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School UPDATE: Monday, May 25
School UPDATE: Monday, May 25
St. Mary's High School
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Greetings St. Mary's Families,  

Memorial Day Blessings to you all.  

Daily Homework.
- SAINTS & VERSES. 
www.franciscanmedia.org/sod-calendar (Easy to navigate calendar, most saints also have a 90ish second audio blurb)
www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/saints (Catholic News Agency's searchable database of saints).
- Daily Mass readings www.usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/index.cfm   

Memorial Day
- PLANS?  What are your plans for today?  What is Memorial Day?  Is it the first day of summer?  Is it the day we get the grills out and burn some burgers?  Is it a day off from work?  All of those things are fine, but Memorial Day is a lot bigger than all of that.  This is the one day each year where we honor those military veterans who are no longer with us.  The History Channel has a short overview of the holiday:
www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history 
- The Veterans Administration is livestreaming Memorial Day activities from various VA cemeteries across the country.
www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/memorial-day-2020-live-stream-va-national-cemeteries/ 
***We are a free people because for more than 200 years we've had an American culture that fosters a spirit of sacrifice in those who defend our freedoms.  Almost 3 million American citizens have died or been wounded during our nation's wars.  We would do well to honor them in some way today.  

Updates.
- (Reminder) GRADUATION.  The governor has APPROVED the outdoor, seniors only high school graduation plans for El Paso county.
   -- NEW.  State and/or county health officials will attend ALL graduation ceremonies.  If school communities do not adhere to the governor's guidelines, all graduation ceremonies throughout the state may be CANCELED.  We need to play by the rules because the transgressions of one school could result in penalizing all other schools.  It seems Big Brother will be watching...
   -- 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.
***CDC definition of vulnerable persons: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html    

What's Next
- SUMMER.  Put the technology down.  Go outside.  Read a book.  Go outside and read a book!
- SUMMER SCHOOL.  We have contracted for online offerings for both geometry and health this summer.  Register here:
www.smpirates.org/o/smhs/page/register-for-summer-semester  
- FALL SEMESTER.  We never stop planning, and the planning for the fall semester is ongoing.  Summer professional development for our teachers is in the works as we prepare for all possibilities:  in-person learning, distance learning, and/or a hybrid of the two.
- ENROLLMENT.  Enrollment for the fall semester (to include incoming freshmen enrollment) continues to trend slightly ahead of where enrollment was during May of last year.  

Reminders.
- (*LAST REMINDER*) SENIORS.  FAVORITE ST. MARY'S MEMORY.  Please get those great memories e-mailed to Amy Partain (apartain@smhscs.org).  Maybe parents can supply an encouraging nudge to your graduating seniors to share those memories?  

Pirate Accolades.
- The Jostens people informed Mrs. Taylor that our yearbook received "Program of Excellence" recognition this year!  This recognition is open to middle schools and high schools in the US and Canada.  Of the 641 high schools in the state of Colorado, only 14 received this honor, and St. Mary's was the only high school in Colorado Springs so recognized.  Congratulations to Mrs. Taylor and the yearbook staff!
www.jostens.com/apps/shop/images/pdf/NYPoE20.pdf    

How You Can Help.
- (*LAST REMINDER*) 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  

COVID-19 coronavirus.
- WHAT'S GOING ON?  We are approaching 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US, to include more than 1,000 deaths caused by COVID-19 here in Colorado. I included an additional link to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website as there is interesting data there as well.
- In summary, it appears that new cases are definitely trending down, but that downward trend is not steep and we are a long way from being out of danger.
- The research at this point seems pretty compelling that adhering to social distancing and wearing a mask are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html  
covid19.colorado.gov/  
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data     

Prayer.
Pray without ceasing...:  

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