June 5 email from Principal Sepich – “Update on Current Planning for 2020-21 School Year”

Hello SPSL Families,

We hope and pray that you all are having a great start to your summer and we here at SPSL are continuing to pray for your families’ continued health and safety. We also wanted to communicate with you all about our ongoing plans and preparations for the upcoming 2020/21 school year. As I am sure you can all imagine, there is still much to consider and a lot of information that we are all still waiting on that will greatly impact our decision making as well as the numerous subsequent details that will need to be attended to. We do not have the details on the mandates the state will require for schools when we begin the 2020/21 school year at this time. Regardless, we want our families to know that we are currently working hard preparing for many different scenarios and how we can still deliver the educational programs you expect from your school. It has already been a lot of work and we know that this will continue into the summer. Most importantly, we know it’s work worth doing.

Although we cannot communicate right now the exact details of how everything will look and operate when we start school as we are still working diligently on those, we promise to keep our school community updated so you all can plan and prepare for school as a family. We also know that what we accomplish this summer and into the new school year will be guided by the following scripture and school theme that delineates from our chosen scripture. Our guiding scripture and 2020/21 school theme, listed below, will serve as our spiritual guide and force to make sure we have a successful school year and that through Christ, we will accomplish this in a spirit befitting of St. Pius X / St. Leo’s school’s mission.

Scripture: Colossians 3:12-15

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.

And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

2020/21 School Theme: A community called by Christ to love and learn with compassion, patience and hope. 

Additionally, as we have already begun our planning for next school year, we developed three key tenets to also guide us in our planning and the work ahead. Those three tenets are listed below and it is our hope that given whatever mandates and restrictions we have to operate within, we will use these tenets to make sure we work hard and do our very best to make it a school year with high expectations for academics while also being fun for our families and faculty.

  1. At SPSL, the health and safety of our community members, especially our students, is of the utmost importance.  We know that if our students and teachers are not healthy, we can not learn and grow together. Therefore, as we plan for the next school year, we are prioritizing:

    1. Real-time, face-to-face instruction (whether that be in the classroom, in a virtual environment, or a combination of both) while operating within the state mandated health and safety measures from our local government and health authorities. This could include ways to minimize the health risks with required social distancing and proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

    2. An education that addresses the whole child, physically, as well as spiritually, socially and emotionally. In this time, students are dealing with more socially and emotionally than perhaps ever before (social-distancing, economic insecurity, civil unrest, etc.). In addition to an education that is academically rigorous, we will also need community wide engagement in trauma informed teaching and social-emotional learning practices.

  2. At SPSL, we will continue to strive for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Therefore, as we plan for the next school year, we are prioritizing:

    1. The inclusion of Catholic Identity and Gospel Values in all subject areas. As we are a Catholic school community, teachers will connect their content areas to our Catholic faith.

    2. The accessibility of resources for face-to-face and/or online instruction for students, teachers, and families. Learning opportunities will be provided for students, teachers, and parents to be able to effectively use instructional resources. We will assist in meeting families’ needs for learning materials as we are able.

    3. Focused instruction on vital learning objectives (based on the Archdiocese of Omaha Standards). The curriculum will be based on standards that are foundational for student learning over several years, will help students achieve in many subject areas, and are essential for the next level of learning.

  3. At SPSL we know that in order to flourish under the conditions we face we have to be creative and innovative to continue to live out our Catholic school mission. This will continue to take hard work, adaptability and understanding amongst all of us in the community in order to be responsive and ready for the 2020/21 school year. To do all of this, we understand that communication with our entire community, especially our parents and family members, is vital to our success. We are prioritizing with our school wide communication:

    1. Strengthening our current channels of communication with our school community both from school-to-families and classrooms-to-families. Consistent communication that is accessible for all families from your school’s leadership on school wide efforts as well as direct teacher to family communication will be vital in our efforts to have a great 2020/21 school year.

    2. Being innovative within all areas of student and community engagement, both formally with academics and learning but also informally with community building. We will need to be adaptable with whatever requirements are put in place to start the school year. That being known, we also are aware that school is a place to learn and also a place for kids to have fun and for families to share in community with each other.

    3. Collecting and utilizing feedback from our families and community members to improve school-wide efforts. Your collective talents are greatly appreciated and we know that this is a community wide effort to best educate our students at SPSL, so thank you for your support.

Thank you all for your prayers, patience and understanding for our school and its faculty and staff as we work over the summer. We will continue to keep you all in our prayers. May you all have a very, very blessed summer.

Cory Sepich