Below is a copy of our parent communication that has gone out in regards to the Coronavirus and its impact on Lansing Catholic High School and our community.  Please check back for updates.  

 

UPDATE:  MAY 27, 2020

Dear Families,

Area parishes are beginning to open up for Masses and yesterday I was able to attend and receive communion. St. Augustine was right about our hearts being restless until they rest in Him, and I would daresay, until He rests in us by receiving the Blessed Sacrament. I invite you to check out your local parish to see what times Masses are during the week as well as the weekend.

I have also been reflective of those work to share our faith in a variety of ways. Over the weekend members of the Poljan family and some of our altar servers installed new homemade cabinets in the sacristy. Alum Mark Piggott (C’73) & MPC Lumber donated the materials and Rick Poljan made the cabinets. Their generosity and use of gifts is a powerful way many share their faith in the world. Our two sisters have also been instrumental this year in engaging some of our young people in the ministry of sacristan and the students have exercised their duties with such diligence and care. I’m grateful for these reminders of how we can serve the Lord in simple ways.

Senior Awards Ceremony
Join us in celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2020! We will be livestreaming our Senior Awards tonight at 7pm through the Lansing Catholic facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lansingcatholichs/). You do not need a facebook account to watch.

We will be organizing a day/time next week for seniors to “drive-thru” to pick up any awards from the ceremony, caps/gowns, student files, any leftover locker items, and a gift from the school. I am hoping to have details tomorrow and would love to have others cheer on the seniors from their cars. A note about caps/gowns: to minimize the handling of objects by others, we changed our order from rental graduation gowns to single-use gowns that the families can keep.

Meals
Tonight at 10pm is the deadline to reserve meal pick-up for tomorrow. The link is: https://forms.gle/9yof8XRLcPpi2ouW6. Thank you for allowing us to serve you!

Final Projects & Late Work
Students should be working on their final projects. We have assigned specific disciplines so that students do not get overwhelmed by doing projects in more than a couple of subjects. The last day of school is June 5 which is when all late work is due to teachers. As a reminder, students who turn in late work to Classroom should also contact the teaher separately so the teacher is aware it has been turned in.

Undergrad Mass & Awards
Please join us for a livestream of our end of the year Mass followed by undergrad awards on Friday, June 5 beginning at 10am.

Preparing for Next School Year
Finally, we are developing a survey for families and students as an evaluation of this past quarter as well planning for the 2020-2021 school year. Please look for that survey early next week. We are also putting together a committee of parents, coaches, staff, teachers, and medical personnel to ensure our plans for reopening help us move forward with our mission while also keeping people safe. While everyone who is interested will not be on the committee, I would like to make some drafts available on-line for people to review and offer comments/suggestions. I also know everyone won’t agree. Any final decisions about the start of next school year will rest with the new school leadership in concert with the Board of Trustees.

Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and for choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MAY 22, 2020

Dear Families,

I wish I could always see things as God does. He takes the long view of things while still being with us every step of the way. I tend to only see what is in front of me or a little bit down the road. I also know if I knew more of what was ahead I’d either stress or worry over it, so maybe it is better that I just trust God.

Pentecost is a week from Sunday. A perfect time between now and then to prayerfully work on waiting for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives in a deeper way, being open to that happening,  and trusting that it will happen. I invite you to start praying a novena to the Holy Spirit (https://www.praymorenovenas.com/novena-to-the-holy-spirit) each day to Pentecost. And then let God do what He does best. Guide us. Love us. Free us.

Senior Awards Livestream
We will be holding our senior awards presentation on Wednesday, May 27 at 7pm from the school auditorium. Families and friends can watch the livestream live on our school facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lansingcatholichs/). You do not need to have a facebook account to watch the livestream.

Graduate Date
We will continue to monitor how the State reopens and whether we will be able to have a live graduation on June 24 or wait until July. If we still cannot gather in large enough numbers graduates, parents, and staff to be present by the end of July then we will either do something with just the graduates and limited staff and live stream to others or just hold a virtual commencement. While it seems easier just to move on, we want to celebrate this accomplishment with our community.

Final Projects
Seniors should have finished theirs yesterday, 9th-11th graders will begin theirs next week. Those 9th-11th grade students who have at least a B- for the semester starting Tuesday, May 26 do not need to complete the final project but they do need to communicate that to their teacher. Students who have a B- or higher may want to still complete the project to possibly raise their grade which is why we want students to communicate their preference to teachers. The grade for these projects will be factored into the fourth quarter grade. Since there are no final exams, the final grade will be based on 50% third quarter, 50% fourth quarter.

Final Grades
The week of June 8 I will be sending a form to all students (grades 9-12) to complete declaring whether they wish to have the earned grade on their report card or simply take a “pass” if they have achieved at least a 59.5% for the semester. We will be using the form to have documentation of preferences in one place so that information has less of a chance of being lost or confused. I will be informing parents when that form goes out to students so that families can ensure that it is completed.

For students who do not pass a course during this second semester we will be doing something different for them than our traditional summer school. Students will work on basic outcomes only so that they have the basic knowledge and skills to move on to the next level. Our plan is to have this on-site at Lansing Catholic so we can give them the personal support they need to be successful that some are finding difficult to navigate in distance learning.

Next Year’s Business Classes with Davenport University
We have over sixty students interested in taking two business courses next year through a partnership with Davenport University. I talked with their staff last week and those classes will still continue even if we start the school year either in a blended or distance learning format. While we are developing back up plans our preference and intent is to have live instruction from day one but we will do everything we can to keep our students and staff safe.

For those students who signed up for these business classes in Skyward or when you met with counselors, Davenport needs you to enroll on their website by May 29 by following the directions at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pqghA76Slt6MDCyKAJH7ThXFj--d-P2f/view?usp=sharing. Other than textbooks there is no cost to the family for these credits at this time. Some of the budget cuts predicted for education may impact that and we will keep you posted.

Meals
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, meal pick up will be Tuesday and Thursday next week. The link to reserve meals is: https://forms.gle/xASgQSWtTzwBpACC9. The form should be completed by Monday, May 25 at 10pm for Tuesday’s pick up.

Undergrad Mass & Awards
We will be livestreaming our end of the year Mass and undergrad awards beginning at 10:00am on Friday, June 5. We will also be inviting area eighth graders and their families to join us. Plan now to attend.

Enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend! This is a weekend that we salute those who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedoms. As we enjoy those freedoms, I encourage everyone to exercise good judgment and responsibility this weekend so we can continue to open things up around here.

Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and for choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MAY 17, 2020

Dear Families,

Today was originally Graduation Day. I know many of our families are disappointed in the delay of these ceremonies and the other events that have been lost that previous classes have enjoyed. Today is also the three-year anniversary of the loss of one of our teachers. Ross Baldwin, to suicide. It is easy to focus on the negative side of things. But we are people of Hope. People of Faith. And people of Love. The pandemic has made many things uncertain, let it not be said of us that it has made our faith, hope, and love uncertain and that we continue to be a sign of God’s presence in the world both in our words and in our deeds.

Please lift up in prayer our seniors, Mr. Baldwin’s family, and the repose of the soul Ross Baldwin.

Diocesan Baccalaureate Mass
Bishop Boyea will be presiding the livestream Baccalaureate Mass while the four high school chaplains concelebrate on Tuesday, May 19 at 7pm. Each high school is able to have four seniors and a parent for each attend and we have chosen to have our house captains represent Lansing Catholic. Everyone else is welcome to tune in through the diocesan facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/dioceseoflansing/) or the diocesan youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeAdmxlKm_6x8XkvjWCTOKA).  

Senior Awards
We will be livestreaming our Senior Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 27 at 7pm. We will send more details later in the week but wanted families to have the date and time to be able to watch the livestream. In the days after the Awards Ceremony we will have a drive-through pick up of awards, cap & gowns, and any other items left at the school. Stay tuned for more details.

Meals & P-EBT Cards
We are continuing to offer free meals to students. Meals can be picked up tomorrow but a reservation must be made by 10pm tonight by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/MnXBJ9Dfj98H81Qg9. We will send out another link later in the week for reservations for Thursday’s pick-up. Due to the Memorial Day holiday, next week’s pick ups will be Tuesday and Thursday.
 
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-BET) food assistance benefits will go to Michigan families with students ages 0-26 that are eligible for Free or Reduced Price School Meals.  This includes families currently receiving Food Assistance Program benefits, as well as those not currently enrolled in the program.  No application is necessary for eligible families to receive p-BET benefits.
 
If you have any questions, please contact 1-833-905-0028.

  • If the student was already receiving SNAP benefits, they will automatically receive the P-BET benefits on their card.
  • If the student is eligible based on a Free or Reduced-Prine Meal the pre-loaded P-BET card will come in the mail and will be in the oldest school aged child's name, not the parents name.  Keep the card for ongoing benefits you may receive.  MDDHS is processing cards in batches thru mid-May.
  • The combined benefit amount for May/June is $182.40 per child and will be available by the end of May.
  • To activate the card call the phone number on the back of the card.  You will need the EBT card number on the front of the card, your zip code, and the date of birth of the oldest child in your household.  You will need to set a four-digit pin number.

Farewell
This is the time of year when we announce changes in staff due to retirements or people moving on to other opportunities. Mr. Chiaravalli will be taking a new dean position at a school in Vermont starting in July. Mr. Chiaravalli has been a great instructional leader and cares a good deal to make sure that there is equity in the way that we work with all students. We wish Art and his family well on their move to a new position and a new home.
 
House Elections
In the next two weeks we will be holding house elections for house captains and grade level representatives for each house. Please encourage your son/daughter to check their email and respond if they are interested.
 
Confessions
Fr. Paul will again be hearing drive-up confessions at 2pm on Tuesday, May 19. People should enter the student lot and our staff will direct you.
 
Undergrad Last Days
While seniors are finishing their final projects this week our younger students will have their last day of instruction on May 22. Their final projects will follow the following schedule:

  • May 26-28: English & Math
  • May 29, June 1-2: Science, Theology & World Languages
  • June 3-5: Arts & Social Studies

We will also be livestreaming our Undergrad Mass & Awards on June 5 at 10am. Watch future emails for specifics as we draw closer.
 
Look for an update this week about the search for a new president and principal. We continue to make plans for reopening the school and other programs and will be sharing those soon as well.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers throughout this journey. I am grateful for your faith in our staff and for choosing to be a part of our Lansing Catholic family. God is good!

 


 

UPDATE:  May 11, 2020

Dear Families,

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms, grandmothers, godmothers, and those that were our moms when ours was far away. A mother is a very special gift. It is no coincidence that Mother’s Day usually falls within the season of Easter, a joyous time celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus. Thank you for being an embodiment of the faith, hope, and love that stem from this pivotal event and for making Christ very real in our lives!

Drive-Up Confessions
Once again Fr. Paul will be offering drive-up confessions outside at LCHS on Tuesday, May 12 from 2:00-4:00 pm. Please enter from Marshall St and drive up towards the drop-off area by the gym. Mr. Ben Pohl will be outside to direct traffic. Fr. Paul plans to offer confession every Tuesday during the month of May.

Legacy Graduates
Prior to graduation we offer a short Legacy Prayer Service to honor our legacy graduates (those whose parents graduated from Lansing Catholic or one of our heritage schools). If your senior is a legacy graduate, please contact Mrs. Draminski by Wednesday, May 20 at cecilia.draminski@lansingcatholic.org or by calling 267-2105. While we trust our records we have learned it is best to verify. We will provide more details about the Legacy Ceremony in the coming weeks.

School Lunch Accounts
Lunch accounts are being reviewed, and any senior who has a lunch balance above $10.00 will be receiving a refund, unless they have a sibling coming to Lansing Catholic and then that balance will be carried over to the sibling student.  Balances under $10.00 are transferred to an account for those in need. Lunch accounts for other students will simply be rolled to next school year.
 
Women in Engineering
The Women in Engineering recruitment is hosting virtual Engineering Career Day presentations. Zoom in to develop expertise in our engineering majors to help guide students interested in STEM. During the presentation, you will learn more about the MSU College of Engineering degree programs, potential careers for students, and how to encourage student interest in the engineering field. The Career Day presentations will take place on Thursday, May 21st and Thursday, May 28th from 4-5 PM EST. To RSVP, please fill out this form
 
Senior Projects
Seniors who have an A or B in average for second semester (including an A-, B+, and B-) can waive the final project with the exception of their senior capstone, Honors Theology project, portfolios for technical and visual arts, and tests given in lieu of a student taking the AP exam for a specific course. Seniors wishing to waive the project need to communicate that via email to their teacher and should verify that they indeed have at least a B- for the semester average. Parents: this is something your senior needs to take responsibility for as they will be going off on their own soon. I kindly ask that you not request that of the teacher.
 
Keep Praying
Please keep praying for the changes coming our way over the summer. We hope to have an announcement soon regarding new leadership and we are preparing various plans for the start of next school year. Our admin team measured rooms and furniture last week to see what social distancing would look like in each classroom and what is really feasible if we need to go that route. There are some serious challenges ahead but we need to continue to have faith, to do what we can by washing our hands and commonly touched surfaces regularly, and by practicing social distancing and wearing masks when out and about. As the weather gets nicer we will be tempted to push it; our kids need us to use good judgement and to encourage them to do the same.
 
Over a week ago we had the gospel of the Good Shepherd. Take some time in silence to hear the voice of God. Jesus still wants to shepherd us today but do we recognize His voice? The more time we take in silence with Him the better able we will know what He is communicating to us.
 
Things To Do:

I am grateful that you are part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MAY 1, 2020

Dear Families,

Happy May Day!
No, this isn’t a disaster call! The sunshine, the warmer temps, and a new month are all signs of hope. We also know our true hope is in Someone not some thing. God continues to walk with us even if it seems like He is distant. St. Teresa of Avila once admonished God (after slipping and falling into the mud), "If this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder why You have so few of them!" How can we go wrong if we’re in the company of so great a saint!

Workathon
Today would have been our annual workathon. We've heard some great things that families have planned: helping out elders in your neighborhood, serving firefighters and police officers, cleaning up roadways, and more. Send us some pictures so we can get the word out! We also have put up some pictures of workathons past on our school facebook page - check it out! Thank you for making service a way of life!

24 Hours With Mary
It started at 3pm today. Dioceses across the US are reconsecrating our nation to Mary.  Our own diocese is hosting several events within twenty-four hours. For details go to https://dioceseoflansing.org/news/invitation-bishop-boyeas-24-hours-mary.

AP Reminders
College Board is providing “explainer videos” to give students quick, easily accessible information about their test day experience, what they need to do to prepare, exam security, and more. Explore the playlist at https://bit.ly/2yX5xTl.

AP Exam Demo - AP students should use the clickable exam demo to practice the different ways to submit their exam responses. The demo will come out on MAY 4 and help students confirm that their testing device will be able to access and run the online exam. If they can’t access the demo, the final slide of the Testing Guide can help them troubleshoot. The sample content in the demo will be the same for all users and isn't a practice exam but will make sure that the actual test will work on that device. AP will send educators and students an email to remind them when the demo is available. Please encourage your students to take this important preparation step on May 4. Students should report any issues with the demo to my email along with a screenshot (taken by phone) so our team can work with AP and our web content filters to resolve the issue.

Senior Information
I intend to have more details regarding senior year-end items by Wednesday, May 6.

The last day of instruction for seniors is May 7 (next Thursday). Seniors who have an A or B average for the semester will be able to waive the final project/essays with the exception of: senior capstone paper, portfolios/projects for visual and technical arts, projects/tests for AP students who choose not to take their respective AP exams. Any outstanding work should be turned in by May 7 for a grade to be considered toward waiving the final project. Those not waiving the project have until May 15 to turn in late work. Items turned in by May 7 will be graded by teachers by May 11 so students can contact them whether or not they will be completing the final project/essays.

Senior projects will be from May 11-21 according to the following schedule:

  • May 11-13 English & Math
  • May 14-15, 18 Theology, Science, & World Languages
  • May 19-21 Arts & Social Studies

College Plans
Seniors, show us where you are going! Ms. Webster is preparing a digital map to show off where our students are heading off to college. Please have your senior notify her by contacting her at liz.webster@lansingcatholic.org. Please have your child update in Naviance what scholarships they have been offered, regardless of whether they accept it or not. We use this data to promote the great things that the Class of 2020 achieved. Finally, we want to encourage seniors to sport some attire of where they are going to college next year or other plans such as the military or work force on Thursday, May 7 which is when our seniors would have worn them had we been in session at school. We’d love to see their picture that day on facebook @lansingcatholichs), instagram (@lansingcatholic), or twitter (@lansingcatholic).

Thank you for being part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 29, 2020

Dear Families,

Today is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena. She was an amazing woman of faith. Check out these three quotes from her:

  • “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

  • “Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.”

  • “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”

Which of these brings you comfort? Which of these challenges you? 

What might God be trying to say to you and through you during these trying times? Listen to Him.

THANK YOU!
We are grateful to the families that sent us pictures of messages for our staff for next week's Teacher Appreciation Week. We know families have a lot going on so it means a lot that you were able to take the time for this.
 
Online Enrollment at LCHS
The deadline to complete LCHS’s online enrollment packet and pay the $125 enrollment fee online for the 2020-2021 school year has been extended to April 30. After April 30, the enrollment fee will increase to $225 per student. If you need another link sent to you for your family’s online enrollment packet, please email Renee Fischman at renee.fischman@lansingcatholic.org and she will have it resent to you.
 
If your financial situation has changed due to the pandemic and you filed through FACTS for financial assistance, you can update your filing by adding comments after you login. If you did not apply for financial assistance and your circumstances now dictate that you need it, I encourage you to speak with Renee Fischman (267-2107) so she can walk you through what is available. We want to support our families!
 
Reconsecration of Nation & Diocese to Mary
May starts on Friday and is dedicated to Mary. On Friday, the US bishops are leading a reconsecration of our nation to Mary and Bishop Boyea is leading a reconsecration of our diocese to Mary. Find out more about the national reconsecration at usccb.org/consecration and our diocesan prayer effort at https://dioceseoflansing.org/news/invitation-bishop-boyeas-24-hours-mary. Both begin at 3pm on Friday.
 
Ideas for Parents - Idea #646
Okay, I’m a geek. Last night I convinced my wife to do something different. With drinks in hand we pretended we were on a train trip from Switzerland to Italy complete with snacks. Believe it or not you can find various train trips on YouTube and we watched it on our TV. So for an hour it was just like we were on the train and enjoying the beautiful countryside in Europe. Your kids might not care for this but it was a nice “getaway” for the two of us. Check out this link for other ideas and then look on YouTube: https://bit.ly/2xlbEAn

Create something fun that you can do that pushes your imagination!

-----

Thank you for your continued prayers as we work to plan the remainder of this year and the start of next school year. We also will have two new administrators. Even though we are still in the hiring process, I encourage our families to start praying for them, now. These are challenging times to lead a school, even a great community like ours.

In the next week I will be asking for people to give us some feedback on tentative plans for the end of this year and the start of next year. Nothing will be ideal but we want to make sure we are considering as much as possible so everyone is served and our mission is not compromised.

Stay safe and thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 27, 2020

Dear Families,

“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” ~ Jesus in John 6:27

Disillusionment. Sometimes our idea of the world gets shattered. It can be devastating but sometimes it can be a good thing if it helps us focus on what is more important. There are times when we need to be shaken from our false realities. This seems like one of those times. Are we going to go back to the way things were, or, are we going to be better because of this time?

Senior Yard Signs
It seems that some staff elves snuck out and placed yard signs at the homes of our seniors this afternoon. They enjoyed surprising the Class of 2020. We did have a few incorrect addresses and would like to get the signs to the seniors so no one is left out. Parents, if you didn’t receive yours, please contact the school office (267-2100x0) and provide us with your current address.

Drive-Up Confessions
Fr. Paul will begin offering drive-up confessions outside at LCHS on Tuesday, May 5 from 2:00-4:00 pm. Please enter from Marshall St and drive up towards the drop-off area by the gym. Mr. Ben Pohl will be outside to direct traffic. Fr. Paul plans to offer confession every Tuesday during the month of May.

Summer Discipleship Groups
Our Campus Ministry team is developing an online summer program for students interested in growing in their relationship with God throughout the summer. These groups will have 5-7 members, meet weekly, and students will be able to request to be in a group with a friend. A sign-up form will be sent to students before school gets out.


Ideas to Encourage One Another
Rumor has it that one of our students had a birthday last Friday and her friends helped her celebrate with a drive-by celebration. Way to support a friend!

Some of our rodzinkas talked about sending cards to one another during this time. We’re including a link to our Family Directory (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jCRDHq_O5Y68QL0Y5NIQqqMDEGVsblKnivhk9mRmccA/edit?usp=sharing) for those who wish to do that. Lift one another up! Parents, you may need to teach your child how to address an envelope (a lost skill I’m afraid).

Meals Offered
We will be providing meals on Thursday and next Monday. The link to reserve meals is:  https://forms.gle/hiC21uGMoQVxKvF58. The form must be completed by Wednesday evening for Thursday’s pick-up. Please bookmark this link as it is the same each time.

Future Plans
We are continuing plans for graduation. These will depend on how much the numbers for the coronavirus and the flu decrease and what the gathering restrictions are at that time. We have talked about the gym as well as the football field. It will be like no other graduation in our school’s history but we will make it memorable.

We are also brainstorming various plans for what the start of next school will look like. Please pray for us. There are so many unknowns and we are trying to consider the best options to support our students and staff and keep them safe.

Coloring Pages
A family from Resurrection created coloring pages representing some of our partner schools. Show your support of our Catholic schools! All of us have been doing distance learning since March, and while it may look different from place to place, all of our staff care deeply for our students and families. (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pjRHwpnARWdhLseLvcbmuOd3SdhHyL0N/view?usp=sharing)

Due This Week

  • Registrations for the 2020-2021 school year - we want you as part of the LCHS family
  • Teacher Appreciation messages DUE APRIL 29 (see information below)

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8
I would like to have our families and students create some pictures that we can share with our staff that week.  I am asking students to make signs with individual words on them, take a picture of them, and email them to me. I will put together the different pictures and send the message to the teachers and put out on our social media. Here's a sample picture: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nRvS6Q8Gvz9ag85uJzF2FVQ30i49YpAN/view?usp=sharing
 
Here are the words I need for students to hold up one at a time in each picture according to their grade level...

  • The names of each of your teachers and our staff members (on separate sheets of paper)
  • Thank (9th graders)
  • You (10th graders)
  • Make (11th graders)
  • A (12th graders)
  • Difference (9th graders)
  • In (10th graders)
  • My (11th graders)
  • Life (12th graders)
  • The (9th graders)
  • Best (10th graders)
  • I (11th graders)
  • Miss (12th graders)
  • Are (9th graders)
  • Amazing (10th graders)
  • Hero (11th graders)
  • Wonderful (12th graders)

Stay safe and thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 23, 2020

Dear Families,

Okay, I just watched the Lions make their pick in the NFL draft so now I can get back to work.

I spent a lot of time on Zoom meetings today with people wrestling with uncertainty. I listened to administrators from around the state talking about graduation - when, how, and if. People talking about how high school sports might look in the Fall. And I read through an organization's framework for all the things a high school administration should consider about school reopening next Fall. So many questions, and no clear answers YET. It wasn’t discouraging because I know that what our partner schools, our diocesan schools, and in a similar but different way our area public schools are thinking about is the welfare of our young people and our families. We aren’t trying to outdo each other, we’re trying to lift one another up, and if we have any wisdom at all, we share it with one another.

These are challenging conversations but healthy conversations. Today is Day 20 of our distance learning. I sent out a Sesame Street video to our students and staff this morning about the number 20 just to celebrate that we have made it this far. This is hard.

Relationships are the key to making learning happen. It isn’t just about accomplishing tasks and moving on to the next thing. We have to strike that balance. In the weeks ahead, as we get bored, or tired, or resistant to doing distance learning we need to lean into learning, and lean on Jesus rather than complaining that the teachers are giving too much work or students aren’t doing anything or parents aren’t involved. The right way is usually the hard way. That’s good advice for all of us to remember.

I have this image of our cross country coach, Tim Simpson, running to different spots in the race to encourage our runners. Personally, I think running for fun or competition is just wrong. It's painful, it's hard work. And a lot of people puke at the end. And then there's coach pushing them to greater glory with his words instead of letting them give in. Let's find the right words to cheer our young people on during this challenging time. Let's move heaven and earth so they discover the beauty of learning and the beauty of the world and not simply have them check off tasks and move on or give up/in. We were all made for more.

End of Year Survey Results
We invited senior parents to complete a survey to give us some insight what parents were hoping for with the Class of 2020. 74% prefer that we have a live graduation, 18.5% prefer have a live event for graduates and livestream for others, and the remaining believe we should have graduation virtually.

June alternative dates for graduation were the most popular and most families were not interested in doing something to honor the Class of 2020 if we didn’t do it this summer. Senior Awards and Prom were also events that half of the respondents hoped we could still schedule.

Ultimately, we will honor the Class of 2020 and do so in a way that is safe for everyone. We want to celebrate the achievements of our seniors but we also want them around for the future. God has great plans for them!

Did you know that 21 of our seniors are going on to play sports at the collegiate level? That’s amazing and we wish them the best.

Service Day - Faith in Action
Friday, May 1 was supposed to be our annual Work-a-thon. It still can be with a little creativity! We encourage families to come up with ways to help others. Yard work, sending cards, picking up trash, supporting health care workers, you name it. Share with us some pictures of what your family ends up doing. If Friday doesn’t work, do it on Saturday. Just help others. Don’t let fear keep us from putting our faith into action.

Check out this feature on the diocesan web site about our school community helping with the Mobile Food Pantry this past Saturday: https://dioceseoflansing.org/news/watch-covid-19-christian-service-schools.

God is good!

Missed some details from earlier emails? We have been posting these on our school website. Go to lansingcatholic.org and click on the “Coronoavirus Updates” banner.

Stay safe and thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 20, 2020

Dear Families,

Yesterday at Mass we heard the narrative of Doubting Thomas, also called Didymus. Thomas wanted some certainty that Jesus really rose from the dead. Didymus. Then and only then would he believe. Didymus is Greek for “twin”. Guess who Thomas’ twin is? We think that the more certainty we have the better life will be. During the uncertainty of this pandemic, let’s put our trust in the One who loves us more than we can ever love. If He brought creation out of nothing, He can certainly bring good out of all that we are experiencing.

Drivers Ed
While the school does not offer Drivers Ed, our Health/Phys Ed teacher Keith Warriner, will be offering Segment One & Segment Two classes beginning April 27th.  If interested, contact Keith  via email at Keith.Warriner@lansingcatholic.org or call (517) 894-1059.

NCAA Update on Pass Option for Grades
Last week we laid out to parents and students the various options we would offer regarding final grades this semester. The NCAA Clearinghouse published adjustments this weekend.

For NCAA-approved core courses completed in Spring/Summer 2020 that have been issued a grade of “Pass,” the Eligibility Center will apply the credit earned in these courses toward the core course requirement in the student's certification. If the student's core-course GPA would increase by assigning a value of 2.300, this value will be assigned to the Passed courses. However, if the student's core-course GPA would decrease by including the 2.300 value for Passed courses, the student’s core-course GPA will be calculated based only on courses with assigned letter grades from other available terms (credit from these courses will still be applied toward the student's core course requirements). Note: This policy will apply to students from all grade levels (e.g., freshmen, sophomores) who successfully complete NCAA-approved Pass/Fail courses in Spring/Summer 2020.

Meals for Students
We will be offering meals on Thursday. Click here to access the form to reserve meals for students. The form will be open until Wednesday evening this week. We are happy to help out families in the area. We are all in this together.

Helping One Another
The last month has been a challenge for many of us. Students, parents, teachers, and staff have really come together to make the most of a difficult situation. The next few weeks will push the limits of everyone. To make it work we will need to keep assuming the best intentions of everyone. Take breaks when the stress gets to be too much. Ask for help and ask questions. Idea #37 for Things to do as a Family in a Pandemic: pick a game to play while teleconferencing with extended family or friends (Sorry, Scattergories, House Party App, use your imagination!).

We know some parents are working long hours while others may be returning to work soon. We encourage parents to take a few moments each day (if possible) to have students talk about their day. Not just about schoolwork but it would be good for students to show off what they’ve accomplished as well. If technology is not working, please contact the school right away so we can deal with it. We’ve been making some house calls to deal with issues so students can be successful.

We all need help! And divine help doesn’t need to be a last resort. Check out these five patron saints of healing and find a new best friend. https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/5-patron-saints-for-healing.aspx

Lessons From COVID - Don’t Go Back
At some point this pandemic will subside. What good things have you seen during this last month in your family or community? What lessons, when this is all over, do you hope we don’t lose? I encourage you to talk about this as a family. We don’t have to go back to business as usual. Let’s capitalize on this opportunity!

In the next few weeks we are going to create some moments for our students, staff, and families. If you have time I hope you will partner with us and get involved. Stay tuned!

Stay safe and thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 17, 2020

Dear Families,

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. A special gift of God’s forgiveness to the world originally designated by our patron, Pope St. John Paul the Great. Because of the pandemic some of the usual conditions do not apply. You can read about those here: http://www.divinemercysunday.com/pdf/Divine-Mercy-Sunday-amid-a-Global-Crisis.pdf. Whether or not you are seeking the indulgence, the gift is the mercy of God of which we all need. How can we be a sign of God’s mercy to others during this time? No matter how large your house is, it is probably seeming smaller due to the stay at home order. We all could use a little mercy right now.

Meals
We are continuing to serve meals on Mondays and Thursdays. I put out the link each week so people can reserve food. If your family is interested in picking up free meals on those days, please fill out the form at: https://forms.gle/8ajeFSX8KbQiWbE57 by Sunday, April 19 at 10pm.

Calls from School Staff
Some of our staff will be calling families over the next few weeks to see how people are coping while staying home and with distance learning, and to answer any questions the best that they can. They will be using a Google Voice number rather than their personal number to protect their privacy while they work from home. On your cellphones it will show up as a call from Chester Heights, PA with a 484 area code followed by an 841- phone number.

Weed Day (April 20)
In recent years, 4/20 has been a day when marijuana users congregate and use. While they may not be able to get together this year, there is a good chance they will still be using. Do you know the signs of marijuana use? We wanted to provide some information about marijuana so you understand and can recognize it if your child is using. Take a look at this PDF of What Does Marijuana Look Like in 2020, and a PDF of Signs of Marijuana Use.

Registration Including Waiver Meetings
Thank you to those families who have been signing and sending in the sheets that note what courses your child selected for next year. We still need them! For those who have requested a change in terms of a course your child was NOT recommended for you will need to contact the teacher who made the recommendation so we can set up a waiver zoom meeting. All requests for a meeting should be made by April 30.
The deadline to complete LCHS’s online enrollment packet and pay the $125 enrollment fee online for the 2020-2021 school year has been extended from April 15 to April 30. If you need another link sent to you for your family’s online enrollment packet, please email Renee Fischman at renee.fischman@lansingcatholic.org and she will have it resent to you.

AP & Senior Parent Survey
Earlier this week I sent two forms to be completed, one by senior parents, the other by AP students who no longer wish to take the AP test if they had previously paid to do so. The deadlines for both are Tuesday so I am resending the links below. If you inadvertently fill the form out multiple times we will delete the earlier responses. Students should complete the AP form even if they have told a teacher or counselor they wish to cancel as this will generate the master list from which we will process refunds.

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Our teachers have continued to do amazing things for and with our students. Mrs. Gavin has continued her, “Where in the World is Mrs. Gavin?” picture quiz just to have some fun. Fr. Paul and Mr. Ben Pohl are producing regular shows called the, “Cougar Daily”, and Mr. Warriner and Sr. Stephen Patrick both brought guests on to their Zoom meetings: alum Devin Fowler and Dr. Jim Richard, a pathologist at Sparrow.
Next week, we’re inviting students to mix it up a little with some pictures…

  • Monday - wear crazy socks
  • Tuesday - you with your favorite food
  • Wednesday - twin with someone on Zoom
  • Thursday - Show us something with the #20 -- this the 20th day of our distance learning!
  • Friday - Cougar Spirit Day (wear something Lansing Catholic)

Stay safe and thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 14, 2020

Dear Families,

I know we celebrate Easter every year but what would happen if we celebrated it every day? What if, the way we lived our lives, reflected the same trust in the Father that Jesus did on the Cross? Some saints seem so beyond our grasp but they aren’t. Read this letter on a woman’s trust in God: https://dioceseoflansing.org/news/worth-read-mothers-letter-covid-19-trust-god.

Senior Parent Survey
Yesterday we included a link for senior parents to complete a survey regarding senior end of year events. We’ve had over 75 families respond but we’d like to hear from every senior family. The link to the survey is: https://forms.gle/gs99tQFNPkkotecV8. The survey is open until next Tuesday but parents don’t need to wait until next week to complete it. It only takes a minute or two.

AP Reminder
The format for this year’s AP tests will be different due to COVID-19 and will be only 45 minutes in length. It will be free response and will be taken on-line at home. For the latest AP updates parents can go to: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/educators?SFMC_cid=EM298999-&rid=53721491. Students who originally signed up to take the AP exam but no longer wish to do so, should fill out the following form (https://forms.gle/CUsJdnXxB7VDq1PaA) so we can process a refund. Typically AP does not fully reimburse families but due to the pandemic they are willing to do so. Students should fill out the form by Tuesday, April 21 so we can process all refunds at one time. Thank you.

Mobile Food Pantry
We are still looking for a few more people to help with the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry this Saturday, April 18. We need 6-8 students from 8:00-11:00am, and 4 adults from 6:00-11:00am. If you can help, please email Ms. DeVries at stacia.devries@lansingcatholic.org and wear a mask and gloves.

Thank You!
We know these are challenging times. We are discussing ways we can celebrate more of the successes of our students, acknowledge our students who didn’t get a chance to finish their seasons or shows, and to keep fulfilling our mission of forming faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We’re also open to your ideas. While we can’t do everything, we don’t want to miss opportunities either. Feel free to share your thoughts by email to ideas@lansingcatholic.org.

We are also grateful to those families able to complete their tuition payments. Your timely payments allows us to pay our bills, fulfill our commitment to our staff, and not take away dollars from financial assistance for those in dire straits. If the pandemic has impacted your financial situation please contact Renee Fischman, tuition advisor, who can help you find some possibilities. Renee can be contacted at 267-2107 or renee.fischman@lansingcatholic.org.

Thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 13, 2020

Dear Families,

The Easter season continues! While it was different I hope you were able to spend it in realization of God’s power and blessing, and enjoy family if even from afar. Did you know that Easter Monday has a special name? Check out what is special about Easter Monday at https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/monday-of-the-angels-the-catholic-churchs-special-name-for-easter-monday.

Fr Mac Scholarship Dinner UNevent
Each year we hold the Fr. Mac Scholarship Dinner to raise needed funds for tuition assistance grants. We expect next year to be a critical need for these grant dollars due to COVID-19. With due respect for the current global health emergency and government mandates you are invited NOT to attend this year’s event. Invitations were recently mailed but don’t throw it away! We still need these dollars!

We appreciate your continued prayers, support, and financial assistance as we continue to serve our students and community during this adversity. Please consider a donation that will help make a difference in the life of a student or passing this invitation (https://lansingcatholic.org/event/canceled-36th-annual-fr-mac-scholarship-dinner) on to others who may financially be able to do so. These are challenging times but we are hopeful, with your help, we will get through them, stronger than ever.

Update on Grading/End of the Semester
I intend to share information late on Wednesday on what our plan will be for establishing final grades and the end of this semester. Please keep praying for us that we make wise choices. While many have appreciated school work to keep things as normal as possible, we also know that we need to be flexible during these times and people are dealing with this pandemic differently.

Mother of Ms. DeVries
Ms. DeVries’ mother, Stephanie DeVries,  passed away this morning. She had been resting peacefully this weekend. Please pray for Ms. DeVries, her family, and the repose of Stephanie’s soul. If you wish to reach out to Ms. DeVries, she has a page on facebook or you can send a card to the school at 501 Marshall, Lansing 48912.

Father of all, we pray to you for Stephanie, and for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May her soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Senior Family Survey
Not knowing when we will be able to resume for things like graduation, I am asking for senior parents only, to complete the following survey (https://forms.gle/QTVHHQJKdKqHRWyD9). This will help formulate plans going forward with our typical end of year senior events. The survey will be open through next Tuesday, April 21 so I can share that information at my weekly meeting with the other diocesan presidents and principals.

National Day of Service
Saturday, April 18 is the Nation Day of Service. This is a great way you and your family can put our Faith Into Action. Find a way to help someone in your neighborhood, cook or bake something to give to someone else, provide something for those on the front lines with the pandemic. Use your imagination and send us some pictures to this email address. We’d love to see what Cougar Nation is up to! Even though we are apart we can still be a powerful force for good in the world.

Thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! 

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 11, 2020

Dear Families,

I’m not a big fan of waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting for answers. Waiting for things to arrive that I’ve ordered. Waiting for others. Waiting for commercials to get over so I can get back to the show I’m watching. Then I realize there are others around the world that wait, really wait, for what they need and not simply for conveniences.

Holy Saturday is all about waiting. Holy Waiting. Is the promise of the Resurrection real, or are we stuck with the cross of this pandemic being our only reality? Jesus felt this same desperation hanging on the cross when he said, “My God, my God, why have You abandoned Me?” And yet if we lean into our “waiting” as Jesus did, it develops into a holy longing. A longing for that which is most important.

While we wait for the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to be lifted, it is great to see so many people reaching out to others in protective ways to show that they care. Tonight some of our parents did a drive by birthday parade for a friend who is struggling with cancer. Earlier today some of our students helped deliver Easter baskets for Advent House Ministries and the Church of the Resurrection’s chapter of St Vincent de Paul. Doing these simple things with great love (St Therese of Lisieux) makes the Risen Christ present in the world.

One of our recent alums, Thomas Crowley, shared his thoughts about how this time of waiting has helped him develop a deeper longing (video link).

While we await our own Easter, we love and we long. And we do not wait in vain.
 

Thank you for choosing to be a part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 9, 2020

Dear Families,

Last night our Jewish friends began Passover, when Jesus celebrated the Last Supper and instituted the Eucharist, which we Christians celebrate tonight. Tonight is the beginning of the Triduum, the three holiest days of the Church year. Here’s a video our students received on how our sisters celebrate the Triduum https://youtu.be/7HR2fPA2jzw

The Table I have been hearing people say how nice it is to see people waving to those walking in neighborhoods, acknowledging one another from a distance. We were made to live in community and in communion with one another. Dinner tables have given way to larger kitchens because that is where people naturally gather. In our churches, that table is the altar, the Holy Table. It is very easy to fall into a routine of receiving communion but it should give us pause to reflect on how well are we being the living Body of Christ in the world? Who is missing from the Table? Do we really see Jesus being Present in the Eucharist and as we take Him into our own bodies, what does it mean for us to become living tabernacles of the Blessed Sacrament.

Tables are also good for sharing stories. Reminiscing. I invite you to talk as a family about those God moments in your life when you felt His abiding Presence and Love. We do that when we listen to the readings at Mass but we have our own sacred stories as well. God is with us. Share those with one another.

Isn't it ironic that social distancing is teaching us how to care for others and reach out?

Students of the Month
Today we had our inaugural “Students of the Month” via Zoom. We have great students and I’m very grateful to our staff who nominated these students and the students themselves for not only what they do but who they are as persons. A special thank you to Mr. Chiaravalli for organizing it and pulling it all together.

No Distance Learning until Tuesday, April 14

Our staff will be celebrating the Easter weekend and will not be posting any work until Tuesday, April 14. Students could use Easter Monday as a great day to get caught up if behind. 

Staff Meeting
Today our staff gathered via Zoom where we prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and then one at a time shared how we were doing personally and what good we thought could come from this crisis. Many commented on how we seem to be better at caring for one another, better at relating or communicating, hungering for what we’re missing in the sacraments, spending time being with family and doing things together. What good do you notice? How are you and your family doing knowing that the governor has now extended the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order until April 30?

Meals
Our plan is to continue giving out meals through the last week of school. The link to the form continues to be the same. Mondays meals must be reserved by Sunday at 10:00pm. https://forms.gle/mtVaPy1Wqsz8Q1US6

Financial Aid
If you have already applied to FACTS for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year, please check your application status to ensure that you have uploaded all the needed documentation. Go to https://online.factsmgt.com/signin/3YZH2. We are asking FACTS about opening another window in early summer as we know a families’ status may change due to the impact of COVID-19.

Prayers Needed
A parent from Powers Catholic passed away from COVID-19 yesterday and another was diagnosed with it.

The mother of Ms. DeVries has been moved to palliative care and medical professionals are saying less than a week. She has been struggling with health issues

We all need prayers but I ask you to lift up these families in particular today.

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 8, 2020

Dear Families,

I’m tired of this. And this is not going away soon.

Some of us are extroverts and not having as many opportunities to interact with others is driving us crazy. Others are introverts, and not that we don’t love our families, but finding that time and space for ourselves is tough but necessary. We are dealing with a lot that we aren’t used to dealing with, and if we let it, it beats us down and makes our own brokenness feel that much larger.

At the beginning of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, sacred oils are brought forward. Oils for healing and consecration. These oils point to who God wants to be for us and who he calls us to be for one another. Jesus comes into the world as the Divine Physician. His mission was, and is, to restore our original goodness and heal us of our brokenness. We may not have the opportunity to receive the sacramental anointing of the sick right now, but in the midst of our fear, of our depression, our anxiety I invite us to hold on to that promise and that healing that Christ offers us in the sacred oil of healing. Let Jesus come to you in prayer and anoint you with healing in a spiritual way until you can receive that physical anointing.

The oil of catechumens is for baptism and those joining the church and the Chrism oil is for consecrating people (through baptism, confirmation, and holy orders) or altars and churches. These oils remind us that we are called to be priest, prophet, and king. To be like Jesus. We were made for something more. More than just what we want or what we think. What we are experiencing right now is not all there is. We were made for greatness and as tiring and as difficult as it may be, the world needs that greatness from us now. During this Holy Week, call on the Lord for strength, to embrace both our brokenness and our greatness and offer that to God and one another. Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit to guide us every step of the way. We are not alone.

AP Update
Miss Nelson, our AP Coordinator, has put together a great update letter for students, parents, and teachers. Families of students in AP classes can review the letter here.

Easter Cards for Sisters
In an effort to shower our Sisters with love, we are inviting all students, staff, faculty, and parents to send Easter cards/write letters to the Sisters who are currently on a mission in Lansing or have been in previous years. Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist receive all of their Lent mail on Easter as a gift of love. Let's show them how grateful we are for them and their yes to their vocation.

Sisters you may want to write to include: Sr. Stephen Patrick, Sr. Mary Andre, Sr. Mary Gabriel, Sr. Mary Grace, Sr. Veronica Marie, Sr. Peter Grace, Sr. Louis Marie, Sr. Mary Regina, Sr. Maria Suso, Sr. Mary Rita, Sr. Maria Miguel, Sr. Zelie Marie, Sr. Maria Francisco, Sr. Anne Raphael, and (our very own!) Sr. Sydney Gehle. Letters to the four Sisters on mission in Lansing can be mailed to Resurrection's Parish office: 1514 Michigan Avenue Lansing MI 48912. Letters to other Sisters should be mailed to the Motherhouse: 4597 Warren Rd Ann Arbor, MI 48105

End of Year Questions
Our intention is to have a plan established by Wednesday of next week of how we will end the school year regarding assessments. This is unlike anything we have had to deal with before so expect that it will be very different from years past. What won’t change is that our decisions will be based on what is in the best interest of students in terms of assessing what they know and can do and what will help them to move forward whether that be to the next grade level or the next stage of life.

Meals
We are still offering meals on Mondays and Thursdays. The link to order meals is https://forms.gle/nto9SqbGxKSQz8Rs7 and closes at 10:00pm on Wednesday, April 8. The link will reopen for next week’s meals at 2pm on Thursday, April 9. Meals can be picked up between 11:00am-12:30pm at the front doors of the school.

Finding or Creating Joy
Do something today to find or create joy. I am getting Zoomed to death these days. A simple thing I do is try to be creative with my background. It is stupid and simple but my Baby Yoda waving background stopped a meeting yesterday. Joy gives us hope. How can you create joy today?

Finally, please pray for our staff and offer them words of encouragement. This is not the type of teaching they are used to and they are adjusting on the fly all because they care about your sons and daughters. Know that we are praying for your families.

Thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! Dive deeper into prayer this Holy Week. Local parishes have some great resources online as well as the diocese: https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/general/holy-wednesday

 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 6, 2020

Dear Families,

Welcome to Holy Week! It seemed very odd not being physically gathered with others for Palm Sunday. There are some things I have thought were strange about Holy Week, one is, why have the Passion read on Palm Sunday and Good Friday - did we forget in five days? We know from the Bible that Jesus headed to Jerusalem knowing that he would be put to death. While people heralded him on Palm Sunday, Jesus knew in a few days those same people would no longer see him that way. They saw Jesus with their own eyes. Christ saw what he had to do through His Father’s eyes.

Do I trust what God has in store for me? Am I “all in”? Or is there something in my life that takes my eyes off of Jesus? While this may not be the theological reason for why the Church includes the Passion on Palm Sunday, this entire Holy Week is about trust. Jesus kept his focus on the Father’s plan. When things seemed really good and when things seemed dark. That doesn’t mean there aren’t moments when we wish things were different. Jesus even expressed that during the agony in the garden. Let’s lean on his Holy Spirit when we fail to have the energy to persevere. We are getting tired of staying home, of the fear and destruction of COVID-19, of our lives being upended. “Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).

Our diocese and many of our parishes are putting out amazing resources for families to grow in faith and trust during this Holy Week. I encourage to check out  https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/holy-week-resources or the website of your local parish or church.

Coping With Cancellations
Last Friday, the MHSAA announced that there would be no Spring sports nor tournaments to end the Winter sports season. Whether it be the cancelling of sports, the closing weekend of the musical, concerts, etc. these are losses in a young person’s life and in the lives of many parents. Several of you have shared the anguish your family is going through because you had so many hopes for this Spring. I want to encourage you as parents as you walk with your child if they are feeling this way and to support them rather than dismissing their feelings. I am grateful that many of our coaches have been communicating with students so that they feel connected, to help them find some strength amidst this adversity, and to keep up on their skills. Please also utilize our counselors if needed. We are very blessed!

Standardized Testing
The College Board released the dates and information regarding the types of questions that will be on the AP exams in May. Students received this information by email from me and should be discussing with their AP teacher this week whether or not they wish to take the exam or request a refund. Those requests will be run through the school office not the College Board.

At this point we are planning on offering the ACT in the Fall for the Class of 2021 instead of June. Juniors should set up an account with ACT to direct any scores to colleges of your choice. ACT may charge a fee beyond a certain threshold. Most students typically did that when we hosted the test in the Spring but since we did not have that test this year it would be good for students, particularly if you might be applying for early action/decision with colleges.

Tuition Clarification
Last week I wrote that the preferred method of dropping off tuition payments was by mail. That was in reference to those families who regularly drop off payments to the office. We want to keep everyone, family members and our staff, safe during this time. EFT payments are perfectly acceptable and encouraged.

Checking Skyward
Our teachers are working overtime to adjust their plans for distance learning and meet the needs of your child. All assignments, on the day they are due, are to be turned in by 10:00pm in the manner that the teacher specified on Google Classroom or according to one’s accommodations. I have asked our teachers to note in Skyward by noon the next day if an assignment was not turned in by giving it a zero and marking it as missing. My hope is this will help parents navigate a little better when a student is on top of things or needs more “encouragement”. A word of caution, there is a feature in Skyward that just says “missing assignments” and lists things from the entire semester, including the third quarter which has been completed. Weekly summaries generated in Google Classroom are not timely and may not reflect if a student turned something in outside of Google Classroom.

We’ve also encouraged students to ask questions if they aren’t clear about something. Parents, feel free to ask questions as well, whether that be of me or our teachers. This distance learning is new for all of us and I appreciate you partnering with us. This may only be funny for the teachers who read this, but Matt Golzynski passed this video on to me and I thought we could all use a laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAgCvHTfY8I

Take Good Care
As my wife and I have continued to take walks we have noticed a great increase in how many people are outside playing and walking. That’s a good thing. The weather is warming up and we also noticed people having gatherings without practicing social distancing. Please, take precautions seriously so we can slow the spread of the virus.  For young people who believe it won’t happen to them it is problematic. There will be times ahead for gathering.

Thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! Please let us know if your family or children are doing something to help others during this pandemic. We'd love to spread the word!
 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 3, 2020

Dear Families,

Bishop Boyea is urging all Catholics, “and, indeed, all people within the Diocese of Lansing to make this Friday (today) a powerful day of prayer and fasting. Jesus Christ himself gives us a divine mandate to fast and pray when threatened by the powers of darkness (Matthew 17:21).” Hearing that there are more than one million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide can leave us questioning, “where is God?” He is right here with us. Faith calls us to walk through the darkness with Him.

I am proud of our teachers who have been working harder, learning new skills, preparing lessons -- all while managing their own families, safety, stress, and health. I realize many of our parents have been doing the latter, but I’m really impressed that our teachers continue to have the best interests of their students in mind. I also want our teachers to feel free to invest in their family during this time.

Impact on Families
I also know many of our families are also juggling a lot during this time. Please consider taking advantage of the meals we are offering on Mondays and Thursdays. It can ease the strain on a  budget and also gets people out for a purpose. Meals can be picked up from 11:00am-12:30pm and families must make a reservation by 10pm on Sunday, April 5 by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/YeaQNKE228hmfiKo9. When you arrive at school, please be sure to stand six feet apart from others. Food can be picked up at the main doors of the school and will be sorted by bags/boxes by family name.

Tuition Questions
Our teachers and staff are keeping their commitments to our students, your sons and daughters, and they will work with students to help them move on to the next level. We are keeping our commitments to our teachers and staff by paying their salaries or hourly wages while delivering instruction in a different way. We are counting on our families to keep their commitments to us by paying tuition. It is prefeered that payments be mailed to the school (501 Marshall, Lansing 48912) or if that is problematic then dropped off during the times that meals are being picked up. We also know that the employment of some of our families have been or will be impacted by COVID-19. Please talk with us when that happens. We want to support our families the best we can. Renee Fischman is great at helping families see possibilities and she can be reached at 267-2107 or renee.fischman@lansingcatholic.org.

If you have already applied to FACTS for financial aid for the 2020-21 school year, please check your application status to ensure that you have uploaded all the needed documentation. The deadline for applying is April 15. Go to https://online.factsmgt.com/signin/3YZH2. We are asking FACTS about opening another window in early summer as we know a families’ status may change due to the impact of COVID-19.


These are trying times. Let’s keep our sense of humor, let’s look for and assume the good in others, and let’s be patient with ourselves and others. Relationships with others and God will help us get through this. It is important to nurture these relationships every step of the way. Mary, Queen of Hope, pray for us!

Thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! Please let me know if your family or children are doing something to help others during this pandemic. We'd love to spread the word!


 


 

UPDATE:  APRIL 2, 2020

Dear Families,

Measures continue to be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our governor has closed public schools for the remainder of the school year. While local districts will be trying to figure out how to best support all of their students, we will continue distance learning through the remainder of this school year, and keep adapting to support all of our students (see a memo from MANS, our accrediting organization here). Rather than be disheartened by these measures, let’s do what we can to keep one another safe, to lift each other up in prayer and spend some time with God putting first things first.

I know these days it is quite a juggling act to balance families staying at home and for those still able to work to be able to do so from home while also keeping an eye on all of the children and they are supposed to be doing. Or to continue to work on location and checking in when you have a spare moment to make sure children are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Thank you for whatever manner you have been able to support distance learning from home.

Supporting Distance Learning
I encourage parents to check Skyward 2-3 times a week to see if your child is missing anything. I have asked teachers to enter a grade of zero and mark it as missing the day it is due if a student has failed to turn something in so that you have the best information when talking about this with your child. Some students may stress about this and we will work with students who fall behind periodically but it is important that students and families create some routines since this will be continuing for the next seven weeks. Students should be working daily around 30 minutes for each regular class, and 45 minutes for an AP class. Just because they are on their device does not mean they are working and I encourage you to get on Securly to ensure your student is using their on-line time wisely. Mr. Chiaravalli will continue to send an email each week to alert parents of students who are struggling academically. His next one will go out tomorrow so students who are behind can use these last few days to catch up before we begin again on Monday.  For other tips on how to make the most of distance learning, please take a look at this special edition of Faith magazine on “School-at-Home”. 

Timeline for End of School Year and Assessments
All of our diocesan schools are committed to distance learning through the end of this school year (see DOL memo) Our last day of instruction (read: last day to turn in regular assignments) for seniors will be Thursday, May 7; May 22 for 9th-11th graders. We will be doing alternative assessments such as essays, performance-based, or problem-based projects rather than exams to check students understanding of the big picture in each of their classes. For underclassmen, that will be done May 26-June 5 with June 5 being considered the last day of school for 9th-11th graders. We are still finalizing the details for seniors. My intent is to have an announcement for you late next week regarding the timeline for senior assessments and how we will be issuing grades for fourth quarter and second semester for all students.

Small Change to Distance Learning
There will be one change as we go forward: teachers will not be required to have office hours on Fridays. Teachers may still assign work and will check email around noon and 4pm. They will continue to have their assigned office hours for 90 minutes each day, Monday-Thursday. Students are not required to attend office hours unless a teacher is using that time to deliver direct instruction and they will notify students of that through Google Classroom.

Meals for Families Resume
We will continue to offer meals two times a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 11:00am-12:30pm. Orders for meal pickup on Monday, April 6 for lunch on Monday through breakfast on Thursday can be reserved on-line by 10pm Sunday at: https://forms.gle/zCVosS7vzaUpndpk7. Please only order meals if you are intending to pick up the food so that nothing goes to waste.

Changes in Events
I thought about listing all of our events that are scheduled for the next two months and noting whether they were being held, cancelled, or altered but it was disheartening just typing it. Instead, here are the highlights as the circumstances stand right now:

  • Mobile Food Pantry (April 18) will take on a different form with a drive-thru pick up. We will only need 15 volunteers to put pre-boxed items in vehicles as they drive up. More details to follow. This is considered an essential service to the community.
  • Work-a-thon (May 1) is cancelled but we encourage people to use that day to be of service to others in a safe manner to continue putting our “Faith into Action”.
  • Fr Mac Scholarship Dinner (May 4) will not be held at Kellogg Center but will be an “unevent” fundraiser done from the confines of your own home (we still need the scholarship dollars). Snail mail and emails will be coming your way with details on this new approach.
  • Prom (May 8) may be rescheduled but it will not be at Eagle Eye Conference Center due to lack of availability. Rescheduling will be dependent on when large gatherings are cleared. Graduation and Baccalaureate will take priority over this for scheduling.
  • Senior Baccalaureate (May 13) and Graduation (May 17) will be scheduled when we are able to do this and we remain committed to having some form of these for our seniors and their parents.

Prayer & Fasting
Bishop Boyea has declared tomorrow as a day of prayer and fasting throughout the diocese. Please go to the diocesan website for details and to participate. When we can, be strong and courageous; and when we can’t, let Jesus be that for us. He is meant to be our source of strength. Not ourselves. Not our savings. Not our leaders. These others are not bad, they just fail to go the distance.

Thank you choosing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family! Please let us know if your family or children are doing something to help others during this pandemic. We'd love to spread the word!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 28, 2020

Dear Families,

I took the day off from my daily email yesterday to join in prayer with Pope Francis and others around the world for an end to the coronavirus. The Holy Father’s words and his blessing the world with the Blessed Sacrament were particularly powerful. Reflecting on Pope Francis’ words, Archbishop José Gomez, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared these words: “This pandemic is a time for conversion.  It is a time to turn to God and recognize that no matter how advanced our civilization and technology, we cannot save ourselves. We need God.”

Last night I also shared a Zoom session with my high school buddies and their wives. I know others have been doing the same. People are recognizing the need for connection and finding ways to do that while also being safe. Knowing that we will not have any distance learning sessions this week, I will be holding some Zoom sessions to connect with students and try some different games just for fun. I’ll be sending students more details today or tomorrow.

ACT Test
ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date.

Our school ACT test, originally scheduled for March 24, is on hold for right now.

Class of 2020 End of Year Events
We still are planning on having events to honor the Class of 2020. What those look like and when they might be will depend on how things proceed related to the pandemic. To help recognize our seniors and soon to be graduates, we will be sending out an invitation to families, alumni, and friends to write some heartfelt messages to the seniors. Look for a future message about how you can participate! We will be posting these messages to a dedicated page on our website for all to see.

The Remainder of the School Year
Governor Whitmer is expected to share some thoughts in the next few days of how the State will handle the remainder of the school year for public schools. I will be meeting with the other Catholic high school principals and diocesan staff on Wednesday to further detail our plans of how we will continue to deliver distance learning. I am concerned about keeping it sustainable with our teachers, many of whom have young families of school-aged children at home, and must not only deliver for your children but their own. We will continue to deliver distance learning while caring for our students.

Online Enrollment at LCHS
The deadline to complete LCHS’s online enrollment packet and pay the $125 enrollment fee online for the 2020-2021 school year has been extended from April 15 to April 30. After April 30, the enrollment fee will increase to $225 per student. If you need another link sent to you for your family’s online enrollment packet, please email Renee Fischman at renee.fischman@lansingcatholic.org and she will have it resent to you.

Families were sent via mail a listing of courses selected for next year. If you did not yet send that in, please feel free to take a picture of that page with a parent signature verifying either that it is correct or noting changes requested and send it to my email (doug.moore@lansingcatholic.org). We have also extended the deadline for family requests for waiver meetings to move a student into a class for which they did not receive a recommendation.

Supporting Our Supporters
One of our moms recently emailed me inviting me to repost our sponsors from our great Corks + Cuisine event so that families could return the favor during our “Stay Home, Stay Safe” time. I realize everyone’s circumstances are different, but if you are able, and if they are open for service, please consider supporting the following:

  • The Smoke ‘N Pig BBQ
  • Envie
  • Bridge Street Social
  • Lansing Brewing Company
  • Art’s Pub
  • Grand Traverse Pie Company
  • The Soup Spoon Cafe
  • Sweetie-licious
  • El Azteco
  • Bell’s Greek Pizza
  • Cugino’s
  • DeLuca’s
  • Sidebar
  • The Urban Cup
  • Frank’s Press Box
  • Gigi’s Cupcakes
  • Jerusalem Pita & More
  • Gump’s BBQ
  • Hobie’s Catering
  • Fat Boy’s Pizza
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Le Bon Macaron
  • Aladdin’s
  • City Limits Sports Grill

If your family has a business that is still open during this time of crisis, we’d like to get the word out to support you. Please let us know and over the next few weeks we will be posting family businesses on our Facebook Page. Let’s support one another during this difficult time!

I’m taking a few days off the grid to focus on my family but will be back with an email update on Wednesday, April 1 (no joke!). I pray that your family continues to be safe, well, and in God’s hands.


Thank you for being part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 26, 2020

Dear Families,

As I write this an alert showed up on my phone that the United States now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. The world is changing. That is a sobering fact that can cause fear, anxiety, and anger. How do we counter that when some of us are faced with a reduction of hours or working at home, have loved ones who are ill, or have kids who are wondering what is going to happen to them? St. Teresa of Calcutta has this to say, “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”

We create what we focus on.

This was the lesson some of our coaches shared with our students last week. A powerful lesson that we all need to remember. And practice. Come, Holy Spirit!

A Little Break From School
Many of our students have been great the last ten days, focusing on their studies but also staying connected with teachers and classmates. Our teachers need a little break to prepare for the days ahead. When we return on April 6 we may make some changes to how we handle some of our distance learning as we expect that this may continue beyond April 13.

Going the Distance
The principals of the four diocesan high schools met today with staff of the Office of Catholic Schools to discuss plans for the next few months. We will meet again next week hoping to have a clearer sense of how we will finish the remainder of the year. Some of that will depend on how things proceed with the coronavirus and what our government leaders think is the best way to keep people safe. The staff and administration at each of our diocesan/parish schools is committed to that as well as helping students grow and be ready for the next level but what that looks like will be different than what it has in years past. We also know that the start of next year will be different to ensure that all of our students can be successful.

End of Year Events
We are looking at each of these and brainstorming alternative ways to celebrate them as the circumstances dictate. The Fr. Mac Scholarship Dinner will be more of an “unevent” since we cannot gather in one place. This is our premier event to raise needed scholarship funds. Look for details in the weeks ahead. For those who can support us financially, we appreciate it. For those who can support us prayerfully, we need it.

We know people are wondering about other events and as details become known we will share them with you.

Thank you for taking the time to read these emails. I don’t have students in classes so this is my way to stay connected with people.


Thank you for being part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 25, 2020

Dear Families,

Today as a Church we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation. What I like most is that it is about our God who keeps His promises. Especially with what we are facing right now, the first reading is very relevant: “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!” (Isaiah 8:10) God is with us. We are not alone in this. That is our hope and our claim as Christians. Let us be grateful for that and thank God for His abiding Presence.

Lansing Promise Scholarship
Originally the due date to apply for the Promise Scholarship was April 1. I am happy to report that that has been changed to May 17. For more details about this scholarship, please go to: https://lansingpromise.org/. To be eligible a senior must live within the Lansing School District, attend for four consecutive years at a Lansing high school, commit to MSU, LCC, or Olivet College, and apply to be a Lansing Promise Scholar. Take advantage of this opportunity! Every year money that is available goes unclaimed.

Securly
Our new web content filter has been running for a few days now. We’re discovering that it does limit students to using their chromebook for only their lansingcatholic.org account and restricts apps that they previously signed for with another email account. Students are also finding some sites blocked. If those sites are legitimately for a class, they should contact their teacher who will contact the administrator to have the site unblocked. Parents can set additional restrictions for at home use such as limiting social media, streaming, and games. Please consult the email from Securly for those details. We are discovering some sites that do not need to be blocked and are whitelisting those as we come across them.

15 Things To Do With Your Family While You Are Quarantined
Okay, so I am borrowing this from an article (https://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/things-to-do-with-your-family-while-you-are-quarantined.html) but I would love to hear what other things you come up with. See which of these you can do next week when we’re not doing school. And send us some pictures!

  • Play board games, trivia games, or break out a puzzle
  • Journal the experience for historical record
  • Host a favorite movie night/marathon
  • Teach/Learn a new skill either from each other or on-line
  • Look at old photos/videos and share memories
  • Listen to music and sing along
  • Bake cookies or a favorite meal
  • Make cards to mail to loved ones (& teach them how to address them!)
  • Go outside and do something together
  • Build a pillow fort or set up a beach in your living room
  • Have a picnic
  • Check-in with others
  • Get creative with crafts
  • Family prayer time
  • Family Bible study or devotionals (here's two examples from ours own Sisters - Divine Mercy chaplet: https://youtu.be/fl6uYeYzm3c & St. Joseph Novena: https://youtu.be/ZvEiX7yMK1w)
  • BONUS: do a home breakout activity (opposite of an escape room) https://breakoutedu.com/funathome

A Prayer for Families Quarantined
Lord, We know this is a critical and tense time in our world. It is easy to feel a lack of control in the midst of such confusion, but we want to respond to this well. We pray for Your peace, and we pray that instead of spending these quarantined days in fear that we would spend them making intentional memories. We pray this would become a time of rest and reflection. That during these days ahead, we would come to know You better in relationship and our families better as well. We pray these days may even be marked with sweet and tender memories we will cherish. We pray for stars amidst the dark sky during this time. In Jesus name, Amen.


Thank you for continuing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 24, 2020

Dear Families,

The first day of living out the "stay at home" order was a mental adjustment for many. And the novelty of distance learning is wearing off. Please be assured as we go about learning, connecting with one another will help us all get through this new reality and continues to be a priority for us at Lansing Catholic. We know that some students are already dreading next week, fearing a lack of connection with others since we will not have classes. I bring that up so you can be creative as families. Your family is worth it! 
 
AP Classes
Yesterday I mentioned that we would be sending an update from the College Board regarding AP testing. Parents who have children in an AP class should read the following letter: https://bit.ly/2woT61H that has important changes and details when we will have additional information.

Challenges Ahead
There are a number of things we are wrestling with and we are meeting with others in the diocese as well as contacts around the country to help us problem-solve. Some of the families of our international students want their children home safe and sound now but that means they leave before earning a diploma and are concerned about being able to return for higher education or to come back to LCHS next year. We are still wrestling with how to do final exams but are considering other options given all the circumstances with which we are dealing. And we are trying to predict all of the ramifications of all of these and other decisions. Please pray for us we navigate these next few weeks, we have some big decisions ahead of us. We need some divine inspiration!
 
Thank you for continuing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 23, 2020

Dear Families,

I’m appreciative of the support of our efforts during this difficult time and the positive comments about the herculean efforts of our staff. We’ve mentioned the meals our food service staff is preparing, the hours our facilities crew is putting in to disinfect the building, and today was no different. I had a Zoom meeting this morning with our CareTeam to identify students who may be struggling with distance learning or just struggle with learning and now this adds a new wrinkle to it.  This afternoon I met with our AP teachers to plan how we will carry out the rest of the year based on APs announcement last Friday. And our IT Coordinator, Mr. Eddy, has been preparing PCs for students in our digital/technical arts classes to use at home so they have the best tools for our CGDI and drafting independent study classes.

Distance Learning Extended
The governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order is on people’s minds and how that impacts all of us. Our Spring break with no schooling will still take place March 28-April 5. Use that time to do something creative as a family (My wife and I will be putting a 1,000 piece puzzle of candy canes together.) Distance learning will resume the week of April 6-9 but in observance of Good Friday through Easter Sunday, there will be no work assigned over that long weekend. Please take the governor’s executive order seriously.

Meals Continue to be Offered
We will be continuing to offer meals on Mondays and Thursdays. This Thursday will include meals for all of Spring break and then we will pick up again on April 6 which is allowed under the governor’s order. Please use this form to order meals: https://forms.gle/XTpSz3ELAASpE2NS7.  Only fill out the form if you are requesting meals and intend to pick them up. We’ve had a number of people order meals but not show and don’t want to waste food.

Facility Totally Closed March 27-April 5
We had planned and will continue to shutter our entire facility from March 27-April 5. We are doing this to allow any germs to go through their life cycle and dissipate. Our staff will then come through and disinfect one last time before anyone else enters on April 6. Please help us do this by not using any of the athletic facilities or trying to get into the building during this time. Thank you.

Securly Webcontent Filtering
Last week I mentioned that we would be adding Securly as a filter to our school chromebooks. We want our students to learn good digital citizenship but know they won’t always make the most virtuous choices; we want this to be a supportive and formative environment. Parents should have received an email from Securly over the weekend and it has started to roll out today. You are able to change some settings regarding social media, streaming, and gaming. I have a virtual meeting with a Securly staff person to make sure we have everything set as needed for parents and school personnel and then I will be sharing more with staff and parents in the days/weeks to come. In the meantime, please look at the materials and links that were sent to your email. Not sure you received an email? Please look in Skyward to see what parent email we have listed for accuracy.

GROW Through Adversity
We know our students are struggling with this pandemic and are unsure what the future holds. We are blessed to have coaches who care about our students, too. Jill Kochanek and Mary Fineis have put together a program that offers concepts and tools to help students focus on what’s most important to right now & grow through adversity. This is OPTIONAL and not limited to athletes. The first session will be on Zoom tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm (https://msu.zoom.us/j/319553213). Future sessions will not be on weekdays as we know students have family and homework responsibilities but we wanted to get this kicked off and believe students need another positive right now.
 
Struggling Students
As I mentioned above, our Care Team met this morning to identify students who may be struggling with distance learning. To protect their private phone numbers, team members may be calling you via Google Voice to reach out to parents. Distance learning is a challenge we have taken on but we also recognize it isn’t ideal for everyone. We still prefer face-to-face instruction. Please respond back to our teachers or staff if they contact you with concerns and let’s find a way that students, staff, and family members can make this work.
 
AP Classes
This week Melissa Nelson, one of our counselors and our AP coordinator, will be sending an email from the two of us regarding some changes to AP testing. Initially I can tell you that AP is still working through some things and have told us they will have more specific information for each course after April 3. Ms. Nelson will be sharing overall changes due to the pandemic and then AP teachers will follow up with specifics to their class as those details are released.
 
Yesterday, it felt odd not going to Mass even though I was able to watch it being streamed from our parish. Keep caring for others and have real conversations about fears and hopes with your family. Let them see how you are trusting in Jesus during this troubling time even in the midst of our concerns. We know that the Cross is not the end of the story, but we have to go through the Cross to get to the Resurrection. Persevere.
 
Thank you for continuing to be part of the Lansing Catholic family!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 20, 2020

Dear Families,

It isn’t even 3pm and it has already been a busy day. We served food to over 150 students today. Bridget Norris, our Food Service Director, has done an amazing job along with Gloria Sevenski from her staff and those that have volunteered to help out. This is a good thing.

MDE Announcement
Big announcement today from Michigan Department fo Education and the state superintendent about not counting on-line learning for credit during the mandated closure of schools. As a Catholic school which is a non-public educational entity, this does not apply to our school.

Deadline Time to Turn In Assignments
Starting Monday, March 23, all on-line assignments are to be turned in by 10:00pm. We do not want students staying up all hours working on assignments and we realize parents as well as students need their sleep. Being on a device just before sleeping isn’t good for sound sleep either (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-electronics-may-stimulate-you-bed).

Web Content Filtering
Within the next few days we will be adding a web content filter to school devices so that parents can monitor what their child is doing while on the chromebook. More information will be coming out about this on Monday but parents may see some information from Securly coming to their email. If you are interested before then, feel free to go on-line to https://www.securly.com/. We believe that this will be a great tool to keep students safe and parents in the know.

Standardized Testing
We received an email from both AP and ACT regarding upcoming testing. ACT has a tentative make-up date in late April for schools like ours that is closed due to the coronavirus. AP announced today that their tests will be on-line and shortened to 45 minutes. Our AP teachers will meet early next week to develop a common plan for the weeks ahead so our students are prepared for the new format. Depending on what happens as a nation, even these plans may change but we will adapt the best that we are able. We want our students to not only perform well on a test for their college admissions, but we want them to learn well so once they are at college they have a solid foundation to build upon.

Reach Out to Your Neighbors
Keep practicing good social distancing skills but reach out to those in your neighborhood. Check on the seniors near you. Rake someone's leaves. Do something that will build one another up while "flattening the curve". Every time I say that I feel like I'm pointing out my belly and the exercise I need to do!

Pray
Today I started a novena about the coronavirus. I invite you to join me by going to https://www.praymorenovenas.com/search?term=coronavirus. Or you can join the pope daily at 4pm and pray the rosary. It doesn't matter what devotion you use, just pray and strengthen those faith muscles!

Thank you for being a part of our Lansing Catholic family! God is good!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 19, 2020

Dear Families,

We made it through Day 2 of distance learning and we’ve learned a few things to make it a little better (maybe) or at least we think it will be better.

  • Some students are enjoying getting on Zoom to see their teachers and to connect with other students. Please coach your son/daughter for us: everyone has been fully dressed but it is very awkward having a teleconference with people lying in their beds (I started laughing when I heard that one today). Please help them understand that it is more professional to be at a desk. We understand that it may be quieter in their bedrooms but a public place for a videoconference is better than one’s bedroom.
  • Students do NOT need to be on the Zoom appointment with teachers for the entire 90 minutes. We don’t want students on screens all day! I saw some playing tennis today; exercise is perfect during this time.
  • We will make some subtle changes for next week such as a common time for items to be due at night. We heard back from students that teachers had different times of day when things were due, so we’ll start that on Monday. Look for my email tomorrow for the details.
  • Students should be going on-line and doing work EACH SCHOOL DAY. There are a high number of seniors who have not been on-line and since many of them may be taking on-line classes in college, now is the perfect time to build good digital habits by staying on top of things as they are assigned.

Two things came my way today that I want to offer our families:

  • I watched a webinar by author and motivational speaker, Jon Gordon. Here is a link to an article about the battle between good and evil in real life: https://bit.ly/33vZxMo. We have a Destiny that comes from God. Don’t let this current crisis deter us from it.
  • A Parents Guide to Healthy Conversations During the Coronavirus Outbreak - How can parents take advantage of this time with their kids? Is there an opportunity to engage kids in the home in meaningful ways? Home Chats was created by author Tim Elmore (CEO of Growing Leaders) to help open up those opportunities for purposeful discussions. You can get more information here: https://bit.ly/2UlndPn.

Finally, today is the feast day of St. Joseph, one of the patrons of our houses. I invite you to seek his intercession, and that of Mary our Mother, to help us all grow from this time, that the sick be healed, and that we persevere in faith. St. Joseph is a great model in that regard and that we be focused on our families at this time.

Thank you for being a part of our Lansing Catholic family! God is good!

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 18, 2020

Thank you to everyone who helped to make our first day of distance learning a success. I heard from several of our teachers how great the students were today. We have a small number of students who left their books in their lockers. They can still pick them up on Friday between 11:00am-12:30pm when we will be offering meals to families. Students who are having device issues should contact Mr. Eddy (tom.eddy@lansingcatholic.org) or myself (doug.moore@lansingcatholic.org).

If having wireless access is or becomes an issue, Comcast/Xfinity and Charter/Spectrum, have announced they will provide two months of free service for broadband internet access to households with K-12 students and/or low-income households. For information about Comcast go to https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19, For Charter/Spectrum information call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. This is not an endorsement of their programs, I just want families to be aware of possibilities. We want to make sure our families have what they need so our students can be successful during this unprecedented time.

Staying Connected & Keeping Each Other Informed
As we move forward please feel free to ask questions. This is a new venture for us. We care about your sons and daughters. It is obvious that they miss being connected to one another and our staff, and they want to learn. As things progress, we will continue to keep you posted. We know that this is particularly difficult for our seniors who are wondering how their senior year will end.

Around the area people are beginning to sequester themselves from others either because they have been in contact with someone who possibly was in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or they want to protect themselves and those they love. If someone from our school community becomes infected with COVID-19, please let us know immediately so we can lift them up in prayer. Since we have only been out of school a few days, if any of our staff, students, or family members become infected before the end of the month it is important that we all know so families can take appropriate actions and possibly get tested.

Humor, Hygiene & Hope
These three things can keep us going during troubling times. While not minimizing the circumstances, find some joy in your day. Keep up the social distancing and hygiene practices recommended by the CDC. Through it all, be people of hope founded on a faith in Jesus Christ. Be laser focused on what matters most -- the two greatest commandments -- how well we love God, others, and ourselves.

Your sons and daughters were great today. Thank you for choosing Lansing Catholic!

 


 

FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES - A MESSAGE FROM CHAPLAIN, FR. PAUL

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Romans 12:12

This is the spiritual theme that we discerned for our 2019-20 school year. Little did we realize just how appropriate this theme would be, not only for us but for the world. In uncertain times, it is helpful to recall what actually is certain, namely the promises of God.

That is really what St. Paul means when he delivers this message to the Romans, and it is precisely why he groups these three together. We are joyful in hope, knowing that God always comes through on what He says, that he never goes back on His word. We are patient in affliction, knowing that all suffering lasts but a time, and that the fulfillment of all things await us. We are faithful in prayer, because to keep the dialogue with the Lord open at all times is the only way to really accomplish the first two things. It is our relationship with God that sustains our hope to bring us into that deeper joy, and it is that same relationship that produces perseverance within us during times of trial.

Our school is closed for the foreseeable future. Our interviews for a president have been postponed. Entire sports seasons have been shut down. Even the mainstay of normal public Mass and many other church services that we would normally rely upon for comfort and consolation have been stripped from us. These are uncertain times.

My brothers and sisters, we find ourselves in a time of decision, and the road ahead is not easily traversed, nor even visible for more than a small stretch. We have no way of knowing what truly lies before us. And at this point, we can decide to give into fear and let the darkest parts of our world dominate our thoughts and actions, or we can take up the call that St. Paul has laid down for us. We can allow panic to overpower us, or we can overpower it by remaining joyful in hope. We can allow crisis to overcome us, or we can overcome it by remaining patient in affliction. We can give in to doubt and uncertainty, or we can rise above it by remaining faithful in prayer.

Let us use this time, not for pity parties or doomsday prophecies, but as a time to demonstrate the power of what it means to be part of the Lansing Catholic High School community. Let us continue to care for one another and provide for one another. Let us be known for our love in the face of tragedy. Let us be victorious in the certainty of Christ, even among such uncertain times. We are Lansing Catholic Cougars, which means that we are dedicating to forming students spiritually, intellectually and socially into faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. This has not changed. This will not change. Our current situation has forced us to accomplish this in a different way than expected, but we remain Cougars, which means that we remain joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

In these uncertain times, may the God of certainty be your protection, your peace, and your guide. And may Almighty God bless you now and always.

Your chaplain,
Fr. Paul Erickson


UPDATE:  MARCH 17, 2020

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Dear Parents,

Yesterday our teachers met to prepare for our distance learning the next two weeks and beyond that if needed. We know this is unprecedented and not the same as last year when we did e-learning for a day or two at a time. We understand that so many things are in question with school, with the economy, and with our families. The first priority for all of us needs to be our care and concern for one another while letting our faith guide our decisions and our perspectives. Use this time to talk about “matters of the heart” and hear what your child’s concerns are. Lead from wisdom, not fear. Help your son/daughter work through this new normal by setting up some routines at home such as figuring out how to make someone’s day better each day, praying for someone, being grateful, washing hands regularly, and wiping down cell phones every so often.

Focusing on school can also be a way to stay connected to others while moving forward with their learning. The next two weeks will be more of a ramping up period in case this extends longer into the future. I have asked teachers to make sure assignments are focused on mastering course/unit outcomes and that what is assigned only take 30 minutes for typical classes, 45 minutes for honors and AP classes maximum. As some parents are starting to do work from home, we realize that the internet becomes another premium that families will need to negotiate. Have those discussions and establish times when people can take advantage of that dedicated time. I know when the power went out at our house a few years ago for nine days, I was spending time parked at Wendy’s to use their wifi.

Parents, for distance learning to work, students should be using their school-assigned chromebook. Some of the assessments teachers are giving in Google Classroom will be in "locked mode" only if using a chromebook. If your child’s chromebook is not working, please have them contact Mr. Eddy (tom.eddy@lansingcatholic.org) or Mr. Moore (doug.moore@lansingcatholic.org) so they can get one that does work. There are a few devices that students have in the office to pick up. Contact us to arrange a pick up. We are also asking parents to proctor tests/quizzes to ensure academic integrity. In many cases that will usually mean making sure students are not using an additional device such as a phone or tablet to look up answers while completing an assignment or even another tab on their browser.

Because we are moving into virtual lessons, the principals of the Catholic schools in the Lansing area have decided to officially end third quarter as of last Friday so that all virtual work will be on one quarter. Students who have missing work from third quarter need to complete those assignments by Friday AND have a conversation with their teachers. I know some teachers have talked to me about creative ways to deal with the situation. This is not the time to try to do something extra to get one’s grade up to the next level, use fourth quarter to do that. As a reminder, quarter grades are not on the transcript.

All teachers are creating a Google Classroom for each of their classes and will be posting daily assignments (or a link to another digital site/planner/calendar) by 9am and a daily form to be completed for each class. I encourage parents to request one teacher to add you to Classroom. If one teacher adds you in their Classroom, all the teachers that have your child will be updated. It doesn’t allow you to access Classroom but you can receive weekly summaries and it allows the teacher to easily communicate with you via email about class progress, successes, and concerns through Classroom. Teachers will also be holding office hours each weekday starting March 18 at the established times:

  • Social Studies 9:00-10:30am
  • Math 10:00-11:30am
  • Science 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Theology 12:00-1:30pm
  • English 1:00-2:30pm
  • World Languages & Arts 2:00-3:30pm

Teachers will be using a videoconferencing program called Zoom as well as email during their office hours to connect with students to answer questions, to hold class discussions, etc. Last night I sent a video tutorial to students on how to use Zoom and encourage you to look at it.

Please be patient with this process. There will be some bumps along the way and I am confident that we can work through them if we all work together. Students need to stay up on their work and ask questions, teachers need to be flexible because this isn’t the same as the classroom, and parents we are counting on you to hold your son/daughter accountable while they are working or taking tests. Students should be in contact with teachers daily. While there will be grace allowed for intermittent accessibility issues and illness, parents need to contact school right about illnesses and no internet service by sending an email to attendance@lansingcatholic.org or doug.moore@lansingcatholic.org. Students with accommodations will also continue to receive their accommodations.

There are many things about the future that we do not know for events in the coming months.  I know many are wondering about ACT testing, workathon, prom, graduation, exams, and more. As soon as we have information I will pass that along. In the meantime, be people of hope. Focus on what we CAN do right now. Students who have completed any service should make sure it is logged into X2VOL. Students who understand things in a class should reach out to others that struggle and not do the work for them but help them make sense of things.

Finally, thank you to the parents and students who have been helping as we give food to families. We have been serving about thirty families and will continue to do that this week and next. This is a unique time and I’m grateful for how our community is stepping up as always.

Thank you for choosing Lansing Catholic!


UPDATE:  MARCH 15, 2020

Dear Families,

We will be providing free breakfasts and lunches to any school-age children. This is NOT limited to our school students or even students who receive free and reduced lunches but is open to all students. During this state of emergency, families with school-aged children will be able to pick up some meals. Meals cannot be eaten on site. Parents or our students can pick up meals for all children in their household.

Filling out this form (https://forms.gle/Uphz68bWh81fBcWZ7) lets us know how many to expect, there is no obligation. Meals will be available from 11:00am-12:30pm on the following days:

  • March 16 (two meals)

  • March 17 (6 meals)

  • March 20 (8 meals)

  • March 23 (6 meals)

  • March 26 (22 meals to cover Mar 26-Apr 5)

Students or parents should park in the student lot and enter the main doors of the school. Meals will be distributed in the front lobby. Filling this form (https://forms.gle/Uphz68bWh81fBcWZ7) out by 9am on Monday, March 16 will help our Food Service Staff prepare. We want to support our community families during this time.

Please let others know about this opportunity.


UPDATE:  MARCH 13, 2020

Dear Families,

In line with the governor’s precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Lansing Catholic will be closed from March 16 through April 5. This means no practices, athletic contests, workouts, shoot arounds, etc. The building will be open on Saturday, March 14 from 10:00am-2:00pm and on Monday from 9:30-11:30am for students to remove all of their belongings from lockers and locker rooms -- everything is to be removed. Not only does this allow students to have what they need at home it also allows us to do a deep clean while we are closed through April 5.

We want to support our students and staff first and foremost during this unique time. While we will be doing distance learning, caring for one another is our first priority. Everything about this will need to have some level of flexibility and patience.

Our staff will report on Monday, March 16 to train our staff for distance learning. Tuesday, March 17 will be dedicated to teachers preparing their materials and then we will begin distance learning on March 18. Below are our expectations for distance learning:

  • Teachers will post student work via Google Classroom by 9am. Students are required to check their school email and their Google Classroom pages for each class to view assignments and communication each day of our normal school calendar. Google Classroom will be the landing page for all daily information but it may redirect to another site/platform that teachers are using.
  • Teachers will check their school email from 9am-3pm periodically to answer questions and will have office hours via Zoom or email according to the following schedule:

                - Social Studies 9:00-10:30am
                - Math 10:00-11:30am
                - Science 11:00am-12:30pm
                - Theology 12:00-1:30pm
                - English 1:00-2:30pm
                - World Languages & Arts 2:00-3:30pm

  • Assignments will be roughly equivalent to school "seat-time"
  • Students are responsible to complete all assignments within the timeframe established by the teacher.
  • Students will have 5 days, beginning upon their return to school, to complete work in the event they are unable to finish during the virtual sessions due to service outage or other inability to access learning materials.
  • If a student is sick and cannot participate, a parent should email attendance@lansingcatholic.org as well as the teacher by 10am. We are going to rely on our parents to inform us if there is an extenuating circumstance such as illness or a funeral.
  • Tests and quizzes will need to be proctored (read: done in the presence of parents) to ensure academic integrity. No other devices are to be used including phones unless specified by the teacher.
    We realize that some of our students have younger siblings and may need to babysit from time to time so we are asking for your cooperation to make sure high school students are completing 30-35 hours of work each week.
  • Our scheduled Spring break is being maintained as a break. No daily work will be assigned over that break. Take some time as a family and love one another up!

Other unintended consequences of closing school for an extended period of time:

Student medications - if your child needs any medications that we have on file during this time, please pick them up today or on Saturday, March 14 from 10:00am-2:00pm.

Students who receive free and reduced lunch - we are working with state officials on providing lunches to those who qualify for free/reduced lunches. Once we have more details, I will contact those families. We are hoping to be a center for school families from IHM, Resurrection, and Lansing Catholic.

Counseling services - students who have weekly appointments with our counselors who still want to meet will need to do so via Zoom. We will be sending a tutorial on how to do that to all students. The counselors will establish office hours with students who request this.

Students with accommodations - Ms. Rabine has a plan to work with students in Mastery Skills or those with accommodations. She will be sending a separate communication to parents but has been working with students today making sure they are prepared and know what they need to do.

ACT Testing - we are in contact with ACT about rescheduling the test that was scheduled for March 24. We will update you once we know more.

Service Requirement - The Campus Ministry team is meeting Monday to discuss the impact on the service requirement. We will update all parents and students early next week. Questions can be addressed to Ms. DeVries, stacia.devries@lansingcatholic.org.

Again, this is a trying time for everyone. I will continue to communicate with families throughout this process; as things develop even these plans outlined here may change. I know some of our students are anxious because of everything they are hearing. We want to make this as smooth as possible while also moving them forward. Please be patient during this time and process as we navigate this pandemic. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Almighty ever-living God, eternal health of believers, hear our prayers for Your servants who are sick: grant them, we implore You, Your merciful help, so that, with their health restored, they may give You thanks in the midst of Your Church. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 12, 2020

Things continue to change at a rapid pace regarding COVID-19. We are cancelling all extra-curricular activities (play performances, robotics competitions, and athletic contests, practices, and awards) through Sunday which also includes all usage by groups outside of Lansing Catholic. The Sozo retreat for next weekend has also been cancelled. You will be receiving another communication from me tomorrow with additional updates regarding next week.

We continue to be in conversation with diocesan staff and the Ingham County Health Department. Some of what is contained in this email is directly from both offices. Please read this carefully. What we have decided is being done to mitigate the spread of this novel coronavirus not because we believe someone has COVID-19. We are also still preparing to have classes done virtually. I appreciate your patience and prayers as we navigate these trying times.

We DO have school on Friday, March 13. There was a post on social media by someone today that said we were closed tomorrow but that is false. PLEASE do not post anything in your own words about us closing or taking any measures about COVID-19. Decisions are changing frequently as this rapidly evolves, so even reposting our information can be quickly outdated. This will prevent the spread of misinformation.

As a family please practice the guidelines from the Department of Health & Human Services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GsL5to0k0NLhRrwEiPfAbNBX2B-S6x4t/view?usp=sharing. Following this plan as a school we will be allowing students to eat lunches in other designated rooms to reduce the numbers of students gathered at lunch. We are still committed to having weekly Mass as a Catholic school but we will be doing that by Theology class instead of by House. We have also omitted the Sign of Peace and have emptied the baptismal font in line with diocesan directives.

As we prepare to do distance learning with chromebooks, I ask parents to be patient as this is outside the norm. We will be doing our best to plan instruction that helps students master our course outcomes but this is not ideal. As a school we value face-to-face instruction but we  know we need to be flexible during these times. We will be training our teachers on resources for this and hope to be able to do the same with students before we need to go this route on an extended basis. To help us assess capabilities, parents please complete this technology survey: https://forms.gle/HTK1HaKrwKuyL4H1A by the end of day on Friday, March 13.

Prayer helps! As I will be sending regular updates about COVID-19, I will be ending each email with a prayer adapted from the Mass for the Sick or Those Suffering/In Need. Please join me in praying,

O God, who know that because of human frailty we cannot stand firm amid such great dangers, grant us health of mind and body, that what we suffer we may overcome with Your help. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 


 

UPDATE:  MARCH 11, 2020

With MSU going to on-line instruction until April 20 from coronavirus concerns many of you may be wondering what we will be doing at Lansing Catholic. At this point we are preparing for on-line instruction from home but we have no specific plans as to when that will begin. For some of our performance-based classes this will be a challenge. We will be developing those as best we can and sharing those plans before break. At this point we are still planning on having our play performances this weekend, athletic contests, and Mission Trips over Spring break but this novel virus is rapidly changing everyone’s plans. Keeping our students safe is our highest priority and we will adjust as necessary to meet that priority.

We are working closely with the diocese and local health officials to monitor things and will consult with them about closing school for face-to-face instruction if that need arises. Where people travel to over Spring break may have an impact on what happens after break. And the MHSAA is also looking at what to do with tournaments. We will be providing numerous updates in the coming days/weeks.

As a reminder, please keep students home that are ill and regularly wash hands, disinfect common surfaces, and practice social distancing where appropriate. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding with this situation. Please continue to pray for those suffering from this whether it be illness or other repercussions as a result of the virus' impact.