Dear Friends in Christ:
SCHOOL. Well that used to be just a nasty word to kids all around the country in the month of August. I remember growing up every year around the early part of August we would begin hearing that it was time to get ready to go back to school. OH how we did not like that idea after weeks of enjoying the outdoors, family vacations, and just the freedom of summer.
But I imagine this year is different for EVERYONE. After months of remote learning from March to June, we then began the most unusual summer of memory. Travel is limited too due to the need to quarantine for two weeks following visits to many states. Any out-of-country travel was cancelled such as our parish pilgrimage to Germany. Much of the usual summer activities of our younger parishioners were changed or outright cancelled due to the need for wearing masks, ensuring proper hand washing, and observing social distancing. Boy this was one strange summer. And now we are in August and the word of the day is SCHOOL.
But this year that word is a nasty word for many not just our young people who may be dreading the routines that come with school, the additional reading, the homework, and the studying that is involved. Now we see parents STRESSING more than our young people about the return to school. It is such an anxiety-building experience for so many; just look at Social Media. Send the kids to school or do remote learning or outright homeschool. Worrying about the kids wearing masks (which by the way is really more an issue for the parents than the kids who will be wearing them). Worry, worry, worry. More than ever before this one word SCHOOL causes such a variety of feelings and reactions it is truly remarkable.
As we begin this new school year, during these unprecedented times, one question that I have been asked countless times about our own St. Bridget School is: will you be teaching in-person or remotely. And the answer is BOTH.
We are certainly excited to see the classrooms and hallways filled with our students and faculty once again. It has been a long time since we have seen the classrooms used since we closed the building back in March as the pandemic came sweeping across our country. We are pleased to announce that we will be opening for in-person instruction.
Our Administration and teachers are working very hard in support of the SBS Return To In-Person Strategy (RIIS) that adheres to state, local and CDC guidelines. The SBS plan incorporates the steps recommended for a safe, nurturing and cohesive return that will maintain the high levels of academic excellence throughout all disciplines.
We are also happy to announce that our Pre-Kindergarten program will continue to remain as in-person learning during any state school closures. Additionally, Before and After Care will be offered to support our Pre-K families.
At the same time we realize that some parents are concerned about having their children in school due to the coronavirus and the fear associated with the potential spreading of the virus. Certainly no one knows if there will be another spike in cases but the media has done their best to instill more fear in our hearts and minds.
So we at St. Bridget School are offering our families the option to send your child(ren) full-time for in-person instruction or choose to have them remotely learn. We have been preparing for both processes to be successful in ensuring we are educating our students to the fullest of our potential. We have increased our bandwidth to ensure that those learning remotely will be able to access their classrooms without internet problems.
Our students are the best! They are eager to learn, they are fervent in prayer, and they are ready and willing to serve others. I am confident that as we face these unprecedented times in our country and world they will persevere in their studies and in their care for one another.
I do hope you would come for a tour and see all that we have in store for the new academic year. I want every family to consider St. Bridget School as an option for you and your children. Let nothing stop you from coming for a visit, and considering our parish school as the place for your child or children to excel in academics within a faith-based environment. Remember we are offering small class sizes in a fully air-conditioned facility that enables us to meet the guidelines for fresh air being brought into the building as much as possible.
Our parish school is ready and willing to assist EVERYONE in educating your child(ren). Since opening in 1994, Saint Bridget School offers students a faith-based, challenging curriculum designed to promote academic excellence in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 8. Committed educators guide our students through the day with lessons in faith development, math, language arts, social studies, geography, science, Spanish, music, art, and physical education.
We are charged with exceeding national standards and so continue to implement curriculum that provides a challenging course, grounded in basic skills necessary for students to develop foundational skills that lead to higher, more complex thinking skills, rooted in Gospel values, and integrating Catholic social teaching across all disciplines, ensuring the development of the whole child. Students graduating from St. Bridget School exceed state and national benchmarks, evidenced by our exemplary standardized test scores and high performance on high school placement exams. Most importantly, we truly educate the whole child: academically, socially, and spiritually.
Do you know what tuition is for Saint Bridget School? I have heard from a few people out and about town that they could never afford tuition for our parish school. That may be the case but we do have some scholarship monies available that may make it more feasible for your family situation. I want to dispel the MYTH that is out there that tuition is around $10,000 a year. HERE ARE THE REAL NUMBERS…Tuition for one child in grades 1 through 8 at St. Bridget School is $5,213; for Kindergarten it is $5,345; and our Pre-K program for five full days is $6,241, for five half days is $4,743, for three full days is $5,440, and for three half days is $4,139. Those families who are registered and active in our parish receive an immediate $500 deduction.
As I said above we are blessed to have some scholarship monies available to help families to be able to afford a Catholic school education for their child or children. Thanks to our devoted parishioners who contribute to our scholarship fund! This fund enables us to help families keep their children in a Catholic school even when family issues may arise that prohibit them from being able to afford the whole tuition rate. I cannot tell you how thankful these families are that this fund exists to help them in their time of need. If anyone from our parish family would like to assist us in maintaining this fund, please feel free to contact me at any time.
We still have room at all grade levels for the upcoming school year 2020-2021, and I hope you will consider St. Bridget School for your child(ren) or grandchild(ren). I would love for all families to consider coming in for a tour. Please contact our Admissions Director, Mrs. Christina Cummings, or our Principal, Dr. Nancy Testa, at the school office at 203.272.5860.
THIS YEAR MORE THAN EVER WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR PARISH SCHOOL. One of the ways you can help is to support the upcoming 7th Annual St. Bridget School Golf Tournament on Monday, September 21st, at the Waterbury Country Club. This is one of the two major fundraisers for our parish school, please consider assisting us in any way you can.
Here are a number of ways you can assist us:
1. YOU can consider sponsoring our event. If you own a business or work for one who supports local charities consider asking them to be a sponsor or put an ad in our ad book for the tournament (we expect a pretty full field and additional people to attend the dinner following the tournament which means these booklets will be dispersed to a good number of friends from the greater Cheshire area). We really could use as many sponsors as possible…sponsorships make the tournament a success.
2. YOU can join us! We have available spots for golfers ($200 per golfer/$750 per foursome), and if you don’t golf you can still get in on the fun by getting some friends together to come for a nice dinner that evening and support our parish school by your participation at this event and your opportunity to win a raffle prize. Cost for dinner only option it is only $50.
3. YOU can donate an item for our raffle. We are in need of a variety of items for the raffle which is held during the dinner at the tournament. Items such as: a grill, a big screen television, foursomes to local golf courses, any electronic equipment from entertainment to home improvement, gift cards to local restaurants, bottles of wine or spirits, or anything your creative minds can come up with. Items can be dropped off to the school office or rectory office any day during the week, or in the sacristy at Mass on the weekend. Please be sure your name is on it so we may properly thank you!
ANY AND ALL information including registration forms and sponsorship forms can be found online at https://stbridgetschool.ejoinme.org/Golf2020. Thank you for whatever you can do to assist our parish school in this important fundraising effort.
PARISH NEWS…as of the writing of this article the work on Saint Bridget Church roof is completed and the replacement of the gutters is being finished. This has been a longer than expected project due to the storms and the blackout not to mention a delay in obtaining the needed materials to replace the downspouts. But it is now finished and we have a warranty for 20 years!!!
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOUR PARISH…Perhaps you have noticed that the last couple of weeks we have seen a drop in the Sunday offertory that is mailed in or given online. WE NEED YOUR HELP!
While your spiritual well-being is my first priority, it is often the financial burdens of being a Pastor that keep me up at night. And boy has this been happening lately as we continue to deal with this pandemic. I am like Martha in the scriptures and I worry about many things. The longer this pandemic continues the more I worry about what our future will look like. So, I beg every family to support your Parish Family during this time. Here are ways you can give to your Parish:
1. Mail in your offertory or drop it off at the office!
2. Give online—sign-up for our Online Giving Program by clicking this link on our website.
Donations can be made directly from your checking account or by using any major credit card - so you can earn "points" while giving!
Donations can be scheduled for whatever frequency (weekly or monthly) you prefer (and if monthly, on whatever day is most convenient), or can be made on a one-time basis.
You can designate donations for different purposes: weekly, monthly, and holy day collections, diocesan/national collections, Easter/Christmas flowers, even Religious Education registration!
Your bank or credit card information is stored on secure servers contained behind firewalls and other defense systems to prevent unauthorized access. Parish staff cannot access your account information.
Want to learn more about Online Giving? Visit our website www.stbridgetcheshire.org and click the Donate button in the menu on our homepage.
As always, remember to pray and ask God’s blessings upon our family of faith as we build His kingdom here. Please know that I am praying for you, and I ask for your prayers for me, that together through the intercession of Saint Bridget of Sweden, our Patroness, and united in the Eucharist, we will reflect the presence of Jesus to the world.