It is hard to believe that we are approaching the end of July. The last week of July is always a trigger for me that back to school is right around the corner. Yes, we WILL be back to school, in person, at St. Isidore Catholic School. Remote and Hybrid options are available for our families as well. If a remote or hybrid option is something that you are interested in, please contact our school office so we can plan effectively. Our first day of school for PS-8 remains Wednesday, August 19th. As typical, the first day of school is a half-day. We have been, and continue to be, working on logistics for what the first day of school will look like, as well as what our year will look like. Our SICS traditions are very important to us, and we want to be able to continue our traditions in a safe way. We hope to have the traditional “ringing of the original school bell” to ring-in the start of our 99th year, as well as celebrate Mass as a school family outside on the first day of school. Things will definitely be different this year, but we are looking forward to being back at school with the children we love!
St. Isidore Catholic School submitted our re-entry plan to the Diocese of Joliet on June 30th. Our plan follows the IDPH/ISBE Guidance Document released on June 23, 2020. As soon as we receive approval from the Diocese of Joliet, we will provide detailed information to our families regarding our plan.
We have much to be grateful for during our current pandemic situation as we plan to open for a routine, weekly schedule of five full days of school. We will continue to offer before and after care. Each component of our day will adhere to IDPH safety guidelines. Not only is our small size an asset to allow this to happen safely, we have hired an additional employee from Buck Services (our cleaning company) to work solely for the school during the school day to assure cleaning and disinfecting of the common areas and classrooms throughout the school day. We are also working with Amita Health and our school social worker on a push-in Social Emotional Curriculum to help students process through and understand our world today in a healthy way. Our re-entry plan consists of many more detailed areas of re-opening including arrival, dismissal, social distancing, visual cues, face coverings, transitions throughout the building, recess, our HVAC system, and so much more. I am confident that we are able to re-open safely and I look forward to sharing our plan with you once we receive official certification from the Diocese.
Clearly I’m excited to have our kids back in school, returning to a structured day while experiencing community, socialization, and a routine learning atmosphere. However, I absolutely understand and respect that returning in person is not an option for every family. To that end, Mrs. Carter has been hard at work developing remote learning plans, different from what remote learning looked like in the spring. Our school staff will be coming into school next week to be trained on our re-entry plan and remote learning. We are pleased to be able to offer full remote learning that follows the school day, as well as a hybrid option for families who are yearning for socialization for their children yet feel five full days is too much. Again, if you are interested in either of these two options, please contact the school office as soon as possible.
After local public schools announced their re-opening plans this past week, we have had great interest in our school. In fact, the day after U-46 and District 93 announced their plans, we had a dozen phone calls from families who were interested in registering at St. Isidore. Several families came in immediately and registered on the spot. St. Isidore Catholic School has so much to offer students and families. Please help us continue to promote SICS… our mission of teaching our faith couldn’t be more important than during these times. We have posts on our parish Facebook page as well as lawn signs to help promote our school. Please like and share our Facebook posts and let us know if you would like a lawn sign for your yard. We will gladly deliver it to you.
Finally, Thank you. I know I’ve said it before; but thank you for your patience and perseverance through the uncertainty and the change within our school. Our school office has been working overtime since March, and we don’t plan on stopping, until we are all safely back to the classroom. Teaching the heart of the matter has been the mission of St. Isidore Catholic School for 99 years, and it won’t stop on my watch- whether it’s remote, hybrid, or in-person. Please do pray for a cure, pray for our country, pray for the sick, and pray for us all that we may trust in God’s goodness to see us through this very difficult time in our world. Be assured that I will be in communication with you as I receive information regarding the certification of our plan.
In Christ’s Peace,