As we settle into these first weeks of school, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the last month since we welcomed our faculty back to campus in late August. At that time, we held Mission Day, the official first day for faculty “on” campus, made possible by the live stream technology at Old St. Patrick’s Church. The day included a powerful Prayer Service organized by many among our staff and faculty. FXW Board Chair Enrique Suarez opened our service, and our partner pastors Fr. Greg Sakowicz from Holy Name Cathedral and Fr. Tom Hurley from Old St. Patrick’s presided.
In his warm welcome to the faculty, staff, and Board members, Fr. Hurley referenced a scripture reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. In this reading, often read at weddings, we are reminded to “strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way…” Fr. Hurley encouraged and invited us to find this “more excellent way” in this new year, and that way is centered around love. The reading is certainly appropriate in this pandemic as it states:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
As we start the 2020-21 school year, I am grateful to my colleagues who have worked tirelessly throughout this summer because they love the FXW mission. I am appreciative of their commitment to keeping our “Back on Campus” guiding principles at the forefront of our discussions and decisions.
As we all work together to keep our doors open, while always preparing for the unexpected circumstances the pandemic presents, we will strive to operate in “the more excellent way” by adhering to these guiding principles. In practice, this looks like enhancing our comprehensive Learning Program; keeping the FXW Community intact; providing a Healthy and Safety learning environment for our students, faculty and staff; and maintaining our Fiscal Health.
“The more excellent way,” calls each of us to be part of a responsible and loving community by following our health and hygiene protocols (link can be found here: FXW Family Commitment). We need each family’s assistance in adhering to and assisting us in enforcing these health protocols. By doing our part in following the protocols, I am confident we can stay in school for as long as possible—benefitting everyone. I appreciate your support of our efforts toward our shared objective.
The “more excellent way” includes a level of integrity and respect that is pervasive throughout the FXW community. We are staying informed about what other schools are doing in the face of the pandemic, and we are doing what is best for the FXW community. With the guidance and support of the Board of Trustees, and based on the sound counsel of the health care providers serving on our Task Team, we remain committed to our Hybrid Platform throughout the first assessment period, which will bring us to the Thanksgiving break. In late October, we will communicate our plans for the learning platform for the second assessment period. We feel confident our measured approach should result in a safe and successful school year.
Recently we experienced widespread technology issues which frustrated all of us. I want to express an appreciation for the numerous messages of support—aligned with Saint Paul’s message—which demonstrate the understanding we as a community are capable of sharing. We are as committed as ever to providing the best possible learning environment for your child. As I look to the year ahead, I share my gratitude for your ongoing partnership and patience. I know our community will continue to lift each other up constructively along “the more excellent way” with love, kindness, patience, and support.