New school year off to good start at Southtowns Catholic
Young students get excited about the new school at Southowns Catholic in Lake View.
LAKE VIEW — Last year, students and staff were excited to return to the comforts of their classrooms at Southtowns Catholic School. However, walking through the front doors, there were a lot of unknowns. One thing we knew for sure was there were bound to be a lot of changes. Like every other school, we sensed it was going to be a tough year.
The set-up of classrooms was modified, sports were cancelled, and some of our favorite traditions at Southtowns Catholic, like Grandparents Day and the Veteran’s Day Memorial, were called off out of caution for all those attending. We had to go about different avenues of fundraising. Even our annual Open House looked different as we took a virtual approach last year.
Yes, the 2020-21 school year was difficult, demanding and challenging, yet, we as a school, managed and prevailed. We were very fortunate to be in person seven days a week and the few times we did go remote, the teachers were prepared with online lesson plans just as though they were in-person. The students at Southtowns Catholic School received a superior education during a world-wide pandemic.
Over the last 19 months, despite where you sit, we have learned more about this virus than at the beginning of the last school year. For Southtowns Catholic School, looking back on this year, we have learned and improved on so much. For instance, the use of technology was a huge gain for us. Every student in grades kindergarten through eighth grade has a personal device, be it a Chromebook or tablet. Our communication with parents has improved drastically. We’ve instituted a weekly parent newsletter and regularly use all forms of communication to keep the parents informed.
With everything we learned last year, we are ready for the 2021-22 school year. Classrooms are finally back to “normal.” We are modifying events to hopefully include parents and guests this year. All of our fundraisers are back on the calendar and we’re hoping to see them through. One positive thing that came out of the pandemic is the Federal Lunch Program where students can receive free lunches this school year. So far, the kids have said the food is very tasty. Students can also pick up breakfast (at no cost) in our Before School Program, which is new this year. We’ve expanded our AIS services, bringing on more support. Now we have a provider for elementary school and one for middle school, while a consultant teacher from the Frontier District is here beginning at 9:30 a.m. Our Fine Arts Department is booming. We now have someone here fulltime for technology, so students and faculty can have their computer and electronic questions answered during the day. Our new music teacher has big plans for the program including a musical. We’re using every open space in the building while students enjoy singing and dancing for class. Our kids are even back on the soccer fields and baseball diamonds again. It is so great to see them getting back into the activities they missed out on last year.
We are looking forward to a fun, yet productive year here at Southtowns Catholic School. We pray that everyone has a safe and healthy school year as well!