April 2, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope this finds you well; safe and healthy.

This week began with a celebration of a successful end to our second week of distance learning and we welcomed week three with weekly challenges that are meant to stimulate our critical thinking skills with a dose of creativity and innovation.  We are quite impressed with how many of our students are rising to the occasion.  We see the Jaguar Pride living and breathing through all of the hard work and dedication of our teachers, parents and our student. We also received a renewed Presidential Order extending the quarantine period through April 15th.  We most undoubtedly will continue to face additional trials and tribulation as we move forward into the uncertainty that the coronavirus brings; but none too great to overcome the mighty Jaguar Spirit. Next week we will be honoring Holy Week and we will not be assigning school work.  We invite our families to use this time to enjoy each other and share in quality family time.  We will notify you of any additional Presidential Notices or Orders with regards to the week following Holy Week.  May you and your family share in this most holy of times as we reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and celebrate in His Resurrection.

Throughout this most difficult time, we share are gratitude and count our blessings for the unwavering commitment and cooperation of our faculty, staff, our students and parents alike.  We are all faced with challenges that will try our spirit, our faith and on occasion our patience.  Challenges that go beyond the scope of any normal we have ever known.  Yet still we look with optimism to the future, both near and distant, and find ourselves welcoming each day with a renewed commitment to serve; God, our families, our staff and our community.  We continue to seek opportunities to express gratitude and celebrate, to live and learn, and to be the hope and sunshine in the lives of others.

We are the educational hope and home to 400 families and 650 students. And, we are the economic support and emotional stability to 87 employees. While we greatly appreciate all of our families, we wish to express our extreme gratitude to those families that have continued to remain steadfast with their financial commitment to ST. Theresa Bilingual School during this most trying time.  While we normally manage the business aspect of the school independently and with professional and confidential discretion, we have received much feedback with uncertainty about the operational aspects of the school due to this global crisis. We believe, at this time, it is of the utmost importance to remain open and transparent with our entire learning community. We, as well as the entire global community, are economically impacted by this crisis.  While the relief that the government has offered by way of extensions in loan payments and taxes, is helpful, it does not bring complete resolve.  We are a business that is solely and economically dependent on income from both tuition and the cafeteria.  We officially closed the cafeteria on March 12th, which carries about 20% of the total personnel servicing our school community and has since been operating as a liability instead of an asset as it has done over the last several years.  In addition, many of our school families are experiencing severe economic struggles which reflects in the current monthly income decline of 33% and has created an increase of 70% in our Mora, which was high at the onset of this crisis.  Taking this into consideration the late charges will be eliminated for the months of March through June.  If you were charged a late charge during the month of March the accounting department will apply this late charge as a credit towards the tuition charge for the month of April, reducing your April payment.  We continue to look for innovative measures to maintain our responsibilities to every member of our community; distance learning for all students, parent support for instructional guidance, leadership support for every teacher, and economic support for all employees. Not an easy task and not a responsibility we take lightly.  Our future success is dependent on how well we manage our resources; the cooperation and understanding of our teachers; the willingness of our parents to work with us as we journey into the unknown of this global crisis; and our students remaining dedicated and committed to their studies.

Lastly, with great pleasure, honor, and Jaguar Pride, I announce the success of our Cognia Engagement Review Visit.  ST. Theresa Bilingual School was granted Cognia Accreditation on March 31, 2020.  We are officially nationally and internationally accredited and have a renewed energy to our commitment to continuous improvement.  I am currently working on a presentation that will detail the Cognia Engagement Review Team’s findings to include our ratings; a breakdown of our initiating, improving and impacting work; recommendations for our strengths; and recommendations to improve student achievement with specific areas of focus. As we have mentioned before, this is not a one-time stamp of approval, but rather it is a commitment to a process of continuous improvement in where your children will benefit socially, emotionally and intellectually preparing them for their future roles as global citizens.

Excerpt from Cognia notification:

“Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that the Accreditation Engagement Review Report for ST. Theresa Bilingual School has received final approval from the Cognia Accreditation Commission…… As you continue your journey, please ensure that you have downloaded and shared the report with your stakeholders. As an Accredited institution you are encouraged to be engaged in continuous improvement efforts, addressing the Standards identified in the Initiate and Improve phase, and ensuring the Standards in the Impact phase stay as effective practices within the institution.  

Within the next few weeks, the official letter of accreditation and the accreditation certificate will be shipped to the address noted on your institution’s profile. Meanwhile, you are welcome to verify the accreditation status by visiting www.cognia.org. Please click on Find Accredited Schools (top-right of the home page), and enter the name of your institution as recorded with Cognia ({ST. Theresa Bilingual School} there is no need to enter additional information; just enter the name, and the results will be generated). You are welcome to share this link with your stakeholders until the official letter has been received from our office.”

We thank you for the confidence you place in us by having your children registered at ST. Theresa Bilingual School and we thank you for your unwavering support throughout our accreditation process.  Amidst this global crisis and uncertain times rest assured that we remain steadfast and determined to provide your children with the best possible learning community, one in where they will learn conflict resolution skills, receive social- emotional support, discover hidden talents, and achieve academic excellence reaching their full potential.

With warm regards,

Donna Dixon

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4

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