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Dear Catholic School Families,

Classes have now been in session for more than two months for most of our schools. Through your ongoing partnership and the hard work of our teachers and staff members, we are fulfilling our commitment to safe in-person learning. We have received praise from the region’s education and public health leaders and most important, from you, our families.

While we appreciate how far we have come in a short and difficult time, the gains we have made could be lost if do not continue to follow the important health and safety guidelines put forth at the beginning of the year. In every instance where a cohort has been quarantined, or in-person instruction has been paused the infection has been traced to a social activity away from the school where participants did not adhere to guidelines on physical distancing and mask wearing. These have included carpooling, dance classes, sports leagues, multi-family parties, etc. As the Chicago Commissioner of Public Health pointed out yesterday, these are also the causes of widespread increases in infection rates across the state and nation.
 
The pandemic is forcing us to make significant sacrifices for the common good. With four children in Catholic school, I can relate to the effort required to follow protocols and rules, as well as the disappointment and frustration of forgoing favorite athletic and social activities. To be clear if we are to keep in-person school a reality for our students, we must limit our exposure to other households, we must refrain from some of our normal social activities and we must be steadfast in distancing and mask use in general. This is particularly important as pandemic fatigue sets in, the weather cools and the holidays approach.
 
If we, as a faith community committed to each other’s well-being and as school communities committed to the social/emotional value of in-person instruction, buckle down over the coming months we will continue our success. It will be hard, but with God’s grace and a love for our children, we will do this together.
 
Finally, I once again invite you to take a minute to complete our
Safety Pulse Survey. Tracking your opinions over time will help the Office of Catholic Schools and your school’s leadership focus on areas in need of improvement. This survey will be open through Friday, Oct. 23.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
#SchoolHero
Congratulations to this week’s featured heroes!
 

Bronwyn Azzarello, fifth-grade teacher at Most Holy Redeemer School

Lauren Gillis, second-grade teacher at St. Francis de Sales School

Sue Canzoneri, principal at Immaculate Conception School - Talcott

Follow us on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more school heroes. Nominate your #SchoolHero on our website
Family Faith Formation Resources
Now that we’re more than two months into the school year and students are in a routine, it’s a good time to consider our faith and prayer routines, as well. Here are some faith formation resources you can incorporate into your daily and weekly home life:

How to Get Kids Excited About the Mass – 9 Tips from Ascension Press

40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home – Free Booklet from Loyola Press
Do you have a favorite school tradition?

Does your school have a tradition that your family enjoys? Tell us about it and what it means to your student(s) and family. Please send an email to us at schoolmarketing@archchicago.org, and we’ll share your story along with others from around the archdiocese.

Golden Apple Nominations are Now Open

Reminder: Nominations for outstanding educators and school leaders from public and private schools in the state of Illinois are welcomed and may be entered for consideration at www.goldenapple.org/awards. Teachers of pre-k through third-grade students and pre-k through 12th-grade school leaders are eligible for the 2021 awards. 

Have questions? Your principal is the best first contact about operations, safety procedures and academics as they are best addressed at the school level.
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Archdiocese of Chicago, All rights reserved.


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