Happy May 1st! It is hard to believe that we are entering the month of May. I continue to be saddened by the current pandemic situation, but try to look for blessings every day. Despite what is happening, there are so many beautiful things that are also happening! As I mentioned in my morning announcements a couple of weeks ago, we are not stronger despite the challenges, but because of the challenges. Before we break for the weekend, please take note of the following important items:
1. The April slideshow is viewable in the parent login page on the school website. Each parent created a password back in September. If you have forgotten it, you can reset it. Please take some time if you can to watch the slideshow with your family to see all the great things that are happening despite our physical distancing. Thank you to all the parents that sent me photos – I hope I got them all into the slideshow, but if I missed yours, please let me know so I can get them into the next one. I have received so many emails these past few weeks, that it could be very possible that I may have missed some.
2. Return to School – There have been some conflicting messages over the past week from the Minister of Education and the Premier in regards to a return to school. Our Superintendent will be sending something out to Principals in regards to what we need to be aware of regarding any possible return this year. We want to ensure that as a system, all schools will be taking the same approach.
3. The Zoom Enterprise version is now set up for all staff at our school. It is important to note that this version is totally safe, secure and approved by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner. All staff can now proceed with student live conferencing using this version of Zoom. Some teachers will still continue to use Google Meet, as that is their preference (especially for classes using Google Classroom).
4. Staffing update for September – This section of my update today is a difficult one to write, and I am sure that there will be many of you that will feel a sense of sadness. Our school has an amazing group of dedicated staff, and unfortunately, we will be losing several staff members next year. Our new principal, Mrs. Fonseca, and the Leadership Team of Mrs. Kravjanski, Mrs. Prinster and Mrs. Geary have conducted interviews with the P.E.C. and Father Matthew and have filled some of the vacant positions. There are still more to be filled, so stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Leadership Team who has worked hard with Mrs. Fonseca during these challenging times. The following staffing changes have been confirmed to date:
– Ms. Kools will be leaving to take a position as Gr. 3 teacher at St. Matthew’s School in Surrey.
– Mrs. Stradeski will be taking on the role of Learning Assistance teacher and working alongside Mrs. Kravjanski and the team of E.A.’s. Thank you to Mrs. Stradeski for her willingness to take on this role – her familiarity with our students in the school will be a big asset!
– Mrs. Cheng will be taking over Gr. 1 for Mrs. Stradeski.
– Ms. Ameresekere will be leaving to take a position as Gr. 1/2 teacher at Cloverdale Catholic School. The hiring committee has hired Ms. Kristina McBride from Our Lady of Fatima School to teach Gr. 2.
– Ms. Hargrave will be leaving to take a position as Kindergarten teacher at St. James School in Abbotsford.
– Mr. Seiler will be leaving to take a position as Gr. 5 teacher at St. Mary’s School in Chilliwack. The hiring committee is currently seeking a P.E. teacher.
– Mrs. Cannova will be leaving to take a position as E.A. at St. Jude’s School in Vancouver.
– Mrs. Estay will be leaving to take on a job in a new sector.
– Ms. Battle will be leaving to return to University where she will be working towards obtaining her teaching degree.
– Ms. O’Reilly will be leaving to pursue a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies
– Mrs. Geary will be on maternity leave next year, and Mr. Geary will take the position of Gr. 7 for next school year. Thank you to Mr. Geary for his willingness to do this.
– As you are aware, we have two bubble classes next year (Gr. 4 & 6). The hiring committee has hired Mr. Matthew Brooks from St. Francis Xavier School to work alongside Mrs. Newill in Gr. 4 and Mr. Anthony DeGuzman to work alongside Ms. Martin in Gr. 6.
– The hiring committee will be hiring a teacher for Gr. 5 in the coming weeks to cover Mr. Geary, as well as some Education Assistants to fill the vacant positions.
I understand that the news of so many staff leaving may be disheartening to hear, but please know that each staff member has made the decision to leave based on what is best for their current situation, in many cases their families. I know that in speaking with each leaving staff member, it was not an easy decision and they will miss St. Patrick’s School very much. On behalf of everyone in our school community, I wish them all the very best, and thank them for their dedicated service to our school community. While some have only served our school community for one year, others, like Mr. Seiler have served our school for 19 years. All will be missed, but the good work that is happening at the school will be continued by the new staff members that will be joining in September.
Have a great weekend, and see you Monday morning for prayer and announcements.
God bless, Clive Heah| Principal
St. Patrick’s School, Maple Ridge