May is the month of Mary. This week, we celebrated Mary with our May crowning by gathering on the field in circles for our celebration. The students brought flowers for our Blessed Mother, and many of the children carried streamers and drawings of Mary. Together, we prayed two Decades of the Rosary, and Fr. John joined us too. It was a beautiful celebration!
It is apparent that the end of the year is near! While we are preparing for the close of the school year, please encourage your child to continue to do their best on their school work. We still have one month of learning, and we hope that all our children will continue to grow in knowledge up until the end of the trimester.
Last week was a really busy week, but it was a great week full of fun and learning! We had our Dance Fest which was a great success. We have met our $10,000 goal! Thank you to all our students and families who have reached out and raised money to support classroom enhancements. During the Dance Fest, the kids had a blast! Manny the Mustang and Fr. Arnold joined us for the fun by dancing with our students in kindergarten, first, and second grade. The students enjoyed dancing to the music with mini-dance moves and large dance moves.
Last week, the 5th graders made solar ovens. They learned about the way to harness the sun and cook s'mores. At dismissal, the students explained how the oven worked in order to cook their treat. The cooking process requires some patience, but the dessert was worth the wait!
When you learn a new skill, how do you know that you have become an expert? For the students in Ms. Nirschel's 4th-grade class, the answer is easy: "when you can teach it to someone else."
In 4th-grade, solving division problems is one of the exciting new math skills that students learn and master over the course of the year. Not only have the students in class been practicing the skill of computing long division problems, but many of her students are now experts in solving long division problems. They have moved beyond knowing how to independently solve a problem to be able to teach someone else how to solve a problem.
Last week, several experts taught their friends how to solve a problem. Equipped with a pencil, paper, and a lollipop (for some excitement), the students demonstrated that are ready to call themselves long-division experts.
During Lent 2020, we shut down, and our students were no longer able to participate in Mass in the Church. In order to remain connected to the Mass, we offered a live-streamed Mass all last spring. This school year, we celebrated our weekly Mass in Mr. Krautscheid's classroom, and our students were able to live-stream the Mass and receive Jesus in the Eucharist too.
Last Friday, we were able to begin our Easter season with Mass in the Church! While we cannot fit the entire student body in the Church, we were able to bring 3 grades to Mass. Grades 4, 6, and 7 participated in the joyous celebration. Over the coming weeks, all our students will be able to celebrate Mass in the Church.
We continue to follow all our mitigation protocols because safety is critical, but my heart was bursting with joy to see our children in the pews. Alleluia!
Last month, our 5th-grade students culminated their research and persuasion unit on whether or not humans should eat bugs, a practice called entomophagy.
As part of their research, the students learned about the benefits and dangers of eating bugs by watching videos, reading articles, and participating in class discussions. The students learned that bugs were high in protein and good for the environment because of the way they are raised compared to other protein sources like beef. They also learned that people have eaten bugs for thousands of years. On the other side of the argument, the students discovered that some bugs could make people sick. Some students also recounted that "bugs had lives too!"
Students were ultimately asked to write an essay defending whether or not people should eat bugs.
Regarding the debate for whether or not bugs tasted good, Mrs. Tucker provided the students with the opportunity to try crickets. If students wanted to try crickets, they could try crickets Tuesday morning. Mrs. Tucker provided "original" flavored crickets as well as spicy and ranch-flavored crickets to taste. Many of the students tried the crickets, and a few students even stated that they "needed to re-write their essay because bugs were good!"
If you would like to know whether you should try a bug, I highly recommend speaking with a 5th grader
On Friday, March 19th, we will be celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph with a food drive. Students and families are asked to bring in food to support our parish St. Vincent de Paul ministry.
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?”
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for the one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25: 37, 40
Here are some of the suggested food items, but all non-perishable foods are welcome!
Preschool – Cereal
Kindergarten – Mac & Cheese
1st – Pasta
2nd – Rice
3rd – Beans
4th – Vegetables
5th – Canned Pasta such as Ravioli & Spaghetti
6th – Tuna & Canned Meats
7th – Pasta Sauce
8th – Peanut Butter & Jelly
Food can be sent to school anytime prior to March 19th!
During this season of Lent, the children will participate in prayer opportunities at school. We will continue to celebrate Mass each Friday, but we will also pray the Stations of the Cross together.
Normally, each Lent, families have been invited to participate in the Parish Soup and Sacrifice on Friday nights. This year, the Soup and Sacrifice event has been canceled due to the pandemic. Even with the canceled event, there are still many ways that families can grow in faith together through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Are you looking for ways to grow in faith this Lenten season?
The best way to grow in faith as a family is to work together and develop a plan. The season of Lent might look a little different due to the pandemic, but God is still calling us to a deeper relationship with Him.
Last week was nothing like a traditional Catholic Schools Week celebration, but at its core, it was still a celebration about one of the best things in Catholic education: the members of our community. Here at Our Mother of Sorrows, we have a wonderful community! Our school is truly blessed by each member. We all bring our unique gifts and talents, and we are able to accomplish so much more when we work together.
Earlier in the week, we were able to pray for and celebrate the contributions of our parish community, priests, faculty, staff, and students. On Friday, we celebrated our parents and families. The children are blessed to have the support of their families, and I am thankful for the opportunity to partner with you in the education of your child. Thank you for your support of Catholic education at Our Mother of Sorrows!
We had planned to open the registration for the 2021/2022 school year last week. Unfortunately, the registration will not be able to open until this week. We are working with Renweb to simplify the process for our families to register, and their developers have not quite finished the process yet. I will let you know as soon as the re-enrollment process opens. Thank you for your patience!
In the meantime, there are a few tax credit opportunities that are open. If you would like to begin working on the applications for tax credits in order to help fund your child's education, please speak with email@example.com or visit: http://www.omosschool.com/financial-assistance.htm
We are so blessed to have a vibrant community. St. Paul tells us that we are many parts of one body, and during Catholic Schools Week, I think it is a great week to reflect on the different parts of our community. Each member of the community contributes to the education of our children and the success of the school.
Next week is Catholic Schools Week! Thank you for letting us partner with you in the education of your children. We are grateful for the gift of our students and families here at Our Mother of Sorrows.
Each day we will celebrate a different group of people who make our school great. We hope that you and your family will participate in the events.
Sunday, January 31: Our Catholic Community
Monday, February 1: Our Parish Community
Tuesday, February 2: Our Priests
Wednesday, February 3: Our Students
Thursday, February 4: Our Faculty and Staff
Friday, February 5: Our Parents
We hope to celebrate "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" during the last week of school:
Jingle All the Way: Monday, December 14: Students will listen to holiday tunes at lunch!
Elves at Work: Tuesday, December 15: Students will participate in service by bringing in items to support the Angel Tree Project
Sleepy, Superheroes, Sports: Wednesday, December 16: Students up to grade 4 can wear pajamas to school. Students in grades 5-8 can wear a superhero shirt or a shirt representing their favorite team
Ugly Christmas Sweaters (and jeans): Thursday, December 17: Show your spirit by wearing an ugly Christmas sweater or holiday t-shirt and jeans
Share the Joy: Friday, December 18: Students will make a Christmas card for a family member who they will not see this holiday season. Bring a stamped and addressed envelope and we will mail the card from school. Students who do not bring the name of a family member can make a card for a parishioner.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is around the corner? This is a great time of the year to reflect on the gifts that have been given to us this year.
We know that many families are looking forward to a few days off. Regardless of your Thanksgiving plans, I pray that you and your family remain safe and healthy. On Wednesday, I sent the recommendations for the holidays from the Pima County Health Department which are based on the fact that community spread is happening at large social gatherings. If you plan to participate in large gatherings over the Thanksgiving break, we are asking families to transition to online learning for the 2 weeks following Thanksgiving break in order to continue to keep our teachers, staff and students healthy. If your child will participate in online learning following the break, we are happy to provide you with a Chromebook. Please contact Mrs. Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a Chromebook.
Our school community has remained healthy during the pandemic so far. There have been zero reported cases on the physical school campus! This is due to the combined efforts of our families and faculty. We continue to practice our mitigation strategies including social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and daily health checks. Please continue to help keep our community healthy by keeping children home when a child or household member is ill.
Additionally, masks are effective when they fit properly. Please ensure that your child's mask fits correctly meaning that the mask covers the nose and mouth and fits snugly around the face and chin. The mask should remain in place when your child speaks and moves. If the face mask is falling while your child speaks, it is too big. There is also evidence that the single layer masks are not very effective when tested relative to masks with 2 or more layers. The recommendation is that masks have a minimum of 2-layers. After the Thanksgiving break, students, faculty, and staff must wear a mask that is a minimum of 2 layers. Please ensure that your child is wearing a mask, whether gaiter or traditional mask, that has a minimum of 2 layers that fits properly
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to determine whether a faculty member and/or student will need to quarantine following a trip. In order to help determine whether it may be necessary to quarantine, please answer the small questionnaire.
If you answer yes to any of the questions, please speak with an administrator to determine whether it is necessary to quarantine for 14 days upon returning from your trip.
If you answer no to all the questions, you are welcome to return to campus following your trip as long as you are free from all symptoms related to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, if the number of cases in an area changes during your stay, please re-evaluate your need to quarantine.
If follow-up is needed, please contact Mrs. Vu and/or Mrs. Kane.
Here is the survey.
Thank you to all our families for their generosity. I was overwhelmed to see the overflowing boxes of stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and other food items. The food will be used to help families with the Thanksgiving Food Baskets. At Mass today, Fr. Tom reminded us that we should also pray for those who are hungry, and we appreciate the prayers for the hungry too. Thank you for helping to feed the hungry and lovingly serving those in need!
Now that the weather is starting to cool down, please remember to send your child to school with appropriate outside wear. This year, we are eating lunch and snack outside most days. As the weather cools, it is important that students have a sweater or sweatshirt.
In the classroom, students should have a sweater or sweatshirt that follows the dress code. Sweaters and sweatshirts should be navy blue, chambray blue, or white. They may be plain with no logo, or they may have the school logo (purchased through our vendors). Please review the dress code policy for more information. Please remember to label your child's clothing!
Finally, there have been a few updates to the Pandemic plan based on updated guidance from the Pima County Health Department. Please review the school website for the most current information: http://www.omosschool.com/covid-19-information.html
Many families have asked how to get involved and support our students. In response, here are a few ways that we would love for our families to support the education of our children:
Recently, the middle school students tested their engineering and design skills to build a car in order to test the speed of a car traveling down a ramp. Through their science exploration, they learned about gravitational potential energy, and they used different ramp heights to determine how the potential energy impacted the speed of the car as it travelled down the ramp. It was great to see the students in action.
On Monday, Fr. Arnold came to campus with the Blessed Sacrament to bless the students and the school. It was beautiful to see the students kneel before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Arnold came to each classroom, and he visited all our students.
This week, we have received additional guidance from the Pima County Health Department and the Diocese of Tucson. As part of the guidance, we are requesting that families let us know if they will be traveling out of the country or traveling on a plane. If students are traveling out of the country or on a plane, we are asking that students quarantine for 14 days after retuning to Tucson. Additionally, if students are participating in large group gatherings, we are asking that students quarantine for 14 days following the event. Thank you for your support.
Taking these extra steps will help us to keep our school community safe!
Schools have been permitted to open using the hybrid model based on the Pima County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard showing a positive trend over the last few weeks. The health department specifications for the hybrid opening include social distancing, wearing a mask, increased ventilation, and additional hygiene measures. The Our Mother of Sorrows plan has been reviewed by the Superintendent for the Diocese of Tucson as well as the health department. For the full plan, please visit the school’s website.
On-campus learning will begin next week. In order to support the students who will come to campus, we will have students return to campus in two small groups. This will allow for students to practice the new hygiene routines, social distancing, mask-wearing, and the arrival and dismissal procedures.
Here is the schedule for resuming on-campus learning:
All students currently attending the online learning on campus should report bother Tuesday and Wednesday. They will serve as leaders in the classrooms for the students who are returning.
For families who have elected to continue with online learning, there will be an online learning orientation for families and students next week. This will allow for students to understand the expectations online learning as well as the shift in the daily schedule.
We have a new Office Manager at Our Mother of Sorrows. I would like to welcome Aydee Felix as our Office Manager. Mrs. Felix will continue supporting the National School Lunch Program at the school, but I am excited to have her support our families as the Office Manager. If you need to contact Mrs. Felix, her email address is email@example.com
Next week, we will have Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday and Friday. We will have an early dismissal at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday, and the K-8 students will not have classes on Friday. All the conferences will be held on Google Meet.
At this point, we are getting close to re-opening. Thank you for answering our survey so that we can finalize and prepare for the students who will transition from online to on-campus learning. As of yesterday, the Arizona Department of Health Services shows that Pima county is meeting the benchmarks in all 3 areas. For the full report, you can look here: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-schools
Regarding the Pima County benchmarks, we are in progress or meeting 8 of the 9 areas. For more information, you can look here: https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=568644
I know that many of us are anxious to resume on-campus learning, but let us remember to trust in God’s timing: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path” (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Mrs. Gholson is the principal of Our Mother of Sorrows. This blog contains information regarding the exciting things that happen at Our Mother of Sorrows.