Dear People of Saint Anne,
Happy New Year! We hope this letter finds all of you safe, happy and healthy following the blessed Christmas holiday! We hope this new beginning brings abundant blessings your way. As you know, we just celebrated the two great seasons of Advent and Christmas and now have moved into Ordinary Time. With that being said.. Nothing seems “ordinary” these days! It is safe to say, we all agree, 2020 truly was an unprecedented year! We started off the year with great hope for a wonderful new year and decade ahead. February came and we were trying our best to sort through the Coronavirus concerns, only to be cut to the quick in March with the world wide COVID 19 pandemic that emptied our classrooms and hallways virtually overnight sending us home to do our great work with our parish school students.
However, with great challenge comes great reward! When the pandemic hit, we were able to quickly and seamlessly transition to a remote learning environment. Over the summer months, a collection of parents, faculty and staff formed our Saint Anne Parish School Reopening Committee and worked diligently to develop a measured plan, guided by the Archdiocese of Chicago and the State of Illinois, that allowed us to safely hold full-time, in-person instruction, along with a parallel digital learning option, which has allowed us to be open and in person for the entire 2020-21 school year (excluding the two OCS mandated remote transition weeks after Christmas break)!
The autonomy of our Catholic school has made it possible for us to meet the critical needs of our students and parents, which is indeed a gift of a Catholic education. But we couldnʹt have done it without the support of our amazing volunteers who spent countless hours preparing classrooms, creating drop-off and pick-up procedures, developing a self-certification application, culling together sanitary supplies and many other important efforts. We are particularly grateful for the willingness of our faculty and staff to rise to this occasion. They show-up each and every day and create an environment where our children are able to not just learn and keep up with the pace of our curriculum — but they are able to grow in faith and excel in academics! We have been blessed to welcome 81 new families and have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them as they became fully integrated into our parish school.
We have been truly inspired by the resilient spirit of this parish community. The challenges that we have faced together have made all of us stronger. Undoubtedly, we will face another unique year ahead, and school may continue to look different for some time. We assure you that maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff will continue to be at the forefront of everything that we do. We are optimistic and remain focused on the future.
Now that the end of January is here, the time has come to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week across the Archdiocese of Chicago and across our nation! While this week, too, will look different than past years with the COVID compliant requirements… We, now more than ever, have so very much to celebrate! We know that this time in history has been difficult for a multitude of reasons, but we must take pause to express our unending gratitude to all as we not only are surviving but thriving in many ways at Saint Anne Parish School!
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your unending support of our parish school! Today, we move onward together. May God bless and keep each of you.
In partnership and in appreciation,
Dawn Kapka and Lisa Torrence and The Saint Anne School Advisory Board