Prior Communications

I pray you continue to stay healthy and are finding some silver linings in this unprecedented situation. Although our May newsletter will be coming out soon, I have a few updates for you.

Diocesan Update: Campuses to Remain Closed for the Rest of the School Year

John Galvan, the Director for Schools for the Diocese of San Diego, just released a letter making it official that we will not return to campus for the rest of this school year. Although we were holding on to some glimmer of hope, we can now confirm that we won’t return to campus. We will continue with Distance Learning for the rest of this school year. Please see the attached letter. Our last day of school will be June 5th. 

Parent Survey & Video

Mr. Rey and I will be creating a video to answer the most common questions that we received in the parent survey. We hope to have that for you by the end of the week or early next week. As partners in the education of your children, we value your feedback and will continue to make adjustments as necessary to our Distance Learning program. 

Children’s Day Celebration

This Thursday, April 30th is Children’s Day or Día del Niño. This is a celebration popular in Spanish speaking countries which we have celebrated at MDJDA over the last few years. This year, to celebrate our students, we will have a virtual bilingual concert via our Facebook page. The concert will be live streamed this Thursday at 4:30 pm. 123 Andrés, a bilingual performing duo, will be interacting with the kids and singing songs in English and Spanish. You can visit their page or watch this video to become familiar with them. We hope you can join us!

Family Faith Formation

Thank you to the parents that joined us last Friday for the Family Faith Formation Sessions with Father Paul and Father Claude. It was great so see you all and connect virtually. Father Paul will be leading the English sessions weekly at 1:00 pm and Father Claude will lead the Spanish sessions at 2:00 pm. The sessions are a great way for us to continue to come together as a community of faith. I will be adding the links to the individual grade level schedules. We hope to see you there this Friday. 

Grandparents’ Day & May Crowning Mass

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020 we have plans to honor our Grandparents and our Blessed Mother Mary by celebrating Mass online at 11:30am. We will post it to Instagram and Facebook and have a special card we will be sending to all Mater Dei Grandparents with your help. Please send us the addresses to your student’s grandparents through this link.

We thank you again for your flexibility and support. Please know that you are all in our prayers and in our hearts.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter and even though it may have looked different than in years past, I pray that you were able to enjoy it nonetheless. Easter is a time to allow our hearts to be filled with gratitude and hope as we receive the gift of new life that Easter represents. Although these are very difficult times, it is especially important for us to take some time to reflect upon those things that bring us gratitude and hope. I know that in my case, I am grateful for our school community. I am grateful to have a job that I love, to serve a school that I firmly believe in, and to share all of this with an incredible team of teachers and support staff who are resilient, dedicated and innovative. Every single one of our employees is hard at work, getting ready to continue our adventure of Distance Learning next week. Mrs. Torres and I are committed to our school community and to supporting our teachers, our students and our families. It is our students who bring all of us hope. They inspire us to continue to move forward every single day, for they are the future. 

The theme of Distance Learning is flexibility. We understand that everyone’s situation is different. We know that while some parents are working from home, others are essential workers helping out in our community. Before the break I shared with you the Master Schedule of Virtual Classes. I hope you’ve had a chance to review it and put routines in place that will ease the transition back to a more structured daily schedule. Here are some key points to clarify: 

  • The essential courses are the academic courses. These are the two daily courses for grades TK-4 and the three daily courses for grades 5-6.
  • Teachers will be taking attendance during the academic courses.
  • The first class of the day will start with prayer and pledge to help the students transition back to “school”. 
  • While we highly encourage everyone to participate in the small group sessions and the enrichment classes, since these will give the students some extra academic support and some non-academic time to express themselves, respectively, students are not required to attend these sessions. 

Other key areas include: 

  • In order to support our students we have added a socio-emotional support block for every grade level. We are blessed that we have Mr. Smith who holds a Masters Degree in Education with a Concentration in Counseling and Mrs. Sanchez who holds a Masters Degree in Social Work with a concentration on School Social Work. They will be collaborating to develop the content and structure for these sessions. 
  • Mr. Smith is also certified in Trauma informed Care and is currently completing a credential in School Counseling. Therefore, he will also be offering office hours for students who need 1-1 support during these difficult times. Both teachers and parents can refer students to Mr. Smith for counseling and support. If you feel your child needs some socio-emotional support currently, please feel free to email Mr. Smith directly to set-up an appointment. 
  • The instructional aides and teachers will continue to provide 1-1 instructional support. 
  • On Fridays, Father Paul and Father Claude will be leading some live Family Faith Formation sessions in English and Spanish. The first one is scheduled for Friday, April 24, at 1:00 pm in English and 2:00 pm in Spanish. These are not meant for the students on their own, but for the family or the student with a parent together, so that we can continue to come together as a community of faith. We are also hoping to livestream masses in the near future. 
  • For art class, please have the bin of supplies next to your child so that they can easily access their materials during the class. We understand if you are not able to have all the recommended supplies. Encourage your child to work with what you have and Mrs. Jimenez will guide them accordingly.
  • For P.E. and dance,  make sure the students are wearing comfortable clothes and have an open space in which to work out or dance. Please also make sure they have a water bottle with them. 
  • The teachers will be sharing with you one document that includes the links for all the live classes for their grade level. You will be able to find them all in one place. 
  • Teachers will also be sharing a weekly newsletter clarifying what the students will be doing in their live classes and what’s expected of them during the independent work time. They will work with the students so that little by little they become more independent (based on their grade level).

Finally, our Distance Learning Website is a great source of information. There you can find all of our previous communications related to distance learning along with tabs for: Faith Life, Socio-Emotional Health, Technology Support, Tips for Online Learners, our Video Series and the Master Schedule. 

We thank you again for your flexibility and support. We understand that we are partners in the education of your children and as such we will continue to listen to your feedback and make adjustments as necessary as we continue with Distance Learning. Please know that you are all in our prayers and in our hearts. We miss the students dearly and are happy to be able to see them virtually starting next week. 

Happy Holy Week! I pray that you all are safe and well. As promised, here are some more details regarding our schedule upon our return to classes on April 20th as well as some updates and Reminders. Please take this time to familiarize yourselves with the schedule and develop a family plan to adjust or create routines in accordance to the school schedule.

Master Schedule of Virtual Classes

We will be moving to daily virtual classes for all of our students starting on April 20th. All students will have at least three classes per day Monday through Thursday with opportunities for 1-1 support from both teachers and instructional aides as well as faith formation and enrichment opportunities on Fridays.

  • Students in grades 5-6 will follow the block schedule they’ve had throughout the school year, meeting with each teacher on a daily basis Monday through Thursday. Their enrichment classes will take place on Friday. Teachers will offer office hours on Fridays to support students 1-1.
  • Students in grades TK-4, will have a class with each teacher, in addition to a small group session and an enrichment class daily Monday through Thursday. On Fridays students will be able to have 1-1 sessions with teachers and instructional aides. There will also be opportunities to participate in family faith formation sessions and optional additional enrichment classes.
  • For all students, you will notice that each academic class consists of a live 45 minute session with the teacher, followed by a 45 minute independent work time, during which the students will complete any additional assignments related to that class for the day. Teachers will have clear directions for students to complete assignments as independently as possible during these 45 minutes.
  • As of now, the plan is to continue to use Zoom for our virtual classes. We’re taking this time to continue to evaluate the security measures in place for our professional account while at the same time exploring other options should the necessity arise to switch platforms.
  • The master schedule document shows 4 tabs. The first tab shows a master schedule to help parents with multiple children enrolled in the school. The other three tabs show specific schedules for the various grade levels. These tabs provide information in regards to the specific schedule for each grade level with a lot more details for each day. Please take this time to familiarize yourselves with the schedule and develop a family plan to adjust or create routines  in accordance to the school schedule.
  • Teachers will send their newsletter with links and passwords to their classes by Monday, April 20th at 8:00 am. 

Master Schedule of Virtual Classes for Parents

Faith Formation for Families

We are working with our chaplains, Father Claude and Father Paul to create opportunities for families to engage in live faith formation sessions in English and in Spanish. They are both eager to continue to support the MDJDA students and their families through this time. Our first family faith formation session will be on Friday, April 24th. We are also planning to have either live or recorded masses from our Chaplains for our Mater Dei families. More details to follow. 

Registration Deadline for the 2020/2021 School Year

Thank you to everyone who has already registered for the 2020/2021 school year. Our extended registration deadline is tomorrow, April 8, 2020. Please register by this date to guarantee your place at MDJDA for the 2020/2021 school year. If there are any particular circumstances that prevent you from enrolling by this date please email us directly at your earliest convenience. After April 20th we will be opening up any remaining spots to new families on our waiting list. 

Mater Dei Family-Owned Business Shout-OutLet us support you by promoting your family-owned business (restaurant, store, etc.) and sharing that you are “open for business” to our extended Mater Dei family. Please fill out this form 

As this situation continues to evolve, please remember that we are here to support you and your family. We are MD strong. We are stronger together and we are indeed a family! Let’s continue to rely on our faith and each other for strength and support.

Have a Blessed Easter!

I pray that you are all well and taking every precautionary measure to remain healthy. As this situation continues to evolve, please know that we are here to support you and your family. We are stronger together and it is important that we continue to rely on our faith and each other for strength. Although this continues to be a period of uncertainty, we hope that our common goal of supporting our students keeps us focused on the path ahead. Our mission at MDJDA is to continue to support students’ academic progress and spiritual development by making distance learning days engaging and supportive, while being as flexible as possible for families. As we begin week three of Distance Learning, here are some updates. 

Thank you!

We can’t thank you enough. Thank you for the messages, emails, pictures and posts on social media. Please keep them coming! Thank you for completing the parent survey as well. We took your feedback in consideration moving into our third week of distance learning. As partners in the education of your children, it’s important that we continue to work together through this unprecedented journey.

Virtual Classes Increase this Week

Last week all classes met once via Zoom. This week we are increasing the number of virtual classes for each grade level. Each teacher will email you their particular schedule along with the links and passwords for their classes. In order to support those of you with multiple children enrolled, we’ve created this master schedule for your reference. Please note that this schedule is only for this coming week, the final schedule will be implemented upon our return from Easter break. Our goal has been to slowly move from asynchronous learning (videos and assignments) to synchronous (live / real time) education. The first week was completely synchronous, with you receiving newsletters with videos and work, last week we offered the first online meet-up to introduce everyone to Zoom, the platform that we will be using for virtual classes. This week, the number of virtual classes are increasing as we continue to create familiarity with the medium and the platform. We highly encourage everyone to participate in the classes live, however if for some reason your child is not able to participate live, we will be recording the class and teachers will be sharing the recording with the families and posting them in OTUS. As we move to virtual classes, we want to support those of you with multiple students at MDJDA. If you have two or more students enrolled in the school, but don’t have a device for each student, please complete this form so the school can lend you a device for the duration of Distance Learning.

Increase use of OTUS

Fourth through sixth grade have been using OTUS successfully to complete and submit assignments online. This week you will also see that students in second and third grade will start to use these features in OTUS. Our goal is to introduce these features little by little with the different grades. Upon our return from the Easter break, OTUS will also become the primary way in which we deliver assessments online. Please continue to use this time to familiarize yourself and to have your student become more comfortable using this platform. 

One-on-One Check-ins from Teachers and Aides

This week we continue to offer one-on-one support with the teachers and the instructional aides. These one-on-one sessions are optional. Teachers and instructional aides will support students in both English and Spanish. 

Virtual Spirit Week

We’ve been using our Facebook page to stay connected with our MDJDA community. We hope you’ve been able to view our daily prayer videos. Last Friday we had our first virtual dance party. This Friday we hope to have another dance party. Please email me your short 20-30 second clips of you and your kids dancing at home for the video for this week. Finally, this week we’re having a virtual spirit week. Click here to see the flyer.  It’s another way for us to connect virtually. It is important that the students continue to feel connected to the school and to each other. The students, and the entire family, can participate from home by sharing their pictures with us via email to info@mdjda.org or by posting with these hashtags: #MDVirtual and #MDStrong. 

Parents in Prayer – Remote Rosary

Finally, another reminder about parents in prayer. Every Monday at 8am we will be praying the Rosary for our community and everyone affected by the COVID-19 virus. We will be hosting it through Zoom each week. If you have a special intention, please email us at pray@materdeicatholic.org. Here is a link to instructions for how to pray along with us through video conference:http://bit.ly/2WtRgXY

Thank you again for your flexibility, patience and support. I once again ask that we continue to work together as one school community in support of our students. As COVID19 spreads and affects more and more people, let’s continue to pray for all those affected by this situation, in our communities, our country and the world. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions. 

Blessings,

I hope all of you are staying healthy and in good spirits as our lives have been completely transformed by this historical moment. Please know that our hearts and prayers are with each one of you and our students as we continue to navigate this journey together. As we begin week two of Distance Learning we have a few updates and announcements to share with you. 

Thank you!

First, a quick thank you once again for your flexibility, patience and support. We are overwhelmed and humbled by your positive messages regarding Distance Learning. Please do keep those coming, we appreciate them tremendously and they help all of us at MDJDA feel connected and supported. 

Parent Survey

As you know, we are in this together, and as partners in the education of your child, we want to gather your feedback as we continue moving forward with Distance Learning. We ask that you please complete this parent survey. Your feedback will help us fine tune what is currently in place and provide valuable insight as we design the next stage for our school, virtual classes. Please submit a response for each child enrolled at MDJDA. 

Teacher Virtual Meet-ups with each Class this Week

Just like your children miss their teachers, our teachers miss the students terribly. Please know that behind the scenes we are working tirelessly to put systems in place to support virtual meet-ups. Because we are a larger school than most parochial elementary schools, we have to put structures in place to ensure consistency across all grade levels, while also doing our best to minimize class scheduling conflicts among siblings. However, our teachers are now ready to have a virtual meeting with each class this week. You will soon get an email from the homeroom teacher with the link for a video conference via Zoom for this week. We ask that an adult please be present to support the student as this will be their first time using Zoom, and they may need help navigating the platform, muting their microphone, etc.

One-on-One Check-ins from Teachers and Aides

We are also excited to inform you that we will be offering one-on-one support with the teachers and the instructional aides. Teachers will have 15 minute individual check-ins with each student sometime this week or next week. Instructional aides will be hosting 20-25 minute individual sessions this week and next week to support students in both English and Spanish. Your family will have the opportunity to sign up for the time slot that best fits your needs. You will be receiving a separate email from the teachers with the details and links to sign up. 

Social Media Connects Us

Finally, we’ve been using our Facebook page to post our daily prayer. It’s a nice way for our students to start their day, so please go to our page, check out our posts and post your own pictures and videos to share with us. This Friday at 1:00 pm we will also have a virtual dance party. It is our tradition to end every Friday with a dance party. We’re putting together a video with clips of different MDJDA teachers and aides dancing and we would love to include students. Please email me short clips 20-30 seconds of you and your kids dancing at home so we can use them in the video to be posted on Friday. 

Registration Deadline Extended to April 8th

Please note that our registration deadline has been extended to April 8th to support you through these difficult times. 

Parents in Prayer – Remote Rosary

Every Monday at 8am we will be praying the Rosary for our community and everyone affected by the COVID-19 virus. We will be hosting it through Zoom each week. We invite everyone to join us virtually from their homes. Thank you to everyone who joined us over the past two weeks. If you have a special intention, please email us at pray@materdeicatholic.org. Here is a link to instructions for how to pray along with us through video conference:http://bit.ly/2WtRgXY

Thank you again for your flexibility, patience and support. Please know that we are here to support you and your family through these uncharted waters. Our strength lies in our Faith and in our trust and support of each other. Our faith and the love that makes our community so special will guide us through and give us strength. Let’s continue to work together as one school community in support of our students. Let’s also continue to pray for all those affected by this situation, in our communities, our country and the world. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions. 

Blessings,