You have to give a ton of credit to our Catholic school administrators across the state. They had much of the groundwork in place before the schools were shut down in March and they could see what was happening in the distance.
“We had an inkling that this was going to happen so we began the preparation process,” said Nancy Pierce, the Principal of St. Gregory School outside of Erie. “On Tuesday, March 17th, we organized a pick-up of I-pads and materials for all grade levels and then on Wednesday the 18th we started posting student lessons on class Dojo and then on Monday, March 23rd we started doing Zoom sessions so we would have some live interaction with the students.”
Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see a day off or lag in between there. That’s impressive. I’ve seen and heard similar stories in so many of our Catholic schools. And there is attention to more than just the virtual classroom part of it.
At St. Gregory they kept the observance of Earth Day.
“Every day is Earth Day,” Pierce said. “We offered students suggestions on what they could do for the earth, maybe it’s praying for the earth or planting a garden at your own house or starting composting, or creating cleaning products that are environmentally friendly.”
And she’s going to try to keep up the observance of end-of-the-year activities as well. What that means yet, she’s not sure.
“It is a little bit early to call. We are making some plans, even if we can do some kind of celebration for the students, if it’s a prayer service if things come to change with our opportunities to get a little bit closer to each other. We may have a mass for the students. We have a team. We have a graduation committee of teachers. We’re brainstorming ideas that are acceptable in this time of the virus.”
Pierce had a great amount of praise for her staff for jumping in and embracing the remote learning. She said she’s also very proud of the families who continue to support the school and work with them during this trying time.