August 6, 2020
Dear St. Charles Families,
First, I would like to share updated information I have received from the Woburn Public Schools. Lunch prepared by Woburn Public Schools Cafeteria Staff will be available to students. They will offer a “grab and go” or a boxed lunch instead of a hot meal. Students will not go to the cafeteria to receive lunch. We will have a location in each building for lunch distribution. Please note that the Woburn Public Schools may return to school at a different time than we do so you may need to send your child(ren) with lunch at the beginning of the year. With regard to Woburn Public Schools busses, I have been advised to suggest that those families who rely on WPS busses make alternate plans. I do not have any additional bus information at this time, but I will keep you informed as I receive it.
Fr. Capuci and I are trying to make the return to school as smooth as possible. We agreed that we will extend the summer uniform date through October 30. This should help those families with uniforms on backorder. Please stay tuned for information about our annual uniform swap. More than ever, we need to utilize resources to help one another. Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any concerns or questions. If you do email, please do not reply to this group email, instead, please begin a new email. The volume of emails I receive is large and I do not want any of your questions to be buried in my inbox. My email address is email@example.com. The clear plastic desk shields are on backorder. I do not think all of them will be in for the first few weeks of school. That being said, I am encouraging you to have your students in PK, K and Grade 1 to wear a face covering. Nearly all of our staff members have family members they care for who are elderly or health compromised. We want to keep everyone safe. A face covering, and hand washing or hand sanitizing will be a big help in keeping all kinds of germs from spreading. Our teachers have done an amazing job supporting your students. Let’s do what we can to keep our treasured staff exposed to as few germs as possible. I have attached our calendar. Those families with students in PK3, PK4 and K will receive more information from your child’s teacher about virtual parent meetings. The calendar events in italics are likely to be cancelled or will take place in a different format. Nevertheless, I want to have dates planned for these events should health officials relax social distancing rules during the school year.
I pray everyone is well!
July 31, 2020
This has been a productive week. We are moving in the direction of selecting the technology we will use, if needed, to educate students virtually. Several parishioners and friends of the Parish donated money so that we may purchase a clear desk plastic shield for each student to use. Please note, the plastic shield does not replace the need for students to wear mask/face covering. The plastic shield will allow for extra protection when students have to remove their masks to eat a snack or lunch. Other than when they are eating or on an outside mask break, students WILL be wearing a face covering. We are encouraging all of our students to wear a face covering even though they are required for those in Grades 2-8 only. A special thanks to Fr. Capuci who worked tirelessly for a few days to be sure we would have the funds to purchase the shields. Mrs. Joyce Shaughnessy will be returning to St. Charles as a social studies teacher and I am interviewing school nurse candidates. Our custodial staff is cleaning our buildings thoroughly so we may return on September 8 and begin, what I hope, will be a safe, happy productive year. Next week, I will send the school calendar to you. Enjoy the cooler weather this weekend! Donna Cargill
July 23, 2020
Dear St. Charles Families, Thank you to those who attended our meeting last evening in the Church or virtually. You asked great questions. For those who may still wish to watch the meeting, you may locate it on Facebook within the St. Charles Borromeo Collaborative Page. We needed to reorganize some school staffing this summer. We blended our school business manager and receptionist positions into one. Mrs. Karoub and Mrs. Mulrennan are going to move on. I am appreciative of all the hard work and dedication they have provided St. Charles School. They have been a tremendous help during my transition. Mrs. Lisa Looby will be the school office business manager and administrative assistant. Some of you may know Mrs. Looby. She worked with Mrs. Hayes as an assistant last school year. I am going to bullet the major points of our discussion last evening. I wish to thank Fr. Capuci, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Ferlisi and Ms. Kovac who have answered many questions for me the past three weeks and helped reach out to new school families. We will need to support one another this year as we never have before. There will be unexpected challenges and we will need to work together to create feasible solutions. We can’t predict the future, but I can predict the staff and administration of St. Charles is committed to teaching and supporting your students. The staff did an amazing job moving to virtual learning last spring in record time. We will do the best we can to recreate typical school day routines while keeping students and staff safe, and following the guidance provided to us by the Catholic Schools Office and the State. Masks/face coverings will be required for students in Grades 2-8. They will be worn throughout the school day. We are STRONGLY recommending the younger students have face coverings as well. Please have your child practice wearing a mask now. They should practice on warm days, too! Our classrooms are not air conditioned and it is imperative they have their noses and mouths covered at all times in the classroom. We are exploring the specifics on mask breaks, when students may go outside and remain at least six (6) feet apart, remove the mask and get some fresh air. Also, please do your best to help your students to have an idea of what six (6) feet of distance looks like. You are a role model for your student. Point out the times when you are wearing a mask or social distancing. Those are teachable moments! Students will be kept together as a grade and will not be using shared spaces such as the cafeteria, library or computer room. Students will have lunch, library time and technology instruction in their classroom. We need to reduce the number of individual and group interactions students have. It is imperative that you keep your student home when they are ill. We cannot be irresponsible and pass germs along to others who may be or are living with vulnerable individuals. There are many protocols to follow should a student or staff member become ill with COVID. We will follow the guidance of the Health Department in Woburn should we have this situation. We are in the princess of hiring a full-time school nurse. Students will wash or sanitize their hands when they enter their classrooms, remove or place back a mask, consume food, use the bathroom, and before they leave at the end of the day. Please practice with your child washing hands for 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is a part of our supply list for students. It must have at least 60% ethanol or at least 70% isopropyl to be effective. Students in Grades 2-8 will have Chromebooks to use and will not be sharing them. We are waiting for additional guidance about recess, physical education, labs, before and after school care and co-curricular activities. It is likely students will not use the coat rooms. They will place backpacks under their desks and place their jackets on the back of their chairs. We are preparing a virtual learning option for those who may not be able to attend school for a period of time or those who wish to enroll virtually. I will be sure to share more details about this once I have exact information. We will be sanitizing bathrooms, door knobs, handrails, etc. throughout the school day. Students will continue to participate in school Masses on a rotational basis. While we are not able to attend as an entire school, the classes not present in the Church will attend remotely. There are guidelines specific to preschool. Students will not pass materials back and forth or play closely to one another. Manipulatives and toys will be sanitized after each student uses them. We will not be taking the temperature of students as they enter school each day. Parents are asked to monitor their child’s temperature. I do not have information about bussing or lunch from the City of Woburn yet. Grade 8 has a large number of students. They will use the cafeteria for large group instruction. It will be important for students to have the items on the supply lists including tissues, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and paper towels. They will not be able to share rulers, crayons, etc.. I will send you the school calendar the first week in August. Please see the attached memo from the Woburn Public Schools. Have a safe and blessed weekend! Donna Cargill
July 16, 2020
Thank you to all who have contacted me regarding your attendance at our July 22 meeting. We are going to hold an information session in the Church on Wednesday, July 22, at 6:30 pm. In addition, we are going to broadcast the meeting via Facebook Live for those who may not be in the area or are not comfortable attending in the Church. For those who are attending in the Church, I ask that you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not already contacted me. Those who attend the meeting in the Church will need to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer as they enter. We will have seating that reflects safe social distancing. The Church is air conditioned. For those who wish to attend virtually, please follow St. Charles Borromeo Collaborative on Facebook and you should be able to access the meeting. This will work similarly to how you watch Sunday Mass or Coffee with Capucci on Facebook. If all goes well, we should be able to receive questions from those who participate virtually. At the meeting we will review the routines we have established to date, outline what a typical school day will be, and answer questions. I have been planning for a full return since I arrived two weeks ago and will continue to work with staff and families to create routines that keep our school day as typical as possible. Please know the safety of students and staff will remain our highest priority. I received information from Boston Catholic Schools Superintendent, Thomas Carroll, about an important opportunity for families to voice their support of legislation that would allow Catholic schools to receive 10% of any funds for K-12 education to go to scholarships for families of students who attend private schools. Here is a link to use to indicate you support the legislation: https://www.votervoice.net/USCCB/Campaigns/75795/Respond Please consider supporting this today. We have limited time and this financial support would allow some students to continue to receive a Catholic Education. It only takes a moment to fill out the requested information. #Save Catholic Schools Donna Cargill Principal
July 9, 2020
Dear St. Charles Families, Thank you all for your kind wishes! Everyone has been welcoming and helpful as I complete my first full week at St. Charles. The staff and I are looking forward to welcoming your children back to school in two months. We have a lot of planning and configuring to do as we create routines to keep students and staff safe. Your child’s safety is our first concern. We participate in Webinars and Zoom sessions with the Catholic Schools Office and follow the guidance of local and State officials. Everyone is working hard to create a plan that includes the necessary precautions we will need to take while trying to preserve as much normal routine in the school day as we can. In an effort to keep everyone informed and provide an opportunity for parents to ask questions, we are going to hold an information session in the Church on Wednesday, July 22, at 6:30 pm. We will also have a way for those who may not be in the area or are not comfortable attending in person to have virtual access to the meeting. In order to be sure I have enough seating while following social distancing guidelines, I ask that you email me at email@example.com if you plan to attend in the Church. Those who attend the meeting in the Church will need to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer as they enter. At the meeting we will review the routines we have established to date, outline what a typical school day will be, and answer questions. I will follow up with another email next week. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of help to you. Blessings, Mrs. Donna Cargill Principal