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COVID-19 School Information & Messages

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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