Good News Blitz, Week 6!
Mission Grammar School Provides Critical Support with Early Education Program Reopening
On July 6th, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Grammar School (Mission Grammar) reopened their infant, toddler, and early education program to provide critical support for families impacted greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the guidance of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Mission Grammar implemented efficient safety precautions in order to open their doors to families, the first Catholic school in the Archdiocese to do so since the pandemic began.
“Our families rely on the care they receive at Mission Grammar and need us now more than ever,” said Aliece Dutson, President of Mission Grammar. “Quite a few of our families are first responders or are already physically back to work and returning to school has been a great source of support. Many of our other families are still working from home and reopening has been equally as supportive; we know it is difficult to work a full-time job from home while also caring for children. By reopening, families can successfully work and know their children are safely engaging in academic, social and emotional learning.”
In preparation for the reopening, each family attended a virtual Information session. The school prioritized providing spaces for faculty and families to come together prior to reopening; this allowed for conversations, questions to be asked and answered, and a shared understanding of the school’s in-depth plan so everyone felt comfortable and ready. Additionally, families signed an agreement to uphold Mission Grammar’s new safety procedures. Reopening in July has enabled Mission Grammar to implement these new practices and prepare to scale these new routines and procedures for their September 14th reopening of K1 through grade 6.
“Both of our children returned to Mission Grammar School last week and we have been highly impressed with the level of thought and care that has been put into the re-opening, as well as the constant communication around new procedures and protocols,” said a Mission Grammar parent. “We are very grateful to be able to have our students return and feel the school very much has the safety and best interest of the children and their staff at the forefront of all decision making.”
One of the most positive outcomes reported by Dutson has been the regular communication, feedback and community spirit from their families that allowed them to implement this strategy with trust and resilience.
“We have learned through this entire process: adaptability, creativity and continuous learning are key as we prepare for new challenges each day,” said Dutson. “There is no ‘standard practice’ in this time of COVID-19 but leading with love, safety, and communication is what we will continue to do in this uncertain time.
Mission Grammar is a Catholic Schools Foundation (CSF) Sponsored School, meaning that approximately 100 students receive scholarship support from CSF, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to high-quality Catholic schools in greater Boston. Mission Grammar serves the extremely diverse community of Roxbury and 66% of their students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
“Mission Grammar School is an incredible partner to CSF in our mission to Build Minds and Change Lives in greater Boston,” said Mike Reardon, Executive Director of CSF. “Reopening their Early Childhood Center this summer provided a much-needed resource for the school’s families and community. This is another example of the thoughtful response our Catholic schools have had to this pandemic, putting safety and children first. We are proud to support Mission Grammar School and over 80 other schools across the Archdiocese.”
Additionally, CSF partners with Mission Grammar and Cathedral High School as part of the Catholic Urban Partnership (CUP) to build a K-12 Catholic school continuum for students in Roxbury. CSF supports CUP through continuum scholarships for students who graduate from Mission Grammar to attend Cathedral High School as well as admissions and marketing efforts and City Connects Guidance Counselors to nearly 250 students at Mission Grammar.