As excited as we are to have our PreK – 2nd grade students back in the building, our hearts sank on Wednesday when the Key Indicators of covid positive cases were released. The jump from 53 cases per 100,000 to 86 cases per 100,000 is distressing, though not unexpected as we watched the daily numbers rise. Our 3rd-5th grade teachers have their rooms ready to welcome back students, but we have to do this safely. One of the takeaways from bringing in the younger grades is that we need to do it slowly, as so many regular routines have shifted and new procedures need to be implemented. It takes time for the students to adjust to multiple hand washings, constant distancing, and sitting in their desks for so long each day. Our younger grades have done an exceptional job of following the new protocols and we know it will be the same once we can bring our older students back!
Once the positive case numbers start a downward trend, we will begin the process of bringing back our intermediate level. We will start with 3rd grade for two days, followed by 4th grade for two days, with 5th grade joining at the end of that week. This will give time for both students and teachers to adjust. Let’s just pray that it happens sooner than later.
This Thursday, October 15th at 10:15am is the “Great ShakeOut”, a world-wide earthquake preparedness drill. Over 18.6 million people from around the world and over 690,000 from across the state will spend 60 seconds practicing, “Drop, Cover and Hold On” procedures to be used during an earthquake. Each year we participate in the drill and though many of our students will be home for it this year, our teachers will have a remote drill for them. Students here in the school will observe the drill as usual. Living in the earthquake prone Pacific Northwest, it is important that we continue to prepare our students for the possibility of an earthquake. Whether at home or school, knowing to Drop, Cover and Hold On is an important routine to practice.
Thursday is also a Spirit Day celebration of the national WNBA championship won by the Seattle Storm! Mrs.Thole, Ms. Lamb and the Kindergarten class asked to proclaim Thursday as green and yellow free dress to honor the team. No need to buy any special Storm gear, just dress in the team colors of yellow and green, even if you are a remote learner at home!
Finally, just a reminder that this Friday, October 16th there is NO SCHOOL, either in-person or remote as our faculty and staff will be participating in our Archdiocesan “Christ in the Classroom” retreat. The foundational retreat format rotates each year between the six Tasks of Catechesis outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Knowledge of the Faith, Liturgical Education, Moral Formation, Learning to Pray, Education for Community Life, and Education for Mission.
This year, the archdiocese has chosen our retreat topic to coincide with Moral Formation and we will be breaking open the United States Bishops’ pastoral letter, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, their 2018 Pastoral letter against racism. The power of this document (and its accompanying study guide) is obviously extremely poignant at this time in our shared history and we look forward to spending time examining its elements.
Have a great week!