happening. We are hopeful we will be able to return in May and we will work to assess gaps and make adjustments with instruction to prepare our students for the fall. Our fall MAP testing will continue to identify areas of need and we will use this data to guide instruction and support to help our students

Our families are doing a tremendous job of working with our students at home and sharing their progress! We miss our students and your photos, emails and social media posts have been affirming and helpful. Please reach out to our team if you need any assistance, we are here for you and we will get through this together!

As a school, we take great pride in employing the most talented and competent teachers and caring staff. While we are committed to compensating our team while we are closed, we also understand that making tuition payments at this time is challenging for our families. All of us at SJPIICA need and rely on tuition payments to operate our school and serve our students and families even through remote learning.

If this situation is significantly impacting you financially, we definitely understand and ask that you reach out to us to Judith Walker at tuition@sjp2ca.org or Mark Hegarty at mhegarty@sjp2ca.org. We are able coordinate a delay or hold on your tuition plan. The Catholic Schools Foundation is offering emergency funding for K2- grade 8 students who are in need of special tuition assistance due to COVID-19 situation.  Please continue to reach out to us and share with us your situation so we can help. 

On behalf of our leadership team and teachers, thank you to all parents and guardians as you walk this journey with us. We would also like to thank all family members who are working on the front lines of this pandemic. We have created a video as a way of letting you know that you are loved, appreciated and are held in prayer. The school song in the background is sung by our Fine Arts Director, Mary Hebard. Link is: https://youtu.be/R1jxobBZMyA

The Dorchester Reporter highlighted SJPIICA in their recent issue. https://www.dotnews.com/2020/st-jpii-academy-prepares-long-haul-online

SJPIICA is a family and together with God, we are stronger than any pandemic. Thank you for working with us. May God continue to protect all of us as we move through these days.

God bless,

Kate Brandley

Regional Director

COVID-19 Update: Title 1 - March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Title 1 – March 16, 2020

Good afternoon,

Title One teachers will be sharing intervention materials weekly with families during the school closure.  Instructors will also be available via email to answer questions, provide explanations for activities and make additional recommendations for remediation.  Instructors will be electronically available via email during the school day that your student received services.  For example if your child had intervention on Tuesday and Thursdays from 10:30-11:00. Please expect email response to any questions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Full time title one instructors will be available during the school week electronically via email Monday through Friday.   If you have any questions please contact your student’s title one instructor!

We, as always will be working to support your child’s educational needs.

God bless,

Kristyn Joy                                                                     Kate Brandley

Title I Coordinator                                                         Regional Director

Download the letter here >

COVID-19 Update - March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020

Good afternoon Parents and Guardians,

Change: 

We will only be open tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th for the distribution of lunch and breakfast between 9-11 am at the Regional Office.

We will give out all breakfast and lunch tomorrow for the entire week or you can visit one of the BPS distribution sites between 8:30 -11 am located at:

  • Boston Latin School
  • Lee School
  • Mildred School
  • New Mission High
  • Community Academy of Science and Health
  • Frederick Pilot Middle School
  • McCormack School

We hope this helps.

God bless,

 

Kate Brandley

Regional Director

 

View the 3/16/20 letter here >

View the 3/15/20 letter here >

View the 3/13/20 letter here >

COVID-19 Update - March 15, 2020

COVID-19 Update – March 15, 2020

Good afternoon,

Boston Public Schools will have distribution centers for breakfast and lunch meals for our students who participate in the free and reduced lunch program.

These centers are as follows:

Boston Residents:
Pick up Locations for Free and Reduced Lunch Locations:

  1. North End at Gassy Park/DeFillippo Playground 135 Prince St. Boston
  2. Charlestown at the Boys and Girls Club 15 Green St Boston
  3. Food and Nutrition services Central Distribution Warehouse (loading dock on Quincy St) 370 Columbia Road, Boston
  4. YMCA
    215 Bremen St. Boston

SJPIICA will distribute food on Monday at our campuses between 9-11 am. Please bring a bag for your items.

We will distribute bagged lunches for two days of food at the Regional Office on Tuesday and Thursday between 9-11 am. Beginning the week of March 23rd, families will need to go to a distribution center until otherwise notified.

We are closing the Regional office to protect our employees and the public. We will continue to monitor the needs of our families and help as much as we can.

Please continue to communicate with us as we move forward. Let us continue to pray for each other and our world.

God bless,

Kate Brandley
Regional Director

Joshua 1:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

COVID-19 Update - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update – March 13, 2020

Good afternoon,

If you ordered lunch for the next few weeks and are NOT on the free and reduced lunch program. You will not be charged for lunch.

If you ordered lunch and your child participates in the free and reduced lunch program, your breakfast and lunch will be available as listed:

Monday, March 16th between 9-11 am: at your child’s campus

After March 16th, all food will be distributed from the Regional Office between 9-11 am on Tuesday and Thursday.

We will let you know the schedule for the week of March 23rd next week.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Duggan at kduggan@sjp2ca.org

God bless,

Kate Brandley
Regional Director