Mrs. Ingham's Message for September 27, 2020
Our school is only as good as all of its members and supporters and as I watch our teachers each and every day, maneuver all of the changes to keep out students safe and healthy, my heart is smiling. There is no more dedicated group of educators anywhere, and if your child or grandchild attends SPS, you are truly blessed...many thanks and lots of prayers are sent to our staff...please know how much you are appreciated!
Our parish family keeps us on target and supports our mission and all that we are doing to raise strong, Christian young men and women in the image and likeness of God. To you, we send our daily prayers of thanksgiving and ask you to pray for us each day as well.
Our families are a source of ongoing support and encouragement. So often as we greet and dismiss the children, either to the bus or to their cars in the parking lot loop or the rectory side dismissal line, parents often take a second just to say “thanks” for being here...for being open for 5 days...for making sure my child was happy all day...for taking the time to call me back...for creating a safe “learning environment, and most importantly for caring for my child all the while he/she was not home with me. These words and thoughts mean more than anyone can explain, and we, the staff, share them whenever we see one “another in the hall or gather in the lunchroom. This is proof that “a little” goes such a long way.
Our School Board is a critical component in keeping watch over our school. We meet quarterly as a whole group, and much more frequently as subcommittees dealing with topics such as, Operations (technology), Facilities (buildings and grounds), Education, Public Relations and Marketing, Finance and Advancement and Alumni Relations. Thanks to our current roster of Board members who believe in our mission and work tirelessly to spread the word, support the work and advise as needed on any efforts of SPS:
SAINT PETER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS
Father Cole Webster: Administrator and Chairperson
Maureen Ingham: Principal
Rev. joseph Levesque
Darlene Sprague: Secretary
Adam Burns: Treasurer
Barbara Joyce: Board Secretary
Special thanks to our outgoing Board members who have given so much for so many years. Thanks and may God bless you always. We know you are just a phone call away.
Dr. Irene Elia Patricia Wrobel
Christine O’Hara Jeannine Miller
Ann Yarussi Kerr Sarah Nelson
School continues to run smoothly as we work out the daily “kinks” that this new normal has created. We celebrated Mass and viewed it in our classrooms on our smart boards...it is true that “God is everywhere!” We have added two lunch periods so we can better spread out the students and they can talk and visit while eating. We have had an open door policy for the SPS play-ground as we work each day to provide outdoor time and mask-free spaces for all of our students. Additional entry and exit posts allow for better distancing for students and staff, as they enter and leave the building. We are strong and committed to living our theme...
BLESSED........every single day in every single way!
God bless Saint Peter’s...God bless us all!
Mrs. Ingham's Message for September 20, 2020
WE DID IT!!!! We had an awesome opening and it felt so good to see real people in each classroom, excited to be there as teachers and learners alike...just the way a school is supposed to be. I know we were all a bit anxious as we opened for the first day, but with the resolution of a few small glitches…by Day 3 we were off and running. There is not enough thank for the staff, the parish, the board, the committees, the community and all of our families for all they have done...all summer long, to prepare the school, and all of our campus, so that we were able to open five full days. God bless Saint Peter’s always! Now that week two has begun, we have added some staff for safety, security and health purposes and we have also added some trimester courses to enhance the learning already in place at our school.
In addition to our school nurse, Joyce Smith, who keeps us up to date on all of our health regulations and protocols and is with us one day a week, Barb Malinowski, our parish nurse and reopening committee member will speak to each class on topics related to precautions that we all must take to keep ourselves, our families and our friends healthy at all times.
Kristin Keller, our Social Worker from Catholic Charities is also here one day per week and will be visiting classes to share topics and answer questions related to emotional health during this time of a global pandemic.
Grades 5-8 will receive instruction in Health and Nutrition weekly as a trimester course. Additionally, we have added a Study Skills course as a trimester offering to build student learning; reading, writing, critical thinking, extended responses and a host of other necessary and specific skills for good learning and retention, whether we are learning in the classroom or remotely.
In offering these opportunities for our students and teachers we are supporting our mission to teach the whole child: the academic, social, physical, mental and emotional sides that make a person whole. We know if one component is not working well, it can affect the other sides, so we will continue to do our best to educate and keep well “all parts” for “all people” in our care. There are very few openings in a few classes at this time, but we have created waiting lists for families who want to come to SPS. At this time, due to COVID 19 capacity regulations, we cannot add more students to certain classes. Safety is our #1 priority!
Sending warm wishes for a wonderful week to all of our Saint Peter Parish family, and please keep sending prayers our way to stay safe and healthy and open. We are always praying for all of you!
Mrs. Ingham's Message for September 13, 2020
Due to the timing of the submission of the bulletin each week, this article is being written prior to the first day of the 2020-2021 school year. However...just like it has been since I started Kindergarten at 3rd Street School in Niagara Falls, the nerves have settled in, the stomach aches begin, and I, after 62 years of being a student, a teacher, and an administrator, still feel the anxieties of the first day of school. I say the same things...”if I only had one more week.” I think the same thoughts...”what if the work this year is too hard for me?” And my poor husband wonders why, after all these years, I still can’t sleep because of all of my worries about returning to school...after all, by this time I certainly should be experienced with just about everything that could happen...right??? Not so this year...this is a very different year, and as long as I have been in education there has never been a year such as this.
Children and teachers in masks is not a normal sight. Taped six-foot squares with desks and bins of materials centered in each is not the usual classroom layout. Lunchroom seating socially distant, and then some, is not how students are used to spending their time together in the middle of the day.
Directional arrows for walking paths, hand-washing, and 6 feet distancing signs throughout the building, and plexi-glass table dividers and office shields have never been in place before.
But like in any school, anywhere, these things are the “new normal;” a term we have all grown to hear far too regularly lately. But new can be good...it certainly can be safer during these times, and by law, new is required if we are to open as a school...and OPEN we are! Amidst all of the anxieties and trepidations we have all been experiencing, I can guarantee you that we are 100% excited for our school, St. Peter RC School to open.
Over the past several months we have worked nonstop to put in place all of the tools needed for a safe and healthy school year. Teachers have redesigned their classroom footprints to meet the regulations for distancing, supplies have been purchased to keep children and staff healthy and safe, and lessons for teachers and students alike have been put in place to ensure an ongoing conversation about the newness of practices that are in place this year for the wellbeing of all.
READY...AS READY AS WE CAN BE
PREPARED...OVERLY AND EXTRA
ANXIOUS... FOR SURE...IN A HEALTHY KIND OF WAY
The one thing we need to remember each and every day is that we have done all we can do to open safely, and we have trained, and will continue to train our staff on all that they need to know to create and teach in a safe environment for all. We have met and discussed with experts across all areas, and will continue to update our reopening plan as needed. Materials are in place in case of emergencies and all students and staff are entering the building only when they can arrive healthy...fever and symptom free!
As this year’s theme so aptly says, we are all of these things and then some because we know that the Lord is always in our midst, guiding our thoughts and decisions, holding our hands and hearts close to Him, and forever keeping watch over all we do! Please say a special prayer for all of us at Saint Peter RC School and we promise to pray for you, our parish family. Together, with God, we will continue to be thankful for all we have, grateful for all we are and blessed because of God’s abundant love for us!
Mrs. Ingham's Message for September 6, 2020
This has to have been the fastest summer on record!!! It seems like we just graduated our Grade 8 students and we are now ready, although with a very different look, to open the doors of our great school to over 190 students…all socially distanced of course! Our school tag line has received an additional word, to assure all that while we are all about FAITH...FAMILY...FUTURE...we are doing it in a safe and protective way FAITH...FAMILY...FUTURE...SAFE will once again come alive as we welcome our children, new and returning, our teachers and our staff to this awesome 2020-2021 school year. This past week we saw all of our students entering the building for the first time in almost six months for our “soft openings.” Each grade came for a three-hour orientation with their teacher to meet their new classmates, greet the staff, and see and learn all of the things that will be different this year. Next Wednesday. September 9, is the first full day of school for all students and we cannot wait to pick up the pieces of where we left off on March 17. In addition to over 45 new students, there are several new staff members who have come to make SPS their home for the coming year. KAYLENE BUNGO will teach Kindergarten after the recent departure of Mrs. Shawn Ryan who has left for another opportunity. We wish her well and thank her for her years of service to SPS. MARY BETH SMITH joins us as the 4th Grade teacher and JAIME CANCELLIERI will teach Spanish part-time and Study Skills part-time. Several teachers are helping out in different areas as needed and as always, that SPS spirit shines through whenever we need it! And... after much searching, we are excited to welcome VINCENT GAGLIARDO as the chef and cafeteria manager for our newly named PANTHER CAFÉ! Vince has been busy learning the kitchen, ordering supplies, preparing menus and getting us ready for a great lunch experience in the Panther Café. We know that this year school will look different for us at Saint Peter RC School, but we also know that many of the children in our community and surrounding areas, for one reason or another, will be learning in a whole different way this year and we want to let all of our families and friends know that we are keeping them all in our prayers:
Guardian of all learners and teachers
Watch over us during this most different, challenging and exciting new school year.
Bless us as we learn in school every day, in school for part of the time, or at home on a computer.
Bless the teachers in the classrooms and the parents and relatives who will act as teachers at home.
Give us patience to try new experiences, sensitivity to the choices of others, friendship to the new members of our SPS family, and ongoing faith in the wisdom of YOU!
Please, Lord, keep us healthy and safe, help us make wise and thought-filled decisions, and never let us forget the deep love you have for each of us. We thank you, Jesus.
To all of our SPS family who is learning this year in a different environment, we send our love and best wishes for a great year...no matter where you are...know that you are loved, missed and thought about and that we are here for you no matter what you might need. God bless us all...God bless Saint Peter’s!