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Continuity of Learning Plans and Resources

Upper School CLP

List of 9 items.

  • May 22, Week 10 Update

    Classes have ended and summer is beginning.  However, before moving into the dog days of heat and humidity that await us, we have to wrap up the school year first.  

    Here are a few updates:
    • Upper School Academic Awards will be announced next Friday, May 29. We will send out a link that day to the digital awards program, which will list the winners.  Some of the awards will have videos linked to them.  We will coordinate with families once all the physical awards have arrived on the best way to get them to the students.  The link will also be posted on the US website (www.stmkeepup.com) 
    • Locker cleanout and book collection will occur on June 1 and 2. The instructions for students to clean out their locker, retrieve their books, and return school textbooks are listed here.  Please be sure to read them carefully and let us know if you cannot come during your assigned time.
    • 4th quarter report cards will be available in early June.  When they are ready to be viewed in Whipple Hill, we will send out a communication with instructions on how to see them as well as some additional summer information you will need.
    • Below is a link to our parent survey about distance learning.  We would appreciate getting your feedback regarding the Upper School distance learning program.  Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us.  

    https://forms.gle/wZhnZ6cH34uxVaPWA

    While this school year was not like anything we had envisioned at its start, our community continually showed its strength and character in facing and overcoming the obstacles presented by this challenging time.  As always, please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or concerns.    

    Together we are Saints,  

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs
    Read More
  • May 15, Week 9 Update

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    Booker T. Washington once famously said, “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”  Going to classes, completing homework assignments, and taking assessments are common for students to do in school.  However, these have been uncommon and extraordinary circumstances the last two months.  

    As most classes finished today and we begin to wrap up the school year, we have to commend our students on the excellence they have demonstrated throughout this time.  They have been flexible, committed, and resilient.  We thank them for their dedication, we thank you for your continued support, and we thank our incredible faculty for the excellence they have shown in moving their classrooms and learning online.  This has been a truly collaborative effort, and we sincerely appreciate and thank everyone for their patience and perseverance.  

    Here are a couple of updates:
    • We are looking to schedule locker cleanout times for students. We have received numerous requests from students and parents about having an opportunity to come and retrieve items from their lockers.  We are planning to create a staggered schedule that will allow students to come into school and clean out their lockers while following the social distancing guidelines in place.  This will also be the time when we can collect state textbooks from students.  We will communicate the specific dates and times for locker cleanout and book collection once we have finalized them.
    • AP exams will continue next week. AP exams started on Monday and will continue through the end of next week.  As mentioned before, students in these classes have been informed by their teachers of the date, time, and format of each respective exam.   
    • Our Virtual Art Show is now live.  Our Fine Arts Department has worked very hard and done an incredible job in putting this show together.  We sent the link for the program out earlier this morning, but we included it here as well.  Please congratulate everyone involved in making this possible!

    Fourth quarter grades and final report cards will be ready in early June.  We will communicate with you once they are ready to be viewed in Whipple Hill.  Thank you again for the great privilege of educating your children.  As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.  

    Together we are Saints,

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs
    Read More
  • May 8, Week 8 Update

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We come to the end of another week, and we are nearing the end of the school year with most classes finishing next week.   Please encourage your children to have a strong finish for the year; specifically, we want to make sure that they complete and submit all of their assignments.  As a reminder, some AP classes will continue meeting the week of May 18-22 if their exam falls within that week.  

    We know that this situation has been challenging and exhausting for all of us.  As the year draws to a close, we continue to pray for God’s strength and resolve for all those in our community.  We appreciate your support and gratitude throughout this time, and we hope that you and your family stay healthy and safe.  As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.        


    Together we are Saints,

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs
    Read More
  • May 1, Week 7 Update

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We can’t believe that May is here! We are approaching the end of the school year, and we want to take a minute to sincerely thank you for your constant support and encouragement throughout this time.

    Though this year has not gone the way that we envisioned or planned, we have become a stronger, closer community. While this time has been challenging and difficult for many of us, we have shown more strength and resilience than ever before. This is in large part because of the incredible resolve and dedication of our students, our faculty, and you, the parents.

    Here are a couple of updates:
    • Scheduling for next year is continuing. All students should have received an email from Mrs. DuSaules about scheduling their classes for next year. As a reminder, course requests are made through Whipple Hill.
    • AP exams will begin the week of May 11. AP exams will start on that Monday and run through the following Friday, May 22. Students in AP classes have been told the date, time, and format of their respective exams by their teachers.
    We continue to pray for you and your family’s health and safety during this time. We look forward to the day when we can be back on our campus together as a community. Thank you again, and please reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

    Together we are Saints,

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
     Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
     Associate Head--Academic Affairs
    Read More
  • April 24, Week 6 Update

    April 24, 2020

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We hope that you and your family had a wonderful Easter Break!  We continue to be amazed and awed by the great effort and positive attitude our students put forth on a daily basis while we are away from campus.  Our teachers have been equally amazing in their efforts to preserve and maintain the high standards of education associated with St. Martin’s.  While we get closer to the end of the school year, we are also looking ahead to next year.   
     
    Here are a couple of updates:
    • Scheduling courses for next year has begun.  Mrs. DuSaules is sending a detailed letter about how to schedule courses for next school year to you and your children.  The process will be done entirely through Whipple Hill, so please make sure to read everything carefully with them.
    • The last day of classes will be Friday, May 15.  Class meetings and assignments in most classes will end on this date.  AP classes that have their exams the following week may continue to meet in preparation for the exam. 

    We pray that you and your family are healthy and safe during this time.  As always, we appreciate your continued support and the great opportunity of educating your children.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

    Together we are Saints,

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs


    Read More
  • April 3, Week 3 Update

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We are at the end of the second full week of our temporary campus closure, and we feel that our teachers and students have established a routine in our online learning program. However, as you are aware by now, this has been an especially difficult week for some members of our community. It is times like these when we come together as a community of friends and family who support each other and help one another through all life’s challenges and hardships. It is because we are such a strong, close-knit community that our victories are made greater and our sorrows more bearable. Throughout this difficult time, we have grown closer, and we have never been more proud to be  part of St. Martin’s Episcopal School.  

    Here are a few updates:
    • Please remember that next Thursday, April 9, is another PD day for our faculty. Students will not have any classes meet or any new assignments given. In addition, faculty members will not have their regularly scheduled office hours.
    • Our Easter break begins Friday, April 10. We will resume classes on Monday, April 20.  
    • Attached to this email is a list of tips from our technology department to help address some technological concerns you might have during this time of online learning. This is already published on StM’s COVID-19 page (stmsaints.com/covid19), but we wanted to include it just in case you have not yet seen it.

    We hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy, and we appreciate your continued support during this time. Thank you again for the privilege of educating your children, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

    Together we are Saints,

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs
    Read More
  • March 27, Week 2 Update


    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy during this time.  As we complete our first full week of distance learning, we understand that this transition has been challenging for many of you and your children.  We sincerely appreciate your patience as we have temporarily transformed our school into an online learning community.  We also want to say that we have been so impressed at how well and how quickly so many of the students have adapted to distance learning, as well as the tremendous job that our teachers have done moving their classrooms online.  

    Here are a few updates:
    • Third quarter report cards are now available on Whipple Hill.  To see your child’s report card, log in to Whipple Hill; you should be able to access it under the “Performance” tab.  You should also be able to print it out if you wish. If you have any difficulties, please let us know. 
    • We have decided to eliminate exams for the second semester.  We are making plans on the best ways to utilize that time when we return to school.  When final decisions have been made, we will communicate those plans with you and your students right away. 
    • Students who are enrolled in AP classes have probably heard from Debbie Flanagan, our Director of College Counseling, and their teachers that the College Board announced last week that all AP Exams will be conducted as 45-minute online tests, which they may take at home on one of two dates.  The College Board plans to announce those dates in early April.  In addition, AP exams will only test material that would normally be covered through the third quarter of the school year.  Furthermore, there will no longer be a fee for cancellations. You will hear more from us as this situation develops.
    • As we continue to function as an online learning community, we recognize the need to dedicate ourselves to professional development opportunities specific to online learning while also giving students time to unplug and unwind.  To that end, we are setting aside this coming Monday (March 30) and Thursday, April 9 as professional development days for our teachers.  Students will not have any classes or new assignments for those days. In turn, teachers will not be having regularly scheduled office hours.    

    We know that this is a difficult time for many of you, and we appreciate the trust and confidence you put in us to educate your children.  Please check the school website next week as our Student Services Team will be uploading numerous tips to help support your children.  We pray that you and your family continue to weather this time. As always, feel free to reach out if we can help you in any way.
    Read More
  • March 20, Week 1 Update

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We hope that this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy. 

    These first few days of distance learning have been a time of transition and experimentation.  Our teachers have done a tremendous job of moving their classrooms into an online environment, and the students have responded incredibly well to this change.  We are very proud of how well they have done!

    As we move into the first full week of distance learning, our faculty will be utilizing more innovative methods as a way to teach and engage students during this time of off-campus learning. 

    Included in this letter is a link to a list of online etiquette and protocols that advisers discussed with students last week.  We wanted to pass it along to you so that you were aware of the expectations we have for interacting with students in an online learning environment. 
     
    In addition, we know that maintaining a daily routine provides a sense of normalcy for your children during this time.  We encourage you to sit down this weekend and help your child create a schedule that works best for him/her. If you need additional guidance, you can always reach out to your child’s adviser, Aileen Minihan, or one of us.  Most importantly though, we ask for patience for your child and the faculty. Adjusting to this new way of teaching and learning will take a little time for all those involved.

    As always, we thank you for the privilege of teaching your children, and we sincerely appreciate your patience as we have made this transition.  We will continue to communicate with you frequently, but please feel free to reach out to us should you have any questions or concerns.

    Stay safe and take care of yourself and your family.

    Together We Are Saints!

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rHrceYfbFAhcZa_S_RqBFquOwVGsKImaBFSKhPhC1ZQ/edit?usp=sharing


    Read More
  • March 16

    Dear Upper School Parents,

    We hope that you and your families are safe and doing well.  We wanted to reach out to you today to make sure you understand our plan for continuous learning.  Our faculty have been hard at work in preparation to move fully to distance learning starting this Wednesday, March 18. (Many assignments have already been posted for students.)  Below is a summary of our Continuity of Learning Plan which details the expectations for our students, teachers, and parents during this period of online learning. 

    Adviser and Teacher Expectations:
    Advisers will be communicating with their advisees twice a week via email or Google Classroom to check on their progress in all of their courses, as well as their physical and emotional well being. 

    Teachers will establish and communicate weekly office hours when students can contact them with questions or concerns about assignments.  Teachers will post office hours through email, Whipple Hill, or their already-established online learning program. Teachers will also post the specific method(s) that students can reach them during their office hours, including e-mail, Google meet, Google doc comments, etc.  Students will have at least 24 hours to complete and submit an assignment from the time it was assigned.  This will ensure that we are as flexible as possible in accounting for things that might be outside a student’s control.

    Online learning assignments will align with the course’s already-established expectations, standards, and objectives, though content itself may shift in the best interest of the students.  We aim to provide meaningful learning experiences for the students as they work remotely.  

    Student and Parent Expectations:
    To ensure academic success, students will consistently check their school email, Whipple Hill, Google Classroom, and any other online learning program established by their teachers for class assignments and announcements.  

    Students should check their email and class platforms at least 5 times a day.  (First thing in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, late-afternoon, evening, etc.)  They will complete and submit their assignments on time and with their best work. Moreover, students should reach out to their advisers, their respective teachers, administrators, Ms. Patterson, or Ms. Minihan with any questions or concerns they are having with distance learning.

    Tech Support
    If your child is having difficulty with his or her device or other technology, please have them email technology@stmsaints.com.

    Emotional Support
    Please know that Ms. Patterson is still here for you and your child.  You can contact her at heather.patterson@stmsaints.com. She and Christina Heath already sent a letter to you regarding this matter and will be sending one to students as well.

    Discipline
    Students are expected to adhere to the rules of the student handbook throughout the entire period of distance learning.

    Flexibility and Understanding
    We understand that this period of distance learning will be a challenge for everyone, and that we need to be flexible and patient with our students and families as they adapt to this difficult time.  At the same time, we ask that you be equally patient and understanding with our faculty as they navigate teaching their classes online. We feel confident that our teachers will continue to provide the excellent education that has  long been associated with St. Martin’s Episcopal School while also being there to support our students through this new endeavor.  

    We will be communicating with you throughout this time, but please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you have.  Thank you so much for your continued support! 

    Together We Are Saints.

    Sincerely,

    Peter Adair
    Head of Upper School

    Mary Bond
    Associate Head--Student Affairs

    Tiffany DuSaules
    Associate Head--Academic Affairs 
     
    Read More

Upper School Resources

Middle School CLP

List of 9 items.

  • July 7, Update

    Dear Middle School Parents,
     
    Attached is a Middle School specific follow-up to the school’s email regarding COVID-19 policies.  MS Follow-up Letter
     
    Your child’s schedule is now available to view when you log-in to your St. Martin’s account.  Linked here is a video reminding you how to log in and showing where you can see your child’s schedule.  For those of you familiar with logging-in to the website, you will see your child’s classes under the PROGRESS tab.  Please email Rebecca Lovisa (rebecca.lovisa@stmsaints.com) if you have any questions regarding your child’s schedule.
     
    Once you know which classes your child is enrolled in, please visit the Book List link to purchase any necessary texts for your child.  If a course is not on the list, then there are no books to purchase for that class.
     
    If your student has not selected a book for summer reading, review this list and complete the Google Form.  We will host book talks by grade level at the beginning of the school year, so having an accurate head count for each book is extremely important.  Complete the form if you are at all unsure if your child completed the form.  If your child changed their selection for whatever reason, email Mrs. DePratter (paige.depratter@stmsaints.com) with the updated information.
     
    7th and 8th grade parents- If your child is not enrolled in a fine art course, we have NOT received his or her selection.  Email Mrs. DePratter (paige.depratter@stmsaints.com) as soon as possible with the requests.  Your child will be automatically enrolled in a fine art class the week of July 20th if we do not receive preferential choices.
     
    We continue to follow the guidelines coming from the state and the CDC, but - as of now - we are looking forward to having your children back on campus very soon! 
     
    Jenny
    Read More
  • May 22, Week 10 Update

    While this certainly won’t be my final communication, it will be my last regular “Friday quarantine email.” We are reaching the final stretch of putting the 2019-2020 school year to bed!

    Your feedback about distance learning has been truly invaluable to me throughout this time.  Like you, I pray with all my heart that we are back on campus together in the fall.  But we are mindful of the various possibilities that we need to plan for.  We have created an anonymous survey that is intended to gain your feedback about how we have done these past two and a half months, with an eye toward always improving the educational experience for your child.  We will also be crafting a similar survey for your children so we can hear directly from them.


    Additional reminders:
    • Our summer communication with dress code, summer work, supply lists, etc. will be emailed out by the first week of June. 
    • I have again attached the guidelines for dropping off Chromebooks, chargers, books, etc., and for retrieving locker items.  Please read through them carefully and let me know if you have any questions. 
    • Both our 5th-7th awards programs and our 8th grade recognition program will be emailed out Tuesday, May 26th.  Please be on the lookout for this!
     
    I miss you and your children so very much....  
     
    Peace Within
    May today there be peace within.
    May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
    May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
    May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
    Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
    It is there for each and every one of us.
     
    - St. Therèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila
     
     
    Jenny
     
    Read More
  • May 15, Week 9 Update

    Middle School Parents,
     
    What a bittersweet day it is - a final day of school like no other.  We’ve all had vastly different experiences throughout these past two months - no two households are the same, just like no child is exactly like another.  What has bound us together, however, are the friendships we’ve forged through our time together at St. Martin’s.  It’s the funny Facebook memes we share with each other, the simple texts asking how things are going, the promises of future celebrations in safer times.  We’ve been there for each other the entire way and I couldn’t have asked for a more loving community of parents, students, and teachers.  
     
    Some final notes and updates:
     
    • Any outstanding work must be turned in by Friday, May 22nd at 10 a.m.  Please remind your child to email teachers when turning in late assignments so that they know to look for them.
     
    • Because we are still accepting late work through next Friday, we will release our awards programs on Tuesday, May 26th.  
     
     
    • Our summer communication with dress code, summer work, supply lists, etc. will be emailed out by the first week of June. 
     
    • The guidelines for dropping off Chromebooks, chargers, books, etc., and for retrieving locker items was included in the weekly email.  Please read through them carefully and let me know if you have any questions. 
     
     

    I have shared this prayer many times before, but it’s one that continues to speak to my heart, so I turn to it once again.  

    Be at Peace

    Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
    rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
    God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.

    Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day.

    He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
    - Francis de Sales
     
    Gratefully yours,
     
    Jenny
    Read More
  • May 8, Week 8 Update

    Middle School parents,

    The final quarter of the school year is coming upon us quickly, which also means the end of the 2019-2020 year.  One of the many things I love about being in education are the rituals and traditions that come with the opening up, and then the closing of, each school year.  I’ve often joked that I don’t know how people who work at ordinary jobs deal with just going from one week to another without the joy of a new year’s beginning and the exhaustive pleasure of a year’s ending.

    To some degree, we’ve been robbed of that ending this year and it stings us all in different ways.  5th graders have lost the chance to celebrate their successful completion of their first year in Middle School.  6th graders won’t get to hug goodbye their teachers of the past two years.  7th graders won’t be able to commemorate their final day before moving to the head of the Middle School  And the 8th graders - those kids who have worked so hard these past few years - won’t be able to walk down the MS hallways one final time with their classmates by their side.

    But there will be time for all of these rituals to happen.  And when they do, they will hold far more importance than ever before and will be cherished by us all as we are reminded what truly makes St. Martin’s such a special community - the students, parents, and faculty we call friends and family.

    I’ve heard from many of you this past week as the quarantine continues to put a stress and strain on your families in general and on your children in particular.  

    We are listening to you.  Thank you for the trust you have put in us.  We will work until the very end to continue to earn that trust.  You chose St. Martin’s for a reason and I hope those reasons are more apparent now than ever before.

    A reminder that distance learning ends this Friday (May 15th) in order to allow students a final week to turn in any missing assignments.  Please remind your child to email the teacher when turning in a late assignment - if not, they may not be aware of it.

    Finally, in advance of Mother’s Day, I leave you with a simple prayer that hung on the kitchen wall of my family’s home in Ohio  It was cross-stitched in hideous colors of orange and avocado, popular in the 1970’s.  Even though Reilly and Eamon are teenagers, they’ll always be my babies... and I sometimes need this gentle reminder.

    Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow
    For babies grow up
    We’ve learned to our sorrow.
    So quiet down cobwebs
    Dust, go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my babies
    And babies don’t keep.

    Gratefully, 
     
    Jenny
    Read More
  • April 24, Week 6 Update

    Parents,

    I wanted to update you all on a few decisions that have been made concerning Middle School as well as where we stand in terms of thinking about other issues.

    • We will effectively end distance learning on Friday, May 15th.  This will give students time to “catch up” on turning in any final outstanding assignments the following week, and give teachers time to assess that work and enter final grades.  We continue to be so proud of the students for remaining engaged with their classes and their advisory groups.   It’s important that they continue to work hard and finish out the year on a strong note.  
    • We still plan on honoring our students with end-of-the-year awards even though we can’t gather in person to do so.  We are going to create a digital program that lists each award and winner.  The winner's name will hyperlink to a video in which the teacher gives a minute or two explanation of why the student was chosen.   We are also working on other ways to celebrate the end of the school year while maintaining social distancing.  
    • 8th grade parents - we have additional plans to honor your children.  I’ll share details in a separate email to you tomorrow.  
    • It’s my hope that when we are able to gather together again, we will have some sort of party for each grade level that allows them to celebrate their accomplishments together.  It’s just impossible to predict if and when this might happen.  
    • A reminder that, in addition to the school’s main website, you should continue to monitor www.stminthemiddle.com for Middle School specific news and resources.  If you haven’t seen Mrs. Dieth’s birthday celebrations for the students, you are really missing out!
    • We are all especially heartbroken for our senior class.  Senior Chapel is a special St. Martin’s tradition. Tonight we hope you will be able to join us live on Facebook at 20:20 (8:20 p.m.) as we honor the Class of 2020 on the day that was set aside for this celebration. 
     
    A prayer for your Friday evening:
     
    Dear God, please give me strength when I am weak, love when I feel forsaken, courage when I am afraid, wisdom when I feel foolish, comfort when I am alone, hope when I feel rejected, and peace when I am in turmoil. Amen
     
    Gratefully yours, 
     
    Jenny
     
     
     
    Read More
  • April 3, Week 3 Update

    Dear Middle School Parents,

    I know this has been a difficult time for all of us; this week being made even more difficult by the passing of Kim Sorrells.  It is in moments like these when we come together as a community of friends and family who support each other and help one another.
     
    I have never been more proud to be part of St. Martin’s Episcopal School. 

    A few notes:
    In addition to checking the school’s website for the latest news, I urge you to regularly visit the Middle School announcement page which includes student resources and some fun challenges from Mrs. Dieth’s Creative Corner.  Student Council will be added next week!

    Please remember that next Thursday, April 9, is another PD day for our faculty. Students will not have any classes meet or any new assignments given. This leads us into our Easter break. We will resume classes on Monday, April 20.  Though I know many of you will be missing out on previously planned trips, I hope this week allows you to step away from the everyday demands of school and just focus on being together.  

    We will add more fun, creative challenges to the website for that week that are completely optional for you and your family.  

    Please visit StM’s COVID-19 page  for a list of tips from our technology department to help address some technological concerns you might have during this time of online learning. 

    We hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy, and we appreciate your continued support. Thank you again for the privilege of educating your children, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

    A prayer to lead you into the weekend:

    Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.
    We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.
    We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
    We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future. 
    We pray: may love, not fear, go viral. 
    Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
    Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
    Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,
    You, the God who does not abandon.


    Together we are Saints.

    Jenny
    Read More
  • March 27, Week 2 Update

    Parents,
     
    I’m sure you are as grateful as I am that the weekend is here! I hope the posting of assignments by 9 a.m. has made for a smoother workflow in your homes.  I continue to value your feedback and that of your children.  

    Be sure to check the StM website this week as our (amazing) Student Support Services Team will be sharing various options for assisting your children during this time.

    I wanted to remind you that the faculty are taking Monday for a Professional Development Day.  We will use this time to reflect on what is/isn’t working, as well as to look toward how to continue to support our students during our time apart.  Faculty will not be available for help sessions, but I can always be reached for any emergencies.

    And, finally, third quarter grades will be visible on Monday afternoon.  I apologize for the delay, but the teachers were asked to make a pretty monumental shift to online education just as we were closing the books on the third quarter.  Many needed additional time to grade and record final assessments.

    I leave you with this prayer:

    Lord,
    it is night.
    The night is for stillness.
    Let us be still in the presence of God.
    It is night after a long day.
    What has been done has been done;
    what has not been done has not been done;
    let it be.
    The night is quiet.
    Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
    all dear to us,
    and all who have no peace.
    The night heralds the dawn.
    Let us look expectantly to a new day,
    new joys, new possibilities.
    In your name we pray.
    Amen.
    Gratefully yours,
     
    Jenny


    Jenny Velasquez
    Middle School Head
    Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    St. Martin's Episcopal School
    Twitter:  jvelnola
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  • March 20, Week 1 Update

    Parents,

    As our first week of online education comes to a close, I wanted to touch base again.  I appreciate all the feedback you’ve given me over the past couple of days. One of the adjustments we are seeking to make is to try to post most assignments by 9 a.m. in the morning - or at least at the same time each day.   (Mr. Hernandez, for example, posts assignments by 4 p.m. each day with a due date of 4 p.m. the next day.) The learning curve on this has been incredibly steep for our faculty who are also handling the demands of their own families at home. 

    I’m asking that we continue to be patient with each other.  

    Above all else, know that we are here for you and your children.  If your child misses a deadline or an assignment, please just have him or her email the teacher.  We want to provide instruction and routines for the students, but we are certainly going to be very understanding about the struggles they are facing in this new environment.

    Your child’s advisor should remain your point person for your concerns.  I’m also here to help in any way I can. I have spoken to many of you on the phone and through emails and texts, and I know anxiety is running high in some families.  We want to partner with you to make this as positive an experience as possible.  

    As mentioned in her parent letter earlier this week, Mrs. Heath is now able to conduct Teletherapy (online counseling) beginning this Monday, March 23rd.  Mrs. Heath emailed Middle School students today letting them know of this service.  The platform being used is called VSee which is HIPAA compliant and easy to use on any device.  Students, parents, and faculty will be able to engage in Teletherapy with Mrs. Heath on Mondays and Wednesdays by appointment and other days of the week as needed.  During this transitional time period, please encourage your child to reach out to Mrs. Heath by email to schedule a VSee session if you believe he/she could use an emotional check-in, coping strategies, or anything at all!  As always, your child's wellness, in every capacity, is of the utmost importance to all of us at St. Martin's.  

    I hope you and your children are able to have a restful and relaxing weekend.  Goodness knows everyone has earned it!

    Together We Are Saints.

    Jenny
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  • March 16

    Dear Middle School Parents:
     
    I hope that you and your families are safe and doing well during this difficult time.  It is during times such as this, that I am ever more grateful to be a part of such a loving, empathetic teaching and learning community.

    The faculty and I met with each grade level on Friday to explain in person what online learning will look like for the students.  We were able to share our expectations for them as well as to answer their questions. (And they asked such good questions!)

    We wanted to reach out to you today to make sure you understand our plan for continuous learning.  Our faculty have been hard at work in preparation to move fully to distance learning starting this Wednesday, March 18th. (Many assignments have already been posted for students.)  Below is a summary of our Continuity of Learning Plan which details the expectations for our students, teachers, and parents during this period of online learning. 

    Advisor and Teacher Expectations:
    Advisors will be communicating with their advisees weekly via email or their Google Classrooms to check on their progress in all of their courses, as well as their physical and emotional well being. 

    Teachers will establish and communicate weekly office hours when students can contact them with questions or concerns about assignments.  Teachers will post office hours through email, Whipple Hill, or their already-established online learning program. Teachers will also post the specific method(s) that students can reach them during their office hours, including e-mail, Google meet, Google doc comments, etc.  Students will have at least 24 hours to complete and submit an assignment from the time it was assigned.  This will ensure that we are as flexible as possible in accounting for things that might be outside a student’s control.

    Online learning assignments will align with the course’s already-established expectations, standards, and objectives, though content itself may shift in the best interest of the students.  We aim to provide meaningful learning experiences for the students as they work remotely.  

    We will be posting inspirational quotes, funny memes, and tips on how to stay mindful and creative during this stressful time at our MS website:  www.stminthemiddle.com.

    Student and Parent Expectations:
    To ensure academic success, students will consistently check their school email, Whipple Hill, Google Classroom, and any other online learning program established by their teachers for class assignments and announcements.  We have instructed them to check at least 5 times a day.  (First thing in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, late-afternoon, evening, etc.) Students should work independently to complete and submit their assignments on time.  Moreover, students should reach out to their advisers, their teachers, Ms. Stewart, or Ms. Velasquez with any questions or concerns they are having with distance learning.

    We are suggesting that you help your child establish a daily routine that balances school work, screen time, outdoor play, family time, chores, etc.  

    Emotional Support
    Please know that Mrs. Heath is still here for you and your child!  Don’t hesitate to contact her at christina.heath@stmsaints.com if you need support of any kind. Also, be sure to check Mrs. Heath’s email that was sent out earlier today regarding ongoing counseling services being offered during distance learning.

    Tech Support
    If your child is having difficulty specifically with his or her Chromebook or other technology, please email technology@stmsaints.com.

    Discipline
    Students are expected to adhere to the rules for academic honesty and proper online etiquette throughout the entire period of distance learning.

    Understanding and Flexibility
    We understand that this period of distance learning will be a challenge for everyone, and that we need to be flexible and patient with our students and families as they adapt to this difficult time.  At the same time, I ask that you be equally patient and understanding with our faculty as they navigate teaching their classes online.  We feel confident that our teachers will continue to provide the excellent academic experience that is long associated with St. Martin’s Episcopal School while also being there to love and support them as they navigate this new endeavor.

    As always, please contact me by email (jvelasquez@stmsaints.com) or by phone if you need me.  (Cell 504-442-1991) Like so many others, the volume of emails and calls I am receiving is higher than average. I appreciate your patience and understanding if my response time is a little slower than usual.  

    Together We Are Saints.

    Gratefully yours,

    Jenny


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Middle School Resources

Lower School CLP

List of 10 items.

  • July 10, Update

    Dear Parents:

    I hope you are all well and having a great summer! I have missed seeing you and your children, and we are gearing up for the school year. I am sending you a list of items I have been working on for quite some time. There will be more information to come, but I wanted to send this out right now. If you have any questions, please let me know. I have a mailing coming out soon with more information in it. We are working on a safe way to have chapels. I have some ideas, but I wanted you to know how important those are to all of us. I am committed to the safety of your children and our teachers. I am always available to help with anything. Be safe and have a great weekend! Together We Are Saints!

    Sincerely,
    Ford Dieth
     
     
    • All rooms are being arranged to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Adjustments will be made to our daily curriculum in order to facilitate learning in a safe environment. In the lower grades (PK-K), the students will be rotating through centers with adequate spacing and cleaning in between use. Certain areas will be used on certain days to minimize the need to clean and students will be rotated throughout these areas with distancing and infection control in mind. In grades 1 through 4, the teachers will rotate into the classroom to teach our students in the majority of cases. There may be situations where a class may go to a certain resource room, however this will be well spaced out to allow for adequate cleaning and ventilation in between classes.
    • All faculty, staff and students in grade 3 and 4 are required to wear face coverings. Students in grades PK through 2 are recommended to wear face coverings.These face coverings should be comfortable for the student and easy to remove and put back on when needed. Faculty will allow frequent face covering breaks as we are aware face coverings are challenging for students in this age group. These breaks will occur in situations where physical distancing is possible. The breaks will be supervised and spaced out throughout the day to afford the safest environment allowed. Under no circumstances will a student be reprimanded/punished for taking off his/her mask. The teacher will work with the student to manage the safety precautions required while respecting the student’s level of comfort.
    • All Physical Education classes will be held outdoors, without face coverings but respecting physical distancing.  All activities will be contactless. In the event of inclement weather, the students will participate in PE in a larger area where they can be physically distanced with adequate ventilation but still participate.
    • Grades PK -1 will eat lunch in the classroom. Students will be allowed to place orders ahead of time after reviewing the menu with parents  (you will receive the details of this in a separate email). The lunches will be delivered to the classroom and the students will be able to enjoy a picnic lunch outside or in the event of inclement weather, they may eat under the breezeway or in their classrooms.
    • Grades 2-4 will eat in the cafeteria using physical distancing for seating and obtaining lunch. 
    •  For those not on the meal plan, we will be utilizing a new cashless system for purchasing lunch this year. You may put funds on your child’s account to allow for lunch to be purchased on a daily basis if your child prefers.
    • Free play will continue as an important part of our curriculum. We recognize outdoor play is important to your child and plan on incorporating it into our curriculum as we have in the past. The classes will play on the playground at a scheduled time, allowing for adequate time to have our cleaning crew sanitize the equipment between classes. Again, physical distancing will be maintained when feasible and face coverings will not be required during active, physical play.
    • We encourage all students to bring their own reusable water bottle/ thermos with lid and their name written clearly on it. The drinking fountains will be converted to bottle-fill stations allowing each student to refill their bottle as needed.
    • The LS Carpool will be the only way students enter campus in the morning. Parents will not be walking their children to the classroom at this time.This will allow for adequate screening and minimizing contact with the community. We request those dropping off and picking up students in carpool wear a face covering during the time their child is screened. All students in grades 3 and up should have their face coverings on during the screening process as well as exiting the car. We request your child be ready to exit the car once they are screened to maintain traffic flow.
    • The  faculty will be in their rooms ready to welcome students at 7:30 am. Before care will not be offered at this time. Once  screened in the carpool, the children will be allowed to enter the Lower School via Haring Road where they will be escorted to their classrooms. If you arrive after 7:55am, your child will have to be escorted by a parent to the Lower School office to be screened and sign in tardy.
    • Students will be dismissed via carpool as well. There will be faculty checking the yellow placards in the carpool line for students’ names and call for the students in the classroom via walkie talkie. Please remember cell phones are prohibited in the carpool line. We ask that you begin to line up in the carpool line no earlier than 3pm.
    • We will continue to provide aftercare to our families. It will be held in a different manner to facilitate social distancing within grades while providing an opportunity for homework completion and some release from the confines of the school day.    
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  • May 15, Week 9 Update

    Dear Lower School Parents:

    Today is the last day of instruction for the 2019-2020 school year.  I want to congratulate your children and you on an amazing end of the year.  We are working on a plan for us to collect Chromebooks and textbooks for the week of Memorial Day.  I am designing a safe and easy process for you to drop off those items and will convey that as soon as I can.  

    I am very excited about the fun activities next week.  Carnival Day is Tuesday and there are still some spots available for the talent show on Wednesday.  I want to wish everyone a happy, safe, and restful summer. Over summer, I am available if you should need anything.  I am already planning for next year and am excited about it!

    I have so enjoyed visiting with grade levels of parents and students, and I am looking forward to visiting with a few more.  I will be reaching out to set up a Zoom meeting for 2nd and 3rd grade parents next week.  I am including a list of events for next week.  I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend!

    Sincerely,

    Ford Dieth
     
     
     
    Tuesday, May 19: Virtual Carnival Day 
    10:00-11:45
     
    Wednesday, May 20: Virtual Talent Show
    10:00-11:30
     
    Thursday, May 21: Closing Chapel
    10:00 (link will be sent for video)
     
    Friday, May 22: Fourth Grade Recognition Program
    10:00 (link will be sent for video)
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  • May 8, Week 8 Update

    Dear Lower School Parents,

    I hope this note finds you well! We have one week left of our Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP). I am so proud of our Lower School families.  Parents and students have worked so hard.  

    I wanted to remind everyone to sign up for our Virtual Carnival Day, which will be on Tuesday, May 19.  We will then have a Virtual Talent Show on Wednesday, May 20.  I am planning a closing chapel on the morning of May 21, and we will have a Fourth Grade Recognition Ceremony on Friday, May 22.  I will have much more information about specifics for these events next week.

    Please contact me if you need anything at all. Have a wonderful weekend and a happy Mother's Day!  

    Together We Are Saints!

    Sincerely,

    Ford Dieth
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  • May 1, Week 7 Update

    Good Afternoon:

    I hope this email finds you well.  We have come to the end of another week.  Parents, students, and teachers have been doing a great job with all the various tasks at hand.  I wanted to remind you that we will continue with our Continuity of Learning Plan until Friday, May 15.  I also wanted to let you know about a few fun activities that we are planning for the week of 5/18.  On Tuesday, May 19, we will have a virtual Carnival Day.  It is going to be a lot of fun!  On Wednesday, May 20, we will host a virtual talent show.  There will be information coming from Mrs. Parks and homeroom teachers soon.  On Thursday, May 21, we will have a Lower School closing chapel.  On May 22, we plan to broadcast a special version of our Fourth Grade Recognition Ceremony.  There will be more information about all of these events coming very soon.  If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, my family is planning to do a "Camp In" tomorrow evening.  I'm not exactly sure how we will all get into the small tent that I have, but that will be part of the fun!  Have a wonderful, restful, and safe weekend.  Please contact me with any joys, concerns, or questions that you might have.  

    Together We Are Saints!
    Ford
     
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  • April 24, Week 6 Update

    Dear Lower School Parents:
     
    I hope this email finds you well. As we end another week with our Continuity of Learning Plan, I wanted to let you know that the last day of the school year will be May 15. We do have some fun activities planned for the week of May 18-22. I will be giving you more information on those activities very soon. Our students, parents, and teachers have been working hard during this time, and I hope that everyone can take a break over the weekend. We appreciate your continued support. Please let me know if you need anything. I am available to help in any way. Have a wonderful weekend!
     
    Ford
    Together We Are Saints!
     
     
    Please check out our Lower School website when you have the opportunity. www.stmlowerschoolnews.com
     
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  • April 9, Week 4 Update

    Dear Lower School Parents:

    I hope that you are well! The faculty had a Professional Development Day today. It was nice to see everyone, but it was very clear that we are all missing each other and our students. Over the break, please take some time to unplug and rest.  I am encouraging everyone to take this much needed time. Should you be looking for some fun activities, my children have been enjoying the art project that Mrs. Sojka sent out. If you need something, please email me or the teachers.  They may not get back to you until later in the break, but I am available for anything you might need.  If you do not have my cell phone number, it is (504) 452-6316.  Have a wonderful Easter, and don't forget to check out the Lower School Website.

    Ford Deith Jr.
     
     

     
     
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  • April 3, Week 3 Update

    Dear Lower School Parents:

    We are at the end of the second full week of working remotely and running our Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP). As you are aware by now, this has been an especially difficult week for the Sorrells family. It is times like these when we come together as a community to support each other and help one another through all of life’s challenges. While we have been physically apart, we have grown closer, and I have never been more proud to be part of St. Martin’s Episcopal School.

    Here are a few updates:
    • Please remember that next Thursday, April 9, is another PD day for our faculty. Students will not have any assignments given that day and there will be no expectation of work being accomplished. In addition, faculty members will not be available for consultation. I am always available to assist with whatever you might need.
    • Our Easter break begins Friday, April 10. We will resume classes on Monday, April 20.  
    • I have included a list of tips from our technology department to help address technological concerns you might have during this time of online learning. This is already published on StM’s COVID-19 page (stmsaints.com/covid19).

    We hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy, and we appreciate your continued support during this time. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. I am including my message from this morning. I hope you like it. It can also be found on the new Lower School website. https://www.stmlowerschoolnews.com
     
    Have a great weekend!
    Together We Are Saints,
     
    Ford Dieth
     
    Mr. Dieth's Message-4/3
     
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  • March 27, Week 2 Update

    Dear Lower School Parents,
    I hope this note finds you well. The faculty and I really miss seeing your children! Today marks the completion of two full weeks of our Continuing of Learning Plan (CLP) in action, and I am so proud of our Lower School families. Here at home, the Dieth family continues to strive to find balance. We are feeling more of a rhythm, but it is a work in progress for us. We are getting better with each passing day.  
    With thoughtful consideration of our community, St. Martin’s continues to examine our daily operations and make needed adjustments. As such, we are implementing a change with the activities posted by our amazing and creative teachers of “special” classes (Spanish, music, art, and religion). Effective immediately, all activities posted by special subject teachers will be available to you for the sole purpose of enriching and enhancing your child's educational experiences during our time away. Special subject class activities are optional.
    Likewise, we are continuing to be purposeful by consolidating assignments and streamlining our expectations. I want to remind you that we are here to help. Teachers have been scheduling support via FaceTime (or some other platform) with students and their parents. We appreciate you partnering with us; we are here for you.
    Lastly, I wanted to let you know that on Monday, March 30 and Thursday, April 9 our faculty will be busy participating in a school-wide professional development to discuss and evaluate our Distance Learning Plans. For you and your children, there will be no assigned work or expectation of work on those days. Be sure to check the StM website this week. Our Student Support Services team will be sharing various options for assisting your children during this time.  Please contact me if you need anything at all. Have a wonderful weekend! I look forward to seeing you all as soon as we can.  
    Sincerely,

    Ford Dieth
     
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  • March 20, Week 1 Update

    Dear Parents:
    I hope this note finds you well. The faculty and I really miss seeing your children! We have reached the end of our first week instituting our Continuity of Learning Plan. 

    At my house, we are working on a daily schedule/routine for everyone.  It will likely take us a little more time to perfect that. 

    I appreciate the feedback that I have received so far.  We are working on the frequency and volume of our communications.  We are striving to consolidate assignments. I want to remind you that we are here to help.  If something isn’t working correctly, please just let us know. 

    We appreciate partnering with you and greatly look forward to the time when we will be able to deliver content and hugs to your children live and in person. 

    Please contact me if you need anything at all. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Ford Dieth
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  • March 16

    Dear Lower School Parents,

    I hope that you and your families are safe and doing well during this difficult time. In circumstances such as these, I am ever more grateful to be a part of such a loving, empathetic teaching and learning community.

    The administration and I met with the faculty on Thursday and Friday of last week to discuss our plans for distance learning, and the unique needs of the young students in our Lower School community.

    I wanted to reach out to you today to make sure you understand our Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP). Our teachers have been hard at work preparing the move to distance learning beginning this Wednesday, March 18. (Many assignments have already been posted for students.) Parents and students should contact their teachers, Ms. Chisesi, Dr. Despaux, or me with any questions or concerns they may have. Please be mindful that children do best with structure and predictable routines; therefore, we strongly encourage you to help your child by establishing a daily schedule that balances school work, screen time, outdoor play, family time, chores, etc.  

    LIBRARY LEARNING PLAN
    - From Mrs. Madden

    Accelerated Reading - Home Access:
    Reading is a priority at St. Martin’s. Therefore, we are happy to announce that students in grades 2-4 now have access to the Renaissance Accelerated Reading Quizzes from home through the direct school account link:
    This system is available Monday - Friday from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm.

    If the student does not remember his/her user name, please email your teacher or Mrs. Madden:
    ethel.madden@stmsaints.com.  The school-wide password is lsar.

    WorldBook Online - StM Home Access:
    https://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Login?ed=wb
    User ID is stmsaints, and the password is saints.

    This is not just the old WorldBook Encyclopedia.  Although the resource still has the comprehensive encyclopedia search features, it also offers:
    Early learning - videos, games, stories, and art activities
    Engaging educational programs - geography (maps and more), games, puzzles,
    compare places, science projects, and more.

    Reading Recommendations and Access to Free E- Books:
    The librarian will release new grade-level independent reading recommendations focused on Public Library virtual resources.  (She met with the Jefferson Parish Public Librarian last week to initiate resource partnerships.)
    Virtual Author Events: She is exploring Skype calls for 3rd and 4th graders with well-known popular authors through our partners at Scholastics, Barnes & Noble, and Garden District Book Shop.  

    Project and Writing Support for Signature Projects: 
    American Heritage Day (3rd Graders) - Mrs. Madden is more than happy to continue assisting students with researching and writing their various American Heritage components.

    Shark Tank 2020 (4th Graders)
    -  Mrs. Madden can assist students with writing their book reports and creating the paper bag props for their oral presentations.
    Virtual Office Hours: The Lower School Librarian will be available to provide support to students, families, and faculty members by email, Google Hangouts, or cell phone between 7:30 a.m and 4:00 p.m.

    EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
    Please know that Mrs. Heath is still here for you and your child!  Don’t hesitate to contact her at christina.heath@stmsaints.com if you need support of any kind. Also, be sure to check Mrs. Heath’s email that was sent out earlier today regarding ongoing counseling services being offered during distance learning.

    TECH SUPPORT
    If you and your child are having difficulty specifically with his/her Chromebook or other technology, please email technology@stmsaints.com.

    UNDERSTANDING AND FLEXIBILITY
    We understand that this period of distance learning may be a challenge at times, and that we need to be flexible and patient with our students and families as they adapt to these extraordinary circumstances. At the same time, I ask that you be equally patient and understanding with our faculty as they navigate teaching their classes remotely. Our Continuity of Learning Plan is both thoughtful and comprehensive; we are confident that our teachers will continue to provide an excellent academic experience that is long associated with St. Martin’s Episcopal School. 

    As always, please contact me by email (
    ford.dieth@stmsaints.com) or by phone if you need me (cell) 504.452.6316.  I am available to help with anything, and I intend to stay in regular communication with you.
    Together We Are Saints.

    Sincerely,
    Ford Jones Dieth, Jr.
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Lower School Resources

George Cottage CLP

List of 10 items.

  • July 8, Update

    Dear Cottage Parents,
     
    We are getting excited about the start of school and the chance to be back with you and your children once again! I wanted to offer some Cottage-specific information to accompany the school wide COVID-19 policies that you received last week.  These may evolve in the weeks to come, but I want you to feel confident that we are doing all that we can to have your child’s classroom experience change as little as possible while keeping the safety of all of our community in mind. 
    More than anything, I want to reassure you that we are planning to do just what we have always done - love children within a fun and nurturing environment where the focus is on play and the development of independence for each unique child.  What lies at our heart will remain the same.
     
    Our plan is to remain on campus for as long as the government allows, which I believe is the best possible situation for children, teachers, and parents to maintain some consistency even if community health is uncertain.  Should the need arise for the other divisions of the school to revert to distance learning, either fully or as part of a hybrid on-campus/distance plan, we will remain in session as usual for as long as we can. 
     
    In looking to balance the open-ended learning structure that we love with the need to keep our environments safe, I have realized that we are actually well-prepared to comply with the regulations from the state and the CDC. Because our teachers are already diligent about cleaning and sanitizing and we have a wonderful resource in Eileen Smilari, our school nurse, much of what we will change will come down to details.
     
    Examples of the wonderful parts of our program that will not change this year include:
     
    • Children will still build amazing structures with blocks.
    • Babies will still be rocked as they take their morning bottles.
    • Toddlers will still have hilarious conversations at the lunch table.
    • We will still cheer for the garbage trucks from the top of the Jack and Jill hill.
    • Big kids will still conquer the climbing wall, the shaky bridge, and the rope swing. 
    • Children will learn content, emotional skills, how to be a friend, how to speak up for themselves, and how to wash hands.
    • Lunch will still arrive hot and delicious at the classroom door from the Dining Hall.
    • Our kids will still play on the same playgrounds.
    • Teachers will still plan exciting and thoughtful provocations, photograph your kids in action to celebrate milestones, and communicate with you about how the day has progressed. Temporarily, this will be handled exclusively via Hi Mama and email, but we look forward to the time when we can resume face-to-face conversations in the mornings and afternoons. 
    • We will still be a community and I will still marvel at our faculty of amazing role models and advocates for children who will go above and beyond to help the families in our community.  
     
    Here are some things that will be new in August:
     
    • Arrival: All children will arrive and leave via curbside carpool on Haring Rd. Parents will not be allowed to walk their children beyond the gate or to the classroom for safety reasons and it is preferred that parents remain in their vehicles at pick up and drop off.
    o    Oak and Cypress classes will be a part of the Lower School carpool in the horseshoe driveway and Cottage and Chapel groups will enter through the gate between George Cottage and the Merrick Art Building. If you have children in both areas, you will need to go through both carpool lines. No children will be allowed to enter on the Green Acres side of campus. A map of traffic flow will be shared before the start of school. 
    o    Classroom teachers and personnel from Ochsner Health System will be at the gate each morning to greet and help your child from the car after completing the health and temperature screens. Your child will be walked to the classroom by a familiar teacher and will begin the day as usual.
    o    In an effort to provide a safe experience for all children at StM and to achieve common hours for our school day, we have changed the daily schedules in all four divisions to allow for morning health screening, extra cleaning, additional passing time, and altered class structures. We will begin screening and admitting children to classes in all areas of the school at 7:30.Our gates will remain open until the universal 7:55 am start time or the majority of children have arrived. Beyond this time, families will be admitted by calling the Cottage office. Someone will then meet you at the Haring Road gate to administer the health and temperature screens and walk your child to his/her room.
     
    • Temperature checks and health screens: Screening will be done for anyone coming on campus and will take place for the children before they exit your cars. You will be asked a number of questions regarding their health over the past 24 hours. If there is any evidence of illness, you will be asked to contact your child’s pediatrician before attending school that day. 
    • Dismissal: At 3:15 pm, the gate between George Cottage and the Merrick Art Building will open in anticipation of our 3:30 dismissal. Lower School carpool will begin at 3:30. Our suggestion is that families with children in both areas visit the main Cottage carpool first before looping back to the Lower School line. Teachers will have walkie talkies to communicate from the carpool line to the classrooms. Each student will be escorted to the carpool line and assisted into the car. 
    o    NOTE: In an effort to maintain our health protocols, we will be unable to walk children between the Lower School and the main Cottage to meet their siblings. As with arrival, you will need to go to both locations for pickup.
     
    • Aftercare: Aftercare will be held by age level in each of our buildings - infants and ones in the Cottage; twos in the Chapel; threes in LS16.
    o    When possible, the children will spend the bulk of their time outside to minimize exposure to the virus and promote physical distancing.
    o    When parents arrive, they should call the Cottage office to have their children escorted to the carpool line and assisted into the car. If we have a large number of families arriving at a common time, we may explore having a second round of “carpool” using the open gate and the walkie talkies as above.
    o    NOTE: In an effort to maintain our health protocols, we will be unable to walk children between the Lower School and the main Cottage to meet their siblings. As with arrival, you will need to go to both locations for pickup.
     
    • Health Policy adherence: We are going to adhere very closely to our health policy to prevent the spread of any illness, so be aware that even those with mild symptoms who might have been allowed to stay at school in the past will likely be sent home or for further medical evaluation. Keep in mind that after so much time away from group care, it may take a little while for all of us to return to the previous level of immunity. 
    • Face Coverings: Face coverings will be worn by all teachers and personnel. Though not required, children over the age of two will be allowed to wear them, as recommended by the CDC, as long as the child will wear it willingly without teacher intervention.
    Success at preventing the spread of the virus depends on continued compliance with guidelines in place from the local authorities and the CDC regarding physical distancing, mask usage, and handwashing. We ask that you continue with these protocols at home to better maintain our community’s health. 
    • Classrooms: Heightened cleaning guidelines mean that some classroom items have been removed or traded, but our teachers are already working to maintain the cozy and welcoming environment that we love! Foam squares will replace rugs; cushions on the rocking chairs have been swapped with patio cushions that can be easily cleaned; a new supply of vinyl babies have been ordered; and sofas, pillows, and any fabric items that cannot be sanitized are in storage. We ask that you help us to maintain the health of our classrooms by only sending the requested easily washable items for use at rest. Toys from home should not leave the car!
    • Physical Distancing: Each class will stay primarily in their main classroom and we will design our spaces and activities to encourage physical distancing as much as possible.  
    o    We will begin the year with one class at a time in each space without mixing groups; we hope to be able to combine by age groups inside and outside soon after based on the overall health of the community.
    o    To prevent interactions between groups or divisions, we are suspending visits from Upper and Middle School helpers and whole-school events like pep rallies. Access to other areas of campus will be limited to avoid crossing paths with older students and routes for walks or buggy rides will be chosen to minimize non-Cottage interactions. Our younger classes will be placed into buggies or strollers in a configuration that allows for distance between children.
     
    • Playground: Outdoor free play is an important part of our curriculum, and continues to be a priority. Classes will use the playgrounds and other accessible areas on a daily basis while encouraging physical distancing. Individual groups will rotate onto the playground during the morning and afternoon with time in between for cleaning. Once a class leaves the playground, the cleaning crew will clean the equipment properly before another class enters the playground. Opportunities to visit all appropriate outdoor spaces will be scheduled so as to prevent overlapping of age groups. 
    • Limited Campus Access: Access to campus will be limited to employees, students, and essential vendors who will be asked to abide by specific protocols. In a strategic effort to keep our school healthy, all other persons shall refrain from visiting campus, except for daily carpool and student pickup. 
    o    Parents will not be allowed onto campus except for previously approved meetings; even then, they will not be allowed into our buildings. This means that some traditional community events will need to change or be rescheduled.
    o    We will not have outside teachers for music, Soccer Shots, etc. for the fall semester and Beyond the Bell (after school enrichment classes) will delay any offerings until later in the fall.  We are planning to include many of these activities as part of our regular curriculum.
    o    Therapists and other consultants will be allowed to provide services on campus, but will do so in a location apart from our classrooms. Children will be delivered between the classroom and the therapist and back again for each session.
     
    • Meals: Snacks and Lunch will be brought to the classrooms, as usual, and children will eat in their rooms at tables spaced to preserve distance between eaters. Each child will have an individual water bottle or sippy cup to be used during outdoor play and that is accessible in the classroom.  These cups will be stored and transported in containers that will prevent contact between personal items.
    • Supplies: Each classroom will have a supply of learning materials, toys, and art tools to be used exclusively within those rooms. Toys and high traffic items will be removed and cleaned after use and art supplies will be provided in individual amounts to discourage common use. All items in the classroom are chosen for ease of cleaning and sanitizing will be an ongoing practice throughout the day.
    • Cleaning: We have increased our cleaning crew to be able to meet the demands at this time. 
    o    Restrooms and high touch areas will be cleaned hourly by trained cleaning staff using CDC recommended cleansers. They will check for adequate supplies of soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer, as well.
    o    Diaper areas will be cleaned per our usual sanitation protocol after every child. 
    o    As much as is possible, children will use the restroom or have their diapers changed within their primary classroom to avoid cross-class interactions.Classroom teachers will also continually clean and sanitize toys, high-use materials, and furniture, and will monitor all children and areas of their classrooms for additional needs. Teachers will change clothes (for themselves and their children) should items become soiled or covered in bodily fluids. 
     
    • Hand washing: Students will be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water using the proper procedure when entering and exiting the classroom as well as before and after diaper changes and before and after snacks and lunch. They will also be encouraged to wash their hands every 1 to 2 hours while in the classroom. If hand washing is not accessible, hand sanitizer will be used under strict teacher supervision.
     
    • Communication: We do not want to change the closeness that you feel with your child’s teachers, but this year, parent communication will rely on documentation and conversations via HiMama, email, or old-school phone calls since we will not be able to have the face-to-face meetings of the past.  While we hope to resume these in-person conversations soon, I have no doubt that our teachers’ relationships with children will grow just as they always have and that they will work to discover ways to have those same solid connections with you. You are always welcome to call me directly - 736-9901 - or to email me at any time with concerns or to share exciting or fun news!
     
    • What to do…
    o    If your child is sick - Stay home. It is important that everyone works together to keep our community healthy. While we know that this may be inconvenient, especially for working parents, it is vital to maintaining the overall health of our children.  
    o    If your child gets sick while on campus - We will notify you at once about any perceived illness, especially when accompanied by fever or any respiratory symptoms or if it is determined that the child should be isolated. Should this be the case, your child will stay with a Cottage teacher in the isolation area adjacent to the nurse’s office.  It is expected that you will respond promptly to this notification and will come within the hour.  If you believe that it may be difficult for you to respond quickly, please make sure to share with us the contact information for someone who may be more readily available. Upon arrival, you will be alerted about what will be required in order for your child to return (length of exclusion; possible doctor’s note; proof of medication or treatment given; etc.).
    o    If your child is exposed to someone who is sick on campus - We will send a notice to any families whose children are exposed to any illness while at school.  For typical childhood illnesses (Fifth Disease; Hand, Foot, Mouth; RSV; Lice; etc), we will continue to follow our protocol of alerting parents via note and email with information about the disease, any symptoms, and recommended steps for prevention or action.  For more contagious illnesses, we will notify you once we are made aware and will let you know what requirements we must follow regarding quarantine, medical follow-up, testing, and date of return.  Note that should your child be exposed to COVID-19, you will also hear from the Department of Health with further information.
     
    I know that this is a lot to throw at you at once, but I want you to have plenty of time to digest it and to realize that what truly makes the Cottage special will not change. Children are resilient and will adapt to our new protocols quickly.  I understand that it may take a little longer for you to feel comfortable with this “new normal,” but our summer program has helped us to see that this structure still allows for a lot of fun and is not as restrictive as we might have thought.  The kids have already embraced carpool, even the infants and ones, and I think it may actually grow to be something that we love for the independence that it brings. 
     
    I am available to answer any questions that you have and am grateful for the nervous excitement that comes as we approach the start of a new year. Enjoy the rest of your summer!  I look forward to the great experience to come!
     
    Together We Are Saints!
    Holly
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  • Books on Video from Holly

    Good Evening, Families!

    I want to finish the year with a final big supply of books on video that can carry you for a few weeks (or days!).  I am happy to continue reading if kids have requests or specific topics, but for now, here is a videopalooza of some fun titles plus a final set of art lessons from Jordan and one last Religion video for the Maples, Oak, and Cypress.
     
    Enjoy!
    Holly
     
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  • May 22, Week 10 Update

    Dear Cottage Families,

    We have officially made it through the 2019-2020 school year!  I want to take a chance to thank you one more time for your hard work during this time and to congratulate you for surviving this season.  While next Monday is not likely to look much different at your homes than this Monday or the series of Mondays that have preceded it, I hope that you will celebrate this next chapter as we begin to move toward what a colleague called the "Right Now Normal." Know that I and your teachers are anxious to see you in person and that as soon as we can safely assemble in groups of a sufficient size to accommodate everyone, we will plan class or grade level parties. We want everyone to have the chance to return to the Cottage for playground fun and, if not hugs, at least physically distant connections that do not require a screen!
     
    Below are final messages for your children and for you, though I hope that you will continue to keep in touch with me and with your teachers through the summer. 
    Holly’s final student message  
     
    Our plan is to resume school in as close to our regular manner as possible in the fall, so mark August 12 with a big red and blue star and get ready for the biggest reunion ever as we gather again as a community!  Until then, Happy Summer!
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  • May 15, Week 9 Update

    Cottage Families,

    Can you believe that we have reached the penultimate update for the year? With one week left before we officially end the 19-20 school session next Friday, the teachers are planning final celebratory activities and preparing to bid farewell to their classes. I want to thank you for a year that was certainly unforgettable! Although it has not finished the way that we all wished, I hope that you know that your family's contribution to our community was important and that we are glad that you were a part of it through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
     
    As we wind down for the year, I want to share a few final reminders:
    - If you have not yet retrieved your child's belongings, please reach out to your teacher to discuss options. We would really like for all of your personal items to go home so that we are able to sanitize this summer and start fresh in the fall.
     
    - If you have diapers, either at school or at home, that you will no longer need, I would be glad to take them for an end-of-year donation to the Junior League Diaper Bank. They are working in collaboration with Second Harvest to provide essential supplies to those in need. You can reply to this message if your items are on campus or if you would like to arrange a time to drop off.
     
    - We know that the difficult decision to cancel summer camp has been disappointing for you, as it has been for us, and may have you scrambling for summer care. While I cannot make specific recommendations or be the broker for your arrangements, I would encourage you to reach out to classroom teachers and after care staff, many of whom were planning to work this summer and may be able to help. As is our policy during the school year, however, any arrangements between you and these staffers would be solely on a personal basis and cannot involve the school. 
     
    - Finally, from the personal experience of navigating shingles over the last two weeks, I want to remind you how important it is to take care of yourselves as you are caring for your children. I know that this is easier said than done, but I hope that you are able to find time during the day or perhaps after the kids are asleep to slow down and breathe for even just a few minutes!
     
    As we prepare to part for the summer, I want to share just a few more resources that might be helpful to you:
     
      You can create a Do-It-Yourself Water Wall that is sure to keep children of all ages occupied for a while, especially as we are heading into warmer weather.  This can be created on a fence, a bathroom wall, or anywhere else that you have a fairly flat surface and the ability to adhere bottles, pool noodles, buckets with holes, or any other recyclables that you find to hold or pour water.  You can construct this for your child or let him create it for himself.  Trial and error can be a great part of the process, and the end result of a wet kid full of giggles will be well worth the tape or zip tie wrangling!
     
     
    image.png  For infants and toddlers, here is a fun way to introduce color mixing, create a lasting memento of this time in their lives, and encourage tummy time or sitting up (depending on the stage of development).   Place a piece of cardstock or thick paper on the floor and add globs of paint in your desired colors (this is also a great way to use any extra paint you might have in the house since the child will not directly touch the paint).  Depending on the paint you choose, you may also need a floor covering under the paper to catch excess spread.  Cover the paper generously with saran wrap and allow your child to touch, smush, move, or bang the paint for as long as desired. Remove the child, then the Saran Wrap, and finally the beautiful art and allow the masterpiece to dry.  Add your child's name and the date and frame, as desired! If it is a hit, create a collection to share with family or to mount on the nursery wall.
     
    Here are three links to sites that will offer lots of additional suggestions for activities, books, and fun projects to keep your child entertained, but that are generally low-prep and low pressure:
     
    As we can finally glimpse of the other side of our adventure in physical distancing, I and the teachers are counting the days until August, when we can at long last hug you and squeeze your children again!  For those families who are moving to other programs over the summer, know that you will be missed and that you will be remembered. Please stay in touch and share the successes that we know are to come for your children! For our Oaks, Cypresses, and Maples who are "graduating," we are so proud of all of you!  For many, we have watched you grow from the earliest months of life, and we are amazed at the tremendous children that have sprouted from those little seeds!  We look forward to watching you continue to become the men and women that you are meant to be!
     
    Have a terrific final weekend of the school year!
    Together We Are Saints!
     
    Holly
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  • May 1, Week 7 Update

    Good Afternoon, Cottage Families!
    I hope that you have had a great week and that the rain early on did not throw you too much out of your routine (whatever that might be!).

    This week, I just want to share a few additional resources and to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing:

    If you are engaging with our distance learning resources and exploring with your kids, you are doing the right thing!

    If you are doing none of the activities, but are hugging your kids and telling them that you love them, you are doing the right thing!

    If you are helping in the outside world and are coming home exhausted, but fulfilled, you are doing the right thing (and thank you!)!

    You are the only one that can determine what works best for your family, and we want to support you until we can be back together. We miss you all, but are grateful to have you in our community!

    Have a great weekend!  It is hard to believe that May is here already!  We are really hoping to have some form of socially distant goodbye for our classes, so stay tuned for information from your teachers about activities in late May.  Until then, if there are items that you need to retrieve from school, feel free to send me a message and I would be glad to open the buildings for your convenience!
     
    Together We Are Saints,
    Holly


    A SPECIAL ART PROJECT FROM MS. JORDAN:

    This week for art, we have two StM Coloring pages. To show that "Together we are Saints," please have your child color and decorate these pages however they choose. When done, please let your little artist show off their work by taking a photo of them holding their masterpieces. We will be creating a photo montage of all the cottage artists holding their pieces to share on the StM Facebook page to show continued school spirit in these trying times. Please let me know if posting your child's photo on our schools online page is approved by you when sending in your photos. My email is Jordan.Weinberger@stmsaints.com
    I cannot wait to see all the amazing ways your children decorate these pages. I truly miss creating with everyone and hope everyone has enjoyed exploring art in new ways at home.

    Respectfully,
    Jordan Weinberger
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  • April 22, Week 6 Update

    Good Morning, Families!

    Now that the day that we all feared, but somehow expected, has arrived and we confirmed that we will not return to campus this school year, I want to simply tell you that I am sad and that you are loved.  Our teachers have repeatedly said that the most difficult part of distance learning is being away from the children, and I can only agree.  As I work in my dining nook at my makeshift desk without the sounds of song and laughter and running feet in the halls, I realize the overwhelming importance that we all hold for each other and I am grieving the silence. Please know that I have been continually praying for all of you and covet the day when we will be able to be together again in person.  
     
    A Message for the Cottage Children
     
    I know that your teachers are doing a wonderful job of sharing activities, checking in on you, facilitating zoom meetings so that your children can see and talk to each other, and assuring that our classrooms maintain community even when apart.  I have enjoyed being a fly on the wall in some of these meetings, receiving messages from children and parents, and sharing some of my favorite books along the way.  I want to make sure that we are offering the support that YOU need during this time, so if there are additional resources that would be helpful, specific subjects that your child is showing a curiosity to explore, or just questions that you have, I invite you to reach out to me via email, phone, or text.
     
    We are planning a time to refresh your loose parts and activity materials for early next week, so stay tuned for more information from me or your teachers about how to get an infusion of supplies to last through Memorial Day.  Until then, here are a few fun activities that can be done outside or with items from around your house:
     
    * Celebrate Earth Day through gardening, making a bird feeder, creating a nature collage, or just going on a nature walk in your neighborhood.  Additional suggestions are available at: https://tinkerlab.com/fifty-earth-day-activities/  
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  • April 3, Week 3 Update

    Good Afternoon, Families!

    See the video below for information about retrieving diapers and other supplies, restocking resources, Spring Break, and our new return date.
     
    Reminder: We will celebrate Spring Break beginning with a professional development day on Holy Thursday and lasting through the following week (April 9-19)  Attached are three links that might be great options for family activities during this time.
     
     
     
    * TinkerLab April Art Challenge: https://tinkerlab.com/april-art-challenge/
     
    Please let us know if there is anything more that we can do to help you and your family. Have a great weekend!
     
    Together We Are Saints.
    Holly
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  • March 27, Week 2 Update

    Happy Friday, Families!
    Below is the link to my week 2 update: 
     
    I thought that a video might offer the chance for you who are multitasking to listen while you are working rather than having to read an extended message. If you prefer to read through a list of items covered, see below.
     
    Here are also a few book readings for the weekend:
     
     
     
    As a reminder, all books are stored in this folder: 
     
    Together We Are Saints,
    Holly
     
    Update Items:
    - Thank you for all that you are doing to sustain your children and to juggle the many roles that you are playing as parent, teacher, worker, and health monitor. You are doing a great job, even if you don't believe it, and what your children will remember about this time is the memories that you create as you are spending time together. Though it may seem incredibly fraught with stress, the books you read to them, the art projects that you celebrate, and the silly dances that you do together in the kitchen will be the snapshots that remain.
     
    - Thank you to the teachers for all that they have done to individualize communication with families and to translate a hands-on, relationship based teaching structure rooted in face-to-face interactions into a nurturing distance learning environment delivered electronically.  They have gone beyond what I could have imagined in creating ways to build community from afar.
     
    - We are going to have a school-wide Professional Development day on Monday so that teachers across our campus will have the chance to pause and evaluate our current means of teaching.  It will give us a chance to talk about difficulties, to streamline our methods of communication with families and each other, and will help us to make a plan for the next phase of distance learning.  It will also offer a much-needed break for the students, particularly in Middle and Upper School, to rest and reset for the next few weeks' studies.
    This will not alter the Cottage plan much beyond the fact that content that has been delivered on Mondays may be deferred to Tuesday and teachers may not be as accessible as they join zoom meetings throughout the day.
     
    - I miss you and your children!  Please send photos, messages, or videos via email or text. I promise to respond!
     
    - If you were unable to take home supplies (especially diapers!), and find that you need them, please let me know. I can bag them for pick up at school at your convenience.
     
    - We want to provide enough activity suggestions and resources to support you, but do not want to overwhelm you. If you are in need of more suggestions or a different type of support, please reach out to me or to your teachers. If you are overwhelmed and are not even ready to consider the first round of activities, that's okay!  Read to your kids and find 5-10 minutes to spend some one-on-one time with them during the day just being together. :)
     
    - Keep loving on each other and following the guidelines of our local leaders to flatten the curve.  Be safe and be healthy!
    Holly Dalferes, M.Ed.
    Director, George Cottage
    St. Martin's Episcopal School
    225 Green Acres Road
    Metairie, LA  70003
    504-736-9901 
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  • March 20, Week 1 Update

    Good evening, Families!
    We have made it through week one of distance learning and I have heard from many of you that you are settling into a routine and are discovering the joy of having some extended time with your children.  I hope that this continues and that you will let us know how we can help you to make this a great period of learning and fun for your family.
     
    Below is a video recap of the week and one more story to carry you through the weekend.  In case you need them, messages from me and from our larger school community will be posted on the StM COVID-19 Information Page (https://www.stmsaints.com/about/stm-news/covid-19-school-information--messagesand beginning next week, I will add all of my videos to a folder that will be linked there so that you can find them in one location.  Once that is in place, I will let you know and will send a reminder with each new message.
     
    Holly's 3/20 update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcA5PFW0vCE 
     
     
    I hope that you will continue to share photos and videos with me in the coming weeks.  I miss you all and look forward to being together again soon!
     
    Together We Are Saints.
    Holly
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  • March 16

    Dear George Cottage Parents,

    I hope that you and your families are safe and doing well.  I wanted to reach out to you today to make sure you understand our plan for continuous learning.  While our interactions with students will be generally less academic than what children in older divisions will experience, we are committed to maintaining contact with your families and continuing to support you as best we can remotely. We aim to provide meaningful learning experiences for the students during this time off-campus, and will continue to share content that will build their skills in all areas. 

    Our faculty have been hard at work preparing to transition to distance learning starting this Wednesday, March 18. Below is a summary of our Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP) as it relates to George Cottage families and teachers. 

    The Role of the Teacher:
    So much of what makes early education special centers around the social elements of teachers and students learning together.  It is our goal to maintain these connections between parents, teachers, and children while the role of primary daytime caregiver shifts back to parents during this period.  

    Your child's teachers will check in with you twice a week to maintain a personal connection and discuss the physical and emotional wellbeing of your family. As we know, each family will have different needs during this time. Therefore teachers will have an initial conversation with you this week about your plans (which we understand may be more fluid than consistent) and then will adapt their communication pattern to best fit your availability and need for support.

    I have asked teachers to check email and HiMama several times each day, and we will continue to use those forums as our primary means of communication.  We will share activities on a weekly basis using materials that were sent home, that you may already have, or that can be easily acquired. In addition, we plan to share websites and parenting blogs, as well as literacy videos and songs that you can sing together. 

    We will also create and share content so that your child will be able to see familiar faces and hear familiar voices during this time. Twice a week, the teachers will share a virtual storytime with videos of them reading books, narrating a nature walk, or sharing an activity.  We understand that each family may be on a different schedule based on the work patterns of parents, the availability of caregivers, and the general health of the family. As such, our current plan is for content to be available on-demand rather than on a live schedule. Any real-time sessions will be advertised with plenty of notice to allow participation by the largest group possible.

    Your home is your child's first classroom, so our goals are to support you in keeping your children happy and engaged; to provide you with resources to help your child continue to grow; and to keep you connected to our community even while we are physically apart. 

    The Roles of the Parent and Student:
    On Friday, your child took home a collection of items that can be used to encourage open-ended learning and to reinforce some of the activities that we use as provocations within the classroom on a daily basis. Items like straws, pompoms, toothpicks, styrofoam balls, chopsticks, and foam shapes can all be used to help your child create works of art, practice fine motor skills, use their planning and imagination skills, and include math within their play.  We have also included a list of high-quality books to read with your child as well as a list of suggested activities to keep them exploring and occupied. We have a bag set aside for each child, so if your student did not receive a bag, please contact me to arrange access. At the beginning of April, we will plan an opportunity for you to replenish your resources.

    Because we want to maintain connections with you and your children, we would love to see and share photos of your family in action and hear feedback on how the children responded to the activities that we shared or that you undertook. This is a great way to simulate a playdate while still honoring the recommendation of social distancing. 

    Though not a requirement, a journal of your time at home is also a good idea to document things learned, questions that were provoked by your child’s play, and milestones reached.  It can be as simple as keeping an electronic album of photos on your phone or it could be a physical accumulation of work-product in a notebook or binder. Once we reunite, it will be a great way for children to share their experiences with their peers and to reflect all that they learned while they were apart.  

    Emotional Support:
    Remember that children learn best through play and that they may not always be able to tell you when they are feeling anxious. Children are very intuitive and may reflect the concern that they sense from you in their play. Some changes in temperament are to be expected during this confusing time, so be aware when your child may be trying to navigate some big feelings. Help her or him to name those emotions and to work through them.

    Know that we are here to support you and your family during this time.  Please feel free to reach out to me, your child’s teachers, or our counselor, Christina Heath (christina.heath@stmsaints.com).

    Flexibility and Understanding:
    We understand that this period of distance learning will be a challenge for everyone and that flexibility will be the key to success. The teachers and I are working to help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with having your child at home for an extended period of time. At the same time, we ask that you be equally patient and understanding with our faculty as they navigate supporting families almost exclusively online, a forum very different from the daily face-to-face conversations that we are able to have with most of you. 

    I am accessible via email, and messages from my office phone will come to me via email, so you are welcome to reach out at any time - day or night - with any questions or concerns by calling 736.9901, and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

    Our overarching goal at George Cottage, as it is for all of St. Martin's, is to be a community of healthy and happy learners. Though we will be physically apart for a short time, we will remain close in spirit and we are looking forward to our reunion.  You will all be in my prayers as you navigate this time.

    Together We Are Saints.

    Sincerely,
    Holly
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George Cottage Resources

Messages from Administration

List of 16 items.

  • CURRENT, July 27, 3:15 p.m.

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  • July 1, 3 p.m.

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  • May 26, 7 p.m.

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  • April 21, 3 p.m.

    
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  • George Cottage Message, April 21

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  • LHSAA Suspends Spring Season, April 9

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  • April 2, 12 p.m.

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  • March 29, 9 p.m.

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  • To Alumni and Friends, March 22

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  • March 19, 1:00 p.m.

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  • March 18, 9:00 p.m.

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  • March 16, 12:00 p.m.

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  • March 14, 8:00 p.m.

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  • March 13, 2:00 p.m.

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  • March 11, 3:30 p.m.

    There are few circumstances that do more to showcase the strengths of a community than those that require pulling together to navigate through uncertain times. Working with  St. Martin’s administration, faculty, and staff over the last few weeks to determine our next steps in responding to the threat of the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 has been both reassuring and encouraging. 

    We have no reason to believe COVID-19 is currently in our population at school. However, since the number of confirmed cases in New Orleans continues to grow, we feel it is critical to urge our families and employees to help us take steps to protect our community...
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  • March 3, 6:30 p.m.

    In light of the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States...
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List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Merry Sorrells

    Dr. Merry Sorrells 

    Head of School
    504.736.9970
    2014

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Eileen Smilari

    Mrs. Eileen Smilari 

    School Nurse
    504.736.9944
    Fairfield University - BSN
    Hunter College-CUNY - Master's degree
    2014

Policy

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