Weekly Letter (Feb 20 ’18)

Dear Star Families,

Last week, we celebrated St. Valentine’s Day on Tuesdaywith red hearts and candy and received our cross of ashes during Star’s Ash Wednesday School Mass prepared by Fr. Joseph and the 5th Grade. Some of our classes received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and attended Friday Stations of the Cross with Fr. John. As we began our solemn observation of our Lenten season, there was another tragic school shooting. The teachers and staff here at Star of the Sea were shaken by this news and our hearts go out to the students, families, and educators who were directly affected.

Even before this tragic event, due to the recent earthquake, fires, and what seemed to be an early rainy season, the faculty and I have been revisiting all of our safety procedures and updating all of our first aid and emergency kits. The school protocol for responding to emergencies, like an earthquake, has been long established as has our lockdown drill.

While we regularly practice our emergency drills with the students, we have not discussed the details of the lockdown protocols with them. We believe it is more developmentally appropriate for us to focus on preparing the adults to respond effectively if faced with a crisis. The faculty will be working with SFPD in March to ensure our current lockdown procedures are as safe and effective as they can possibly be. Once we review our protocol with SFPD, we will then practice the lockdown procedure with the students. This needs to be done with care since I am fully aware that just practicing this sort of protocol can be really scary.

Last week, while we prayed and offered a moment of silence for victims and their families, we did not formally discuss the tragedy with the children. We were, however, prepared to discuss and provide any needed support, particularly for our older students. The links below provide some valuable advice as you consider discussing the Parkland tragedy with your child(ren).

For families observing the Season of Lent, here are some helpful resources: http://www.catholicfamilyfaith.org/lent.html.

Star’s own Lenten services schedule may be found here.

Let’s all give our kids some extra hugs this week,

Mrs. Theresa Poon

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