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School Updates 2021-2022

Family Update - February 11, 2022

Dear Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School Families,

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Today as I made rounds through some classrooms, I noticed our teachers doing some amazing things with our students.

I noticed intentional and effective classroom management strategies. These are important because students thrive under predictable routines and procedures.

I noticed a teacher encouraging her students to take responsibility for their own space in the room, and wouldn't you know a classmate or two were helped by their neighbor. Our Cardinals know it takes TEAMwork to make the DREAM work!

I noticed intentionality in what was posted on the walls and on the bulletin boards. This is important because students are more independent when they can reference these "anchor charts" on their own.

I noticed that every student was busy working, because we all know that, "The one who learns is the one who does the work..."

In all of these spaces, regardless of the grade level or the activity... there was much more going on than learning. It's easy to see that our students are growing in wisdom and in virtue. They are learning and growing because their teacher cares about them and their success. Their classroom environment encourages risk taking and students are willing to be vulnerable because they feel safe.

These are some of the marks of a Catholic education.

These are some of the many things that make SMG the place it is today, and will be in the future.

These are all pleasing in God's eyes, because we're more fully human when we seek truth, beauty, and goodness.

All to Jesus, all through Mary.

Bob Schell, Principal

Family Update - December 3, 2021

Dear Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School Families,

Today we share good tidings and a few updates.

'Tis the season for gratitude, generosity, and anticipation of the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

In gratitude, we are thankful for the many volunteers at Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School. From classrooms to lunchrooms to playgrounds to book fairs, our families are here in full force, breathing life into our school by their service to others. Thank you.

How BLESSED we are to have celebrated our first, all-school Mass together! Generosity is the virtue described as, "...giving without counting the cost." Today at our Gift Mass we witnessed Cardinal students and staff and families giving gifts through Saint Vincent de Paul to many local families in need. We appreciate the leadership of Mrs. Grochowski, Mrs. Fallon and Mr. Riese, and our eighth graders in making this year's Gift Mass special for all involved.

We read in Father Scott's message in the Parish Weekly Bulletin, this second Sunday of Advent, "John the Baptist plays a central role in our Advent liturgy, because this is the season during which the Church recalls Christ’s first coming, readies itself to welcome him at his new, spiritual coming this Christmas, and looks forward to his definitive, second coming at the end of history."

Through all our December activities, may we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ, "O Come O come, Emmanuel!"

Many thanks, and Praised be Jesus Christ!

Bob Schell, Principal

Family Update - November 19, 2021

Dear Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School Families,

This week we'd like to draw your attention to our SMG Catholic School Morning Announcements.

Over the past several weeks, our Cardinal eighth, seventh, sixth, and then fifth grade volunteers have been special guests on Morning Announcements. Please check out our amazing students as they share a "Fun Fact," some things "We'd Like to Mention," "Guest Teachers to SMG," "Morning Offering," and the "Pledge of Allegiance."

Excellent work with these amazing children, parents and guardians, and teachers and staff!

"Be a Saint, What Else is There!"

Bob Schell, Principal

From Our Principal - October 22, 2021

Dear Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School Families,

Today our SMG staff attended a Metanoia retreat at Holy Name Heights.

Metanoia is defined as, "a transformative change of heart; especially: a spiritual conversion."

Our morning sessions were facilitated by diocesan staff, including a video of encouragement from Bishop Hying and a series of videos from Formed called, "The Search." Staff also heard some life and faith experiences from diocesan staff member, Michelle Nilsson. Our day concluded with a talk from Dr. Enright of the National Forgiveness Institute.

Session 1 was titled, "What do you seek?" Something that really stood out was the fact that every tombstone has a start and end date, but it's the "dash" in between those dates that really matters; that's our life, right here and right now!

Session 2 was titled, " Who are you?" where we were reminded from C.S. Lewis that,

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Session 3 was titled, "Why a God?" of which the presenter exclaimed, "Why God haven't you revealed yourself to us?" and God' possible response might be, "Haven't you seen EVERYTHING?!?!" All creation shouts to us the existence of God, and there is long-standing complementarity of Science AND Faith.

After Holy Mass and lunch, we welcomed a revision to our agenda that was specific to SMG and where we've been and where we're headed - we welcomed Dr. Enright, of the Department of Educational Psychology of UW-Madison and the founding member of the International Forgiveness Institute.

Here we learned about the virtues of Humility, Love, and Mercy. Dr. Enright encouraged us to consider some next steps:

  1. First, do no (further) harm.
  2. Unite with, and love Jesus, and out of love, unite our own suffering with Him and His cross.
  3. Love and pray for each other, especially for those who hurt you.

Dr. Enright encourage our staff to consciously and deliberately proclaim that, "We are a forgiving school," and that we can work together to learn what that means to us and what we need to do to sustain it.

Saint Maria Goretti, Patron Saint of Forgiveness, pray for us!

We have gratitude for these learning opportunities and for you entrusting your child(ren) to our school and our staff.

All to Jesus, all through Mary.

Bob Schell, Principal

School Update - August 19, 2021

While it was our hope and anticipation that the COVID era was behind us, recently Dane County issued a “Face Covering Emergency Order.” This “Emergency Order” takes place, currently, from August 19, 2021 to September 16, 2021. For your convenience, you can view that health order here.

During the time specified above, all faculty, staff, students, and parents are expected to wear face coverings while inside our facilities.

Anyone who has an exemption, as promulgated by the Public Health Department of Madison and Dane County, will have to supply written documentation by the proper authorities.

We recognize that some families may not be in support with such a directive, however, it is important that we are able to keep our school open and therefore, we will be following the guidelines set herein:

  • Under the recent PHDMC order, masks are required indoors for students and staff. We will provide time for socially distanced “mask breaks” throughout the day. Masks are not required when engaged in distanced (3+ feet) outdoor activities (i.e. recess).
  • Per federal requirements, anyone riding a school bus or public transportation will need to wear a mask at all times.
  • All students and staff are expected to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If they are experiencing symptoms of the virus, they should stay home, notify the school office and consider consulting a healthcare professional.
  • We will continue to follow isolation protocols for students and staff that exhibit new symptoms during the school day.
  • We will continue to stress the importance of proper handwashing.
  • Hand sanitizer units will be available throughout our building.
  • We will space out desks in classrooms to keep students separated.
  • Custodians will continue to thoroughly clean our building after each school day.
  • Family and community members will not have building access during the school day. This protocol will be reviewed near the end of the first quarter.
  • This link outlines 2021-2022 updates to our Health and Safety Strategies document, detailing our school's mitigation protocols, of which families have been waiting so patiently to view: 2021-2022 COVID Health & Safety Strategies for FAMILIES

We will not require staff nor students to be vaccinated to attend school. Parents decide if/when their eligible child(ren) gets vaccinated.

Students and staff who are identified as a “close contact” to a COVID-19 case will need to quarantine. When it comes to the length of necessary quarantines, we will follow the latest guidance from the Office of Catholic Schools, based upon the CDC and PHMDC.

Further updates on our school’s reopening plan have been shared with staff for their feedback.

If your student has a disability or you have questions regarding how this will affect the services and support your student receives, you can reach out to a building principal at 608-271-7551.

School Update - August 13, 2021

Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School will begin the 2021-22 school year with a full in-person learning model. Students will attend school in person, five days per week. 

We have made this decision based on local COVID-19 data and the guidance we have received from the CDC, Public Health Madison Dane County, and the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Madison. We will not be offering an extension learning option for students whose families request it. 

We are writing to share that Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School is committed to a safe and successful 2021-22 school year with full in-person learning. With this model, students will attend school in person, five days per week. 

We have made this decision based on local COVID-19 data and the guidance we have received from the CDC, Public Health Madison Dane County, and the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Madison. We will not be offering an extension learning option for students whose families request it. 

Please know that the health, safety, and well-being of our school community remains our top priority. Go here for the most up-to-date information from the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Madison. 

  • It is recommended, not required, that students and staff wear masks. 
  • Students and staff should also engage in 3+ feet distancing. 
  • We will continue to encourage frequent hand-washing and thoroughly clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces and common areas on a regular basis. 
  • We have also worked to improve air ventilation and air quality in our buildings. 

If your child begins to experience symptoms of COVID-19, please keep your student home, notify the school office, and consider consulting with your healthcare provider. Please also monitor symptoms of close family members. 

The first day of school is August 26. We look forward to returning to full in-person teaching and learning as we begin the school year. Stay tuned early next week for further updates from our front office team in regards to our school’s reopening plan.

Once again, thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility throughout this challenging time in our school and parish community. 

Support Our Parish

In gratitude for God’s generosity, we dedicate a sacrificial portion of our gifts of time, talent, and treasure to serve Christ and His Church by supporting the needs of our parish.