On Sunday, Governor Ducey announced that all schools in the state would close effective immediately. On Monday, Bishop Weisenburger announced that all Masses and Church gatherings would be suspended until at least April 6th.
The students are still scheduled for spring break this week, March 16th. Beginning Monday, March 23rd, we will begin remote learning for students. The end of the remote learning will be determined in consultation with Fr. Arnold, the Office of Catholic Schools, and the health department.
The school is regularly coordinating with Fr. Arnold, the Office of Catholic Schools, and the health department since this is a rapidly evolving situation. Please be aware that as information surfaces we will communicate changes to families as quickly as possible.
Information for Family Support
Please complete this brief survey as soon as possible so that we can work with individual families who might need special support during this time.
Procedures for Remote Learning to Begin Monday, March 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving quickly, and will monitor changes to the plan as needed. The school closure applies to all students grades preschool to 8th.
Remote Learning Procedure for K-8
In order to continue the education for the students in the event of a school closure, the teachers will have online learning opportunities. Families can communicate with teachers via email, and students in grades 3-8 can communicate with their teacher via Google Classroom.
COVID-19 Diagnosis for PK-8
Should a student or family member be diagnosed with COVID-19, please let the school know.
Device Check-out for K-8
If families need a device so that children can complete online work, 1 Chromebook can be signed out per family. Families will need to sign an agreement for the device, and the office will arrange for the pick-up of the device. Please make sure to complete the survey related to the need for family support so we can assist with this coordination.
Families with No Internet at Home
If families have not internet access at home, please make sure to complete the survey related to the need for family support so we can assist with this coordination.
Front Office Closed for PK-8
If the school is closed, the office is closed. Based on the recommendations from Bishop, please contact the following people with your questions or needs:
National School Lunch Program for K-8
Due to the fact that the entire state has closed their schools, the National School Lunch Program is working at the state level to identify the schools that will remain open to serve lunch. Once we receive the information, we will share the details with families.
Please make sure to complete the survey related to the need for family support so we can assist with this coordination and sharing the school that will be serving lunch closest to your home.
Supporting Children During the Pandemic
Social Distancing, what does that mean?
There has been so much discussion surrounding the importance of social distancing as a method to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Social distance refers to the importance of separating from the larger community. As schools close, it is important that families work together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by washing hands, keeping a distance from others, and avoiding large groups of people.
This weekend, there was an article in the “Washington Post” which presented simulations representing the way that social distancing can slow and prevent the spread of the virus.
Talking to Children about COVID-19
As the events surrounding COVID-19 evolve rapidly, it is important that we speak with our children. Some general guidelines for speaking with our children include the following. Depending on the age of your children will determine how much information you share; however, some general recommendations include:
Power of Prayer
With so much uncertainty, we can forget that we always have the power of prayer. During the season of Lent, I invite all our families to spent time in prayer for those impacted by COVID-19. One great prayer that families can pray during our time away from campus is the Rosary. As a Marian school, our students regularly pray the Rosary, and it is a wonderful prayer that can bring peace and clarity during times of trouble.
If you would like a step-by-step guide on how to pray the Rosary, here is a guide:
Bishop’s Announcement Regarding Masses and Public Gatherings
As of Monday, 3/16/2020, all parish-based public gatherings are either cancelled or suspended. These directives are in place for the next three weeks, until April 6, 2020, at which time they will be reviewed and either brought to a close or extended. This effectively puts us a “ Level 3” in our response to the Coronavirus challenge and includes, but is not limited to:
I believe these directives, while a hardship and deeply regrettable for us all, are sensible, substantially consistent with directives for the other Catholic diocese in Arizona, and in line with the spirit of public health directives.
School Scheduled Events
Many families have been planning for special events that happen in the spring to include the middle school play, 8th grade promotion, the preschool celebration, and the kindergarten celebration. The school administration is coordinating with Fr. Arnold, the Office of Catholic Schools, and the Health Department to make decisions regarding these events. The decision to cancel or modify any of the events would be based solely on the health and safety of the students and families.
At this time, the Office of Catholic Schools is strongly recommending that all events be suspended or cancelled until further notice. There is no way to know how the pandemic will be impacting Tucson in May, so the special events may be cancelled this year. In the event that the recommendations from the Office of Catholic Schools changes, Fr. Arnold and I have plans in place which would allow for modified versions of the special events. Some of the options include limiting the people in attendance and videotaping the event so that other family members can participate remotely.
Students have been preparing for 1st Eucharist and Confirmation this year, and the dates for the sacraments are this spring. We realize that families may be traveling from out of town to be present, and every effort will be made to provide families with updates related to potential changes in the date of a sacrament. Any changes to the date of 1st Eucharist and/or Confirmation would be communicated by Fr. Arnold or Bishop Weisenburger.
At this time, the two sacrament dates are still scheduled; however, it is likely that there may be some changes in the events based on the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus this spring. Some of the changes may include limiting the number of people in attendance and videotaping so that others can be remotely present. There is a chance that the dates for the sacraments may be moved based on the recommendations of the Fr. Arnold and Bishop Weisenburger.
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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.