School Updates

July 7, 2020

Dear Annunciation Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday and were able to spend time with family and friends.  Now that July is here and we are nearing the halfway point of summer, I wanted to update everyone on our continued commitment to safely welcoming students back to school for in person instruction this fall. With guidance from the CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Archdiocesan Office for the Mission of Catholic Education has just released their protocols for safe reopening of Catholic schools.  This document will be used as a framework for all Catholic schools in the archdiocese, including Annunciation. The four domains are:

  • Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Spread
  • Maintaining Healthy Facilities  
  • Maintaining Healthy Operations
  • Communicating, Training and Education

Our committee will meet later this week to review the document and begin to adapt it to fit the needs of our school.  Catholic schools are required to submit a formal plan to the Archdiocese by the end of July.  This plan will also be shared with the Annunciation community when it is finalized.  However, since new information is being shared with us every day, please be patient as we might send frequent updates as we receive new information. 

Here's what we know as of now:

  • There will be a need for more disinfecting wipes than was requested on the school supply list.  If you are able to purchase a few extra containers for the school, we would appreciate it. 
  • There will also be a need for hand sanitizer. Please make sure your child has some in his/her backpack.
  • We also ask that your child has at least one mask that they can bring and leave at school.  At this time, we do not expect students to wear them all day but there may be times they are necessary.  We hope that knowing this now gives your family time to find a mask that works best for your child.

I know there are many in our community that have been adversely affected by the pandemic as well as the civil unrest that transpired in Minneapolis because of the death of George Floyd on May 25th.  George's death has brought to the forefront conversations about racism in our country.  I have included a link to two articles.  The first is written by Archbishop Hebda and published in the Catholic Spirit last month and the second is a pastoral letter written by Archbishop Flynn in 2003.  Both are also linked on the archdiocese website.

Please keep all those who are hurting for various reasons in your prayers.

Thank you for choosing Annunciation Catholic School!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions. 

Sincerely,
Kari Zobel
Principal
kzobel@annunciationmsp.org  

June 19, 2020

Dear Annunciation Catholic School families,

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kari Zobel and I am the new principal at Annunciation Catholic School.  I am very excited that I am part of the Annunciation School community and I look forward to welcoming you back to a new school year. 

I know that many of you are wondering what the fall will look like for our school.  At this time, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the effect that Covid-19 will have on schools in Minnesota and across the country.  However, educators do agree that distance learning is not the most effective learning model for most children. The face to face interactions and discourse that occur every day in school are a critical part of the learning process as well as the social and emotional development and well-being of our children. 

I have convened two task forces made up of Annunciation teachers and staff, though we will be including other community members as needed.  One group is focusing primarily on best practices for effective distance learning and blended learning models if in-person learning is prohibited or limited.  The other group is working on the safe re-opening of our school.  The health and safety of our students, staff, and families are of utmost importance.  

Annunciation is very fortunate that we are not alone in developing a comprehensive plan for this fall.  The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE) are both committed to having our Catholic schools welcome back students to in-person learning this fall guided by up to date research and CDC guidelines.  They are providing guidance and assistance to all our Catholic schools as we work to develop a plan that will fit our school's needs.  I will keep the community informed throughout the summer but for now, we are planning on having students back in the building in the fall.

I also wanted to let you know that our Catholic schools are very fortunate to have the support of the Schulze Family Foundation through CSCOE.  Mr. Richard Schulze is dedicated to the success of all 79 Catholic schools in the Twin Cities.  To that end, his foundation has announced a challenge match grant.  Any money that we raise will go to enrollment and retention initiatives for our school.  Based on the generosity of the entire Annunciation community, I am confident we will meet our goal of $45,000, which would mean $90,000 in total.

Please continue to get the word out about Annunciation Catholic School.  We are able to offer in-person tours for any potential families and we would be happy to share with them all the things that make Annunciation such a great choice for their child.  Anyone interested in finding out more about our school should contact our Enrollment Coordinator, Christy McFadden (cmcfadden@annunciationmsp.org).  As a little reward for your efforts, any new family you refer that contacts us about possible enrollment will earn you a $50 tuition credit for the 2020-21 school year.  If a family you refer enrolls, you will receive an additional $200 tuition credit!  Please email Jen Renstrom (jrenstrom@annunciationmsp.org) to make the referral.   

Also, if your family is in need of financial assistance due to Covid-19 or for any other reason, please contact our Office Manager, Jen Renstrom (jrenstrom@annunciationmsp.org) to discuss options.  Our goal is to make sure that financial situations do not prevent anyone from attending Annunciation.

I hope you are able to enjoy some relaxing family time together this summer. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!

Sincerely,
Kari Zobel, Principal