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April 2020


Federation of Catholic Schools
United and 
Alive in Christ
News from the North County
Federation of Catholic Schools
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Thanking God for the Gift of Our Catholic Schools


As we enter the month of May, a time that is usually jam-packed with gatherings and celebrations to wrap up another successful school year, our community - our whole world - is forced to approach this ending in a new and different way. The time is still jam-packed for school administrators and teachers. But instead of award ceremonies, field trips, festivals and graduations, the days are filled with zoom meetings, trial and error, seeking ways to educate and celebrate while attending to ever-changing health and safety guidelines. In our Catholic school and parish communities, we have the privilege of abiding together in prayer as we navigate the many changes this pandemic has thrust upon us.


So, in a special way this year, we give praise and thanks to God for the many gifts that He continues to provide for us:

  • The gift of our school leaders.  Most don’t know or realize the depth and breadth of decision-making that our principals and pastors engage in, always keeping as priority the safety and well-being of the souls entrusted to their care.  By working together, principals are able to help one another address the challenges all are facing.  The solutions are not one-size-fits-all, and each school has adapted a distance learning plan that best serves its families. Principals are supporting one another with regular check-in meetings through zoom where they share ideas and information and help each other through challenges as they arise.

  • The gift of our teachers.  In a very short period of time our teachers were thrown into a whole new way of working with their students.  How quickly they adapted, through challenges and obstacles along the way, and they have done a tremendous job in providing learning opportunities to help everyone stay connected.  Their success is a testament to their dedication and love of their students.  They were also supported with relationships formed by participation in Professional Learning Teams and the experience teachers and students have had with the use of Chromebooks and GSuite/Google Classroom, thanks in large part to the $100,000 Beyond Sunday grant that was awarded by the Roman Catholic Foundation to our Federation of Catholic Schools in the 2017-18 school year.

  • The gift of our students. They are the reason our leaders and teachers are working so hard.  While important to keep them engaged in learning “from a distance,” even more vital is their health, safety and emotional well-being. This year's graduating 8th grade class and high school seniors have been challenged with loss of traditions and celebrations. We hope they feel some comfort through the special love and attention our school communities are working to give them.  Let us learn from our students’ creativity and try to see the world through their young eyes to know what’s really important.

  • The gift of their parents. As Catholics we know that parents are the first teachers of their children.  While this is always true, right now they are taking on this role in a way most never anticipated. While teachers are working to provide the content and curriculum, parents are at the head of the classroom now, often in addition to working from home or fulfilling their roles as essential workers outside the home. The strong parent involvement, commitment and sacrifice that our Catholic schools have always enjoyed is a blessing we cannot ever take for granted.

  • The gift of community. We are especially grateful to our parish communities for all the prayers and support they provide.  In this difficult time of physical separation, it is a great comfort to pastors, principals, teachers and students to know that parishioners throughout the North County Deanery are lifting us all in prayer.

  • The gift of Jesus. The Grace we receive through the sacraments is a cornerstone of our Catholic faith. Spring is usually filled with celebrations of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. As we feel the absence of physical celebrations and the loss of the ability to receive the Eucharist, we have HOPE in the Risen Jesus Christ for the time when our parish and school communities will be together again - Alleluia! How sweet that will be!


We have so much gratitude for all of these people who make up our Catholic schools in North County, and we ask God’s blessings upon us all as we continue to work and pray through the challenges and see and embrace the opportunities as He leads us into the future together!


Although we currently cannot provide in-person tours and shadowing, all of our Catholic schools in North County are eager to welcome new families who are seeking an excellent education rooted in gospel values. Please share with your neighbors and friends that he time to enroll for the 2020-21 school year is NOW! Contact information for each school can be found at www.federationofcatholicschools.org


Hello from your Catholic School elementary principals together on their zoom meeting today!

Principal-zoom



BLESSINGS ABOUND IN NORTH COUNTY!

Attention current and past Catholic school parents and teachers! Have you spent any extra time reflecting on what your Catholic school and parish community means to you during this time of staying at home? 

 

Click here and share your thoughts with us. You never know what seeds God has been planting during this Easter season - and how those might inspire others!



HELP US SHARE THE GOOD NEWS!

Would you recommend your Catholic school to other families?  While we can't invite prospective families in to our school buildings for tours and shadow days right now, we can still share the good news about our schools with the community! Please let us know what you would say about your school to a family looking at options for educating their child.  Or, better yet, take a video of yourself saying this message.


Share a video testimonial:

Mini-video script/guide use your phone or video camera to record a brief (1 minute or less) video. 

  • Hi, my name is [first name] and my [son-s/daughter-s/child-ren] attend [school name].  Feel free to include kids in the video and have them introduce themselves if you would like.

  • We love our school because... [enter your message here].  

  • If you’re looking for a great school for your child, be sure to check out [school name].


Please feel free to share your video or reflection on your own social media and tag your school in it! You are also invited to e-mail your testimonial (written or video) to Cara Koen at advancement@federationofcatholicschools.orgPlease note that by sharing a video with us you are authorizing us to share it on our Federation of Catholic Schools and your local school's website and social media.

Keeping the Faith Alive!
Our parishes and schools continue to pray together though physically apart.  Many are livestreaming daily or weekly Mass and other devotions. Here are a few links to check out:

Be Not Afraid

Check out inspirational videos from priests around the Archdiocese, 
including a few familiar faces from North County!
wyrsch

olsen


Diversity Theme (1)

Planning for Diversity & Inclusion Continues
Core Teams at each of our schools continue to work on plans to be implemented in the coming year.  Thanks to the generous Beyond Sunday Grant received from the Roman Catholic Foundation, Dr. Alice Prince continues to work with all principals and Core Teams as they write SMART goals in support of enhancing diversity and inclusion at each of our Catholic schools. Core Teams have identified specific areas where their school and parish will benefit from specific, achievable action plans that will support teachers, students and parents as they work to maintain a school culture that is safe and welcoming for all.  A presentation of the plans will be scheduled soon.

Questions? Contact Dr. Alice Prince at aprince@federationofcatholicschools.org or Cara Koen at advancement@federationofcatholicschools.org or 314-537-3174.

North County Community News & Events:
2020Census

North County, Inc. Regional Development Corporation invites everyone learn more about Census 2020 and why it is so important to North County.  Help bring dollars back to our community by encouraging others to participate and getting the facts out about Census 2020. Click here for more information and resources.


Spread the Word! Follow our Schools and Parishes on Facebook

Many of our Federation schools and parishes are becoming more active on social media, especially Facebook.  Please consider "Liking" these pages on Facebook and sharing their posts when something may be of interest to your network! By "Liking" and "Following" you can also catch a glimpse of the many great academic programs and service opportunities that our Catholic school students engage in throughout their days!

Think about why you choose (or chose if you have alumni) a Catholic school for your children. Share your thoughts on social media or simply in conversation with friends and family members.
    And, most importantly, PRAY for our students, teachers, principals, pastors, parishioners and all who support Catholic education in our community.

    Other North County Catholic institutions are also on Facebook - be sure to follow them, too!
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    (314) 537-3174
             Email: advancement@FederationofCatholicSchools.org
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