Principal’s Letter

The 2020-21 school year has started!  It sure is a different opening, but as I said at Mass, we at St. John School are open to new adventures.  We have a tradition of helping each other and making the best of every situation!  Our theme says it all:  Together we can…

At Mass, Fr. Crispin reminded us that this virtual school calls on each and every one of us to work extra hard.  It calls for extraordinary cooperation.  He assured the students that parents, faculty, and staff are prepared and ready to help them learn.  “It shall be well, as they say in my country, Kenya, it shall be well!” said Fr. Crispin.

Meeting and greeting you and the children during these three days has been uplifting, and yes, with God’s grace, and all of us doing our parts, “It shall be well.”

Remote learning begins next week.  It takes a community and the following team members helped get us to this day!

We are very grateful to the faculty for their preparation for online learning.  They spent many weeks taking classes to enhance their online instruction skills as well as preparing curriculum and Welcome Packets.  As they prepared, the teachers studied the standards and focused in on the essential skills necessary at each grade level.  They also took training on how to look out for the well-being of the students as they learn online.

In light of the national conversation on racial justice, Catholic Social Teachings, and social justice standards, faculty members met over the summer and discussed how we respond to the call to end racism in all its forms.  Students need knowledge and skills related to prejudice reduction and collective action.  Teachers also evaluated textbooks, library books, and reading assignments to ensure they advocate and represent equality and equity.  They talked and planned how we are going to live out our theme to act with justice, love with mercy, and walk humbly with God.

We thank the Maintenance Team for preparing our facilities for the preschoolers and the teachers’ return.  All summer long they have been cleaning, sanitizing, and painting.  And they continue to do so and also helped us set up for the Meet ‘N Greets.

We thank the Parent Association chairpersons, Tricia Kane-Yi and Allan Quiaoit, for arranging and facilitating the Town Hall meetings.  Remember you are all members of the Parent Association.  Even though we are online, your support of your organization is still necessary and valuable. Look for more information on how you can become involved in supporting our mission.

Thank you, School Commission members!  School Commission acts as an advisory body to the pastor and principal on everything from protocols to policy and budget.  This year’s School Commission chairperson is Matt Diefenbach.

Preparation for reopening

We are starting remotely and concurrently continuing the preparations for reopening. The Public Health – Seattle & King County site is bookmarked on my computer, and I am watching the trends on the dashboard.  When it is safe to do so we will slowly start to bring children back into the buildings. In the meantime, let us work together to make sure that the students are engaged in remote learning. We need to be able to pivot seamlessly between online and onsite school until we know we are out of the pandemic.

Enjoy Labor Day, avoid large gatherings, and wear your masks!

Good luck as you begin remote learning in your homes!


Bernadette O’Leary