ST. MICHAEL PARISH SCHOOL 

FORMING DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
About SMPS

Response to COVID-19

Welcome to our communications log for our response to COVID-19. With the most recent messages at the top, please access Principal Ferguson's email communications to school families below, since 3/12/2020.
 
The unanticipated closure of school this spring due to the national public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus required swift action to ensure our St. Michael students received our standard of high-level instruction delivered entirely through distance learning. Our deepest gratitude goes to all involved for transitioning to a 100% distance-model over the course of only 3 days. While structures continued to evolve as we learned of the at-home-stay extensions, students were able to pick up "in the classroom" remotely, continuing their learning paths with dedicated, intentional instruction while hardly skipping a beat. While expectations looked different throughout the grade levels, we were thrilled and uplifted to find that student engagement continued at nearly 100%. Our students, families, and teachers have been able to navigate this new territory with grace and aplomb, and we are so thankful for the extra mile put forth to ensure our students are prepared for their next learning ventures in fall 2020.
 
We feel confident that the following made ours an exemplary success story:
  1. borne of major investments in current technologies for use in the classroom, our teachers' and students' collective access to, knowledge of, and familiarity with tech-based teaching-learning options proved transferable for distance learning use; 

  2. the expertise, creativity, flexibility, and incredible dedication of our teachers enabled them to reconstruct all their planning and instruction on digital platforms;

  3. the rapid, cooperative response planning of administrators, leaders, teachers, staff, School Board, and parents hyper-focused our united priorities on student learning, community safety, and preservation of our mission of forming Disciples of Christ;

  4. and the incredible support from our school families provided successful home-based learning environments for students (all while also managing the many other life changes brought about by this public health crisis). 

Again, we must express our deepest gratitude to ALL involved in making this spring a successful learning venture here at St. Michael from all our "remote campuses!" We are both proud of and grateful to our students, parents, and our community for keeping each other "up," spreading positivity and hope, and for the outpour of love and support in ALL directions. Your prayers, your kindnesses, your generosity, your signs, your posts, your patience, your humor, your hard work...we have truly lifted each other during this difficult time, making us all the more aware of how special it is to be part of this Lancer family! 
 
Details for the 2020-2021 school year will be forthcoming, as the situation evolves and planning continues. Registration for 2020-2021 is open and we hope if you are considering St. Michael you contact us so we can warmly welcome you!  
 
  • Please click HERE to read the message from the Bishop Pates regarding suspension of weekend Masses and other activities in the Diocese.
  • Please click HERE to read the message from Fr. John Belmonte, Diocese of Joliet Superintendant, regarding school closures across the Diocese of Joliet.
  • Please click HERE to read the message from Governor JB Pritzker.  

 

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(5/1/2020 @ 3:45pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

Given the Governor’s new orders requiring everyone to wear a mask when out in public, we have had a few parents ask about how to explain this new order to their kids. We’ve found this video link that does a great job explaining the reasoning behind wearing a mask in kid-friendly terms. The video was produced by Easter Seals who is a leader in providing social stories to those who are on the autism spectrum or have difficulty learning. However, in looking at this, if you are struggling with explaining to your kids the need for wearing a mask, we thought it may be helpful. It is a concise, simple, age appropriate way to explain how we are embracing the new normal. We hope you find it helpful! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipvbNzK4nXc&fbclid=IwAR3yCMYDZ2Cmj5nCSqXAqEpKnK8M7TVWYHt6ZwVCtoCuui3Fw62wW8g

What’s coming in the next week…

  • Registration information for the 2020-2021 School Year - Registration Packets will be emailed to each family early next week. Please return to the main office (US Mail, drop off in the bin inside Door 1) by May 15th

  • Pick up of personal belongings - We have collected all the materials from the classrooms and packed students' belongings. Families can come pick up their families belongings on Thursday, May 7th and Friday, May 8th from 9:30am - 12:00pm each day.

    • Last Names A-J will be Thursday, May 7th

    • Last Names K-Z will be Friday, May 8th

    • We will run this pick up at Door 1 just like normal drop off/pick up. Please display your family placard if you have it. We will have staff in the building who will bring your kids bag of belongings to the car window.

  • Library Books - If you have any outstanding library books at home, you can drop them off on May 7th and 8th. If your library books were left in your classrooms, they have been returned for you. Once we check in all the library books, we will contact any families who have outstanding books to return.

  • Chromebook/Textbook Drop off - Later towards the end of May, we will also provide a date to return any ChromeBooks and Textbooks that are still in your possession.

  • 8th Grade Families - A separate email with details about the end of year plans for 8th Graders will be coming soon.

Below is a poem that was written by two of our 4th graders (Maggie Ronek and Giuliana Villalobos). Thank you to the both of them for sharing their creativity with all of us.

WHEN I WAS TOLD QUARANTINE MEANS NO SCHOOL

I SAID “YEA – LET’S HEAD FOR THE POOL”

BUT WITH THE PARKS SHUT DOWN, NOW I’M WEARING A FROWN

WE’RE DISCOVERING WE ACTUALLY MISS SCHOOL

IF QUARANTINE ALSO MEANS STAYCATION

THEN WE THINK, IT’S A LOUSY VACATION

NO SCHOOL SEEMED GREAT – WE COULD EVEN SLEEP LATE

BUT LOCKED UP INSIDE MEANS NO RECREATION

QUARANTINE ALSO MEANS DON’T GO OUT

IT’S SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

BY STAYING INSIDE, WE CAN TAKE PRIDE

THAT WE’RE HELPING OUR GRANDPARENTS OUT.

NOW GIULIANA IS MY VERY GOOD BUDDY

SOMETIMES SHE HELPS ME STUDY

WHEN SHE CANNOT BE HERE, TO SHARE OUR GOOD CHEER

THEN WE CAN’T PLAY TOGETHER AND GET MUDDY

NOW GUILANA AND I HAVE SISTERS

WHICH SOMETIMES IS MORE PAINFUL THAN BLISTERS

THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE WHEN YOU’RE LOCKED UP INSIDE

AND MOM SAYS YOU HAVE TO (AGAIN!) PLAY “TWISTER”


ST. MIKE’S IS A WONDERFUL PLACE

WITH GOOD STUDENTS ALL OVER THE PLACE

WE’RE GOING STIR CRAZY, NOT BECAUSE WE’RE LAZY

WE JUST WANT TO GET BACK IN THE RACE.

ST. MIKE’S SAYS WE SHOULD PRACTICE THE GOLDEN RULE

WHICH IS IMPORTANT WHEN ATTENDING SCHOOL

BUT STUCK AT HOME WITH NOWHERE TO ROAM

MAKES ME WISH I WAS BACK AT SCHOOL

SO LET’S GIVE A SHOUT OUT FOR OUR CLASS

AS WE WAIT FOR THIS CRAZY VIRUS TO PASS

CORONA IS THRIVING, BUT WE ARE SURVIVING

AS WE PRAY THIS PANDEMIC WON’T LAST.

SOCIAL DISTANCING IS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL

IF WE WANT TO SURVIVE TILL THE FALL

IF WE STAY OUT OF SIGHT AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT

HOPEFULLY THERE WILL BE A VACCINE FOR US ALL

 

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal

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Dear Lancer Families,

Per my previous email, we had planned to have a second SMPS Staff Parade tomorrow. However, upon further review, we have decided that this is not the right time to hold another such event. We truly do not mean to be giving false hope to families and then later cancel yet another event, however, we do care for everyone’s safety and want to ensure that we are abiding by the recent Orders from the Governor and Public Health Officials.

In the meantime, attached is a link to the video we produced from all the footage of the first parade a few weeks ago.

https://youtu.be/oue0SwKYmiI

Click on the link below to hear an important message from Fr. Dan regarding the parade!

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal

 
 
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(4/24/2020 @ 6:30pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

I hope you are all staying happy and healthy as we continue with Distance Learning. We are very proud of the students and all they have accomplished during this continued Distance Learning situation. In speaking with the staff in our weekly staff meetings, they all report to be on track with the curriculum and material they had hoped to cover in a traditional in-person learning situation. This is something we can all celebrate given everything that has happened! Thank you for your positive and constructive feedback, as well as your continued support. As I check-in with other school leaders, I am acutely aware of how our quick, cooperative, thorough efforts joined with students’ and parents’ high-level engagement, as well as our all-around positive community attitude have resulted in ours being a genuine success story during this time. We are very pleased with how things are progressing thus far.

I shared some excerpts that I gathered in a previous email, as people continue to show solidarity and hope during this crisis. I received this message below (found and shared by my mom!), and I thought it was worth sharing with everyone.

With some schools cancelled the rest of the school year, students will miss 2.5 months of education. Many people are concerned about students falling behind because of this. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education...

But what if...

What if instead of falling “behind", this group of kids are ADVANCED because of this?

What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connections, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.

What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet.

What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?

What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well run home?

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less?

What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?

What if they are AHEAD? 💙

I wish you all continued health and happiness during these crazy times!

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal

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(4/22/2020 @ 6:15pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

We continue to miss all of our students and families so much! Below is a link to a video that was made by Chris Bailey, our Academic Support Teacher.

https://youtu.be/RAYVCn-mvzQ

Please enjoy and know that we truly miss seeing all the students and families in and around school each and every day.  

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal


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(4/18/2020 @4:15pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

Thank you to all the families that were able to join us along the parade route this afternoon. It was SO AWESOME to see all the kids and families. I know I speak for all the teachers when I say THANK YOU for joining us and brightening our day!

Some of you may have seen the Channel 7 News Crew on our route. We will have a short segment during the 5 o’clock newscast tonight. Be sure to tune in!

If anyone has any footage from today, please text it to Topher Garcia at 312-890-6556. He is compiling all the footage for us.

For those who couldn’t join us today, stay tuned for our next parade route to be sent out soon.

Thank you again for making today so special for our school community!

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal

 
 
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4/16/2020 @ 4:00pm

Just to clarify... The parade will start at 1:30pm. I know that when some opened the route sheet, it said 9:30am. I have updated the route sheet to reflect the 1:30pm start time!

Thanks,

Adam

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4/16/2020 @ 3:30pm

Dear Lancer Families,

The staff at St. Michael Parish School misses our students tremendously! We all long for the day when we can be back together at Masses, in the classrooms, hallways, lunchroom, and on the playground. But until that day comes, we still want to see you all!
We have been planning the first of a couple Staff Parades around town so we can see the students and families. Our first parade will be this SATURDAY, APRIL 18th!! The staff plan to depart SMPS at 1:30pm and follow a specific route through the SOUTHside of Wheaton. Click here to view the route.

If the route does not come directly past your house, but in your general area, please come visit us along the route...practicing proper social distancing, of course! We do plan to visit other neighborhoods and sections of town at later dates...stay tuned for more details on those dates and times!

Anyone who takes videos of the parade...please share!!! If you can take a short video (HORIZONTALLY) of the parade as we pass by and text it to Topher Garcia at 312-890-6556. Topher is a parent who will put all the footage together in a short video for everyone to enjoy!


We hope to see many of you along the route!!
Stay Healthy!

Adam Ferguson
Principal
 
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(4/16/2020 @ 9:30pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

We hope this email finds you all doing well...and staying safe, happy, and healthy!! And we hope you all enjoyed a Happy Easter this past week!

I appreciate all the feedback from everyone regarding my email last week and the change in our schedule. I want to assure everyone that we continue to review our plans for delivering instruction during this Distance Learning scenario and will make the necessary adjustments as this situation is always changing. I’ve been meeting regularly with all the teachers and have been sharing your feedback. Please know that for anyone needing/wanting additional work for their students...on Fridays or any other day...each teacher will post a variety of additional enrichment and extension activities for students to complete. These will not be required or graded but available for those who are looking for additional work to complete.

Some have asked about tutoring resources to assist with students' work while parents are trying to work from home and help with their child's education. First and foremost, please continue to reach out to your child's teacher for assistance. If you feel additional support is needed, please see the attached flyer from RLS Tutoring. They are offering virtual tutoring sessions to help students and families during this extended time at home.

District 200 will host their next mobile food pantry Friday, April 17 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Wheaton Warrenville South HS 1920 S. Wiesbrook Rd, Wheaton. Families will receive a week’s worth of groceries at no cost in a pre-packaged box. The mobile pantry will be a drive-thru format.

We have been planning the first of a couple Staff Parades around town so we can see the students and families. Our first parade will be this SATURDAY, APRIL 18th!! The staff plan to depart SMPS at 1:30pm and follow a specific route through the SOUTHside of Wheaton. Click here to view the route. If the route does not come directly past your house, but in your general area, please come visit us along the route...practicing proper social distancing, of course! We do plan to visit other neighborhoods and sections of town at later dates...stay tuned for more details on those dates and times! Anyone who takes videos of the parade...please share!!! If you can take a short video of the parade (HORIZONTALLY) and text it to Topher Garcia at 312-890-6556. Topher is a parent who will put all the footage together in a short video for everyone to enjoy!

Finally, we continue to be amazed at everyone's generosity. We thank you very much for all your support of our staff and our school during this difficult time!

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!
Adam Ferguson
Principal
 
 
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(3/31/2020 @ 8:30pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

I’m writing today with additional sad news regarding this school year. As you may be aware, Governor Pritzker has extended the Executive Order that all Illinois schools remain closed through April 30th. While it is very disappointing, even dismaying, that we will not get to see each other in person for the next few weeks, we need to take the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health departments very seriously.

Distance Learning at St. Michael’s will continue. Please expect continued communication in the coming days and weeks about additional Distance Learning and wellness resources. As we’ve previously shared, there are 3 main sources where you can find information or links to needed classroom information... SMPS Website , SchoolSpeak , and Facebook .

All events, inside and outside our schools, should be considered cancelled or postponed until further notice. No events will take place through the mandated closure, but we hope to reschedule some of our treasured traditions, including sacraments and graduation. We cannot foresee the future end of all of this, so we cannot release an idea of “when,” but the moment we can plan to celebrate together, we will!

We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many families. The school day is the centerpiece of many peoples’ lives. Families and children count on the reliable routine that a school day offers, from the classroom setting to the many people at school who know the children and care for them.

Contemplating weeks without that structure and care may seem overwhelming. Please know that we are doing our very best to make decisions that will help care for all of us through this time.

We have had an outpouring of families willing to help those in need. If your family needs anything during this uncertain time, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and we will do everything we can to connect you with assistance. Please do not be shy if you or your family is in need. My previous message had a list of nearby resources, as well as information on how to give or receive help within our community, so please also look back on those at any time you might realize you could use them.

We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation. We will get through this challenge together. “WE are St. Mike’s,” and during this time we need to be able to help one another, so please reach out and let us help when you need it. Please continue to pray, and know the school community unites as one praying for healing, for wellness, for our medical professionals, for our first responders, and for the many who’ve been most deeply affected by COVID-19. Whether your hardships feel small or large at this time, we are one, and we are here for one another now and in the future.

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Adam Ferguson
Principal
 

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(3/27/2020 @ 6:45pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

Congrats to everyone on the successful completion of another week of Distance Learning. We continue to work through some kinks and new experiences, and we appreciate your patience. We've completed round one of our virtual staff meetings and have been able to discuss all the feedback we have received from parents and students.

We've gotten A LOT of feedback about Spring Break. Many of you have asked for a true break from assignments, while others have asked for teachers to continue providing work for the kids to do over break. We've decided to meet in the middle. Many teachers will have links to activities, follow up activities, virtual museum tours, or other "optional" assignments for students to complete. These will not be required assignments nor will they be graded. They are simply options for those looking to continue the structure over the break. I would highly recommend that any students who have not completed other assignments, either prior to the school closure or from the past two weeks, should make those their priority over the break. This will ensure they are back on track when we return to Distance Learning on April 6th.

An opportunity is available for anyone needing daily meals for their kids. Please click here for information regarding the District 200 Food Distribution. District 200 is offering food service Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Food service will be available during spring break (3/30 - 4/3). At school-based distribution and community-based sites, food service staff will be located in an Illinois Central bus. Brown-bag meals, prepared by the food service provider, Organic Life, with breakfast and lunch will be distributed. This opportunity is open to ANY child (regardless of what school they attend) age 18 or younger.

We have continued to receive generous offers from families looking to support others in our school community. I know this pandemic has affected each of us differently, and some more than others. If you are in need of ANY assistance of any kind, please reach out. Community members have gone so far as to offer to help with remaining tuition bills, utility bills, grocery or food costs...or even a micro-loan if you own a small business that is suffering the negative effects of this crisis. There is help here for you, and I hope you will let me connect you to available resources. We are so grateful to everyone who has offered to help, reminding us once again how special our community really is.

I believe most of you saw that earlier this week the Bishop sent a memo to the entire Diocese regarding compensation for the month of April for Parish Staff (including our Priests) and School Staff (excluding teachers). It explained that Full-Time Staff will be taking a 1/3 reduction in pay, and Part Time Staff will be on a pay freeze and will not be paid at all. This includes a few of our custodial staff whose hours have been suspended until we are back to normal operations. This creates a financial hardship, and I would not have said much more about this, but some people immediately came forward wanting to offer financial support, which is just incredibly generous. Because of this, we will accept donations and will disperse those donations evenly among the staff affected by this pay reduction/freeze. Donation checks can be written to St. Michael Parish School, memo line COVID FUND, and can be mailed to the Main Office (attn: COVID Fund)...314 W. Willow, Wheaton, 60187. Please hear that we are not “asking” for donations to be made, but understand and appreciate that some are looking for a way to help, so we are making this option available. The fact that our community’s care has generated this fund is very moving and on behalf of those who will receive it, I must express what I know will be deeply felt gratitude.

THANK YOU to all those who have offered to help those in our community.

Make it a GREAT week, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal


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(3/24/2020 @ 11pm) 

Dear Lancer Families,

I hope you all are getting used to this “new” way of life. In the Ferguson House, we’ve been able to enjoy family walks, puzzles, board games, movie nights, and a generally slower pace of life! Don’t get me wrong, there are still tears, screaming, fighting, pouting, and temper tantrums...and that's from the adults!!! All in all, we are surviving, and we are together. We all have family members that we cannot see or visit and that is extremely tough. I continue to pray for all of you and your loved ones.

As a staff, we have been holding virtual staff meetings with the different grade levels. Thank you all for your feedback. We have been trying to make changes to our programming in order to deliver the best possible distance learning experience for the children based on your input. We continue to make improvements, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate this new way of delivering instruction.


Below are a number of additional resources for families in light of COVID-19

Message form the DuPage Health Department: If you think you have been exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your doctor prior to seeking care unless symptoms represent an acute emergency. Calling ahead will help your doctor’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed, and give you the best advice.

Please DO NOT present at the ER seeking a COVID-19 screening unless directed to do so by a medical professional. Testing is only available under specific criteria, and since the ER may have other visitors with COVID 19 and other infections, you may actually increase your odds of contracting an illness. If you are directed to go to the ED, it is better to call first if you can so they are prepared for your arrival.

DuPage County residents with concerns about exposure or specific symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to call the DCHD COVID-19 Hotline (630)-221-7030. This hotline is open weekdays from 8am-4:30pm, and Saturday from 8am-1pm.

If you have questions about COVID-19 outside of these hours, call the Illinois Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Hotline 1(800) 889-3931 or, send an email to: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV. These resources are open anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 
Parent Resources

LIVE STREAMING SPEAKER - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th at 6:30pm - Suriving and Thriving in the Face of Crisis with Dr. Zarse - Click on the link for more details! https://www.smore.com/52r49

NASP has a parent info sheet -

 
Medical/Health

If you have questions about Coronavirus- Call the Illinois Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Hotline 1(800) 889-3931 or, send an email to: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV Anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Access DuPage is a resource for people with no medical insurance https://accessdupage.org/about/resources/

Intake offices:

Winfield Township - 130 Arbor Ave, West Chicago, IL (630-231-3591)

Milton Township - 1492 N. Main St, Wheaton, IL (630-668-1616)

DuPage County Health Department - (630-682-7400)

DuPage County Human Services - 421 N. County Farm Rd, Wheaton, IL (630-407-6500)


Local food pantries

Warrenville - St. Irene’s Catholic Church 28W441 Warrenville Rd. 630-393-2400

Warrenville - Immanuel Church 29w260 Batavia Rd 630-386-5711

West Chicago - Wayne Township Pantry 27 W 031 North Avenue, West Chicago IL 630-231-7173

Carol Stream - Neighborhood FP at LCM 580 N. Kuhn Road, Carol Stream IL 630-665-5188

Carol Steam - Interfaith Food Pantry 345 S. President Street, Carol Stream IL 630-665-6426

Wheaton - Milton Township Pantry 1492 N. Main Street, Wheaton IL 630-668-1616

Wheaton - People’s Resource Center 201 S. Naperville Rd., Wheaton, IL 630-682-5402

Glen Ellyn - Glen Ellyn Food Pantry 493 Forest Avenue, Glen Ellyn 630-469-8668

 

Internet Access

As the country deals with the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Comcast is taking immediate steps to help connect more low-income families to the Internet at home. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, anyone who signs up for Internet Essentials will receive two free months of Internet service. We are also increasing the speed of the program to 25 Mbps downloads, and 3 Mbps uploads for all new and existing customers.

Please call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) or go to the Comcast website to apply at https://apply.internetessentials.com/


Economic Assistance

Click here for additional Economic Assistance

 

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal

 
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(3/20/2020 @ 4:00pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

I’m sure many of you heard the recent update from Gov. Pritzker, that schools will remain closed until April 7th. As of now, we are planning to return on Wednesday, April 8th. Should this date be pushed back, we will communicate this info immediately. If your family needs anything during this uncertain time, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, and we will do everything we can to connect you with assistance. Please do not be shy if you or your family is in need. “WE are St. Mike’s,” and during this time we need to be able to help one another, so please reach out and let us help when you need it.

Enough about COVID-19 for a minute…

Prior to the school closure, we recognized the Trimester 2 Archangel Award Winners. The recipients were...Natalie Ruswick, Aiden Smith, Leah Chalcraft, Nora Samolinski, Jordyn Bauer, Caroline Noble, Ellie Kennedy, Makenna Samolinski, Charlie Winkofsky, Henry Hilsabeck, Zach Marchuk, Anna Conforti, Jake Babula, Kaitlyn Krause, Elle Steffen, Callie Dearie, Owen Ryan, Maggie Pearse, Kellan Carroll, Michael Spahn, Shania Smith, Christopher Tatro, JoJo Mahan, Owen Gjerde, Kate Clark, Rachel Telzrow, Emma Schilling, Colt Armbrust, Lauren White, Lily Kearney, Dolly Smith, Louise Heaton, Helen Dey, Sofia Hutchens, and Ellie Bielenda. Thank you all for your dedication and hardwork!

We wanted to get you a copy of the 2020-2021 school calendar. While much of the schedule might be expected, a few things look a little different. Click here to view the full calendar and see below for some highlights…

  • August 18th will be the First Day of School for 1st-8th grade AND Supply Day [please note this is a change]

    • Supply Day will be from 7:15-8:30am, when all students and parents can drop off supplies in the classrooms. We will delay the start of the school day until 8:40am. At that time, we will begin the day with Morning Prayers and attendance. Then, we will have All School Mass at 9:00am...followed by our regular day.

  • Days off/breaks

    • Diocesan Institute Days - October 8 & 9

    • Fall Break/Thanksgiving Break - November 23rd - November 27th

    • Christmas Break - December 21st - January 1st

    • Spring Break - March 29th - April 2nd

    • May 27th - Last day of School

  • No Busing Days

    • 9/25, 11/13, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6

Make it a GREAT weekend, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal

 
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(3/18/2020 @ 2:15pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

We hope you all are surviving the first OFFICIAL day of Distance Learning. We know that this is an extremely stressful situation for all, and we appreciate all the support from everyone. We also know that everyone is trying their best to adjust to this new way of learning. We are very flexible on our end, and staff is available to answer any questions that may arise.

Where can I find needed information and resources? - There are 3 main sources where you can find information or link you to needed classroom information... SMPS Website , SchoolSpeak , and Facebook . One of these 3 sources can connect you with information needed to complete school work, gain updated info, and/or find resources to help get through these unprecedented times. When teachers are communicating directly to students, your child will find those direct communications in either Seesaw (1st-2nd) or Google Classroom (3rd-8th). Checking over these with your child may be helpful. Remember your child’s teacher is available for help, and has communicated the best ways and times to reach her!

When will the Main Office open each day? - Many have asked when the Main Office would be open so that you can get items from the classrooms or to get a Chromebook. The Main Office will be open from 10:00am-2:00pm, Monday - Thursday...or by specific appointment. Please email me ( aferguson@stmichaelcommunity.org ) so that I can make sure I’m near the Main Entrance to let you in.

A note from our Social Worker (Donna Kozica) - Please click on the link here to view a letter from Donna Kozica, our SMPS Social Worker. The letter has some great resources for parents to help manage life during this time.

What if my family is in a situation where I need some support from the community? - Many in our Lancer family have offered to help and support others in our community. I will keep a list of those available to help. If you or a family member is in need of any assistance, please reach out to me directly and I will try to link you with a helper.

Lancer Challenge of the Day - I hope you all have seen the “Lancer Challenge of the Day” on Facebook. If not, be sure to check it each morning to s ee what’s in store. We love seeing everyone participating so far...keep up the great work, Lancers!

Daily Prayers - Also, each day we have been posting the Morning Offering, Lunchtime, and Afternoon Prayers on Facebook. Please be sure to incorporate this in your daily routine. It is in these times of struggle that we must rely on our Faith to get us through the tough times. We hope this adds a bit of normalcy to an otherwise unusual day of learning from home.

Additional Resources from CommonSense.org

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. If you have a classroom specific question, I would ask that you contact the teacher directly first.

God Bless,

Adam Ferguson, Lisa Los, Fr. Dan Hoehn

*********** 

(3/16/2020 @ 3:00pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

Sometimes there is little protocol for a situation; no precedent to guide us. This situation continues to surprise us. Our staff planning meeting this morning for distance learning had ideas springing from every direction, and although this will take a lot of work and coordination, we were ultimately feeling grateful that in today’s age we don’t have to completely halt our schooling. Certainly, this will be different than anything we have done before. Certainly, we will be making adjustments along the way while we learn what works best and what does not. Certainly, we will all need to be patient, positive, and helpful for our own sakes, but also for the best interests of our children. One of my favorite Saints, Padre Pio, is famously quoted for saying, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” He lived a difficult life in trying times, and his simple words of encouragement can lift us up. Keep his words handy, keep praying, and we will get through this together.

Overview - I want to update everyone on our Distance Learning Plan at St. Michael’s. The teachers and staff have worked very hard over the weekend, and all day today, planning lessons and creating learning activities for the students. We will use the SMPS Website , SchoolSpeak , and Facebook to share useful information. Please use these platforms to gain access to Google Classroom, Seesaw, or any other digital links from your teachers.

Availability - Our expectation is that students will engage each day and complete the posted assignments by the time they are due for each class. It may help to set aside consistent, specific hours each day for schoolwork, for whatever works best for your child and family. Staff will be available for “Virtual Office Hours” Monday through Friday between 9:00am-12:00pm. During these Virtual Office Hours, teachers can answer questions, emails, and/or set up live video chats with students or groups of students. We realize learning times will be fairly fluid from home, but want you to know in addition to email, you can contact us through the main office line (messages will be responded to ASAP).

Expectations - We must emphasize that from our official distance-learning start on Wednesday, March 18th, the expectation is that the work assigned by your child’s teacher(s) MUST be completed on time. All grading policies apply as normal. Due dates must be met. Each teacher is planning a reasonable amount of work to still meet standards to count each distance-learning day as a school day, and we need everyone’s best effort. Below is a short note about each grade group and what to expect. A detailed note from your child’s teacher is coming in the next 24 hours.

Kindergarten

Teachers will be using SchoolSpeak to post messages and assignments.

Grades 1st-2nd

Teachers will be using SchoolSpeak and Seesaw as their main platforms to communicate assignments and messages.

Grades 3rd-8th

Teachers will be using Google Classroom as their main platform to post assignments, links, videos, messages, etc. for each class. Please check SchoolSpeak for the link to your teachers’ specific Google Classroom pages.

Art

K-2 - Ms. Abrica will be using Seesaw to post messages and assignments.
3rd-8th Grade - Ms. Abrica will be using Google Classroom to post messages and assignments.

Spanish

4th -8th Grade - Mrs. Brink will be using Google Classroom to post messages and assignments.

PE

Click on the link here to view some activities for students to get some much needed physical activity while at home.
 
Missing Materials - For any students who were absent last week and were not able to get books and/or materials from their classroom, the Main Office will be open from 7:30-9:30am on Tuesday, March 17th, for you to come in and pick up any needed items.

Devices - If any students in 4th-8th grades DO NOT have access to a device, click on the link here to request a device by 11:59pm tonight, Monday, March 16. The Main Office will be open from 7:30-9:30am on Tuesday, March 17th, for you to come in to sign a release/user agreement and pick up a device.

Coaches - We realize that you may still have your Key Fob for the Door 1. PLEASE DO NOT USE YOUR FOB to gain access to the building. The school, including the gym, is CLOSED until further notice.

Assistance Available - We pray that you all are safe during this unprecedented time. Many of you have offered to help and support others in our community. I will keep a list of those available to help. If you or a family member is in need of any assistance, please reach out to me directly and I will try to link you with a helper.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. If you have a classroom specific question, I would ask that you contact the teacher directly first.

God Bless,

Adam Ferguson, Lisa Los, Fr. Dan Hoehn

 
*************  
 
(3/13/2020 @ 3:30pm)

Dear Lancer Families

There have been rapid developments regarding concern for spread of COVID-19 in our area. Earlier this morning, the Archdiocese of Chicago suspended all activity at their schools and churches. District 200, and many other local public and Catholic schools released that they have determined the need to close. They have cancelled all activities and events from now through spring break, April 4. Recommendations from public health officials and our governor are to limit public gatherings, thus St. Michael Parish School also will be closing our building to students the weeks of March 16 - 20 and March 23 - March 27. In addition, all activities and events at the building are canceled through spring break, March 30 - April 4.

As of today, we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at St. Michael Parish School or in District 200. These actions are considered necessary for the level of social distancing health officials are suggesting to protect public health. Communities that have most successfully minimized spread have heeded these warnings by staying home and away from gatherings. You may see suggestions to avoid sleepovers, playdates, parties, etc. Such avoidance is proven to reduce spread of viruses like COVID-19.

We are in the process of finalizing a distance-learning plan that will allow students to continue learning during this time. Further communication about this distance-learning plan for students will be sent when finalized. This means students will be learning from home the next two weeks and these days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year. In the plan, we will provide options for students who do not have a device at home. Prior to dismissal, we did encourage all students to bring home any and all necessary learning materials they may need over the next two weeks.

We will continue to consult with our local health officials over spring break to evaluate if we need to extend our closure beyond April 4. Please expect follow-up communication from us between now and April 4.

We will also continue to update Schoolspeak , send emails, and update the link to the St. Michael Parish School website with information and frequently asked questions & answers related to COVID-19.

Thank you in advance for your support as we follow the recommendations of local authorities and implement what is best for our students and staff during this unprecedented time. We understand this may cause challenges for some families, however, we believe this is in the best interest of our school community at this time.

Adam Ferguson, Lisa Los, Fr. Dan Hoehn
 
 
************* 
 
(3/13/2020 @ 1:15pm)
 
Dear Lancer Families,

I know many of you have gotten word that District 200 just announced they will be closing their school buildings for two weeks effective Monday, March 16th. An official announcement from the Diocese of Joliet is forthcoming.

We will be encouraging students at St. Michaels to bring home any materials and belongings they may need in the likely event that we cancel as well. In preparation for a potential closure, we have been working on a distance learning plan for students. Details of that plan will be sen d when they are finalized.
 
Stay tuned for future announcements.

Thank you,

Adam Ferguson, Lisa Los, Fr. Dan

 
*************
 
(3/12/2020 @ 4:45pm)

Dear Lancer Families,

We just finished a call with the DuPage ROE and DuPage County Health Department where we received guidance and recommendations from these agencies. Please look here for the most accurate information, as I will continue to add to this communication string so all updates are in one location.

Currently, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases at St. Michael Parish School.

Even so, with the number of cases across the state and region increasing and as a result of our communications and coordination with the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) , St. Michael Parish School is taking proactive measures to help to reduce the spread of illness throughout our community.

We are not closing school at this time. St. Michael Parish School is implementing the following measures at least until Spring Break and/or until further notice:

Large gatherings that include visitors, from outside the school who are not our students, are canceled . This includes

3/13 - Regional Science Fair

3/13 - 5 th Grade Field Trip to Wax Museum at St. Pet’s

3/14 - Parish Pasta Dinner

3/18 - 8th Grade vs Seminarian Basketball Game

3/20 - Fish Fry

3/20 - Men’s March Madness Event

3/24 - SHINE and SHINE Jr. Concert

3/26 - Family STEM Night

Athletic practices or competitions without spectators may continue as planned.

All school trips are canceled, until further notice.

All field trips are canceled, until further notice.

All outside speakers are canceled.

Future communications will be sent regarding all after school programs including Chess Team, RLS Tutoring Programs, Young Rembrandts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, as well as, religious ceremonies such as Weekly School Mass and Stations of the Cross.

While we appreciate your volunteer efforts as they are essential to our school, it was recommended that schools strictly limit all visitors and volunteers who enter the building throughout the day. This would include, but are not limited to, classroom volunteers, library volunteers, Fun Food Friday volunteers, etc.

We will evaluate whether or not these performances and events can be rescheduled at a later time. In the coming days we will communicate if we need to cancel any of the above events that take place after spring break.

If we do have a confirmed case of COVID-19 at St. Michael Parish School, we will close school for 24 hours. At that point, the DuPage County Health Department would help us assess the situation, evaluate our cleaning and disinfection practices, and reduce the risk and vulnerability to students. We would then work on a plan to move forward. Until then, school will remain open and we will continue our cleaning and disinfection practices as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . We will revisit these protocols as necessary.

As we receive new information, we will send it to you as soon as we can. Please continue to check SchoolSpeak, where we will post all messages that we issue and other resources.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation together.

Thanks,

Adam Ferguson

Principal

 
*************
 
(3/12/2020 @ 10:30am)
 
Dear Lancer Families,

A statement from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) was released regarding COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus. We are closely monitoring information and news pertaining to COVID-19, and are in direct communication with local authorities, District 200, and the Diocese of Joliet. Though there have not been specific instructions from state or local health authorities to date, we will follow instructions if any are issued. We want to reassure you that the safety and wellness of our students, staff, and community are our top priority.

Information from the CDC:
Click here to view factsheets from the CDC regarding COVID-19. Health officials’ understanding of the illness has increased, and these factsheets address who might be vulnerable, how the illness spreads, the symptoms of COVID-19, ways to protect oneself and others, and what to do if you are concerned about your own illness.

Personal preventative actions recommended for all:
The CDC has advised that all people practice the following behaviors to avoid spreading illness:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Here at school, teachers and staff are frequently promoting these practices. We are also reminding students not to share items they use for eating or drinking, and to keep non-eating utensils/items away from their faces/mouths. It always helps to have parents encourage children to practice these behaviors at school, and we greatly appreciate your support.

Actions we are taking at St. Michael:
During the winter months, to minimize spread of typical winter viruses, we disinfect surfaces daily with a cleaning product that meets efficacy standards for hospitals. With heightened concerns about COVID-19, our maintenance team has already increased the frequency of sanitizing high-touch surfaces (such as door handles, push bars, railings, table tops, etc.) to multiple times per day. This practice will continue.

In addition, we are scheduling a service from Buck Services to disinfect the entire school and church campus with Clorox-360, an electrostatic spray that forms a protective cleaning bond on all hard surfaces. This process and product is approved by the CDC. It is considered a deep disinfecting and sanitizing option, and creates a germ-protective shield on hard surfaces. We anticipate this can be done without disruption to our regular schedule. I will communicate the date for this service as soon as possible.

If you or your child is sick, the CDC advises the following:
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash [and wash your hands].
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Please remember that if your child has a fever he or she needs to remain home until 24-hours fever free without the help of fever-reducing medication. As always, if your child is ill (with or without a fever), keeping your child home until feeling well allows him or her needed rest and recovery time, and also promotes wellness for others. We are watching and comparing attendance records and illness notes, and to date everything we have seen is typical for this time of year.

Travel concerns:
If you are at all concerned about travel (either travel restrictions or exposure to someone who has travelled recently), please visit the State Department site for their announcement and information by clicking on this link .

Lastly, we are grateful to have exceptional resources and staff to manage the efforts necessary in this situation. We appreciate your care for both personal and communal health. Please let us know if you have any concerns. We will communicate further information about the situation and notify you if there are any event or calendar changes. It is our hope and prayer that all our families be well, and that we progress through the school year with as much regularity as possible. As well, we hope and pray for health and wellness in our wider community and throughout the world.

Sincerely,
Adam Ferguson, Lisa Los, and Fr. Dan Hoehn
 
 
 
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