In Mid-March our worlds were turned upside down, our faces covered in masks and our routines dissolved. With little notice, St. Matthew School sprang into action immediately developing a comprehensive, compassionate and cohesive distance learning model that fostered academic advancements, while maintaining focus on the continued connection between the faculty and students. As we waited in confusion and fear of what was to come in our worlds, there was a calming consistency that filled our homes every day. Mrs. Treacy’s morning messages and scripture readings began our days with hope and positivity. Daily emails from the teachers outlined the targeted academics for the day, while allowing room for flexibility as families sought to conform to their new normal. The zoom live classroom lessons provided our children a virtual place to learn, but more so the opportunity for that social connection they so greatly missed among their teachers and peers. The teachers did a fantastic job of intertwining faith into their everyday academics. St. Matthew School faculty continued to go above and beyond, planning surprise school wide virtual field trips to NASA Space Center and San Diego Zoo! It was such a joy seeing the smiles on our children’s faces as they ate breakfast with the baby penguins and learned how astronauts walked in space. These well-planned field trip days gave the children a chance to expand their imaginations, and the parents a mental break from being “the teacher.” The faculty added additional enrichment activities including surprise zoom mystery readers, virtual field day led by the upper class students, and a reverse end of school car parade to celebrate another wonderful school year. Father Dietrich, Mrs. Treacy and all the faculty of St. Matthew School did more than “make the best of” an unprecedented situation. They “brought out their best” and gave our students a memorable, enlightening virtual learning experience. The faculty were a warming light during darker times. In years to come, when this is all behind us, our children will hopefully not remember the fear and uncertainty. They might remember masks and social distancing. I am certain, however, they will remember the warmth, love, compassion, connection and comfort their pastor, principal and teachers provided. Thank you to all for your dedication and efforts in providing our children with such a wonderful experience.
A parent from Preschool and 2nd grade