Friends of Blessed Sacrament,
I continue to pray for you and your families during these uncharted times.
Yesterday, North East Independent School District (NEISD) and Northside Independent School District (NISD) followed San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) in announcing the first three weeks of school would be done remotely. Naturally, questions have asked about where Blessed Sacrament Catholic School falls into these decisions.
As of 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 17, 2020, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School will begin in August 17, 2020 in using three platforms:
- In Person Classes for those in PK3 to 8th Grade wanting this selection
- Guided Distance Learning for those in PK3 to 8th Grade wanting this selection
- Self-Paced Learning for those in 2nd-8th Grade for Those wanting this selection
If a parent selected a choice and would like to change their decision, they can simply call the School Office at (210) 824-3381 and Mrs. Martinez will make the change for you. We are still waiting for one-third of the families to submit the form so we can inform parents who many students will be In Person at each grade level. We have been reaching out to those families directly, so if you can be a good Bulldog Neighbor and ensure your fellow Bulldogs have completed that form. For your convenience, here is the link: https://blessedschool.com/
There are three scenarios that would require Blessed Sacrament Catholic School to change our Back to School plans for the 2020/2021 school year.
Recently, Governor Abbot changed his decree to allow private schools to follow the guidelines and recommendations of their accreditation body. Blessed Sacrament is accredited through the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishop’s Education Department (TCCBED). This is why Blessed Sacrament can plan on providing In Person Classes for those wanting this selection. The Governor, however, has the legal ability to change his decree and require all schools – public and private – to either delay the start of all classes until after Labor Day or begin the school year with remote learning. If he does this, then Blessed Sacrament will be required to abide by his decree.
Earlier this week, the Governor gave local health districts the ability to determine whether local circumstances would prevent the opening of schools. For Bexar County, this is SA Metro Health. They are establishing a task force to explore whether schools in San Antonio are safe for re-opening. SA Metro Health may determine schools should be prevented from providing in school instruction for a certain amount of time. Blessed Sacrament, along with other Catholic and private schools, are seeking clarification if SA Metro Health can require our schools to abide by their recommendations since we do not fall under the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Archbishop Gustavo has the canonical authority to delay or reformat the start of school for any parochial school within the archdiocese if he seems it is in the best interest of his flock.
Blessed Sacrament is committed to providing quality instruction for those who selected In Person Classes, Guided Distance Learning and Self-Paced Learning. We have invested over $15,000 in technology equipment so that direct instruction is provided. Cameras and speakers in the classrooms will allow those students at home to participate and follow along with the teacher and their classmates. Students in the Guided Distance Learning Program will be required to be physically present daily for their religion, reading, English and math classes. Students will not be able to simply “Log In, Check In, and Sign Off”. We have provided an avenue for students to lease Chromebooks and iPads at a reasonable cost to ensure access to technology is acquired. I understand that parents are working and cannot devote the same time and energy to assist their student as they did during the Fourth Grading Period, so I am working with teachers to understand the new normal.
I will also be hosting a two virtual town hall meeting in the next two weeks, one for elementary and one for middle school, to provide an overview of what our Academic and School Safety Task Forces have been doing and giving parents an opportunity to ask questions. I will send those invites out next week.
May our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas, be with us during this time of uncertainty. May we be brought under her maternal mantle as we journey together In the Eye of the Storm.
In service to the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament,
#WeAreBlessed #InThisTogether #InTheEyeOfTheStorm