May 10, 2021
Dear Families and Friends of St. Finn Barr Catholic School,
The Parent Board of St. Finn Barr School would like to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing leadership of our school this past year. With your support, and with our mission held close to our hearts, St. Finn Barr continues to educate young, diverse minds and ensure that each and every child receives the spiritual, educational, and socio-emotional support they need to thrive. In light of the many challenges this last year has presented, this mission has not always been easy, but with your support it is possible.
In the last year, St. Finn Barr has faced many incredible circumstances. Beginning in April of 2020, it was announced that Ms. Megan Kimble would begin her new role as School Principal. We welcomed her enthusiasm and strong knowledge of our school community. Within weeks of this news, as the world grappled with the uncertainty around a developing pandemic, schools across our city and the nation were shuttered. As we waited expectantly, we gradually came to the realization that our school doors would not open before the end of the school year.
As we entered the summer of 2020, Ms. Kimble, understanding the grave impact of the pandemic, was committed to providing the best opportunities for our students: she began to plan for the opportunity to participate in in-person learning without compromising the safety of our students and staff. Ms. Kimble worked tirelessly with a committee of staff and parents to create a plan for reopening the school campus. Consulting with experts in the field of technology, education, and health care, alongside guidance from the Department of Public Health, Ms. Kimble created an Infection Mitigation Plan that would ensure that our school community would remain safe when we returned to in-person learning. Alongside this plan, the school invested in technology to assist with streaming into classrooms. This included purchasing Chromebooks for student use, microphones and speakers for the teachers, dual monitors for optimal Zoom classroom set up, and cameras. The school also invested in programs that would support remote learning such as SeeSaw, Beehively, and virtual editions of school curriculum. Alongside technology, the school prioritized investment in PPE such as masks, hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus, zoning materials like tape and posters, and painting the yard for socially-distanced PE classes.
Please consider renewing your support of St. Finn Barr Catholic School with a gift today, ensuring that we can continue to provide our community with the best possible learning opportunities.
- $10 can support the cost of a new book in a classroom library
- $50 can support the cost of a textbook
- $100 can support the cost of STEAM supplies for a single lesson
- $250 can support the cost of a Chromebook
- $1,000 can support the cost of upgrading a teacher’s laptop computer
Your gift of any amount will make a difference!
Despite the unprecedented challenges Ms. Kimble faced during her first year as principal, she has always believed in St. Finn Barr Catholic School. In October of 2020, the Department of Public Health authorized the school to reopen under the plan Ms. Kimble and her team created. It was a day that we had waited months for, and the anticipation did not disappoint. Welcoming students back to campus was an absolute light, in all of the turbulence we had collectively been facing. Students, faculty, and staff alike remarked on the palpable joy as our campus once again became home to our learners. A parent of a third grader shared that when her student returned home from her first day of in-person classes, “she was beaming, jumping up and down with excitement.” Hybrid classes allowed students to return to campus, experiencing invaluable face time with teachers and peers, while also providing for the education and wellbeing of our students who remained in remote learning.
Reopening the school for in-person learning was not the only goal for our community: the school was intentional about providing opportunities for connection despite the new distance measures. Leveraging technology platforms, St. Finn Barr held events such as Back to School Night and the first-ever virtual Talent Show at Christmas time. Students were invited to participate in virtual events like chalk art competitions and Halloween Costume contests. Virtual morning assembly brought us together each morning for a time of prayer and reflection.
Today, we see children playing in the yard, smiling behind their masks. In the hallways, kindergarteners skip to and from their classrooms. Students work to become Compassionate Children of God, Critical Thinkers, and Life-Long Learners. They engage in meaningful conversations with their peers and raise their hands with confidence. We are in such a different place now than we were a year ago. St. Finn Barr has risen to the challenges before us. If our community can achieve all that we have in the face of a global health crisis, imagine what we can accomplish as we move forward into a brighter day.
Continuing to serve our students and families, ensuring we meet the needs of each individual, is our guiding purpose as we plan for the future. If we have learned anything from this past year, it is that St. Finn Barr, with its faculty and staff, students, and families, is prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of the day. We want to express our sincere gratitude for the amazing leadership Ms. Kimble and the school staff have provided to our community this year. As they prepare young, diverse minds to become our next leaders, they will ensure that we continue to rise to the occasion, whatever that might look like. Your support means our community can continue to do what we have done this year: our children, families, and school will thrive. Students will continue to learn, collaborate, and create. Faculty will seize the moment and make the most of each school year. Community will continue to come together, in faith, in prayer, and in absolute hope for what the future will bring.
We ask that you join us today in supporting our school and helping pave the way for our successes to come.
Angelia Green (Khloe 2nd & Kayla 6th)
Lena Shaw (Evangeline 8th)
Wendy Venegas (Genevieve 2nd & Olivia 4th)
Ed Campos (Isaiah 7th, Mateo ’19, Christian ’17 & Joseph ‘15)
Renee Espinoza (Ace 3rd & Josie 8th)
Lynda Taschek (Ileana 6th, Kyle ’17, Hannah ‘14)
PS: Please consider passing along this appeal to your family and friends and sharing why SFB has been so important to your child's education.