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Coronavirus Update


April 22, 2020 Coronavirus Update

Hello again, my dear Messiah family!

I miss you all. I pray that you remain safe and healthy, that you were able to take joy in your Easter celebrations, and that the Easter Break provided some time to rest and decompress, and tend to your wellbeing even in the midst of these strange days. Maybe you’re tackling new projects and hobbies; maybe you’re the one feeling tackled.  Either way, our hearts are with you. 

Governor DeWine issued the expected order that schools will remain in distance learning mode for the school year. While I miss our kids, the health and safety of our students, families, and staff remains my top priority. We are prepared to support you and your child as we complete our year together.  Most recent updates appear highlighted in blue. 

This is a new venture for all of us together. We’ve created an UPDATED survey to better understand your needs and experience during the distance learning period. Your feedback informs how we as a faculty and staff do our best work. Take a moment to share your insights and needs through the survey linked here. 

CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE
  1. Revised School Year Calendar: In adherence to Governor DeWine’s latest order, Messiah Lutheran School will offer instruction in a distance learning model through the end of the school year. All of our students’ last day will be May 28. View the calendar here. We are committed to offering a graduation ceremony, even though we realize we will be doing that differently than in previous years. 
  2. Flex Fridays (K-8): We remain committed to providing the best learning opportunities possible to our students. We also recognize that each home has different rhythms and needs during this period. The four Fridays in May are designated as Flex Days. On these days, teachers will provide fun enrichment and extension activities for students who are up to date, and additional focused support for students who need it. Teachers will communicate additional details to their classes and students.
  3. Preschool/PreKindergarten: Mrs. Hilden’s classes will continue as scheduled; Flex Fridays are not a part of the preschool/preK schedule.


TEACHING AND LEARNING: We know many of you are working from home while trying to support your student as they work from home. Where you need additional support or flexibility, please don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher(s). Our faculty is here to serve and support you. We know you’re doing the best you can. Create a schedule that works for you, and a little bit of workspace for your students. 

  1. Materials Deliveries: Our next two materials deliveries are scheduled for Monday, April 27 and Friday, May 8. If you are in need of a device, or device service, please email nshucofsky@messiahfp.org. We are creating plans to return all students’ belongings and supplies. 
  2. Library Books: Messiah’s librarian, Mrs. Herynk, invites you to return library books you’re not currently reading. The book drop box is available inside the main doors of the school, and the doorbells are answered by Mrs. Coreno. Pick up free books to read from the Little Free Library on W 215th near the Preschool entrance. 
  3. Classes: Teachers are working full time through the shift to distance learning. They offer communication through Google Classroom, email, phone, and Google Meet. They are available 9 am - 3 pm, and in virtual office hours or by appointment. 
  4. Google Help: To learn more about Google Tools, visit the GSuite Learning Center. Have a question? Email me at hcasselberry@messiahfp.org.
  5. Devices: Notify your teacher if you do not have an internet connected device to access Google Classroom and Meet. We may have additional devices becoming available.
  6. Assignments: Teachers are creating assignments for students to complete during distance learning. We know that the impact of the public health response to COVID-19 vary by household. If your child needs assistance or an extension on an assignment, reach out to your teacher. We are here to support you.
  7. Grading: Continuing distance education allows us to continue offering grades and course credit as a means of communicating students’ progress. As modifications to our grading system are deemed necessary and appropriate, you will be informed. 
  8. Standardized Tests: Governor DeWine signed House Bill 197 into law, waiving standardized tests for Ohio schools, as well as a waiver of any additional consequences tied to testing. 


HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

  1. Survey: We’ve published an updated survey for the extended distance learning period. Please share your insights to help us serve you. Take survey here. 
  2. Counseling Support: Our counselor, Mrs. Carol Bost, will be doing check-ins for all families, and is also available during office hours. Her office hours are on Monday-Thursday, 1:30-2:30. Add these hours to your calendar and request counseling through this link. She has provided a meeting room link, a form students can submit to request support for themselves, and a form parents and teachers can use to request support for a student or family.
  3. Healthy Relationships and Caring Connections: Healthy, loving, secure relationships are like a bike helmet. They protect the brain during times of stress. 
    1. Maintain caring connections and relationships in your life and your children's lives. These safe, caring relationships create a buffer for the brain to soften the blows of stressful situations. Try one activity from this Caring Connections Calendar each day to nourish those connections, your hearts, and your minds.
    2. To support your family's mental health, wellness, and loving relationships during this crisis, consider checking out the resources at Conscious Discipline. The resources and skills are grounded in brain science, yet very accessible to those of us who don't hold PhDs in psychology.  They have an entire collection of resources curated for the COVID-19 crisis. I pray that you'll find what you learn there supports you as a parent now and in the future. 
    3. These days at home give us an opportunity to devote more time to some of the things that our brains love best: quality time and conversations with our loved ones, playtime outside, reading books, playing games, doing puzzles, making music, getting some exercise. Enjoy those times too!
  4. Health: We have no known cases of COVID-19 reported in the Messiah School community. Remember to wear masks when you go out to protect yourself and others. 
  5. Community of Care: If you have a need, and you don’t know where to start, please contact school@messiahfp.org. If you learn of a friend or neighbor's need, and you’re not sure how to help meet it, contact school@messiahfp.org. We’ll do our best to help directly where we can or connect you with resources. 

COMMUNITY AND CONNECTION

  1. Facebook: Find us on Facebook [Messiah School of Fairview Park / @MessiahSchoolFP]! Like Messiah School on Facebook, and follow us to make sure we show up in your feed.
  2. Chapel: Chapel will be offered live on Wednesday mornings at 9 via Facebook.  If you miss it live, you can always view it later.
    Story Time & Prayers: Every weeknight at 7:15 on facebook live. We’ll have guest readers, books by request, and prayers by request as well.  Like chapel, you can view live (which allows you to dialogue with the reader and other live viewers) or you can view it later. 
  3. School Events: Take part and connect in fun events!  
    1. Messiah’s Virtual 5K/1M Race/Run/Walk: This year, our event continues as a free, virtual race!
    2. Read more and sign up here.
  4. Google Hangouts/Meet: Students/parents may use their Messiah accounts to study/work during the shift to distance learning. Abuse of these accounts, or any inappropriate behavior conducted through these accounts, will result in the revocation of access to Messiah accounts or devices.
  5. Bible Study: Interested in an online group Bible study? Check out https://my.bible.com/ and watch for an invite to join a Bible study. 
  6. Online Worship: Worship online with Messiah Lutheran Church. Service will be broadcast live on Sunday at 8:30, and viewable anytime thereafter. 
  7. Prayer: Send requests to hcasselberry@messiahfp.org.

This is an opportunity for us to be creative about connecting. Share your ideas with us!

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.  -Psalm 34:21

In Christ’s Love, 
Helen Casselberry

COVID-19 RESOURCE LINKS FOR FAMILIES

GOOGLE CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

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