Cathedral and Local School Closings - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

3/13/2020

Hello Eagles,

As you may have heard, area schools are closing next week due to concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus. City diocesan schools will follow suit, including Cathedral. I am reluctant to predict a timeline for re-opening.

We are entering an interesting time, but we are entering it together. Let’s start with prayer.

This message is not all-encompassing, but it is a starting point. Expect more communication in the coming days, including an announcement from our Diocesan Education Office.

For some time here at CRC we have been discussing the potential of the school closing. We have been preparing, using the facts and truth available. We were resolute that, while this is a unique situation, we’d stay composed and agile.

  1. We will finish our day: Routine is vital, and we have a terrific plan in place to transition the kids and teachers today. Please do not request to pull your child from school early. Allow us to get them organized and dismissed in a calm manner.
  2. Home Learning: The goal is to avoid academic drop-off. It is vital to establish a routine in the house, a routine of learning, and to use all the resources from our teachers and online. You’ll notice I’m not calling this “e-learning” – our approach is teamwork, and so this is “home learning”. Speaking of which…
  3. CRC Approach to reviewing curriculum: Teachers will work next week to get resources to you (much is coming home already!). We are in a fluid situation, and while learning is important, safety is vital. Teachers will provide review and fundamentals, but CRC will NOT introduce new curriculum during this time due to the variance in access to technology amongst our families.
  4. Stay tuned – things will change: We need you to buy us a bit of time as we prepare materials in some classrooms, and get a full perspective on this situation.
    a. Use these amazing educational resources, the myriad of items being posted online, and have kids read daily (we gave kids a chance to visit our library today just in case school was closed; many left with five books!).
    b. Check your email often; be sure your lines of communication are open (not getting school texts? Text the word YES to 67587)
  5. Facilities closed to all outside groups: Our facilities are closed to all athletic teams, groups and outside organizations until further notice.

One more idea – schedule prayer time into the day for your child, and together as a family. Let’s commit to it as a matter of fact, and a good place to start is with the Prayers for the World during the Outbreak of the Coronavirus.

Lastly, thank you so much for your support of our teachers and staff. You’ve all been amazing through this process, and we’ll keep communication flowing.

Blessed to be an Eagle,

J.J. Ekeler

Principal
Cathedral of the Risen Christ School

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3/15/2020

Having just ended a phone call with over 600 educators and officials, I felt both a surge of confidence in how the community is coming together and a need to reach out to our Eagle Family of families.

Notes from Nebraska Department of Education call

It was clear that all educators and officials are working together at a high level. The Governor and his staff were on the line reiterating their guidance for our schools and their concerns about community spread. When/if Lincoln gets 1 or 2 of these community spread cases you will see mandated closings around the city so we can make sure the healthcare facilities do not become overwhelmed.

Omaha just had its first case of community spread, as you likely saw. At the time of this posting Lincoln had no cases, but it's inevitable.

I still have no details on re-opening our school; that will be assessed during the week based on what surfaces in the area. However, experts are assuming a spike of cases in the next 10-20 days as spread occurs and testing results roll in.

Ultimately, we'll never know if the timing of our current closure was right...but it certainly wasn't wrong. If that last sentence is hazy, that's the world we're in right now: doing our best with the information we have.

Resources

  1. Catholic Social Services: Please read the Lincoln Social Services Information and Resources for families in need. Catholic Social Services is a great partner. Read Catholic Social Services response to COVID-19.
  2. Food for Those in Need: Tomorrow I will begin to meet with Ms. Bykerk and others in our community to offer lunches to our families most in need. We will also be doing a giveaway of food in our lunchroom that will expire if not used. Look for a message from Ms. Bykerk about these opportunities.
  3. Free/Reduced Lunches: We are working with local partners to encourage the government to release FRL money so that we can provide food for those in need over an extended period of time. Currently that money is frozen unless the lunch is served to a student on a school day. We are advocating that this policy is relaxed, and hoping to bridge the interim with #2.
  4. Spectrum has announced that they are offering FREE wi-fi to all K-12 students who don’t currently have access. The number to call is 1-844-488-8395.
  5. MyLNK: If you don't have the MyLNK app on your phone please download for Apple or Android. All of Lincoln's resources are pooled here.

Technology Set-Up

How to get to Office365

  1. Please use Firefox, Chrome or Safari
  2. Go to office.com
  3. Log in
    - Firstname-lastname@365.cdolinc.net for username
    - password
  4. SAVE/Keep me logged in is okay if you are on apersonal device.

*Only log into theOffice apps if you are using a single-user device.

How to get to PowerSchool Learning

  1. Please use Firefox, Chrome or Safari
  2. Go to cdol.learning.powerschool.com
  3. Log in using Office 365
    - Firstname-lastname@365.cdolinc.net for username
    - password
  4. SAVE/Keep me logged in is okay if you are on a personal device.

*The PowerSchoolLearning App is also a great option for smartphones or tablets.

How to set up a separate Mac account for each child.

How to set up a separate PC account for each child.

Homework Pickup

If your student was out of the building Friday, or left material at school on Friday, we will be available in the school tomorrow from 8am-2pm for pick-up of materials. Doors will be locked so please buzz us in the front office.

Please email CRC if your child is sick at any time during this school closure

It will be helpful to us to know where our student population is in terms of illness. This is good information for us to track (for example, prior to the closing we were averaging only about 4% of our building reporting illnesses). If your child gets sick, email both Becky-Mroz@cdolinc.net and Cathedral-Info@cdolinc.net

Please include symptoms.

Future Goals

  1. Communication - A high level from us via email, this website, and our usual avenues of text and social media.
  2. Getting resources to our neediest families.
  3. Working with Mr. Gude and facilities staff to review our building maintenance and cleaning procedures.
  4. Rallying you, Eagles. We can always use the prayers, but we also need you to continue to support our school via e-tithing. Truth be told, CRC is on thin financial ice - this Coronavirus pandemic can either act to solidify our parish or break that ice. Please support our CRC staff, who is working so hard, and our efforts to lift up the neediest in our community: Give to Cathedral Online.

Also, be aware that as we launch initiatives to get resources to folks I'll be asking for your help!

And when in doubt, here's the source you'll want to refer to: CDC - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation Summary