Week of August 17, 2020

It has been such a pleasure to see so many of our students and parents (smiling faces behind the masks 😊) for our student supply drop off and meet the teacher days. We have missed you all and are grateful to be able to finally return to school. Our faculty and staff have been working very hard during the past few weeks to safely prepare our campus according to the health and safety guidelines of the Diocese of Venice based on the CDC, WHO, and Department of Health.

As most of you noticed during your visit to campus, we have put many measures in place to protect our students and staff and to maintain a healthy environment throughout the year such as: temperature checks, face coverings for all, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations throughout building, nightly deep cleaning and disinfecting, water fountain conversions to bottle filling stations, desk shields, nurse and school clinic, etc.

We appreciate your continued confidence and support as we journey through these unchartered waters with faith, optimism, dedication, respect, and teamwork. I am looking forward to another successful school year with our awesome students, families and staff. Together we will continue to build a strong foundation for our student’s future and make this a year to remember …#SetonStrong! View our Back to School video for 2020-2021 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HM2E-nM600

~ Blessings, Mrs. Maria Niebuhr, M.Ed., Principal

A few reminders as School begins…

  • Health screenings to include temperature/mask checks for all before entering school
  • Drop off K-8 – front of school; PK3-PK4 – 53rd Terrace SW
  • NO PARK AND DROP
  • 7:30am -7:40am socially distanced in gym
  • 7:40am students report to homeroom
  • 8:00am school day begins
  • School-wide morning prayers will be viewed in classrooms

Students arriving after 8am

Parents must park and walk their child to the office call box; the student (only) will be admitted up to the office for a health screening; parent will remain on campus until screening protocol completed. Thank you for your cooperation!

Mon., August 17
First Day of School for Students
Noon dismissal (no Aftercare)

Tues., August 18
Noon dismissal (no Aftercare)

Wed., August 19
2:00pm Dismissal (Aftercare begins)
After dismissal, SDL students meet w/teachers

Aftercare Program

Aftercare Regular Hours of Operation:

  • 3:10-5:30 pm (full school days); 12:15-5:30 pm (early dismissal days)
  • LOCATION: Parish Center

To use Aftercare services for the 2020-21 school year, all new and returning families must complete an aftercare registration form, submit the $20 registration fee, and the family’s FACTS Prepay account should have funds deposited. All aftercare charges are processed through your family’s FACTS Prepay Account-Aftercare. Please review attached Aftercare information, complete registration form and return by Wed., Aug. 19 (email preferred).

DOWNLOAD THE AFTERCARE PACKET

Health Records

Thank you to those who have submitted their child’s immunization and health records. To those still outstanding, whether choosing SDL or face-to-face instruction, these are required documents for school entry and need to be returned by the start of school on Monday, August 17, 2020.

FACTS Grant and Aid Reminders

A completed FACTS Grant & Aid application is required as part of student re-enrollment and is necessary to be considered for any tuition assistance, including parish assistance. Families seeking parish assistance must also contact the pastor at their home parish directly.

Please be sure your payment plan for the 2020-21 school year is updated in your FACTS tuition account. Contact School Finance Manager, Mrs. Elaine Pearce at pearce@seseton.org with any questions. Thank you for your cooperation and support!

School Uniform Info

Zavada’s Renegades Sportswear
Online Ordering: https://www.renegadesfl.com/
17051 Jean Street Unit 10
Fort Myers, Florida 33967
Phone: 239-275-6720

Store Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm; Friday: 9am to 4pm

Counselor’s Corner

by Dr. Dianne Fabii, School Counselor

Social and Emotional Support for Back to School

Back to school jitters are expected even in normal times, but 2020 has been unlike any other year. While many children are super excited to get back to school, others may feel intense separation anxiety (and sometimes parents do too!). This year as the pandemic continues unabated, children have to cope with new rules about social distancing, wearing masks, and fears of the virus itself, in addition to the usual concerns about starting a new grade and changing routines.

Though separation anxiety is most intense for young children, older children, tweens and even teenagers may have a tougher time this year, according to several experts. Anticipating that many children will have some difficulty in adjusting to the new realities of school this year can help with planning and coping mechanisms. Here are some valuable guidelines to ease the transition:

For Separation Anxiety:

Do a trial run. This is especially helpful for younger children. Visiting school before it begins can be comforting, even if it’s just walking around the perimeter of the building and discussing what to expect (Jennifer Miller, Family & Educational Consultant).

Talk about it…but not too much. Discuss what’s new this year (extra sanitizing, hand washing, wearing masks), and why these are important (Dr. Tovah Klein, Director of the Barnard Center for Toddler Development).

Pay attention to feelings. Let children know that even if they are nervous, they can face their fears with support of parents and school staff. Covey that it is normal to feel anxious and clearly state your support to help kids get through it. Reassure children that school staff are there to help them through any difficulty. When confidence is strengthened, anxiety diminishes (Dr. Laura Markham, author of “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids”).

Take it slow. Expect that children may need extra support this year. Whatever the child’s age, keep an eye out for challenges as they adjust to school (Dr. Klein).

Lighten up. A healthy dose of laughter may be just what everyone needs to keep things from getting too heavy. One of the most effective ways to help children with fear is to help them laugh. Look for the lighter moments (Dr. Markham).

Be honest. While reassuring children, also acknowledge that no one has all the answers regarding how this school year will unfold. Assure them that everyone is doing their best to make school as safe as possible for everyone (Dr. Klein).

Say good bye and mean it. Separation can be emotional for both children and parents. Lingering too long at drop off can increase anxiety. Give a tight hug and assure them that they are in good care, and you will see them again later in the day. Then take heart and a deep breath, understanding that this is a major step in growth and development (Jennifer Miller).

For Understanding and Practicing Social Distancing
Everyone has experienced huge and abrupt social changes resulting from the pandemic. At school, children may have a difficult time understanding and practicing social distancing. Younger students may not understand why they can’t be close to their friends, while older students may feel invincible and question the need for guidelines. Experts at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta suggest that parents explain the reasons for social distancing by:

Being clear and direct. Explain that physically staying 6 feet apart helps to stop the spread of germs and illness. Reiterate that the physical distance is what is important, not socially isolating from friends.

Being developmentally appropriate. For younger children, help them understand that germs can be spread when we talk, play, shake hands or hug. For older students, help them comprehend that one can still carry the virus without showing signs or symptoms. Emphasize the altruistic responsibility of everyone doing their part to stay healthy.

Being a consistent role model. If children observe parents following the guidelines, they are more likely to do the same.

Acknowledging and validating feelings. Encourage children to talk about what they are feeling and genuinely acknowledge them without judgment.

Focusing on what can be controlled, and working together to make it manageable. Though we can’t control how long this will last, we can control our response to it by practicing healthy habits such as hand washing, sanitizing, and distancing as best as possible. Daily routines around sleep, meals, physical activity, play and relaxation can provide a sense of comfort and stability during these stressful times.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Please see important document for Back to School success: Emotional Support for Back to School

School Mass

School masses will be live streamed weekly. Our first school mass at church will be Friday, September 11 at 10am for grades 5-8 only. We will have a short tribute remembering the events of 9/11/2001 after mass. It will be a noon dismissal day with parent Zoom conferences in the afternoon.

Announcement

We are happy to announce wonderful changes for the school year to accommodate a 10% increase in student enrollment! We are fortunate to have professional and willing educators in their field of expertise assume additional responsibilities:

  • Sra. Cole will also teach 6th Grade Social Studies
  • Coach Tenbarge will also teach one section of 7th grade Religion
  • Mrs. Winter will also teach 7th Grade Level Math
  • Mrs. Pond will also assist at the Office Reception desk in the mornings

We thank our professional educators for stepping up to the plate!

Night in Havana Gala Auction News!

Celebrating Seton! Due to ongoing restrictions for large gatherings, Our Night in Havana Live Gala Event scheduled at the Vineyards Country Club on Sept. 26 will become a Streamlined Virtual Event instead!

You can place your bids remotely from Sept. 21@ 6pm to Sept. 26 @ 6pm to win beautiful gift baskets, gift certificates, and other fabulous items in a week long of bidding fun. Please join us for this exciting event as together we overcome the challenges while supporting our great school. More information will be coming soon!

If you have already purchased tickets for the Gala, you may:

Use ticket purchase as a donation to the school (greatly appreciated 😊)

  • Receive a credit for a future live event
  • Request a refund
  • Please email your preference to Dr. Fabii at fabii@seseton.org by August 24. Hope to “see” you all at our Virtual Auction!

Refer your family and friends to our wonderful school and get a gift card!

Please pass along the attached Seton flyer to any new family you know who is interested in a superior education in spirit, mind, and body for their children. As a thank you for your referral, you will receive your choice of a $100 Amazon gift card, or a $100 tuition credit for every family you refer that enrolls through the 2020-2021 school year.

Thank you for your support in spreading the good news about the St. Elizabeth Seton School family! Also, Please share our Virtual Open House link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uGChXQ7ft32fnxESMbsc9KAt7J9Saieg

Building a Culture of Catholic Stewardship

Our school community needs donors and sponsors to support our mission. Please help spread the word to friends, family and others who believe in the importance of affordable, quality Catholic education now and for future generations. See the many ways to support Seton by visiting https://saintelizabethseton.com/giving/