Teachers and students make adjustments and persevere to make pandemic school year a success

Holy Name Catholic Preschool, Ketchikan

Holy Name Catholic Preschool has had a year unlike any other! Yet, our mission, values and experience have stayed the same. We used new ways to explore and learn while keeping each other as safe and healthy as possible.

2020 proved to be different in a few ways for Holy Name Catholic School. After suspending our elementary grades, the preschool classes took on the sole face of the Kingfishers, determined to keep our doors open with a small staff and big hopes for an exciting school year.

In September, we welcomed 22 preschoolers through our doors. Each smiling face was eager to learn through play and experiences, unaffected by masks, extra cleaning and new procedures for social distancing.

Both our 3-year-old Bumblebee class and 4-year-old Ladybug class made many memories this year.

Through play, they explored housekeeping, a flower shop, a post office and a pizzeria. They saw caterpillars morph into butterflies and ducklings hatch from incubated eggs. They planted seeds, watched plants grow and took good care of God’s creations.

As our school year draws to an end on June 4th, we reflect on what we are thankful for and what we want to carry on for years to come. We are thankful to have had a full year with two classes in session. We are thankful for the 24 families who shared their learning, growing preschoolers with us, and our four fantastic teachers who helped this year flow as smoothly as possible.

We celebrate Miss Diana as she retires from her 20 + years of service to Holy Name Catholic School, wishing her the best retirement has to offer! We also celebrate the 12 Ladybug students who will move on to Kindergarten.

Congratulations to Addie, Addison, Alana, Canyon, Diego, Frances, Hudsen, Jacob, Leif, Margaret, Noah and Nolan.

We wish you the best and encourage you to reach for the stars!

Holy Rosary Academy, Anchorage

The school year ended on May 21st. We are proud of our two graduates, Angel S. Beaty and Mitchell D. Marquez. They are a small senior class, but large in spirit and achievements.

During this past unusual school year, classes began in the classrooms as scheduled on August 17th, 2020. The pandemic resulted in both interruptions and instructional adjustments that had to be dealt with throughout the school year.

In the late fall, the municipality required that school classroom occupancy be reduced to fifty percent of the actual room capacity. Because of this mandate, the school began double shifting. This permitted all students to continue to attend classes in school, but only half days. After the Christmas break, the administration swapped or rearranged the classrooms so the larger groups of children would be in the larger classrooms. The necessity to double shift was eliminated at that point and all classes returned to a full-day schedule.

Many of the extracurricular activities had to be discontinued for most of the school year. Even without these special classes, the teachers, parents, and students were glad to be back in the classroom and learn together. While all these disruptions were happening, it should be noted that Holy Rosary Academy walked away with five first-place awards and three-second place awards from the 66th Annual Alaska Science and Engineering Fair.

The Holy Rosary Academy annual fund-raising gala auction was canceled in October and rescheduled more than once. It was never able to be held as a live, in-person event. The school was finally able to substitute an online silent auction during the first week of May, which supplied a needed boost to our school budget.

The 2021-22 school year is scheduled to open in mid-August.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Anchorage

As the 2020-2021 year comes to a close, we have many fond memories to cherish and a unique school year to remember. This year we focused on academics and could not have all the extracurricular activities and mixing of the classes that we have been able to in the past. Even though we did not get to do our traditional events this school year, we were blessed to have in-person school all year. Many events had to be held virtual via Zoom or Facebook Live, such as student of the month, Christmas program, spring musical and 6th grade play. This year we did Trunk or Treat outside instead of our traditional indoor Halloween carnival. We were able to have our Iditaread Program and had a record number of students make it around the course at least once for the ice cream social sponsored by Motley Moo Creamery. We had a snack from Great Harvest Bread Company for Fat Tuesday in place of our pancake breakfast. Our second graders were able to receive their First Communion in person. We were able to have our jog-a-thon and field day as outdoor events as we typically have done in the past. Even though we had some disappointments due to traditional events having to be modified or canceled due to COVID-19, we were thankful to be able to all be together. We hope you treasure all the memories and friendships you have made at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton School this year.

Our staff is dedicated and provides an excellent education for our students to make learning engaging and exciting. We want to thank Father Scott Medlock and Father Michael Ko for visiting the classrooms this year to strengthen our faith. We are blessed with the continued support and dedication to our school from the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Staff and parish.

'Teachers and students make adjustments and persevere to make pandemic school year a success'
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