April 9, 2020
I hope you and your family are staying healthy and that you have had the chance to get outside the last few days to enjoy the weather. As many of you know, I have great respect for our first responders who risk their own lives for the protection of all of us. Whether it be a person in the military, civil services, in our healthcare system, or a single citizen willing to step up to help another person in need, I want to thank them all. They are truly the heroes in fighting this epidemic. I pray for them daily and I hope you do as well.
At Notre Dame Parish School, we continue to do our part through elearning in this era of isolation and social distancing. It is during this time that I have seen some fantastic teaching over the last couple of weeks. Just recently, I have seen our Language Arts teacher, Ms. Bourjaily, sing a lesson to the tune of Hamilton from her home. I have seen Prek 3 and 4 have a “Show and Tell” where students have selected items in their homes and tell the rest of the students what they use it for. I have seen 4th grade students continue to work on their curriculum fair projects. I have also seen one of our elementary teachers use her five-year-old son to show what objects float or sink from her kitchen table and then categorize them on a poster board. I am truly amazed at the quality and creativity of our teachers. We are lucky to have them.
In addition to our incredible teachers, I am equally amazed at our parents who have stepped up to help our students at home. Finding a quiet place for students to learn, setting them up with computers, logging them into Zoom or Flip Grid, monitoring their progress, answering questions, helping them with homework. It is great to see and hear parents in the background as students are engaged with their teacher. It makes me smile and sometimes I have to laugh when they dodge in and out of the screen trying not to be seen. It is truly a blessing to see.
In conclusion, I know that we all will persevere and get through this. As we approach Easter, it becomes more and more pressing that we pray for the safety of our first responders and those who have the COVID-19 virus. Please join me today, Holy Thursday, to watch the Living Stations prepared by the 8th grade class. Good Friday services and Fr. David’s Easter Vigil Mass Saturday at 5pm will be streamed via Youtube. Please join us. We will resume elearning on Monday, April 20th. Be safe, be vigilant about staying home, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Have a Blessed Day and a Blessed Easter,
Mr. Thomas (Tom) Smyth Ed.S.
Notre Dame Parish School