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April 3, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
As we continue to experience an unprecedented change in our daily routines and personal contact, Mrs. Morin and I want to thank you for your cooperation and flexibility.  We have heard from so many of you, sharing updates on the many aspects of this remote learning situation that are working and the few instances that can be improved upon.  We are so impressed by the commitment of teachers who have embraced the technology, collaborating with their colleagues, and maintaining communication with students and their parents.  We are grateful to you and your children for joining us on this journey.  We are proud to say, “We are the St. Bernadette School Family!” 
 
All of us are trying our best to find balance in teaching, learning, technology, and family life.  We marvel at parents juggling working from home or, in the case of so many, continuing in your roles as essential workers in healthcare, law enforcement and first responders, the food, energy, and electrical industries, transportation, public works, communications, government, financial services and so many others. The days and nights are filled with additional responsibilities for all of us.  Thank you for partnering with us to also consider how we can educate our children and provide for their social and emotional well-being.
 
This week, Mrs. Morin and I have attended two Zoom meetings with Dr. David Perda, Superintendent of Catholic Schools and our administrator colleagues.  Discussions have proven informative as we share insights.  Dr. Perda also sends daily communications from the “MA COVID-19 Command Center Situation Report.”  I think we all may be on overload with information but also recognize how important it is to remain aware of developments locally, nationally and around the world. 
 
Mrs. Morin and I have also attended 4 administrator meetings in the last two weeks – interesting opportunity to share “triumphs and fizzles.”  It is nice to know the commonality of success and challenges.  We have picked up a few ideas, including how nice it is to share with colleagues!  We also have met several times with the office support staff who are managing their jobs and facilitating communication on a school-wide basis.  In addition, we met with the level coordinators and with the Grade 6-8 level teachers earlier this week.  With the success of these meetings we have also established a schedule to meet with each level – ECC, Grades 1-3, Grades 4 and 5 and Grades 6-8 each week.  All Special Area teachers and Resource teachers will also attend one of the level meetings each week.  It is our goal to facilitate communication and support one another as we do when physically proximate to one another!  We appreciate parent communication with individual teachers and with Mrs. Morin and me as we continue to strive to best serve our students and our community. 
 
Relying as we have on technology during this time, St. Bernadette School faculty and administration have discussed the appropriate use of DVL- digital-virtual learning- tools during the current state-mandated school closure. Teachers, students and parents must maintain respect of the School’s policy found in the School Handbook on the School website at https://www.stb-school.org/.  The Technology Acceptable Use Policy is also listed under Parent Resources. The following reminder has been shared with all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Worcester and administrators have been encouraged to send this reminder to all families:
 
When using a remote learning tool through the use of video communication, it is important that we continue to respect the privacy and intellectual property rights of our school community – our teachers and our students. By participating in remote learning all students agree that they may not save, record, share, or post learning sessions or any photos from learning sessions. The rules in school apply to this remote classroom experience. Students must treat each other with respect during sessions and when utilizing DVL together. Students must obey school rules.
Thank you for complying with this policy.

I had not intended that this communication be so long, especially after acknowledging that we might all be on information overload!  I will close now with a sincere wish that you, your children, friends and loved ones are well and managing in this time of challenge and change.  May your family find time to enjoy the moments of connection and appreciation that are also present each day.
           
Next week is Holy Week, a special and sacred time.  St. Bernadette Church has prepared a Palm Sunday service and all are invited to drive through the parking lot, remain in our cars and receive a blessing and blessed palms.  More detailed information can be found below.

On behalf of all teachers, staff and administrators at St. Bernadette School, I offer you this prayerful reminder in the image below.

May God Bless You,
Deborah  O’Neil, Principal
Julianne Morin, Assistant Principal
Fr. Falco will be recording masses on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We invite you view these masses at https://stb-parish.org/ so that we may pray together as a community. 


Distribution of Palms on Palm Sunday at St. Bernadette Church
 
Sunday, April 5th, is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week.  Palm Sunday commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with the blessing and distribution of palms. 
 
Palms arrived at St. Bernadette Parish in sealed plastic bags.  They were prepared for distribution by parishioners wearing protective gloves. After consultation, and having informed Northborough police of our intention and method of distribution, blessed palms will be distributed as follows:
 
Distribution: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM only, Sunday, April 5th
 
Drive thru - Please drive to the church entrance, and remaining in your vehicle, a minister wearing protective gloves and practicing social distancing, will distribute palms to you.
 
Walking to church: Please follow the instructions we will have for social distancing.
No gathering of people.  A minister wearing protective gloves will distribute palms to you.
 
I hope that these simple instructions will be of benefit, keeping the distribution of Palms safe, dignified, and prayerful.
 
Holy Week commemorates the love and humility of Jesus for the salvation of the world.
During Holy Week we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood on Holy Thursday, the Crucifixion of Jesus, his death and burial, on Good Friday, and joyfully proclaim the glory of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.  Although we are separated, we are united in faith.  Feeling anxious, fearful, overwhelmed and emotionally fatigued, let us find strength in solidarity, support in prayer for one another, compassion in our health practices, and peace and calm in the Lord.
 
Fr. Ron Falco, Pastor
Financial Aid Applications for the 2020-21 school year are now available through FACTS Grant and Aid Assessment. 

The initial deadline to apply for Financial Aid was March 27th. However, the Catholic School Office has extended the deadline to April 17th.
We highly recommend that if you intend to apply you do so sooner rather than later. Please apply online at
www.factstuitionaid.com
SBS Family in Seesaw

As a way to come together "virtually" as a community and have some fun, we have created a SBS Family page in Seesaw. You will be able to view Morning Prayer with Mrs. Morin, post pictures during Spirit Week, and more!

For those of you already in Seesaw,  please join the class on your child's Seesaw account using the code WBXPPBYN. 

For 5th Grade families not yet in seesaw, please create a student Seesaw account at www.seesaw.com and join the SBS Family class using the code WBXPPBYN.

 
Morning Prayer with Mrs. Morin

As a way to get back into the SBS Morning routine, Mrs. Morin will be posting morning prayer, along with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Mission Statement, each weekday by 9:00 am on the SBS Family Seesaw page.  We hope that you will take a few minutes each morning to view this and pray along with your family.
In 2019, St. Bernadette School was voted
Best Elementary School in MetroWest! 


Nominations for 2020 are now open - please nominate SBS as Best of the Best in multiple categories.

To Nominate St. Bernadette School for Best of the Best:

1. Click on the Link below
2. Click on the Education Box 
3. Nominate St. Bernadette School in the following categories:
    - Elementary School
    - Middle School 
    - Pre-School 
    - Private School

Nomination voting can be done once a day from any given email address through April 22nd.    

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE SBS
Since the majority of our shopping is being done on-line these days, don't forget to purchase on-line gift cards and support St. Bernadette School at the same time! Each purchase will also earn you Fair Share points. 

While we cannot fill orders for physical gift cards at this time, there are hundreds of retailers that offer "ScripNow" gift cards that can be used while shopping on-line. 

If you don't have an account set up yet, it's easy!
Step 1: Go to 
http://www.shopwithscrip.com.
Step 2: Click on "Sign In" and then "Get Started"
Step 3:  
You will be asked to insert an enrollment code for St. Bernadette.  It is:  6F7L9EF311667
You can pay for your gift cards by setting up a PrestoPay Account with your checking account or by Credit Card. It's that easy!

Questions? Contact Jamie Rame at jamie.rame@gmail.com
Support St. Bernadette School while shopping at Amazon.com!

Did you know that by signing up for AmazonSmile and selecting
St. Bernadette School as your charity, 
 the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of each eligible purchase to SBS. 
To date, St. Bernadette School has earned over $750 through this program! 
It's easy - just follow the link below to sign up:

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-2309655