‘Discovering Catholic schools’ in November

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Turnout was better than expected, even with cold temperatures, for Our Lady of the Lake School and Parish’s movie night in late October. The Home and School Association organized the event with the parish’s faith formation team as a way to connect families and provide a community gathering. The school provided popcorn and goodie bags and the religious education program took charge of the technical needs. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald staff

The celebration of “Discovering Catholic Schools Week” from Nov. 8-14 was promoted by the National Catholic Education Association as an extension of the traditional Catholic Schools Week festivities held yearly in late January.

NCEA has cited evaluations and concerns shared by national Catholic schools desiring to add a “year-round marketing mentality to Catholic school communications strategy.” While participation is not required, many have seen the continuity of the spirit and theme of Catholic Schools Week as beneficial.

The Catholic Herald reached out to diocesan superintendent Peggy Schoenfuss for comment on how diocesan schools have met the challenges set before them the first months of the current academic year.

Schoenfuss shared, “The 2020-21 school year has started out as no one could ever imagine. Throughout time we’ve discussed virtual schools, stronger use of technology and just doing things differently.

“I’ve commented to some that God has been telling us we need to make some changes; we apparently were not listening, because he has set before us the stage to change, unfortunately through effects of this pandemic.

“Our schools have met the challenge. This school year we have two schools that offer a choice to families to be either virtual or face-to-face.  The rest of the schools utilize virtual learning when students are quarantined or ill.

“Teaching in both modes has surely been a challenge for our teachers and I commend them on their extra time and efforts to make both modes uplifting and beneficial to our students.

“We hope and pray that we can come back to full face-to-face learning by second semester, but if not, our teachers will continue to do the wonderful job of providing the best education they can through these unusual times.

“I cannot forget, though, to also thank the parents. They have taken on the role of being the first and foremost educator of their children in a new and profound way. Their partnership with the teachers and school staff has been phenomenal.”

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