Dear St. Benedict Catholic School Families,
Good afternoon, as you are all aware, air quality in Seattle has been very poor over the last few days. Many of us have been feeling the effects of the wildfire smoke, particularly yesterday and today. Hopefully, tonight and tomorrow will bring some rain to clear out the skies and get us back to some more typical Fall weather. I have shared with a few parents who have asked the steps that the school is taking to minimize the effects of the poor Air Quality to our students and staff.
- Windows and Fans – We typically have windows open with a fan in them circulating air to improve our indoor air quality. As an older building with the original heating system this has been the recommendation throughout the pandemic. When the air quality is bad, teachers have been asked to keep most of the windows closed. The only exceptions are a few windows with fans in them to EXHAUST air and keep the classroom air from getting too stale.
- E. – Yesterday, as you may have heard, all our PE classes were held inside, to minimize students’ time outside. These were also less rigorous activities (ping pong, cup stacking, etc.) so that the students were not exerting themselves.
- Recess – Yesterday, even with the air quality index above 150, we still had students out at recess. All students who were outside during recess were asked to mask up while they got their wiggles out and moved around. Today, because the AQI was above 200, we have kept students inside for recess.
As you can imagine, this is an on-going concern that is being monitored constantly to make sure that we are staying ahead of the current conditions.
2023-2024 School Year – Believe it or not it is time to think about enrolling for next year! In just a few weeks I will be hosting our first Open House, welcoming new families into the building to hear about our programs and apply for next year. I share this with you for two important reasons:
- If you are a current family and have a child who is not currently enrolled that you would like to enroll (particularly in PS, PK, or K) we would appreciate hearing from you immediately so that we can prioritize your student’s enrollment. Returning families always have priority and in the grades listed above we already have multiple applicants. You can use this link to notify us if you have a NEW student you would like to enroll. Returning student enrollment will begin in the new year.
- It is time to start inviting your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to check out St. Benedict! If you know of someone who may be interested in our school, send them our way!
A quick update on our ongoing Facilities Projects that I mentioned at Back to School Night. We have two big facilities projects that are “in process” right now, both were funded with your generous donations to the Fund-a-Need at last Spring’s Auction. Unfortunately, the technology components of both projects are causing delays and continue to push back the installation timeline. Our main project, the replacement of the school’s intercom system, may still take place over Christmas Break (say some prayers) but will more likely happen over Spring Break. Similarly, the second project, replacing the auditorium sound system, has been delayed and will likely not be installed until the spring. While these are frustrating delays it looks like both projects will be completed by the end of the year.
Next week, St. Benedict will be hosting a brief “pop up” Clothing Drive collecting gently used children’ clothing. As you change out your kids’ clothes for the season, please consider donating what doesn’t fit to students at Lowell Elementary School. Lowell is the designated elementary school for homeless children in Seattle. They need boys clothing for ages 4-10 and girls clothing for ages 6-14. Donation drop boxes will be located in the hallway outside of the main office at St. Benedict on Thursday, October 27th and Friday, October 28th. Conveniently drop your donations when you come in for parent-teacher conferences. Thank you, in advance, for providing clean clothing in good shape and making a difference in a child’s life!
Parent/Teacher Conferences are right around the corner and will be offered on October 27th and October 28th. If your family has not yet done so, please use the links provided below to sign up for a conference! Your last chance to sign up will be Monday, October 24th.
Have a wonderful weekend,
– Brian Anderson