May 13, 2020
Dear SPC Families,
I pray you are well and have been able to get outside today and enjoy the gorgeous weather. Here are a few updates regarding the end of the year:
MAY 26th at 5:30: PLEASE JOIN US IN A VERY SPECIAL PARADE TO CELEBRATE OUR GRADUATES!
We need your help in showing our SPC love to the Class of 2020. We all know the end of their 8th-grade year was not what we envisioned for them, but we still want to send them off with a celebration. One of the things we have planned is an SPC Parade. Please join us on May 26th from 5:30-6:00. Our graduates will be lined up (social distancing) in their caps and gowns along Ridge Terrace and Summit. I know it would mean a lot to see so many of their SPC family wish them well!
END OF YEAR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL BELONGINGS & RETURN OF BOOKS
You will receive grade-level specific information regarding this process. We are still working out logistics. This will be communicated to families the week of May 25th. Collection for grades Preschool-7 will take place the week of June 1st. Given the large number of students and the need to social distance, the collection may extend into June 8-9th. Your student will be given a specific time and specific location to come to campus to drop off materials.
I know this is at the forefront of many of our minds. However, at this time, I do not have any information regarding what the beginning of school may look like. While SPC will have approximately 620 students, please keep in mind that we have the luxury of having two buildings to sort through logistics. According to Governor Pritzker, schools opening are Phase 4. Here are a few things I anticipate based on the phased approach of the opening of Illinois and have been mentioned in various conversations.
- There will be no large gatherings. For example, we will probably not have a large Back to School Parent Night. All-School Masses will not happen until it is safe to do so.
- Possible temperature checks as students enter the building.
- Only employees allowed in the building.
- Scattered times for arrival and dismissal.
- Changes to passing periods for the UGC.
I want to say that this is all speculation. As soon as we receive guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Archdiocese of Chicago, I will communicate the plan. However, we are currently focussing our energy on the details required to end the school year.
I look forward to seeing you all at the parade tomorrow!
Dr. Erika Mickelburgh
Scholastic Book Fair MAY 11 - SEPT. 4
We're having a Summer Read-a-Palooza Virtual Book Fair! You can support SPC while discovering favorite characters, series, and collections all summer long. Orders are delivered right to your doorstep and you can take advantage of FREE shipping on book-only purchases over $25.
Let's make this a summer to instill a love of reading!
May 1, 2020
Dear SPC Parents,
I pray this finds you all healthy and enjoying this beautiful sunshine!
We have just completed week 7 of the stay at home order and are preparing for another five weeks of remote learning. I am fully aware that this has not been easy, and while many of us have eased into a routine and pattern, the extended time can begin to take a toll on all of us. The reality of this extended situation requires another pivot in our remote learning plan. The Illinois State Board of Education has allowed schools to take five additional days as professional development days throughout the rest of the school year. To gear up for another five weeks of remote learning, we have decided to implement the following:
- No academic work will be assigned on the remaining Fridays in May (May 8, May 15, May 22, May 29). These days will be used for teachers to catch up and plan. These will also be days that can be used for students to catch up on missing work. These days will be an opportunity for students to engage in some social-emotional activities or get outside and enjoy (hopefully) beautiful weather.
- Teachers will not be available for Zoom calls or Google Hangout meetings.
- Teachers will be providing a variety of social-emotional activities for each grade level that will be posted on Google homeroom pages. THESE ACTIVITIES ARE COMPLETELY OPTIONAL but provide options for students during this extended stay at home. They will be listed as choice boards on Google Classroom.
LAST DAYS OF SCHOOL:
LAST DAY FOR 8th GRADE: May 22
LAST DAY OF PRESCHOOL/PREKINDERGARTEN-June 3
LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN-June 4
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL GRADES 1-7 -June 5
LAST DAY TO SUBMIT MISSING WORK FOR ALL GRADES - JUNE 5
GRADING POLICY FOR REMOTE LEARNING THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR:
The Archdiocese has been carefully considering the guidelines distributed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in regards to grading. In collaboration with the Office of Catholic Schools, the grading policy for SPC is as follows:
- We will ensure that positive learning continues through e-learning and alternative learning.
- All grades are updated in Powerschool for grades 3-8. If you have questions related to your child’s progress, please contact the teacher.
- Students will continue to receive grades for assignments, as well as end-of-term grades, based upon the local school’s grading scale.
- Student grades prior to the implementation of remote learning should only be maintained or improved.
- A grade of “I” or incomplete will be reflected in the PowerSchool account if work is not completed. Grades of “I” can be changed to a letter grade when the work is completed. A grade of “I” or incomplete will be reflected on the final 2019-2020 report card if the work is not completed or no remote learning has occurred. This will be reflected in a student’s permanent record.
- All Students have the ability to reassess and resubmit any assigned remote learning assignment until June 5, 2020. This includes 8th-grade students.
- Letter Grades will be assigned for: Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Religion. PFA’s will be assigned a Pass/Fail. Students in grades 6-8 will earn a grade for Spanish; all other grades will be Pass/Fail. Students in grades 7-8 will also earn a grade for their elective.
- Report cards for preschool-grade 2 will remain the same but may indicate items that were not assessed (which will be indicated as “not assessed” on the report card) given the constraints of remote learning.
- Final report cards will be emailed home on June 10, 2020.
In the next few weeks, we will outline times and procedures for returning textbooks and collecting personal belongings from school.
Thank you for your continued patience and support during this time. I pray that you all remain healthy and safe.
Dr. Erika Mickelburgh
Letter From Fr. Britto To The 8th Graders
April 24, 2020
Dear SPC Families,
I pray this finds you all healthy and doing well. I know it was not easy to hear that the shelter in place order was extended, but I think we all recognize it is the right thing to do to save lives. Our teachers and students continue to work on providing a quality Catholic education, and I see that many grade levels are adjusting instruction based on parent feedback. Parents, I know this has been a challenge, and I can't thank you enough for your support these past few weeks.
Construction on the Lower Level UGC:
Last week the small amount of asbestos abatement work was completed. Given that school is not in session, we have been given the green light to proceed with the start of construction in the next few weeks! Stay tuned for some "demolition day" photos!
Return of Books, Chrome Books, and Collection of Personal Items from Desks and Lockers:
As part of the new Stay at Home Order, schools are allowed to provide access to the building to allow for the collection and distribution of items. We are currently working out these logistics, but it will take place the last week of school. I imagine that specific homerooms and grade levels will be issued a set day and time to return their textbooks and obtain their belongings. We will provide more details at a later date, and I am still waiting on guidance from the Archdiocese in formulating the plan.
Please keep in your prayers our 8th Grade Class of 2020! While their last day of remote learning will remain May 22nd, we will be planning a celebration for them when we are able to safely gather again.
Elective Choices for 7th and 8th grade students for 2020-2021 School Year:
We are finalizing the course descriptions and will email the course selection information in Mid May.
We are currently working to make the May mailing 100% electronic! Please stay tuned for more information on the new portal.
Covid Resources for Families:
Tips for Parents
- KidsHealth: Helping Kids Get Used to Seeing Masks https://kidshealth.org/
Tips for Kids
- Sesame Street Printable: We Wash Because We Care (also attached) https://
sesamestreetincommunities.org/ wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ HealthEmergencies_because_we_ care.pdf
- COVID-related Mental Health and Recovery Resources (see attached for a list of resources for a variety of mental health services)
- 30 Minute Cardio Latin Dance Workout from Popsugar- Free https://www.youtube.com/
- Home Work-In with The Biggest Loser trainer Erica Lugo https://www.youtube.com/
- COVID-19 Grocery List Printable (attached to this email)
- Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are providing grab-and-go meals to children Monday through Friday between 9 am to 1 pm. Families may pick up to three days’ worth of meals for every child in their household. ID is not necessary. Locations are available at www.cps.edu/coronavirus/
- Check out the animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium https://www.
Dr. Erika Mickelburgh
April 17, 2020
Dear SPC Families,
Never in my wildest imagination did I think when we dismissed on March 12 that we would not be together as a school for the remainder of the year. As I write this, the Governor is still answering questions at the press conference, and my mind has turned to our SPC community. While we all anticipated that this announcement was inevitable, it still makes the finality of it daunting.
On behalf of the faculty and staff, I want to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that our students continue to learn throughout the rest of the school year. Remote learning will continue until June 6th, and teachers will also put together enrichment activities as an option for the summer; these enrichment activities will be optional. Teachers in all grade levels will continue to make adjustments in ensuring our students experience a sense of community and connection to their teachers and classmates while learning. I want to take the time to thank our teachers for their steadfast attention to adapting remote instruction to meet the needs of students and families. I could not think of a finer group of educators to walk with in this journey.
Parents, I fully understand the stress you all are faced with as you balance the demands of working from home and assisting your children with school work. I want to say again that our teachers are available to alter assignments and provide support. Please reach out to teachers with any questions or concerns. I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you for your encouragement and words of thanksgiving and constructive feedback these past few weeks.
Lastly, I ask that you keep our 8th-grade graduates and SPC alumni in your prayers. The next few weeks were supposed to be filled with fun activities celebrating their many years of formation at SPC. These celebrations, whether it be May Crowning, the Cubs game, Memory Dinner, or Graduation, are community celebrations focused on our graduates as they prepare to transition to high school. In the next few weeks, we will work to plan a celebration for our graduates when we are able to gather again.
Please also keep in your prayers the SPC graduates who are the senior class of 2020 who, rather than planning for Proms and Graduation, are faced with finishing their senior year at home.
In the upcoming days, I will update all families on procedures for the end of the year. I will be collaborating with teachers and local principals on procedures to return textbooks, collect personal items from desks and lockers in early June. Grading policies will have to be revised, and a plan for examining curriculum maps for when we return in August will have to be put into place. While there is no manual for how to navigate school operations during a global pandemic, please know that all decisions are being made with our students at the forefront. There is much to be organized and planned, and I appreciate your patience as we work through these details.
May God continue to watch over you all and your families during this difficult time.
Dr. Erika Mickelburgh
PS: If there are any “parades” for birthdays, please let me know, I would be happy to be a part of those little celebrations!
April 2, 2020
Dear SPC Families,
I pray that you are all doing well and remain healthy. As you already know, Governor Pritzker has extended school closures until April 30th. I pray that we can be together soon, but in the meantime, we are working to strengthen our remote learning so that our students continue to learn.
Please note the following:
1. Our teachers have received excellent feedback from parents regarding possible changes to remote learning. As I mentioned in Sunday's email, we initially planned for two weeks, and now we are pivoting again to change our approach to deliver higher quality instruction for a longer period of time. Many grade levels have already made some of these changes, and some will be forthcoming after Spring Break. Changes include some of the following:
- Using Screencastify to include more direct instruction from teachers. This is a new resource for our teachers, so they have just completed training this week.
- Smaller student groups in Zoom lessons to provide support.
- Clearer directions from teachers on how to submit work on Google Classroom.
2. Spring Break will take place from April 9th-April 17th. Remote learning will resume on April 20th. No Remote learning on April 9th.
3. FIELD TRIPS: Even if we return to school on May 1st, I have canceled all field trips for the rest of the school year. As a result, all unused field trip funds from the field trip fee will be credited to families' May tuition statement. (7th grade will not receive a credit because the Springfield Trip has just been moved to October 22nd).
4. Please complete the SPC REMOTE LEARNING SURVEY
Please submit a separate survey for each child. Given the remote learning considerations and demands for different grade levels, it is important that we receive feedback focused on individual grade levels. Your feedback will assist our teachers in planning for the longer period of remote learning.
5. See below for a parent resource, we know parenting during this pandemic is challenging. The resource below from Compass Health Center may provide valuable tools.
Resources from Compass Health Center:
Parenting in a Pandemic: Support for Families
Just about everyone we know is experiencing heightened anxiety and added stress due to COVID-19. Kids' schedules and routines have been upended, and parents are being asked to juggle more than ever in these uncertain times. Working from home, e-learning, boredom, an increase in irritability, and a lack of physical activity are just a few of the issues raised by parents over the last several weeks.
We have decided to offer a free, drop-in discussion session for parents to provide support and guidance during this challenging time. Question and discussion sessions will be led by licensed clinical psychologists and offered via ZOOM.
Dr. Ronald S. Dachman. Dr. Ronald S. Dachman is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of Behavioral Psychology Associates, P.C. He is the Director of Clinical Training and has been working with children, adolescents, and families for over 30 years. Dr. Dachman’s clinical interests include parent-child training and parent-coaching, the management of behaviors associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the treatment of anxiety disorders, issues pertaining to divorce, and pediatric psychology.
Dr. Virginia Seng. Dr. Virginia (Gigi) Seng is a licensed clinical psychologist. Affiliated with Behavioral Psychology Associates since 1999, Dr. Seng specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families. Her clinical interests include social skills training, treatment of anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and pediatric psychology. She especially enjoys working with children and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum.
First session: April 13, 2020 7:00pm Central Time
Facilitator: Virginia Seng, Ph.D.
Topic: Parenting in a Pandemic: Support for parents
Date/Time: Use the following link and ID to join our Zoom Meeting
Tuesday Mass at 9:00 am:
Please join us on Tuesday, April 7th at 9:00 am. We will celebrate Mass as a school from the Holy Family Chapel via Facebook Live. If you haven’t like our Facebook page, please make sure you do. Please have your students join us for Mass.
Lastly, please look below to review a few of the programs taking place. The Endowment Merit Scholarship application deadline is coming up on April 7th. All of the details are outlined below.
Dr. Erika Mickelburgh
Heart of the School Awards Nomination Due Date Extended to April 3, 2020
Every year, the Archdiocese of Chicago honors outstanding Catholic school employees with the Heart of the School Awards. Any current full or part-time St. Paul of the Cross School teacher, administrator, or staff member may be nominated here through April 3, 2020. Nominations are accepted across seven categories: Heart of Christ, Heart of the Community, Heart of Excellence, Heart of Enrichment, Heart of the Future, Heart of Inclusion, and Heart of Service. We encourage all school parents and students to consider the many ways your teachers and staff embody the descriptions of these seven categories and take a moment to honor them with your nomination. Parents, students, fellow teachers and staff may submit up to seven separate nominations (one form per category). Winners will be selected by a committee appointed by the Office of Catholic Schools and honored at the Heart of the School luncheon this spring.
ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIPS DEADLINE EXTENDED APRIL 7th - Attention Parents and Students - Five Merit Based Scholarships
The Endowment Committee is excited to announce the merit-based scholarships available to current SPC students for the 2020-2021 school year. Each year the Endowment administers five merit-based, named scholarships totaling $3,750:
- Pastoral Leadership Award- We are pleased to invite current 5th and 6th grade students to Three monetary awards of $750 will be given to students who most demonstrate the qualities of leadership and service to others.
- Maureen Kelly McCambridge Scholarship- We are pleased to invite current 7th grade students to apply for this $1000 scholarship established in Maureen’s honor and
- Roseann McHugh New Family Welcome Award- This $500 award is available to families who, for the first time during the 2019-2020 school year, have students in K-7th grades and are returning to SPC for a second year. It will be granted to welcome a new family to the SPC community.
St. Baldrick's Save the Date and Sign Up! Virtual Event
Last Year SPC raised over $33,000 to fight childhood cancer. We participated in honor of Dominic Vecchio, who sadly lost his courageous battle this December. This year let us honor the memory and fight of Dominic and so many children who face cancer. Please consider joining the team and raising money. Last year we also had a great time at the event while fighting for a great cause!
Preschool- read 50 books
Prekindergarten- read 50 books
Kindergarten- read 480 minutes
First Grade- read 25 books on their own
Second Grade- read 600 minutes
Third Grade- read 700 minutes
Fourth Grade- read 600 minutes
Fifth Grade- read 600 minutes
Sixth Grade- read 400 minutes
Seventh Grade- read 400 minutes
Eight Grade- read 400 minutes
The Six Flags® Read to Succeed Six Hour Reading Club
A few weeks ago all kindergarten through sixth grade students received the Six Flags Read to Succeed Six Hour Reading Club information. The Six Flags® Read to Succeed Six Hour Reading Club is due by Wednesday. April 8th. Teachers will not be accepting reading logs after that date. Every student in kindergarten through sixth grade who completes six hours of recreational reading and enters the information online by Friday, Wednesday, April 8th is eligible for a free admission ticket valid at Six Flags Great America. Tickets will arrive in May, and will be distributed to those students that participated.
This year all reading logs need to be completed online. You can register your child/ren by going to http://www.sixflags.com/books . Please see all homeroom teacher’s codes below.
Homeroom Teacher Codes:
Mrs. Kusinski- XW4QZ
Mrs. Murphy- PADTH
Mrs. Rinaldi- A9TU3
Mrs. Chaparro- D9EAH
Ms. Chambers- PZZHU
Mrs. Johnson- A5CY6
Mrs. Galvin- EKCVJ
Mrs. Valdez- JPDBZ
Ms. FaQuin- ZQNPZ
St. Paul of the Cross Parish
We have an active and vibrant parish and encourage everyone to read the weekly bulletins for Fr. Britto's weekly letter and to stay informed about all of the upcoming events and programs. Parish Bulletin for April 5, 2020
From The Community