Dear St. Katharine of Siena School Families,

We are in the home stretch of Lent. The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and giving alms. These are ways we can put our faith in action. It’s “walking the walk.”  Model these three pillars for your children and they will follow your lead.

This Wednesday, there is a movement for all schools nationwide to walk outside and have 17 minutes of silence in remembrance of the 17 victims and families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland Fla. We know that at the elementary school level not all of our students are fully aware of the tragic events that occurred on February 14th in one of our nation’s schools. We respect parental decisions shielding their children from this violence.

As a school will have a special prayer service in the morning to remember and honor them.  The service will be held in school.  After the prayer service, which will be done over the intercom with students in their homerooms, we will make the following announcement about Kindness Day. Many schools are doing this:

                                                                        March 14 is Kindness Day

Today we are going to celebrate kindness. Today we ask you to talk to a classmate you would not normally talk to. Smile at a classmate and say a kind word to them. Open your heart to someone who needs support and provide friendship to them. Today, make a difference in our school and be kind to all of those around you.  We are 417 reasons to make a difference.  We are 417 reasons for a positive change. Let’s continue to live this way every day and make our schools and our community a caring, kind, and welcoming place for everyone.

Since the Parkland shooting I have been flooded with information about school violence from every perspective.  It is all overwhelming for any parent and teacher to comprehend. On Friday, I attended a meeting for all archdiocesan principals in Delaware County. The speaker was a former FBI agent who has spent time on school shootings and was involved with Sandy Hook.  He presented starkly the unthinkable: What if an active shooter situation should take place in your school?  Msgr. Brouwers and I will continue to have an ongoing conversation with our faculty and staff about the safety of our school.  At our next faculty in service on April 3rd, Radnor Police will be here to present situations and strategies from their perspective. The next step will be to have an active shooter drill for our faculty and staff. This will be done at a time when no students are present.  From your end, I ask again that whenever you come to school please to come through the main entrance and sign in and exit the same way.  

The month of March has wreaked havoc with all schools trying to establish continuity and routine in terms of academics. I am waiting to hear from the archdiocese as to whether we will have to make up any lost time. We have decided to postpone Spring Cultural Arts Night (SCAN) for this year to next year.  The rehearsal needed pulls students and teachers to and from classes which will take more time away from the classroom.  We need to afford teachers more class time to teach and make up for lost lessons. I hope you can understand this decision.

I hope many of you will be able to attend the Home and School Speaker series tomorrow night at 7 pm in the cafeteria: Paul Sanfrancesco speaks nationally on digital awareness for parents and students. He will meet with our students on Tuesday morning, first with our KG-4 grades; followed by a separate assembly for grades 5 to 8.  I have read at least a  dozen articles over the last month on the effects of screen time from toddlers to adolescents to adults.  It really is at epidemic proportions.

The 2nd trimester officially closed last Friday. Your child will receive her/his report from their homeroom teacher Tuesday March 20th.

We will begin taking the Terra Nova Test starting with the In View Test this Thursday for grades 3 to 8. This is similar to an IQ test and is a predictor of an anticipated score in the actual TN Tests given each morning next week.  A separate email will be sent about this test from me to all families this week. You will receive this email tomorrow.

March Madness is upon us so get on the SKS hompage  and get your bracket filled out for the NCAA pool. All proceeds will benefit SKS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

The blog pictures are from our Forensics Team  and our School Chorus. Congratulations to Sasha Reeder and Franny Gallagher, both who were awared certificates for placing in their events.

Here’s hoping March starts to become a bit kinder to us weather wise.

Take care,