Principal Newsletter Archives

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 9/25/20

Dear St. Francis Families,

The 1st Quarter of the school year has flown by. Our students and teachers have done a phenomenal job of implementing and sustaining the distance learning environment. I know a virtual learning model is not ideal, as it poses challenges for teaching and learning. I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support and positive validation you’ve shared over the past few weeks about the St. Francis faculty/staff. 

As you are aware, the Sacramento County Health Officer published health orders that essentially closed all public and private schools in Sacramento County until it is safe to return to in-person instruction. While certain waivers have been approved for K-6 feeder schools in the Diocese, they do not apply to secondary schools. 

Given the most recent Sacramento County health order of September 23, 2020, and with the county remaining on the Purple Tier 1 designation on the State’s new Tier System, we will not be able to return to campus until we are in the Red Tier for at least two weeks. At this point, it is not likely that we’ll be in this lower tier until later in October. 

In an effort to provide our students and teachers consistency of instruction and daily routine, we will remain in distance learning mode through the end of October. In consultation with our Executive Director of Catholic Schools and the Sacramento County Department of Public Health, we decided that the extension of distance learning through the end of October would be best for our school community to remain in a protective posture for a little longer. 

In addition, based on recent parent, student, and faculty surveys, we’ve also made the decision to modify our weekly schedule in order to decrease screen time and provide students with the opportunity to disconnect, catch-up on their studies asynchronously, or take some time to exercise positive self-care. The new schedule will include a mid-week asynchronous flex day that students can use to check-in with their teachers, talk with Guidance/Wellness counselors, or use it as a catch-up day. This change in schedule will start on Monday, October 5th when the 2nd Quarter begins.

The transition from the current Distance Learning Model to our proposed Hybrid Learning Model is multi-faceted and will require time and diligence to ensure a successful transition for all. As such, we will look at making this a phased transition to ensure our faculty/staff and students can adjust accordingly in order to acclimate to the COVID-19 safety protocols on campus. It will be imperative that all faculty/staff and students adhere to county guidelines to safeguard and protect all from inadvertent exposure.

I will continue to communicate with the Diocese and the Sacramento County Department of Public Health to ensure we are taking the needed steps to safeguard our faculty/staff and students. I will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

We genuinely care about providing our Troubies with a world-class education and preparing them for life after high school. This will continue to be our focus as we remain in distance learning. We are continuously looking at re-envisioning important community events that we all miss. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Again, I am grateful for your continued support, and for making the best of these unimaginable times.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 9/18/20

Dear St. Francis Families,

Thank you to all of the parents that were able to join us on Tuesday, September 15th for our virtual Back-To-School Night. While it was not the typical in-person event that we host, it was a great opportunity for parents and teachers to meet one another, albeit, in a virtual setting. Thank you for being our partners in educating our Troubies! I also want to recognize all of the efforts of our incredible faculty and staff that went into orchestrating this virtual Zoom event.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be closing out the 1st Quarter of the fall semester. This is a good time to check in with your daughter(s) to ensure they are caught up and have submitted any work or assessments that need to be completed before the end of the quarter on Friday, October 2nd. Keep in mind, there’s still time left in the semester to improve a final course grade/s. This is also the perfect time to realign priorities and set new goals for the remaining weeks of the semester. If you have any questions or academic concerns, please reach out to your daughter(s) Guidance counselor.

As we prepare ourselves for the fall season of thankfulness, prompt your daughter(s) to make time to rest, reflect, and reward themselves for their minor and/or major triumphs. A reward doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant, it can be a simple treat like coffee or the movie of their choice on family night. Also, let’s all take a deep breath and make time to pray, and thank God for all He has done and is doing.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Message for the Class of 2024 Parents

Dear Class of 2024 Parents,

I am writing to inform you that we have finally received the Chromebook shipment we anticipated in early August. We are eager to get the new computers in your daughter’s hands, and we hope you’re able to pick them up this coming weekend. 

This Saturday, September 12th, we will be distributing new Chromebooks and collecting the loaner Chromebooks from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The drop off/pick-up location will be in front of the school. The process will be pretty seamless.  You will drive around the Armory, and then drive down to the front of the school, where our staff will be stationed to collect and distribute computers.  We do ask that, in order to expedite the process, each Chromebook and charging cable is ready to be handed over to one of our staff members. Additionally, please have your daughter’s name clearly printed on an 8 ½ X 11 piece of paper placed on the passenger-side dashboard, so we can read and check-off her name.

If your daughter would like to keep her current Chromebook, or if you are unable to come to the school on Saturday, please complete the 2024 Chromebook form.   If you have any specific questions, please contact our Technology Office at sftech@stfrancishs.org.

I appreciate your patience and understanding, while we waited for the arrival of our Chromebooks. 

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 9/11/20

Dear St. Francis Families,

I can’t believe we have completed the fourth week of instruction!  While distance learning has become the “normal” for the time being, it is important to remind your daughters to find some balance. Now more than ever, it’s necessary that they find time to breathe and decompress, as it will provide them with some coping skills necessary for resilience and success throughout these times. As we continue to navigate this school year, an important skill for all students is to learn to ask for assistance early, so they can feel confident in their academics and self-advocacy skills. We want to ensure our Troubies utilize the various support systems we have in place at St. Francis, such as asking teachers for assistance, signing up for tutoring, and or working with their Guidance/Wellness counselors.

Thank you for being proactive and helping us develop strong, confident, young women.

Also, you may have seen the article in the Sacramento Bee yesterday afternoon that our Diocese received approval on their waiver application to return to in-person instruction for K-6 grade students. For those schools with 7-12 grades, we still have to abide by the Sacramento County public health order. We have to remain closed to in-person instruction until we are off the county watch list. As we receive additional information from our Diocese and the county, we will keep you updated. 

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 9/04/20

Dear St. Francis Families,

I can’t believe we’ve completed the first three weeks of the school year. As we prepare for the three-day weekend that marks the “unofficial end of summer,” I hope you find some time to rest from your labor. Given everything that’s transpired over the past 5-plus months, I hope you enjoy the Labor Day holiday with your family and cherish the quality time you spend together. If you’re traveling this weekend, be safe, wear a face covering, and physically distance; so we can beat this pandemic, and return to our school safely. 

Additionally, for those of us that get to rest from our usual labors, I ask that we pray for those that will continue to shoulder the burden of human labor over the holiday.  

Lord, on this Labor Day,
We thank You for the blessing of work.
We ask for strength to complete each day.
We ask for rest when we are weary.
We ask Your guidance for everyone seeking employment.
We ask that You be with those whose faces we might never see, but who work tirelessly each day for the good of us all.

God bless our St. Francis community.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 8/28/20

Dear St. Francis Families,

The past two weeks have flown by. Our students and teachers have done a phenomenal job of navigating our distance learning environment. The transition had some initial hiccups, but most were resolved early on and now most, if not all, students are actively engaged with their instructors in their classes. I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support and positive validation you’ve shared about the St. Francis faculty/staff. We genuinely care about providing our Troubies with a world-class education and preparing them for life after high school. This will continue to be our focus as we remain in distance learning. We are continuously looking at re-envisioning important community events that we all miss.

The Sacramento County Health Officer published a health order on Thursday, August 20th, essentially closing all public and private schools in Sacramento County. As such, no students may be permitted on school campuses with the exception of the following:

Emergency Mental Health Counseling: Counseling services should be conducted virtually, as much as possible. If emergency in-person mental health counseling is deemed necessary, it may be conducted on an individual (1:1) basis.

Initial English Language Learner Assessments: Initial English Language Learner assessments may occur in-person on campus. They must be conducted on an individual (1:1) basis unless legally required to be conducted in a group setting, in which case they should be conducted with the smallest possible group size.

Special Education Assessments: Special education assessments may occur in-person on campus on an individual (1:1) basis as required by state and federal regulations.

Given this order and with Sacramento County remaining on the California Department of Public Health monitoring list, we will not be able to return to our beautiful campus until we are off the watch list for a period of at least 14 consecutive days. At this point, it is impossible to predict when that may occur. 

In an effort to provide our students and teachers with the opportunity to acclimate to the school year and provide consistency of instruction and daily interaction, we will remain in distance learning mode through the end of the 1st Quarter on Friday, October 2, 2020. This was not an easy decision to make. In consultation with our Executive Director of Catholic Schools and the Sacramento County Department of Public Health, it was decided that the extension of distance learning through October 2nd would be best for our school community to remain in a protective posture for a little longer. It will also minimize any student adjustment impacts so early in the quarter.

The transition from the current Distance Learning Model to our Synchronous Hybrid Learning Model (beginning October 5, 2020), is multi-faceted and will require time and diligence to ensure a successful transition for all. As such, we will look at making this a phased transition to ensure our faculty/staff and students can adjust plans with their families and acclimate themselves to the COVID-safety protocols on campus. It will be imperative that all faculty/staff and students adhere to county guidelines to safeguard and protect all from inadvertent exposure.

Some families have inquired about the release of Red/Gold Cohorts. With the additional time in Distance Learning, we will be able to better refine the 700+ individual requests we received in July/August to balance the numbers. We will share those with you later in September.

I will continue to communicate with the Diocese and the Sacramento County Department of Public Health to ensure we are taking the needed steps to safeguard our faculty/staff and students. I will keep you updated as more information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Again, I am grateful for your continued support and making the best out of this unimaginable circumstance.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal