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School UPDATE: Friday, May 15
School UPDATE: Friday, May 15
St. Mary's High School
Friday, May 15, 2020

St. Mary's Families,  

Saint Isidore the Farmer, pray for us.
- More about St. Isidore: www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-isidore-the-farmer/ 
- Daily Mass readings /www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051520.cfm   

Updates.
- SUMMER.  School's out for summer!  ONCE per WEEK e-mail updates (and as needed updates) for the summer (probably on Monday).
- GRADUATION.  The governor has APPROVED the outdoor, seniors only high school graduation plans for El Paso County, to include St. Mary's, with additional SUGGESTIONS:    -- Students are ENCOURAGED to AVOID vulnerable persons for two weeks following the ceremony.
 -- Students are asked to NOT PARTICIPATE in graduation if they have a family member at home who is VULNERABLE.
***The CDC defines vulnerable people as:  People over age 65 and/or people with an underlying medical condition (such as: chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, compromised immune systems, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease).  For a more detailed explanation, please see the CDC website:
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html   

COVID-19 coronavirus.
- STAY SAFE.  The summer is here.  Restrictions have eased.  But there is NO VACCINE and that hostile force known as "COVID-19" still lingers.  Be smart this summer.  Social DISTANCE.  Wear a MASK.  Wash your HANDS.  Stay HOME if you're not feeling well.
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html  
covid19.colorado.gov/    

What's Next
- NEXT YEAR ENROLLMENT.  With all the worldwide craziness, we expected enrollment numbers to be a little slower this year.  We're hearing from other private schools across the nation that in some places enrollment numbers are 30 percent or more behind what they would expect for this time of year.  Well, turns out we're a little AHEAD of schedule when compared to last year.
   -- Last year, on May 16, 2019, we had 207 enrolled and 42 of those who enrolled were incoming freshmen (we ended up with 258 on Aug. 15).
   -- As of today, May 15, 2020, we have 217 enrolled and 46 of those enrolled are incoming freshmen.  Apparently the word is getting out that St. Mary's is taking care of their students despite the pandemic challenges.
- SUMMER SCHOOL.  No in-person summer school this year.  HOWEVER, we will have some offerings for self-paced online instruction.  Details to follow soon.  

Athletes in the News.
- HEADS UP!  Hope you saw the baseball team on the news last night. Here's a link, if you missed it: www.fox21news.com/sports/senior-spotlight-st-marys-baseball/ Look for a similar story on the TENNIS team next TUESDAY (May 19) evening on KOAA channel 5.    

How You Can Help.
- BALLOT INITIATIVE.  From Mary Simmons, St. Mary's parent and Students for Life club adviser:  Some of you had the opportunity a few months ago to sign the "Due Date Too Late" Ballot Initiative 120 petition which would put a statute change on this November's Colorado ballot to ban abortion in our state after 22 weeks of gestation, the point of viability of the baby outside of the womb. Colorado is one of only seven states in the country that sadly still allows abortion for any reason up until birth with no restrictions. This initiative would allow Colorado to say "NO" to late term abortion and would be a good first step in saving precious lives. We needed 124,632 valid signatures statewide to get this initiative on the ballot and came up about 10,000 short during the first signing period so we are now entering a 15-day "cure" period from May 15-29 during which we have the opportunity to collect the additional needed signatures. If you are at least 18 and a registered voter, and if you DID NOT SIGN THE PETITION THE FIRST TIME AROUND and would like to, I would be happy to don my mask and grab my hand sanitizer and bring a petition to you to sign! For more info or to coordinate a time to meet, please call/text me at 719.233.1558 or email me at Simmonsmjm@aol.com. Thank you! For LIFE  

Reminders.
- SENIORS.  (1) Check out the picture collages. Go to smpirates.org or the school app, look under LIVE FEED.  Thanks to those of you who sent in pictures. (2) FAVORITE ST. MARY'S MEMORY.  Jot it down and send it to Amy Partain (apartain@smhscs.org).  

Thank You.
- Students, parents, faculty, staff, supporters.  THANK YOU for your efforts during these challenging times.  Tomorrow marks two months since we transitioned to distance learning on March 16.  In some ways it feels like yesterday, in some ways it feels like a hundred years ago.  I'm sure I haven't said thank you often enough.  Thank you for your effort and your prayers.  Thank you for your encouraging words.  Thank you for putting up with my many typos in these e-mails :)   You have been amazing and we are grateful!  

Prayer.  Please CONTINUE to pray with us EVERY DAY this summer:  

THE MEMORARE
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.
Amen.  

Respectfully,
Rob Rysavy
President
St. Mary's High School