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EDUCATE IGNITE INSPIRE J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is accredited for preschool through 8th grade by the Western Catholic Education Association.

A Ministry of St. Ambrose Parish

Principal’s Letter

August 6, 2020

Hello Cosgriff Families:

Our new office is coming together.  We are in the home stretch of the remodel, however, our main phone line and voice mails may be impacted for a while longer.  I apologize for any missed communication and would say email would be the best way to connect into next week.

*CLICK for Dress Code updates for the handbook with Fall 2020 COVID guidelines.

*One of the frequent questions on the July 27 forms concerned social distancing in the classrooms.  Not every classroom is set up yet, however I can say classrooms seem to be getting 4 feet between face covered heads, and some closer to the 6 feet.   Mrs. Lacombe opted to keep her kindergarten tables so she did add plexiglass in order to get three students at a table.  We are working on the lunch schedule/locations so students will have 6 foot distancing for lunch.

*I realize we have not answered all questions, more on schedules and procedures will continue to be shared as quickly as possible.  However we do need to start more concrete planning for the first weeks of school.  Please respond to the August 6th form as soon as possible and no later than August 10.  I know there’s probably some eyerolls out there about another form–but felt we really need confirmation from everyone.

MS video
3, 4, 5 video
K, 1, 2 video
Early Childhood video

In faith and hope,

Lisa Romero
Principal
J. E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School
2335 Redondo Avenue
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108

August 3, 2020

Hello Cosgriff Families:

*First, we must congratulate our wonderful Hailey Liljenquist, now Mrs. Noall.  I’m certain Hailey and Derek’s wedding reflected their bright spirit and joy.

A video hello:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JItYePy8u9xxNPd41Ou8leUQlOdUkcTH/view

*I’m so happy to share a short introduction from our new art teacher, Ms. Grace Cier (See-er).  I should have mentioned Grace in the video, truly great Cosgriff news.

“I am so excited to join the Cosgriff Team! Aside from teaching at Cosgriff, I am currently pursuing my Masters in Teaching Fine Arts through the University of Utah’s graduate program. I earned my BFA from the University of Montana in Media Arts – Interactive/Graphic Design, Web Design and Animation.

For the last two years, I have been the Donor Engagement Specialist for the Park City Education Foundation, where I took a deep dive into understanding and cultivating the community and other components of developing excellent education resources.

When time permits, I can often be found pursuing my passion for painting. Really, being in front of an easel is where I find myself most content. That said, the great outdoors are a close second! Growing up in Park City and living throughout the West has led me to develop into a sponsored fly fisher, ranked freestyle skier, and avid mountain biker.

Throughout my academic career, the art studio has always been a sacred space; free of ridicule and negativity it is a safe place – an environment that encourages individualism, creativity, community, self expression and inspiration. I cannot think of a better place to spend a career than teaching art at Cosgriff.”

*In response to the Utah Department of Health’s COVID – 19 School Manual, shared on Thursday, I want to address the idea of a modified quarantine.  As I understand it, this is knowing you’ve had a close contact, non-household exposure to COVID-19 yet opting to attend school and work–so not quarantining.   I want to clearly communicate that this is not a policy we endorse.   It is our intent that we begin the year with as much caution as possible.

 *Attached is our Extended Day Program 2020 COVID Plan and Registration Form.  We know many families have been anxious to hear what we could offer during this time. As I stated on Thursday, one of the most substantial changes is eliminating the drop in service.  There are other changes in hours, and the need to submit a  schedule.  Please read the details carefully and direct questions to Mrs. Cleverly.

EDP COVID Parent Letter

Registration Form Fall 2020

*I’ll end by sharing an uplifting thought sent to me by one of our incredible faculty members, “I’d like to add that I am very much looking forward to this school year. I know there will be challenges, but accepting the circumstances God puts before us and  finding the good in that is what life and faith are all about.”

More information to come on Thursday.

Be safe.

In faith and hope,

Principal Romero

**

July 30, 2020

Hello Cosgriff Families:

Here’s the video of the day.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13xbZUzLrsk7YBdXhS-dycDZQnp4CvZDc/view

On Monday evening every family should have received a form for each student asking you to indicate if you were planning on returning to in person learning, all home learning or unsure.  In general, each class has a few families who have yet to respond, a few wanting all home learning, a few who are unsure and roughly two thirds of each class want to return to in person learning.

I should have made it clear that this was not a long term binding commitment.  We want to make education work for each family.  This could mean starting in one mode of learning and transitioning to another.   We’ll verify your selection closer to the teacher work days, which begin August 10th.

Some of the comments and questions from the forms and emails have been answered in the FAQ, which will be updated on our website.  Our COVID Response landing page on our website is quickly filling up.  We’ll add today’s attachments as well.

I know it is frustrating that all the specifics of reopening school are not yet worked out.  One of the many big questions is what about EDP?  Mrs. Cleverly and I hope to have more defined answers for you on Monday.  We want to make EDP work.  The challenge is how to support the distancing and cohorts we are working on during the day at EDP.  I can say, that in order to provide the best COVID protocols for the families who depend on EDP we will likely limit the irregular, drop in aspect of EDP.  Again, more to come on this.

Attachments for the following can be found at:

https://mailchi.mp/a1e9caffb8b1/covid-19-2020

Dr. Pam Hildebrand shared some excellent resources for face coverings and children.  The calendar plan doesn’t fit our timeline, but there are a lot of good ideas.

The Utah Strong Recovery Project, a Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Policy, and an Early Childhood Suspended Enrollment Policy.

The COVID-19 School Manual mentioned in the video was too large to attach so here is the link: https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/School/COVID-19_School_Manual_FINAL.pdf

In faith and hope,

Principal Romero

**

July 27, 2020

Dear Cosgriff Families:

I pray today’s message finds you safe and well.

First a video hello.  The sound is not quite in sync, but I just couldn’t do another take.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15H3q8qKXCwT4KYiV0dtBY_rVVCERftpQ/view

As stated in the video, we will also have a Thursday Principal’s message with the latest updates.

In response to feedback about the plan,  I realized we need insight into the numbers for students considering a return to in person learning, those wanting at home learning and those that are unsure.  Tonight I am sending out forms to each class asking families to indicate their intent for the return to school.

The First Week of School Schedule is attached to this email and will be posted to our Covid Response spot on the website.

One aspect of our Covid Response which I haven’t mentioned is our reaching out to several doctors in our community who are helping us review our plan and answer questions.  We are so grateful for their willingness to share their expertise.

During mentor and new family Zoom discussions, there were several questions about uniforms. Dennis Uniform has online ordering. They are also currently taking appointments for curbside pickup and returns. Lands End has online ordering and easy returns. Dennis Uniform tends to run slightly large, especially girls’ skirts. Lands End runs mostly true to size. It was clarified during these meetings that both boys and girls can wear either white or green polos.  Don’t forget to check the used uniform racks every so often for free finds!   Tennis shoes may have company logos, however, they should be predominately one basic color–white, black, blue, gray–no neons, red, patterns etc.   Due to group limitations, our Mass schedule will be changed and students will attend less frequently, in smaller groups.  A dress uniform will not be required at least through the first quarter.  We will also not be changing for gym class at the beginning of the year.  We probably won’t change until we are in the green response phase.

This year we are offering an optional school supply service, online ordering through SchoolToolbox.com.  The link and info has been on our website since June.  To take advantage of their free shipping and guarantee delivery for the first day of school the time to order is now.  If you are choosing to begin the year as an at home learner, you will keep your supplies at home as well.

Last Monday, I sent an email to the parents of the remaining 18 First Communicants asking them to choose an option to receive the Sacrament.  In the spring it was mentioned that we would open a fall Mass up to those that participated in May, however, we felt that was not prudent at this time.  I’ve heard from five families to date and hope to have remaining responses shortly.

REMINDER:  For all K – 8 students the first annual Tiger Lit (Literacy) Summer Challenge!  The following link will take you to a PDF you can download and print for a variety of literacy challenges.  Complete 25 challenges, return it the first week of school, and earn a free dress pass!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cqs6lg7_LnAzPJNP3WHFy_QhnXdex4Eb/view?usp=sharing

FYI if you saw this week’s parish bulletin the picture they found for my welcome announcement is at least 12 years old– all the gray hair and age is not completely COVID’s fault.  Kind of false advertising there.

The FAQ doc will be posted to our Covid Response button.

In faith and hope,

Principal Romero

**

July 22, 2020

Dear Cosgriff Families:

First a video update.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Uyo7POU-apawFlTseNC-s3FXuwpBkNAT/view

As I said in the video, the Salt Lake School Districts decision to delay is not a binding mandate for us.  So we will open school the week of August 17. We have made needed changes to the first week of school which are described in the video and in the plan’s cover letter.

The plan is attached. I know we all have many questions about how everything will work, which we will do our best to answer.  We continue to seek information and expert advice on how to keep moving forward in the safest way possible.

1.1 Covid-19 Response Phase Plan Outline July 22 JEC – Google Docs

In faith and hope,

Principal Romero

**

Dear Cosgriff Families,

 First a brief video.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YD_ARcCSnAntmUdk4O18CWZOBqX4UKLZ/view

As I said in the video, reopening plan updates are coming this Wednesday.  We are having serious and creative discussions to build a plan that will be the best for our school.

Thank you to the fabulous mentor family committee for making our zoom gathering happen.  The welcoming team of Kacie Turcuato, Amy Moore, Christine Mason and Carly Gibbs, along with all the mentor families are much appreciated.  The mentor program is a critical component of our community, which is one of our key assets.

Speaking of community, the stewardship leaders of our diocese have a message to share with all of us.   Now more than ever the mission of Christ is critical.

 Here is a video in support of that message: Video link:  https://youtu.be/B-gefFtEbvQ

Once again, we offer our heartfelt gratitude to the brother and sister team of Phil and Maureen McCarthey.  They have continued their generous support of the Cosgriff community.  This summer the McCartheys replaced the playground surface of the toddler and preschool playgrounds and installed a permanent umbrella shade.  Thank you for helping us provide the best for our youngest Tigers.

 So much of life has changed in the last four months.  I want to encourage families who find their financial situation altered since enrollment to please apply (or reapply) for tuition assistance consideration through FACTS.  Complete the FACTS Financial Aid application through the Parent Portal. Under “Financial” you will find “Apply for Grant and Aid.”

The Home and School Association is grateful to all parents who have already volunteered to be room parents for the 2020/2021 school year. We are still in need of two room parents for the seventh grade class. Email katesmithslp@gmail.com to volunteer.

In faith and hope,

Principal Romero

**

July 13, 2020

Dear Cosgriff Families,

First a video hello:

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/11__Ca-lkPHIUlbg3qlchdRNrHN1BXoWE/view

As I said in the video, thank you for the survey responses.  Your feedback is very much appreciated.  It is clear what we have navigated has been hard!  The unknowable exact course of our school year is so difficult to accept.  Believe me, if anyone likes to work a known plan it is me.  So this is what I do know.  We are preparing to be as safe and educationally sound  as possible, no matter what is being asked of us.  We will be hopeful and productive as we face uncertainty. We will be nimble and responsive to whatever realities come to be.

Here is one of my current favorite prayers I shared with the faculty last week:

Dear God,

Thank you for the gift of education in every form.

 As we prepare for a new year,

may confidence be our foundation,

 may grace be our guide and may hope

 be our compass toward a bright future.

We pray for eyes to see

 the needs of those around us

and a heart to love well.

 May we face each day with positivity

 knowing that no matter what comes our way,

 we don’t face it alone.

  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Our Home and School Association leaders are pulling together the room parents for the coming year and volunteers are still needed for the following classes:

Preschool Mamani (1), Preschool Lee (1), PK Lee (1), Kinder Jenkins (1),Kinder Lacombe (1), Second Weyher (1), Second Hyers (1), Fourth (1), Sixth (1), Seventh (2)

Eighth (1).  Please contact Kate Smith, katesmithslp@gmail.com if you are interested in serving as a room parent.

The outline Covid response phase plan will be shared with you by Friday, July 17th.  The diocese asked for our plans to be posted between July 15 – 22. I’m shooting for the 17th.

One of the innumerable Covid response ideas I had over the weekend was to modify the first week of school schedule.  IF we are allowed to be in person, with all of the necessary protocols, it would be beneficial to practice these protocols with smaller groups of students.  So, it is likely that we will do half the student body (by family last name) on Monday/Wednesday and half on Tuesday/Thursday.  Still thinking if Friday should be a whole group day or a review of the protocol realities day.  It is so very important we do this well.  As final decisions are made you will be informed in the most timely manner possible.

The Meet the Teacher format will also be altered to limit the number of families in the building at one time.  A Meet the Teacher Day on August 14, or two afternoons.

As always,

#Cosgriffcandoit

 

Lisa Romero
Principal

July 6, 2020

Dear Cosgriff Families,

First, I’ll share a short hello video inviting you to share your masks, handwashing and physical distancing ideas at #cosgriffcandoit

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12waUzpvrUHLJ7PgUmVKfgIqGG5cHkcrd/view

Thank you for your response to the family survey.  There have been 115 responses so far.  Your feedback is valuable as we proceed with our planning.  The survey will be closed on Wednesday, 5:00 PM.   This link should take you there.

https://forms.gle/NdGjTAMpDZVFJGa26

Follow up on ‘Shun the Sun’ playground sunshades.  I met with our playground shade company on Friday and will have a bid from them soon.  It is most likely we will begin with one major shade along the south side fence.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely installation will happen before the first day of school, but should happen within the first quarter.

Last week the Intermountain Catholic Newspaper had an article about Mrs. Hunt’s retirement.  I want to clarify I was not a Vice-principal at St. Vincent for the last three years.  After 20 years of teaching in the 4th and 1st grade classrooms at Cosgriff, I spent one year at St. John the Baptist Elementary as an administrative intern and then three years at St. Vincent as Student Support Co-Director.  I worked closely with teachers and administration, but I was not the VP.

Okay, it’s deep breath time, this next bit of news is tough–yesterday I received an email from Robin Harmston sharing her difficult decision to resign as our Art Teacher.  The loss of Mrs. Harmston’s expertise and dedication is profound.  However, we have only gratitude and support for her, and her family, as they navigate what is best for them.

For all K – 8 students the first annual Tiger Lit (Literacy) Summer Challenge!  The following link will take you to a PDF you can download and print for a variety of literacy challenges.  Complete 25 challenges and earn a free dress pass!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cqs6lg7_LnAzPJNP3WHFy_QhnXdex4Eb/view?usp=sharing

Lastly, here are resources for another topic we must meet head on.  In the Sunday, July 5, SLTribune there was an article about the important work the YWCA is doing and their 21 day challenge to help build understanding about racism in America.  I signed up and today’s email offered, 5, 10 or 30 minute option for engagement.

 I’ve also recently reviewed the 2018 document from United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love -A Pastoral Letter Against Racism   I find this document provides extremely helpful language and education for protecting the dignity and sanctity of all life.   Below are links to all of these resources and the closing prayer from the pastoral letter.

http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf

https://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/2020/07/05/want-better-understand/

https://www.ywcautah.org/challenge/

Mary, friend and mother to all, through your Son, God has found a way to unite himself to every human being, called to be one people, sisters and brothers to each other.

We ask for your help in calling on your Son, seeking forgiveness for the times when we have failed to love and respect one another.

We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism and to build a just society.

We ask for your help in following your Son, so that prejudice and animosity will no longer infect our minds or hearts but will be replaced with a love that respects the dignity of each person. Mother of the Church, the Spirit of your Son Jesus warms our hearts: pray for us.

Lisa Romero
Principal

July 1, 2020

Dear Cosgriff Families:

It is with sincere gratitude and humility that I greet you as Principal Romero.  I have a few items for this July 1 email and look for the next principal message on Monday.

There is so much to say and so much to do.  I know your lists of questions and concerns are long.  In this extraordinary time, know that our commitment to faith, community, joyful learning, problem solving and face coverings is unwavering.   Our Covid Response Plan is in progress and will be shared mid-July.  In the coming week, I ask that you please offer valuable feedback through the Family Check In Form. (This survey will close 7/8/20)

 This link should take you there.

https://forms.gle/NdGjTAMpDZVFJGa26

 

I found this to be a helpful article from the American Academy of Pediatrics on face coverings for children.

https://healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Cloth-Face-Coverings-for-Children-During-COVID-19.aspx#.Xvj-dtr9FHU.email

 

ANNOUNCING for K – 8 students the first annual Tiger Lit (Literacy) Summer Challenge!  The following link will take you to a PDF you can download and print for a variety of literacy challenges.  Complete 25 challenges and earn a free dress pass!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cqs6lg7_LnAzPJNP3WHFy_QhnXdex4Eb/view?usp=sharing

 

NEW PARTNERSHIP

In our effort to constantly improve and keep financial responsibility in mind, we are following other Utah Catholic schools in partnering with Utah Online School (UOS).  Through the  partnership we will receive, at no cost to us, one Chromebook for every three students and access to educational programs such as Typing Agent, Reflex Math and Tynker.   Every three years a new set of Chromebooks will be provided and the digital resources are regularly reviewed and updated.  We look forward to these classroom resources arriving during the first quarter of the coming school year.

The UOS program enrollment process includes providing a copy of every K – 8 student’s birth certificate and immunization record, which we hope to complete by the end of August.  Utah Online School is under the FERPA and HIPPA laws of Utah public schools and we take the secure handling of these records very seriously.   I’ve questioned several principals about their experience with UOS in the previous four years.  Their positive testimonials, offered verbally and in writing, have encouraged me to pursue this partnership.

Please contact me with any questions, lromero@cosgriff.org

In prayer and hope,

Lisa Romero, Principal