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THE March 27th PARENT PULSE

 

WEEKLY UPDATE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL, JIM BOPP

It would be impossible for me to overstate how proud I am of the entire Prep community. Our faculty and staff have done a remarkable job rebuilding the airplane while flying it. Students have taken their part in this work seriously, as well, which is the best fuel for our teachers’ ambitions. And parents have become even greater partners for us in our mission to educate and form our students. The dean’s office and counselors are especially grateful for all that parents are doing to help them in their work. 

After a week of conferencing with principals from other schools around the region, it is clear that we have become a model for many other schools who have asked to consult with us on a wide variety of issues, allowing us the opportunity to act as a force multiplier for the common good. I conclude this first week of being an entirely online school leader with a deep sense of gratitude and respect for everyone’s efforts.

I wish that I could segue into an optimistic announcement about returning to regular life in the near future, but that is not the forecast we have received from the Governor, the Nebraska Department of Education, or our local health officials. Instead, state officials have recommended that all schools make plans to finish the year with their students learning from home. All of us are holding out hope that this will not be the case, but it is only prudent for us to begin to plan for this likely outcome. To that end, I would like to share the following:

  • We have developed some guidelines for online learning for parents and students that will serve as an update to the Student-Parent Handbook. More details below.

  • In an effort to ensure all students’ needs are being addressed, we have created a Student Support Services Call Team that will reach out to every family through a phone call to check-in with each of our students. More details below.

  • We will be creating a revised calendar that will take us through the end of this school year using our online learning schedule. We expect to release that to everyone early next week. 

  • We are working on new student activities and campus ministry programming that will create opportunities for students to engage in the types of formative experiences that foster the sense of brotherhood, servant leadership, and fun that are all hallmarks of the Prep experience. Information will be made available to students via daily announcement emails.

  • We are developing plans to provide special opportunities for seniors to celebrate and commemorate the conclusion of their experience as Prep students and will communicate those plans once they are solidified.

Please keep in mind that teachers and counselors want nothing more than to care for their students. The limitations of online learning make this quite a challenge because they are not able to pick up on all the nonverbal cues they used to have access to. If your student is struggling, please make sure that he lets his teachers and counselor know that. And if he does not, please feel encouraged to do so for him.

We have all been asked to make some pretty substantial sacrifices. I found this recent letter from Dr. Daniel Johnson, Prep grad and current UNMC critical care doctor, an important reminder of what we are trying to do together as a community. I think it is worth reading and discussing with your family.

Thank you for your continued efforts and ongoing partnership. The Prep community is only growing stronger as we face these challenges together.

COVID-19 AND ONLINE LEARNING UPDATES 

Student Support Services Call Team

Starting next week, staff members from the Prep Student Support Services Call Team will be calling all parents to find out how our students are dealing with the move to online learning. We want to check on our families, make sure they are okay during this time of transition, and identify where we can provide support. We will begin calling freshmen and work our way up toward seniors and we expect it to take about two weeks to get in touch with every family. If you have anything you need us to address, please do not hesitate to reach out at any time.

Handbook Updates

Please review our Online Learning Plan: Guideline for Students and Parents found here. This document serves as an update to our Student-Parent Handbook and outlines some important changes to policies and procedures for our online experience. Mr. Brown sent this document in an email to all students with a request to review, as well. 

School Calendar Changes and Updates 

The school calendar has been updated through April 17. We will have a new calendar available next week that outlines the schedule for the remainder of the year working under the presumption that we will finish the school year via online learning.

The Student and COVID 19: Depression and the Impact on the Individual

Kevin Kaminski, Prep’s mental health practitioner, offers some tips on how to help ourselves and others to reduce the risks of depression during this time of social distancing.

Trying Times: And the Impact of E-Learning and Screen Time

We all know the significant impact technology and screen time has had on this current generation but this has become compounded with our current situation. “Screenagers” founder Dr. Delaney Ruston, MD can help you navigate the tech boundaries that we all need through Tech-Talk Tuesdays. 

Prep COVID-19 Communications Summary

comprehensive list of all emails sent to students and parents. 

BASH 2020 UPDATE

For 49 consecutive years, we have hosted BASH, our annual dinner and auction, to help provide financial assistance to deserving young men who would not otherwise be able to attend Prep.  

While our 50th BASH will be different, it will happen! Prep's VIRTUAL BASH 2020 will include an online auction and sponsor recognition, raffle drawing and raise the paddle. 

Watch for an email from Fr. Tom Neitzke, SJ on Monday with more details!

STUDENT NEWS

Winter Season Academic All-State 

Congratulations to the following Creighton Prep students for being named Academic All-State in their respective activities:

  • Swimming: Daniel Peery ‘20 and Ethan Schmaderer ‘20

  • Basketball: Brendan Buckley ‘21 and Spencer Schomers ‘20

  • Speech: Dominic Mendlik ‘21 and Nathaniel Reyes ‘21

  • Wrestling: Francisco Beccerra ‘21 and Tony Pray ‘22

PRAYER RESOURCES

Daily Student Prayer

Today's Morning Prayer comes to us from our very own James Chapman ‘20. Thank you James for putting this together and representing Prep well!

Other CP Prayer Opportunities:

SCHOOL NEWS

Registration Fee 2020-2021

The registration fee for the 2020-2021 school year has been billed to all families and is due April 15. If you have any questions, please email Debbie Novotny or call her at 402-548-3849

2020-2021 School Calendar
We’ve officially released the calendar of events for the school, Advancement and Prep Community events for the 2020-2021 school year. You can download this PDF for your reference and also find it on the website.

An Important Message from Fr. Neitzke
Posted 03/19/2020 05:37PM

Dear Friends of Prep,

Today was a milestone in our 142-year history as we began a fully online academic schedule of courses. The young men of Prep attended their first day of virtual learning, and our faculty provided them with their regular daily course schedule.

While there are still a number of challenges for our faculty, staff and students, I thought I would share some of the updates from faculty and students that might bring all of us a little joy:

  • In Ms. Hefflinger’s third period AP Calculus and fifth period Calculus 1 classes, the students not only learned about derivatives and integrals but they also introduced their dogs to their classmates in their Zoom breakout rooms. (See picture below.)   
  • A student shared that “Everyone knew it was different, but no one was complaining. I was amazed about how down to business everyone was in my class.”
  • In Fr. Czerniak’s first period French class, he started out with a prayer which seemed very providential as it read “Remember that God is Now and God is Here, wherever we are, in whatever unchosen places and situations, and that it is God whom we seek, not a particular path."
  • In Ms. Taber’s first period freshman theology course and in her fifth and seventh period Moral Values courses, she shared that “We prayed together, just like we would at the start of class normally. It felt comforting to keep that routine, to hear the petitions of the students, and to connect spiritually.”
  • In all three of Mr. Clark’s Honors Chemistry courses, he was proud of his 100% attendance and the new apps that will allow them do live experiments. Mr. Clark taught and navigated his courses with the assistance of his 4-year-old future Prepster at his side! 
  • Another student shared that “My teachers were super understanding about the new situation and all of them told us that if we needed any help at all with anything school related or not, we can always reach out to them.”
  • In Mrs. Masek’s first, fifth and seventh period Church History classes, she said that “All students showed up - everyone was logged in on time! Better than happens while in the school building!” She shared how much she missed her student’s energy, their curiosities and getting to hear their hopes and dreams and how we are all realizing that relationships matter.
  • In Mr. Delaney’s first and fifth period World History and third period American Government classes, he shared that students were very happy to see one another again and that their faces lit up when their chat began. Mr. Delaney was impressed with their serious gratitude to be back together (in a digital fashion) and their “awesome interactions.”
  • In Mr. Chesire’s first and third period choir classes, he said they sang the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and reflected together on the story of Jesus calming the storm at sea. Moving forward, each class will begin with one young man singing a song followed by a reflection and prayer.
  • In Ms. Ayers’ fifth period American Literature class, she said the boys had her cracking up with their unfailing ability to roast each other, even during a pandemic. As with so much of our seeing and hearing from students, it has been just what the doctor ordered today. 
  • A senior shared, “Getting to see my classmates faces again gave me hope that senior year might not be over!”

I am very happy to report that none of our students earned a JUG. That might be another milestone in our 142 years!

In all seriousness, I could not be prouder of our faculty, staff, students and parents as Creighton Prep continues to work through the new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak. Our community is strong!

Finally, I ask for your prayerful support as we continue our mission to form men of faith, scholarship, leadership and service in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition.

In Christ,

Fr. Tom Neitzke, SJ

President

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