While our school buildings must be closed and we are all expected to stay home, we continue to support parents in their God-given responsibility to educate their children through our Distance Learning Plan. St. Stephen’s teachers are well equipped and prepared to skillfully guide learning experiences as they have done in the past, even if they cannot be physically present with their students. Below is a basic outline of the program. More details can be found in Phase 1, Phase 2, and Encouragements and Clarifications before Launch communications.
Important Information About Distance Learning
Weekly Distance Learning Schedules
If you are experiencing technical difficulties or have questions about technology, please email the office, and we will do our best to quickly find someone who can help.
Distance Learning Start Date
Kindergarten-12th grades began on April 6.
Preparing for Distance Learning
Things to consider:
We are excited to partner with you during this time of transition. Please feel free to reach out to your classroom teacher with any questions you have. We’re happy to brainstorm ways to make this work for each family’s unique situation!
Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8)
Science Fairs (May 12 and 15)
March 16-20: NO SCHOOL
Benefit Dinner (March 14)
Following the governor’s announcement, the Oregon Zoo has canceled all events for the coming weekend. This means that our 20th Anniversary Benefit Dinner event cannot be held. However, we know all of you are very interested in celebrating this milestone and supporting the ongoing work of the school.
School may be off… but the auction is ON! Online, that is! The SSA 20th Anniversary Benefit Auction is STILL happening, but online for the first time ever! Join us from the comfort of your couch! With this new online format the entire SSA community will have the opportunity to participate in this innovative event. We couldn’t be more excited to share this event with you!
Please join in supporting SSA HERE!
Grandparents Day (March 17)
Considering the CDC recommendation that at-risk populations “avoid crowds as much as possible,” we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Grandparents Day events scheduled for March 17. Grandparents Day is a precious time at St. Stephen’s, and we are all disappointed to miss this opportunity to welcome grandparents to our campuses! While we do not plan to reschedule this year’s Grandparents Day events, we do hope to record video clips of our student presentations to share with grandparents.
Grammar School Concert (March 17)
Due to the recently announced large gathering ban, we are unable to hold our Grammar School Concert on Tuesday, March 17. While it would be ideal to reschedule this event, we are not able to do so at this time. We will update our plan as options become more clear.
Greek Festival for 3rd Grade (March 19)
Tentatively rescheduled to April 23.
Upper School Beta Testing (April 1-2)
All Upper School students are encouraged to participate in our Distance Learning Beta Testing on these days. This is a great opportunity to connect and practice using the tools that we will use when Distance Learning begins.
Distance Learning Begins (April 6)
Kindergarten-12th grade will begin Distance Learning on Monday, April 6. This will be our mode of delivering education until we are able to re-open our buildings and resume on-site education. Find more details about Distance Learning in the section below.
High School Trips (March 30-April 4)
We are working to reschedule our out of town trips. We can’t predict what will happen in the next few months, but for now this is what we are working toward.
Q: Are there any known cases of COVID-19 in the St. Stephen’s community?
Q: When can I pick up my student’s medications, jacket, school books, or other items that were left at school?
A: Both campuses were open on Wednesday, March 18, for materials pick-up. If you were unable to pick up your items at that time, a staff member will deliver them to your front door the week of March 30.
Q: What about hot lunches parents ordered?
A: Lunch orders for March 16 through the end of the year have been canceled. Parents will receive a credit on their account for lunches paid for during that time period. If a parent does not have a balance for the remainder of the year, they may request a refund check. Refund checks must be requested no later than April 4. If we are able to resume on-site school before the end of the year, we will look at the possibility of reinstating hot lunches.
Q: What about families who have traveled abroad?
A: Families who return from travel abroad will be expected to follow any relevant CDC requirements regarding quarantine/exclusion at that time.
Q: What steps can we all take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infectious diseases?
A: Remember – and remind your children – that good hygiene helps prevent the spread of viruses:
Pray for those being affected by COVID-19.
If you are connected in any way to a confirmed case of COVID-19, please notify Camrynne Six immediately.
If you have specific questions about the SSA Distance Learning Plan, please contact one of the following:
In the midst of all our questions about coronavirus and its potential effects on our lives, it would be helpful for us to dwell on God’s promises in Psalm 91, which we might unofficially dub the coronavirus psalm.
Consider some of the lines from this psalm:
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
The opening verses of this psalm remind us that our security is not found in this life, but in the presence of the Lord, who is the only sure source of protection against the threats that come from within and without. It is in times like this that our true source of confidence is exposed. Are we trusting in soap? In masks? In isolation? Or are we entrusting our bodies and souls to God?
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
The psalmist lists various forms of serious danger – traps, disease, terrors in the night, flying arrows, and anything else that would destroy us. The Lord is our deliverer from deadly things. Therefore, we should not fear. He will not let anything touch us that is not a part of his good plans for our lives. He surrounds us, like a wall around a city. He covers us, like a mother bird covers her chicks beneath her wings. And his faithfulness is a shield to us in the midst of the uncertainty of life.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
The psalmist writes this long before the development of modern medicine, in a time when everyday illness could be deadly, and a plague would be catastrophic. God’s authority extends even over the dangers of community sickness, and there is nothing that can truly harm us if the Lord is our dwelling place, our refuge.
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
The psalm ends with the assurance of God’s presence “in trouble.” We would like to think that God desires to save us from trouble, and that something has gone horribly wrong if we experience real trouble. But the only things we can lose in this life are temporary things. The most precious things cannot be extinguished by the troubles of this life. In fact, the truly precious things are refined and improved through the fire.
The most striking thing about this psalm is the way the New Testament applies it to Jesus and his followers. Jesus is the faithful and obedient lover of God whom God delivers, but he is also our shield, the one who stands between us and the deadly arrows of sin and judgment. Jesus absorbs the real threat for us. It is on the cross that we see Jesus’ sacrificial love – his life for ours – and his death, resurrection, and ascension assure us that God will rescue us and satisfy us with everlasting life.
Remember that coronavirus may come into our lives, and it may bring real discomfort, both physical and economic. But it cannot truly harm those who abide in the shadow of the Almighty. He is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.