From the Principal’s Desk – October 2020

Dear Families,

I hope you are all well.  It’s hard to believe that the first month of school is finished already. I want to thank you for your cooperation and compliance with all the new protocols. The children seem to be adjusting as best as they possibly can.  I know that it can’t be easy for them, but they are handling things very well. There have been times when I walked around the school just marveling at what I was seeing.  Pods of students engrossed in their work and teachers managing them so skillfully, as well as, engaging our remote learners on the screen.  I am quite proud of them all. Throughout all of what has been going on, there is hope for the future.  Our children are rising to the occasion, strengthened by the resilience and fortitude of the adults who love them. For this, I am truly grateful.

Some Important Reminders…

For Health and Safety

Please keep face coverings on and maintain social distancing at arrival and dismissal times. Daily health questionnaire should be completed by 7:30am, preferably online. Please call the school office if your child is going to be absent from school. Absent notes are required whenever a student has been out of school. Doctor’s notes are required if a child has had any Covid-like symptoms.

 

For Remote Learners

Remote students need to keep their cameras on when they are logged into their classes. Teachers need to know that they are present and are participating fully in the class. If a remote student is not presenting themselves to the teacher, they will be marked absent for the day.  Remote students will be held to the same standards as our in-person students.

 

For In-Person Learners

Keep the Four Core: Healthy Hand Hygiene /Social Distancing /Face Coverings /Stay Home if you are Sick.   In-person learners cannot become remote learners without good reason. Teachers prepare for their lessons for each group accordingly and cannot stop to gather books and other materials in mid-day. It is interruptive to instruction. 

 

Academy Updates

New Diagnostic Assessment Tool: i-Ready

Throughout this school year, our K to 8 students will participate in a diagnostic program called i-Ready, an online skills building program in English Language Arts and Mathematics that is designed to test grade-level mastery, meet students where they are, assess a range of skills, and let you know exactly what students need to learn. This program will be used to differentiate and personalize instruction to target growth and demonstrate progress. It will support teachers’ instruction and foster a data-driven culture of learning. Three times this year, the students will take a diagnostic assessment prepared for them.  There will be material that the teacher has not yet covered.  This is intentional. As the student answers questions correctly- the questions get more difficult, and as the student answers questions incorrectly, the questions get easier.  In other words, the diagnostic adjusts itself until the questions are well-matched for each particular child. It is very important that the children try their best, remain calm about the process, and realize that this diagnostic will positively impact their progress. Both in-person and remote learners should do their work independently to receive the most authentic picture of where your child is academically and more importantly where they are headed.  We want the children to be as excited as we are about the possibilities for learning.

 

TerraNova Test

TerraNova standardized testing will also take place in November this year for students in grades 3 to 8.

 

Learn It

Learn It is the agency assigned to SFA by the DOE for Title 1 Services.  They provide our academic counselor, Miss Kathy Palermo, to support learning, as well as, reading and math teachers to improve student performance. All of these services will be provided to the students remotely.

This year, we nominated as many students as possible because the students lost so much in-person learning time in the Spring. You will be contacted through an e-mail, if your child has been nominated, please consider taking advantage of this program.

 

Program For the Development of Human Potential (PDHP)

PDHP guidance services will continue at SFA with our new counselor Miss Nicole Rizzo.  She will be available (W/Th/F) both in-person and remotely on an alternate schedule. She will work with whole groups, small groups, and individual students.

 

Progress Reports

Progress Reports will be distributed through Option C at the end of October.

 

Faculty Retreat and PKFA PD Day

School will be closed for all students on Friday, October 30th for a Pre-School, K to 8 Faculty Retreat Day and PKFA PD day.

 

Please note that no class masses can be scheduled until restrictions from the Diocese have been lifted.  Meanwhile, we offer you prayers and best wishes for your health and safety through our daily decade of the Rosary.

 

Thank you again for all of your support.

 

 

Sincerely,
Ms. Stefano