Community Updates

This page will be updated with important information regarding Lakewood Catholic Academy’s response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Update 11: Thursday, July 2, 2020, 3:50 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

This afternoon, LCA’s administrative team and I closely watched Governor DeWine’s press conference addressing the reopening of schools this fall. The Governor provided general guidelines for schools, but ultimately left specific planning up to each school, and gave some flexibility for schools to make decisions that are best for their students and families. Governor DeWine also referenced the American Academy of Pediatrics who has stated that they believe it is in the best interest of children to be in school in the fall.

We are pleased and excited to be able to welcome all of our Saints back to campus full-time in the fall with appropriate safety guidelines in place.

That being said, we will have technology in place for students to remain connected to their classrooms should a family decide to remain home for some part of the school year.

While we await the release of the Department of Education’s Planning Guide for Ohio’s Schools and Districts, we have begun putting our own plans in place for our fall reopening. We are well-positioned to open safely in the fall, as we have already implemented many of the suggested health and safety protocols for our campus, lovingly caring for children since April when we operated a pandemic childcare program. We now serve over 100 children on campus in our Early Childhood Learning Program.

We will announce LCA’s formal plan for reopening on Tuesday, July 7, via email.

We are living in a period of history that demands incredible flexibility and creativity. I am convinced that there is no school as able to embody these essential qualities as Lakewood Catholic Academy. The dedication of our administrative team, combined with the talent of our teachers and the support of our amazing parent community, will allow us to continue our mission to inspire the minds and touch the hearts of our Saints.

Be a Saint!
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 10: Thursday, May 14, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

Today, Governor DeWine announced that Childcare and Summer Camps in the State of Ohio may resume revised operations on Monday, June 1st. While this is welcomed news, we are still awaiting the new operational guidelines to be released from the government agencies responsible for oversight and licensing. I assure you that we will be working around the clock this weekend to create a safe approach to reopening. It is my hope that we will have a full and detailed plan in place to communicate to you on Monday, May 18th. This plan will be inclusive of both our Early Childhood Program, as well as our Summer Camp Program.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we develop a thoughtful plan for our saints and those entrusted to care for them during these challenging times.

Be a Saint!
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 9: Monday, March 30, 2020, 8:45 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

I hope and pray this message finds you well. I am writing this evening with a few important school updates:

  • In accordance with the new directive from Governor DeWine, Lakewood Catholic Academy will be closed through May 1, 2020. All events and activities have been canceled during this time period. We will continue to brainstorm how we can create meaningful celebrations for those moments that we will miss during this extended closure.
  • Our dynamic administrative team and talented teachers are creatively planning for phase two of our Saints At-Home Learning Program that will begin on Monday, April 20th. We appreciate all the amazing work our saints are doing at home (and the support of our parents) during this phase one of our learning program – keep up the great work!
  • A small group of administrators remains on campus to serve you and your family, if you need assistance during this time, please let us know and please stay in touch during this time away. We would love to see pictures of you and your children doing fun things at home. You can email us at: SaintsAtHome@lcasaints.com or share it on social media at #SaintsAtHome.
  • While there is plenty of uncertainty these days, I am certain of one thing . . . we will get through this together. When we overcome this health crisis, we need to ensure that LCA remains strong. To that end, we will host a revised Spring Gala online this week. I am incredibly grateful to our generous sponsors and attendees who have continued their support of this adjusted event. This fundraiser supports our school’s teachers, innovative educational programming and facilities. I humbly ask that you consider participating in the way that is best for your family – consider purchasing a raffle ticket, bid on an exciting teacher experience or simply pray for the success of this important event. More information will be forthcoming later this week!

During these difficult days, please know that we are praying for you and your family. Please keep us in your prayers – we appreciate it deeply.

We Stand in Solidarity with those on the Frontline

Thanks to the generosity of our Early Childhood Program parents, Mrs. Berardinelli and I were able to donate thousands of medical gloves to both The Cleveland Clinic (through Dr. Starck) as well as The City of Lakewood (through Mayor George). We pray that this small act of service will be of assistance to those who are fighting this disease.

A special shout-out to Matt and Jack Volosin who shaved their heads on Saturday in honor of all our amazing doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. We’re in this Together!

Be a Saint!
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 8: Sunday, March 22, 2020, 4:10 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

First times are always scary.

Tomorrow we will begin our Saints at Home Learning Program. This is a first. I am just as nervous as you are, but I have decided to choose courage over fear. I hope you do too. I also hope you embrace compassion and kindness during these tough days at home. Particular kindness should be exercised as you view our new SAINTSTV show which will hopefully bring a daily dose of joy into your lives at home. We were brave and dared greatly to create an engaging program for you and your family (bloopers and all). This daily show (45 minutes – 1 hour) premiers tomorrow at 8am and will be made available each weekday at that same time. You will be emailed a link for the show at 8am, but you will be able to view it at the time that is most convenient for you and your family. This show highlights our commitment to the joy that needs to remain at the heart of the childhood experience even during global pandemics.

As much as is possible, we encourage you to develop a daily routine and schedule at home for your children. Our suggested schedule can be found HERE. I understand that we have some families who are serving at the various front lines of this emergency and are not able to work from home. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your service to our community. No parent should have any guilt that they are not able to establish the at home learning schedule – it is simply a resource and suggestion. Be gentle and kind to yourself and your children.

Researcher Brené Brown recently commented that “just as we can come out of our skin during hard first times, they (our children) will too. It will take hours of complaining about feeling like they’re dying before they settle into that strange place that’s rarely visited by today’s children – their imagination. We don’t need to entertain them, we need to model vulnerability for them and support them…Boredom is sacred. We shouldn’t deny our children this holy experience.”

I assure you that we are trying our absolute very best to navigate this new reality, and I know that you are too. It is important that we consciously practice patience with ourselves and each other. I promise you that my team and I are committed to working through this difficult time – we will make mistakes and we will learn and grow. I invite you to be our partner on this interesting journey. Trying new things for the first time is indeed scary and overwhelming, but we can do this – together!

Lastly, if you are looking for a beautiful evening prayer experience, I encourage you to watch the live stream of Taize Prayer from St. Ignatius this evening at 7:30pm. Click HERE for the Live Stream Link.

Prayerfully,
Brian Sinchak

PS. I encourage you to continue to write letters and create artwork for our school-wide social justice project, Saints Serve: Bringing Cheer in Times of Fear. Many thanks to Mrs. Angela Giaco who designed and made available beautiful coloring worksheets that are available for free download HERE.

Update 7: Friday, March 20, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

In so many ways, our choices have been limited over this past week.  While we cannot choose the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we can choose how we respond.  We are choosing to respond with joy, with love, and with a commitment to do what we do each day at LCA – a commitment to honor both childhood and the potential of each and every student.

Here are some important updates as we prepare for next week:

SaintsTV
One way that we will demonstrate our commitment to childhood joy is by launching SaintsTV. SaintsTV is a daily morning show that will begin on Monday, March 23rd at 8am.  You will be able to log in and watch at the time that is most convenient for you and your family. A link will be emailed to you each weekday morning at 8am. If possible, we encourage you to watch the show with your children.  Play it on the TV or watch it on a computer whatever is easiest and most fun for you and your little ones. Please be kind – it is our first attempt at this type of film production!

Required Academic Learning
For the next three weeks, your child will have required educational assignments.  These assignments will be assessed in a formative way. Formative assessments are assessments for learning.  They are designed to help educators gain insight into each child’s strengths and struggles.  Familiar online platforms, such as IXL, collect data and provide teachers with valuable information about each child’s response process.  While we cannot be in the classroom with your child, we will use these analytics to help inform instruction.

Teachers at LCA differentiate in a number of ways each day.  Informal modifications are granted all day long to respond to a child’s interest, attentiveness, mastery of content, etc.  Teachers at LCA also honor each child’s ability to make good choices. While we are away, we will differentiate and honor student choice through our activities for students in grades K-4 as well as our Choice Board Requirements for grades 5-8.

This curricular approach is for this closure period only.  In the event that there is an additional closure ordered by the government, we will shift our educational strategy to a more synchronous style that includes opportunities for direct instruction. As always, we pledge to keep you informed and updated regarding school developments.  For now, our leadership team believes this educational approach for our elementary aged students is the balanced and thoughtful way forward.

The required student assignments will be emailed to all families on Mondays at 8am, beginning this Monday, March 23rd.  All information will also be able to be found on our school website at: https://lakewoodcatholicacademy.com/extended-school-closure/ This site also has a page that will feature optional enrichment activities that students can complete beyond the required academic work.

Primary Years – Grades K through 4
Students in Kindergarten through Fourth Grade will focus their learning in the areas of Reading, Writing, Math, and Theology.  Students will see their work organized by each day of the week. Students will be using online platforms such as IXL, Edmentum, and RAZ Kids.  All of these logins use the same username and password, which is your child’s IXL username and password. If your child does not remember that information, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.

We are excited about our new partnership with RAZ Kids which is an award winning literacy program that will provide access to leveled books for at home reading and will reinforce important literacy skills.  This is a new program for our families so a visual instruction sheet will be shared that will walk families through how to register and navigate the site.

We also are going to be creating a school time capsule that we will fill with student work once we return, and then we will bury it on campus to mark this interesting time period in history. We are asking students to use a notebook as their personal time capsule.  Please complete any of the writing prompts in this notebook, which will be referenced on the assignment sheets as “time capsule.” Parents will be asked to keep a folder of any of the other work their children are required to do. Please keep this work at home as it will be turned in to school once school is back in session.  We look forward to having your saints share their work and time capsule with us when we return!

Primary Years Help Desk  
For technical questions related to online learning programs, please contact Brenna Warrell at bwarrell@lcasaints.com.  For educational content questions, please contact Courtney Ryan at cryan@lcasaints.com or Brenna Warrell at bwarrell@lcasaints.com.

Middle Years – Grades 5 through 8
Saints at Home Google Classroom
Students in grades 5 through 8 will receive an invitation to join a new Google Classroom on Monday morning in their LCA email account..  This Saints at Home Google Classroom will contain information and resources needed to complete weekly assignments.  Please have your child check his/her LCA email on Monday morning and accept the invitation to the Saints at Home Google Classroom.

Assignment Sheet
You will notice that the assignment sheet has two parts.  Part I contains required content that all students must complete.  These required assignments are categorized as STEM, Humanities, and Theology.  Part II is our Choice Board. Choice Board activities are wide ranging in topic and are provided to promote joyful growth.  Students will record evidence of progress from Choice Board activities on their Saints at Home Evidence Document.

Saints at Home Evidence Document
Students will notice that there is a Saints at Home Evidence Document on the Google Classroom.  This will serve as a sort of “process journal” for most of the activities on the Choice Board. Suggested minimum time requirements are 30-40 minutes per week on at least four activities from the Choice Board.  Remember, these are suggested minimum time requirements. If a student has very high interest in one area, or if a student would like to try all nine activities on the board, he/she should feel free to go above and beyond.  Some of the options on the Choice Board will remain from week to week, while others will be replaced by additional supplemental options. For most options, students are prompted to record a reflection, add a screen shot, or include a picture on the evidence document.

Middle Years Help Desk  
For technical questions related to the Google Classroom, please contact Laura Crabb at lcrabb@lcasaints.com or Brenna Warrell at bwarrell@lcasaints.com.  For educational content questions, please contact Eileen McGuire at emcguire@lcasaints.com, Mike Fletcher at mfletcher@lcasaints.com or Meghann Campbell at mcampbell@lcasaints.com.

Bringing Cheer in Times of Fear

Help us create some positive news, hope, and happiness. Please join the second grade Saints of Lakewood Catholic Academy in making cards for nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in which we have created partnerships with; many of which have been banned from having visitors.

A mailbox is underneath the Blue Awning of our Early Childhood Program entrance at Lakewood Catholic Academy. Letters are picked up every Thursday afternoon and distributed to facilities each Friday. Please consider making this a regular activity for the next several weeks. Please share this with friends and family in other communities. Contact Courtney Ryan, LCA’s Campus Minister and Primary Department Chairperson, at cryan@lcasaints.com with any questions. Thank you in advance for helping us send cheer! #SaintsSendCheer #cheernotfear

Additionally . . .
While making cards for nursing home residents, students have the opportunity to spread cheer by reading to residents at the Renaissance Health Center and assisted living.  They are asking students to schedule a time to read to their residents via Skype. If you and your child are interested in setting up a 10 minute time to read, email Renaissance Health Center’s contact, Rose Nails, at rnails@elizajen.org.

Athletics Update
Earlier this afternoon, CYO issued a memo indicating that the spring season has been cancelled. Note that this impacts LCA’s track season only, as Saints Lacrosse is a club program played outside of CYO. A determination regarding the lacrosse season has not yet been made. LCA will provide information next week about using already-paid spring fees as credits in future seasons, as well as the issuance of refunds where needed. All students are encouraged to remain active and to engage in individual workouts where possible.

A Capuchin Franciscan Brother Richard Hendrick wrote a poem,
Lockdown, which reads in part . . .

… All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing

Be a Saint!
The Administrative Team
Brian Sinchak, Eileen McGuire, Brenna Warrell,
Michael Fletcher, Courtney Ryan and Meghann Campbell

Update 6: Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Here are today’s updates:

  • Due to new guidelines and recommendations, our school buildings will not be open for our families tomorrow as we had originally planned. Only essential personnel are permitted to be on campus until further notice.
  • Please take some time to read our most recent blog written by Mr. Fletcher on behalf of the Administrative Team. This thoughtful reflection summarizes some wonderful ideas to help families care for their Minds, Bodies and Spirits during this challenging time. Click Here to Read our Blog.
  • We are grateful to WEWS News 5 Cleveland for featuring our efforts to deep clean our entire campus, including our beloved Early Childhood spaces. Click Here to View the News Story. You will see our advanced Clorox360 disinfecting machine in action.

Reflective Poem by Laura Kelly Fanucci

When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of Communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself

When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be,
we were called to be, we hoped to be, and may we stay that way –
better for each other because of the worst.

Be a Saint!
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 5: Monday, March 16, 2020, 7:15 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

Happy Monday – we already miss you!  Today our administrative team has been hard at work planning some incredible lessons for our students for when we begin our at home learning program next week.  We are writing this evening with a few important updates, as well as information regarding optional, supplemental activities that you can enjoy this week.

  • In accordance with new state guidelines, our LCA Library will be closed until further notice.  We had hoped to have it open for a short time on Wednesdays, but in the interest of public health we have closed it until further notice.
  • Although the grading quarter was due to end next week, that date will be extended and grades for third quarter will not be final.  We are still working on a plan that will be in the best interest of our students.
  • Our LCA Team created a suggested schedule for you as you begin to create new routines during this time at home with your children.  Please review our recommendations and adjust it to fit the needs of your family. Click Here to View the Schedule.
  • The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have suspended all Masses through Easter Sunday.  If you have questions regarding sacraments, please contact your home parish.
  • Please take some time to read this letter from LCA parent, Dr. Rebecca Starck who serves as the President of the Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital.  This letter reminds us of the critical importance of following the medical and governmental guidelines during this pandemic.
  • We want to hear from you!  This week we ask that you share with us a picture of your family’s favorite board game and let us know who won the game this week!  You can email us at: SaintsAtHome@lcasaints.com or share it on social media at #SaintsAtHome.

Supplemental Activities: Week of March 16, 2020
Click here for this week’s recommended supplemental activities. Please remember that this week’s activities are optional and are not required to be completed.  Starting Monday, March 23rd, we will send assignments that all students are expected to complete.

Bringing Cheer in Times of Fear

Announcing our New School Social Justice Project
Help us create some positive news, hope, and happiness. Please join the second grade Saints of Lakewood Catholic Academy in making cards for nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in which we have created partnerships with; many of which have been banned from having visitors.

We are asking for cards, posters, or signs to give to patients and hang in common areas. These can have simple messages of hope and love, straight from the heart, handmade by our children. If we can bring a smile to just one person, we are making a difference during a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Let us take this opportunity to show our children that they can choose to bring cheer during times of fear.

A mailbox will be underneath the Blue Awning of our Early Childhood Program entrance at Lakewood Catholic Academy. Letters will be picked up every Thursday afternoon and distributed to facilities each Friday. Please consider making this a regular activity for the next several weeks. Please share this with friends and family in other communities. Contact Courtney Ryan, LCA’s Campus Minister and Primary Department Chairperson, at cryan@lcasaints.com with any questions. Thank you in advance for helping us send cheer! #SaintsSendCheer #cheernotfear

This week let us pray together a prayer written by Miss Ryan:

Tender Jesus,
Allow us to show hope and love to all.
Help us send a smile and joy to those most in need.
During this time, may we recognize Your goodness and everlasting love
Please continue to watch over all Your children, both young and old.
Come, Holy Spirit help us spread cheer, not fear to those most in need.
Amen

Be a Saint!
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 4: Friday, March 13, 2020, 3:05 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

As we enter into this time away, I know that there is a great deal of anxiety – I feel it too. However, your emails and phone messages expressing support and love of LCA remind me that none of us are alone, even when we are away from each other or keeping social distance. We are family.

In anticipation of a continuation of the 3-week mandate by Governor DeWine, I have extended the school closure beyond April 3rd so that families can make arrangements for their children. If the situation improves and the government allows school operations to resume, I will joyfully welcome our students back to campus on April 6th. However, please note that spring break will be held as normally scheduled (April 10-19).

As a working parent, I know the challenges that you face with this extended school closure. I encourage you to connect with one another to discuss ways to support each other during this time. One way LCA may be able to help facilitate this is by providing you a list of families that have a seventh or eighth grade student who is willing and able to provide limited babysitting services. We are working to compile this information and will be sending it to you next week. In the meantime, I would like to share the contact information for some of the most trusted and professional staff in our Early Childhood Program who are now available for hire for at-home services. These talented women and men care deeply for our little saints and have allowed us to share their names with you. They may not be limited to the age experience noted in the document.

LCA ECP Babysitter Contacts

Let’s talk about what learning will look like during this interesting time period . . .

Before discussing the details, I want you to know that we continue to think creatively and work tirelessly on to how to support our students with engaging learning experiences while they are away from campus. While this time off will certainly be a disruption, our focus will be on continued student growth. With that as an end goal, activities each week most likely will not include content from every class or subject, but will focus on building core skills and competencies. As a parent, you may worry about your child’s readiness for the next grade, which for some is high school. Our focus on growth in core academic areas will ensure that students are ready to pick up where we leave off today, and that they will be prepared for the next grade. This is uncharted territory, but remember that every student in the state of Ohio, as well as other states in the nation, are in the same situation. All schools will be understanding and adjust, as needed.

  1. As stated in previous communications, we have additional days built into our school calendar. Because those days are in excess of the hours mandated by the state of Ohio, next week will be a non-instructional week (March 16-20). We encourage you to focus on some quality family fun time which will assist in reducing increasing levels of anxiety in children.
  2. Every Monday, beginning March 16th, we will send an email with supplemental, fun, and age appropriate learning activities for students. These activities are not required. They are being shared so that families have some creative options while students are at home.
  3. Beginning on March 23rd, the weekly email will include curricular assignments, which are required to be completed. We are working very hard to make sure that these assignments will not only emphasize important skills, but also inspire and motivate. We are also planning some magical surprise moments . . . if you think our curriculum is creative now, in the words of PT Barnum, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
  4. Thanks to the leadership of our talented librarian, and after thoughtful consideration aligned with the decisions of the majority of public libraries, our LCA library will be open on Wednesdays during the school closure from 9am-12pm so that LCA students may check-out books. Please note that only LCA students may visit the library and that they will not be permitted to remain, but rather stop by to select books for at-home reading.
  5. I know that many students may not have taken home all of their belongings, and that is perfectly fine. Should you want or need to return to LCA to retrieve items, you will be permitted to come in throughout the day on Wednesday, March 18th. We do not expect students to take home any/all of their textbooks and workbooks; the lessons being designed are not dependent on resources that are used during a normal school day.
  6. Since the primary mode of communication during this closure will be via email, if your family does not have access to a computer and internet connection at home please contact our principal, Miss Warrell at bwarrell@lcasaints.com.

This morning when our faculty gathered to discuss these extraordinary times we are living in, we prayed the following prayer written by Cameron Wiggins Bellm. I share it with love and in solidarity . . .

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when schools close
remember those that have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbor.

Amen

Prayerfully,
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 3: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 4:15 p.m.

Dear LCA Families,

A short time ago, Governor DeWine issued a directive for K-12 schools in the State of Ohio to close, effective Monday, March 16th. I want to provide some additional information about our way forward together as a school community.

  1. Our Early Childhood Learning Classes and K-8 classes will be held tomorrow as regularly scheduled – Friday, March 13th. As previously communicated, as parents, if you are concerned about the health and safety of your children, you reserve the right to keep your child at home by notifying us of their absence.
  2. Lakewood Catholic Academy and its Early Childhood Learning Program will be closed beginning on Monday, March 16th. Our twelve-month Early Childhood Learning Program will resume on Tuesday, April 14th. All other Early Childhood Learning classes and K-8 classes will resume instruction after Easter break on Monday, April 20th. These dates may be altered based upon new directives from the state government or health organizations.
  3. With the suspension of classes must also come the suspension of all school activities, including our Saints Showcase, Art Show, and our athletic seasons of Track and Lacrosse.
  4. Our school calendar has ten days of additional instructional time already built into it, so there is no need to immediately implement distance learning. We plan to share our engaging and fun at-home learning experiences with you on Monday, March 23rd. More information regarding this will be forthcoming.
  5. While our teachers will not be at school during this extended closure, our administrative offices will remain open.

We will continue to communicate with you regarding school-wide updates. Now, more than ever, we need your support, patience and understanding. Thank you for being part of this incredible school community and for blessing us with the gift of your children. We truly love them with our whole hearts, and we are disappointed for them and with them regarding these changes to their academic year.

I met with the 8th grade students this morning in the Chapel and reminded them of one of life’s greatest lessons – it is not what happens to us that defines our character, but how we handle it and rise to the challenge. I am inspired by the courage of our saints – our students, teachers and you, our parents.

In this 15th anniversary year, I am reminded that the central strength of our school and the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine has always been resilience. In that spirit, I want to assure you that we will weather this storm.

Prayerfully,
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 2: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

Dear LCA Families,

I want to be honest with you – these are challenging days as we navigate the ever-evolving situation regarding the Coronavirus. As a parent and educator, I understand the many emotions you may be feeling – it is easy to be overwhelmed and confused. However, as president of Lakewood Catholic Academy, I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to monitor this complex situation and make thoughtful decisions. I pledge to you that I will keep you informed as important updates are available.

During this time of uncertainty, it is imperative that everyone focuses on facts that are clearly communicated by the school. Please do not trust rumors or messages shared on social media platforms if they are not official communications from LCA. Here is what we know for certain:

  1. There are no known cases of the Coronavirus in the Lakewood Catholic Academy community at this time.
  2. Our maintenance and janitorial teams have strengthened our cleaning and sanitation protocols. We are also using the advanced cleaning technology of our Clorox Total 360 machine to disinfect our buildings and classrooms.
  3. The decision to close school will never be made in isolation, but rather in collaboration with state and local health departments. At this time, we do not anticipate an extended closure of Lakewood Catholic Academy.
  4. In the event that we are directed to close school, we have plans in place for the continuity of instruction. Gratefully, our school calendar has ten days of additional instructional time already built into it, so there is no need to immediately implement at-home learning activities.
  5. As parents, if you are concerned about the health and safety of your children, you reserve the right to keep your child at home by notifying us of their absence.
  6. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Keep children who exhibit these symptoms home from school, notify us of your child’s absence and seek medical attention from a healthcare professional. A child must be fever free, without fever-reducing medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.

In light of recent developments and based upon recommendations from Governor DeWine, I have been forced to make some difficult decisions that impact our school operations and opportunities for our students, including the cancellation of the following events and activities:

  • All upcoming local field trips
  • The State Speech and Debate Competition
  • The Amazing Shake Competition in Atlanta
  • The 8th Grade Washington, DC Trip
  • The Urban Plunge Retreat
  • The Fifth Grade Camp Christopher Trip
  • St. Pat’s Hunger Center service experiences

Detailed information about refunds, etc. will be communicated individually to each group impacted.

Additionally, please note the following:

  • The Spring Gala on Saturday, April 4th is going to be redesigned to be a virtual event with no physical event held on campus.
  • Prayer remains important during this time. Our St. Joseph’s Day Mass will take place as regularly scheduled. However, special instruction will take place prior to Mass informing students and staff to smile and bow to each other during the Sign of Peace (rather than the traditional handshake). This is aligned with the new directive from the Diocese of Cleveland.
  • The theatre production and art show will take place as scheduled next weekend. We will host our small event in the same way that state athletic events are being conducted where families may attend but no large public audiences are permitted.

While the above decisions are necessary in the interest of public health, they were not easy to make. Behind each decision is a group of extraordinary students who lose an opportunity to experience some of the best parts of what makes an LCA education so special. Despite these changes, I assure you that my administrative team and teaching staff will work diligently to make the remainder of this year as meaningful and magical as we can.

Lastly, please know this . . . no matter the problem, no matter the crisis, our Lakewood Catholic Academy team will continue to do our very best every moment of every day. When the news becomes simply too much to bear, please rest easy knowing that there still remains so much joy in the hallways and classrooms at LCA because of the incredible young saints we are honored to know, teach and love.

Prayerfully,
Brian Sinchak
President

Update 1: Thursday, March 5, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

Dear LCA Families,

As more cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are reported across the United States, we are writing to inform you of what LCA is doing to prevent the spread of disease and to prepare for the possibility of the Coronavirus in our community.

So far there have been no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Ohio, and our current risk is low. We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), which recommend that students and staff go about normal routines and procedures while being mindful of practices to prevent disease.

We encourage all students, staff, and parents to take the following every day preventative measures:

  • Keep children home when they are sick. Children must be fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Remind children to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can tell your children to pray a Hail Mary and Our Father while they wash, or sing the ABC’s, which will last about 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Remind your children to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Remind your children to cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. When a tissue is not available, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow.

Our teachers will reinforce these measures at school so that all students and staff are practicing healthy habits. Teachers will also encourage students to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before eating lunch. In order to prevent the spread of any disease, all classrooms contain alcohol-based hand sanitizer, like Purell, and teachers regularly clean with disinfecting wipes, like Clorox Wipes. Our maintenance crew also regularly disinfects the entire campus with our Clorox Total 360 System, which was purchased last winter. The system works by charging and atomizing the disinfecting or sanitizing solution and delivering a powerful flow of charged particles that are attracted to surfaces with a force stronger than gravity. This allows the solution to uniformly coat surfaces, including hard-to-reach areas like the sides, underside, and backside of surfaces.

At this point, we are not planning to institute a prolonged school closure. Should a case of COVID-19 be reported in our community, we will work with our local health department and follow their direction. If they advise us to close, our teachers will prepare lessons for students to complete at home in order to ensure continuity of instruction.

In order to provide you with information about COVID-19, we have compiled resources from both the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control below. We will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 in Ohio and work with our local health officials to provide updates, as needed.

Resources:

Thank you for your help in keeping your family and our school community healthy,
Brian Sinchak
President