COVID-19 Response | OLPH School

COVID-19 Response


Response from OLPH School Principal Matt Malone

Missed Last Week’s HW? Click here: Week 1 Closure, Week 2 Homework Posting

Friday March 27, 2020

Dear OLPH Community,

We have made it to the weekend of our second week! Our prayers remain with you and your family, and in a special way, all those who are serving our community at large during this difficult time.

I am writing today to share our plans for learning next week. It has been great to see a few classes get together for some initial zooms and google meets this week. Beginning next week, teachers will continue to share lessons and activities via our homework site. For PreK-5, teachers will be focusing the “essential” lessons on ELA and Math work. They will also provide “optional” activities for the other content areas and specials. We recognize that the younger you get, the more guidance you need, so if students don’t get to everything that is ok.

In 6-8, teachers will provide essential activities for ELA, Math, SS, Sci, and Religion, with optional specials activities. The frequency and style of delivery will depend on the grade level and course, and teachers will be in touch with you regarding their particular plans. It is our hope to join our community together from afar, and employ best practices for remote learning in our age ranges.

The staff has been working tirelessly to prepare, and we recognize that it will be new territory for all of us, and are grateful for flexibility all around. For students that can join in for online sessions, we welcome it, but recordings will be available so there is no pressure or need for anxiety about “missing” a meeting. We will work together this week, and then pause for Easter Break and offer a chance for parents and students to provide feedback for future planning.

As always – the work provided is meant to support continued learning and provide some structure for our students’ days, without adding anxiety. We recognize that as a world, we are in a heightened state of anxiety, so we thank you for helping us in using your best judgment when helping your child complete different activities.

Finally, in the event you missed different activities the first 2 weeks, a record log is found on the Covid section of our website one document for each week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, remain safe, and continue practicing the guidelines for safety provided to us.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
Matt Malone

 

Wednesday March 25, 2020

Dear OLPH Community,

Peace to you – I hope your family continues to remain safe during this unprecedented time.
As you may have heard this morning, MSDE State Superintendent, Dr. Salmon, extended the school closure in the state of Maryland for an additional 4 weeks through Friday, April 24th, 2020.  Below, you will find a letter from our Superintendent, Dr. Hargens, extending the closure for all AoB schools for the same time frame. Per the Archdiocese, Spring Break (April 6-15th) will continue as planned. As a state, nation, and global community, we recognize that there is a lot that is beyond our control, and playing our part in helping minimize the spread of the virus is of extreme importance.
We are glad that the state has taken a conservative approach, so that the possibility of reinstituting a “normal” routine before the end of the school year exists, though that will certainly depend on a multitude of factors.
In the interim, learning will continue to take place for students of OLPH School. Our first two weeks of closure have been focused on remedial skills, and as we look forward, we will continue to progress forward in the curriculum. Teachers and curriculum leaders have identified essential skills, practices and knowledge that we will use for instruction moving forward. Since we are working with students in grades PreK-8 our approach will differ per level, but our goal is to provide videos and lessons for students to access, and work that builds on the skills.  More details about the specifics will be forthcoming from our teachers.
Attached to this email you will also find a letter from Dr. Hargens about the expectations for students in remote learning environments as well as our Acceptable Use Policy for devices and online learning. We are all navigating this together, but the same rules and expectations that apply at school will apply in this remote learning environment.
Finally, it bears repeating that we know these past two weeks have been a challenge for all, and looking forward can seem daunting. In this new time of closure, our goal is to provide opportunities for learning that allow students the ability to meet learning goals and objectives. As the leader of the school, I recognize that there will be limitations, but again, as a staff we are commited to providing opportunities for students to make academic gains and receive support from staff.
If there is anything we can do to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me our our staff. My prayers remain with our entire community, may we join together in prayer an continue to press forward together.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
Matt Malone

Letter to Parents 3.25.2020 Sellinger and Hargens

PARENT LETTER

ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

Monday March 23, 2020

Good Afternoon OLPH Families,

Welcome to the start of Week 2 of our closure. It was great to see so many familiar names logging into our Facebook Live Mass yesterday, thank you to those who joined in for prayer. Our parish has provided so many resources and I encourage you to check out the Facebook and Parish Websites for regular updates and opportunities for faith development as a family.

As you may know, at this time, there has not yet been any further statement regarding the length of closure. If/when this information is released, I will be in touch with you regarding any necessary plans, but for the time being, new work for the week has been posted on our homework posting website. As I have stated in each email so far, our entire staff recognizes that families are working on any number of projects during these uncertain times and as you are the parents, we trust your guidance in helping your children navigate the work at a rate that is effective for them and for your family, without adding a burden or anxiety.

From your feedback, the majority like the flexibility of having the whole week up on the site because that helps you navigate when items can get done for the week and each family can make decisions about work times that work best for you. Though it looks like a lot, this is important recognizing that each family has a different dynamic especially with work schedules of parents. There is no one-size fits all in this time, and we thank you for helping fit our available essential and optional plans into what works for your family.

Several teachers have begun to schedule times for optional Google Meets (3-8) and Zooms (PreK-2) for students to check in and see what’s going on with their friends and I know they are looking forward to that!

Finally, please follow this link which provides excellent and evidenced based practices on working with children and teens who may be experiencing anxiety and other challenges given the change in their typical routine. In times where there is so much up in the air, our children depend on us to allow them to share their feelings and provide stability, and validation in addition to coping skills.

A family schedule that has been developed together (when age appropriate) can help add structure when school (which typically provides much structure) is not available. Times to consider (though not exhaustive): prayer time, one-on-one time, alone time, school work time, family time, reading, exercise, service to others, sharing gratitudes, friends time (via facetime, or other apps). *A special thank you to April Moran for providing these resources for families from the professional network that she is a part of!

Thank you for all of the positive feedback and support you have provided – I can think of no other place I would rather be than at school with all of your children and our staff (besides maybeee a remote beach!). Let’s continue to lift our hearts up in prayer, lean on each other, and join together as the wonderful community that we are.

AMDG,

Matt Malone

 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Good Evening Parents,

Thank you so much for your feedback last night – it sounds like there has been a lot of learning taking place given these unique circumstances.
Without being able to predict what will happen next, in an effort to support you at home, while still complying state guidelines, OLPH School will be open tomorrow from 9-1 for families to collect any books or supplies that students were not able to get before dismissal on Thursday. At this time we do not have a directive for future closure but want to be prepared for that possibility and you may decide that it would be helpful for students to have additional resources.
We would also like to make Chromebooks available for any students in grades 3-8 who do not ordinarily take them home to provide additional devices in the home in the event that you have multiple children, or would just like this as a tool for learning. We recognize that many parents are working from home as well. We will have printed copies of the attached Chromebook agreement for parents to sign that all students who take them home regularly complete and submit.
The decision to get any supplies is completely up to individual families – there is no pressure either way, but rather in an effort of support.
Logistically – we ask that parents would stay in their car, and drive up to the front door of the school, pop out and go to the classroom to get any supplies that might be needed (reusable bags may be helpful if you are getting a few books). In order to comply with guidelines, only a few families will be allowed in at a time, so there may be a line (just like grocery stores). There’s no perfect way to do it, so we appreciate flexibility.
Again, there’s no pressure here, just for those who are interested. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
Matt Malone

Thursday, March 19, 2020

I am hopeful that you and your family are doing well during this unprecedented time. My prayers and the prayers of our entire staff are with each of you and have been during our time apart.  I have a few updates and a request for feedback.
First, as I am sure you are aware, we learned this morning that the pandemic has hit close to home with a child who attends a local public school. This is a reminder that we can and should be lifting our OLPH and broader community up in prayer, while following the guidelines given by our local and national leaders.
Second, a HUGE thank you to two groups of very important people – thank you to each of you for the work you have been doing at home in navigating these uncharted waters with your children. I know the challenge in balancing your own work with supervision and guidance of your children is immense. Thank you for working with them and our team to help us continue to press forward together.
Next, thank you to our Faculty and Staff who have been working very diligently throughout this period of closure in providing educational resources and activities for our students to continue learning. They have been creative, excited, and extremely responsive to the needs of our individual students and families and we would not be where we are without their continued dedication and passion for educating our students!
Moving Forward: As we close out our first week, our second week of activities will take a similar approach as this week and our teachers will be updating the HW site for Monday morning. A download of the Week 1 document will be found on our Covid-19 communications page of our school website in the event that you need to access it. If you haven’t been on to the site yet or your teachers’ Google Classrooms (as grade-appropriate), we highly encourage all to take a look.
Our teachers and I met remotely yesterday (see attached picture!) to pray together and to begin the planning process for what our educational program will look like in the event that the closure continues past Week 2 (though this has not been declared at this time). They are brushing up on some interactive digital teaching resources and have been working together to continue to be creative.
Please follow this link to a brief Google Form (3 questions!), which requests feedback for how things have gone so far this week so that we can be responsive to needs.

We have heard from many parents on all sides of the spectrum asking for more work, or leniency because their child hasn’t gotten to everything yet, and lots in between – just a friendly reminder, as I stated in previous notes – our entire staff is committed to complete flexibility recognizing that every family and student have different needs. We are deeply committed to continuing our partnership with you in educating your child even though the global circumstances have changed for the time being.

Finally, thank you to the many students who have reached out to me via email to share with me what they have been up to. There’s just something wrong about a principal without students in their school…but the student notes (and hearing things from you) have been bright moments in my days..please encourage them to keep learning, reading, exercising, and to keep the emails coming!
If there is anything that I or our staff can do to support your family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any one of us at any time. Even though we are separated by distance, we are in this together as one family.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
Matt Malone

 

Monday March 16, 2020

Good Afternoon OLPH Families,

I hope that this email finds you and your family well as we continue to progress through this uncharted territory.
I hope that many of you were able to tune into the parish Facebook Live for Mass yesterday – please continue to check our parish and school websites and facebooks for updates as we work together to continue to build our community, even from our homes. The Lenten Reflections – Week 3 are a great resource to pray together as a family from your house each day.

HW Site – Thank you to all who have checked our HW site and begun to keep connected to learning with their children. Teachers have updated the assignments for the week. We appreciate the flexibility of each family and staff as we begin to navigate this style of learning – some sites are struggling with the traffic but we will do this together. As a reminder – these activities are meant to keep our students engaged, but not add unneeded stress – please help your child navigate the balance as you are able to, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. If a particular site is not working, feel free to just skip it for the time being – it’s all good.

Facilities: A reminder that our facilities will be closed throughout this time of closure. Our cleaning company will be conducting a deep clean of the entire school.
Message to Students: (Parents please share with them!) I am bummed that we will not be together at school for the next few weeks, but as your principal, I want to make sure that you are still learning even during our time apart! Your teachers have been working hard to keep you connected as a learning community, and I encourage you to check in with them throughout this time. Please consider sending me an email about what you’ve been up to (and remember to use appropriate email/letter writing etiquette)!
Every morning at school, we start the day with prayer and our Halo Pledge – “As a student at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, I pledge to glorify God by: respecting myself and others, appropriately completing my assignments, accepting the consequences of my actions, and arriving at school ready to learn,” – I encourage everyone to keep following that pledge at home, even though our learning will look a little bit different over the next few weeks.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
Mr. Malone

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear OLPH Community,

We have had very productive meetings today at school and are prepared to support your family during this time of uncertainty.

As a reminder – all school-sponsored activities are cancelled during our period of closure starting now through March 27th. This includes all Angels Sports activities (playoffs, practice, and banquet) and the HSA Bingo.

Contact: Normal administrative functions of our school will continue in a remote capacity. The most effective way to get in touch is to email your homeroom teacher or me directly (mmalone@olphschool.org). I encourage each of us to be patient as we work together to navigate these next few weeks – our teachers have committed to being as responsive as possible, but we recognize that like you, they are also caring for their families.

Schedule: At this time, we are operating under the assumption that no changes to the calendar year have been made (ie spring break), but we recognize this could be a possibility depending on how things progress in the next two weeks. I will communicate with you as soon as we find out new information in this regard.

Academics: Our staff is committed to providing resources and projects to continue learning during this time apart. Please note: our vision is not to add stress and anxiety to this time, but to provide opportunities for students and families to continue to engage in learning. We recognize that the amount of resources a family desires looks different from family to family and student to student.

By Monday Mar. 16, our teachers (PreK-8) will have updated the Homework Website with suggested ideas and projects to work on during the first week of closure. This will be the primary communication point for all grades – so we encourage all to start here.

Our primary grades will build on skills covered in class thus far and reinforce learning that has already taken place to keep skills sharp.
Our intermediate grades will focus on ELA and Math concepts with some science, social studies, and religion scattered in.
Our middle school is very familiar with Google Classroom and will find assignments they are used to on these platforms – further descriptions and procedures will be found there.
Our teachers will also include enrichment/optional websites/resources for students who may get restless and whose parents want additional ideas!

Our teachers and I are committed to absolute flexibility, especially with due dates for our older students, recognizing that we are in the midst of a very fluid situation and things could change any day.

I cannot stress enough that this work is meant to continue the learning, and not designed to add stress and anxiety. You may even find it helpful to develop a rhythm and schedule for your children during this time, which may include engaging in school at a certain time of day.

As more information develops, I will be in touch with you. Information regarding our parish events and changes can be found at this website. Logs of my school communications will be found on our school website as well.

As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

OLPH Families,

As you may have heard, earlier this afternoon Governor Hogan and MD State Superintendent of Schools announced that effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, all MD public schools will be closed for students. In concert with this directive, all Archdiocese of Baltimore Schools, including OLPH School, will be closed during that time as well.

I will be meeting with our school staff tomorrow during our scheduled professional development day to outline our plans moving forward, and will be in touch with families throughout this process. Teachers instructed students to take home books as a precautionary contingency and we will be in touch about our potential plans in the days to come, recognizing that this is a very fluid and continuously developing situation.

Our HSA sponsored Bingo night and Angels Sports Banquet have been postponed at this time as well.

The HCPSS School website has a great section of parent resources which highlight many things, but especially, how to share the information with your children during this time.

https://www.hcpss.org/health/coronavirus/#parent-resources

Please contact me with any questions you may have.

Archbishop Lori’s statement: “In light of the order today by Governor Hogan that all public schools be closed for the next two weeks, I have similarly instructed that all archdiocesan schools be closed during the same time period, March 16-27, 2020 and that all school-sponsored activities be cancelled during that same timeframe. In addition, I have instructed all parishes of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to comply with the Governor’s order by limiting attendance at all Masses and parish-sponsored events, regardless of location, to no more than 250 people until further notice.”

More information about parish events in response to this situation can also be found on the parish website.

In Christ,

Matt Malone

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School
Phone: 410-744-4251