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Dear SHC Community,

As we continue through Holy Week, we recall how Holy Thursday and the Last Supper remind us of the importance of sharing meals with friends, an experience we are currently unable to enjoy. We remember how Good Friday reminds us of our own experiences of betrayal, denial, abandonment, suffering and death. As a spiritual director once shared, everybody experiences Good Friday, but our call is to share the Good News of resurrection, new life, and Easter Sunday. It is the unexpected empty tomb, the call to “go and tell” others, a God who loves us and willingly shares our suffering, even unto death, who redeems our suffering and helps us to make some sense of it. May God’s unconditional love through Jesus and the Spirit descend upon you and remain with you in the weeks ahead. And may you enjoy some well-deserved rest.

We continue to be incredibly grateful to you all for sheltering in place and for our students remaining steadfast in their learning. You are all to be commended for your flexibility and resilience during this time of uncertainty. We want to make you aware of the following plans as we move forward after Easter Break.

Campus Closure and Distance Learning: We are planning to continue distance learning throughout the remainder of this semester and will plan to adjust learning goals, assignments, assessments, and work outside the classroom accordingly. If, based on the directives from the Public Health Department, we are able to return to campus and to classrooms, we will welcome the news and adjust again. For now, however, plan for distance learning for the remainder of the semester. 

Schedule: The schedule has been adjusted for the last five weeks of the semester (April 20–May 21). Classes will meet on a set schedule from Monday–Thursday each week. On Founders Fridays, we will have dedicated Office Hours during the day by Department. These hours are meant to answer questions, provide clarification, and support deeper understanding, rather than to introduce new material. We will also be providing Community Life and Wellness opportunities for students and look to possibly schedule traditional end of year programming on these days (e.g. Student Council/Class Elections, Founders Day Mass, Community Life Awards Assembly, etc.).  

The schedule for April 20–May 21 may be found here for your planning purposes.

Final Assessments: All courses will have a final assessment, to reflect on and complete the learning for the semester. Our faculty will work to design assessments that fit distance learning and, as much as possible, that gauge student progress on the essential skills and content of the semester. We want to set students up for success so they are able to demonstrate what they know effectively and with integrity in a distance format. As learning teams and individual teachers design or revise final assessments, they will work to emphasize transferable skills—those skills most fundamental to the next level of study. 

Final Class Gatherings (Real Time) and Final Assessment Due Date/Time:  
May 18–21 (Monday–Thursday) will be a time for all classes to meet one final time. Teachers will be asked to provide a “real time” gathering of classes via Google Meet or Zoom on these days to bring closure to the semester for their students. A separate schedule for these final class gatherings is being finalized and will be shared with you as soon as it is completed. The dates/times for class meetings will also serve as the last possible due date/time for all final assessments to be completed. 

Both because these final remote assessments may be designed in parts and because of their overlap with the AP exams (which the College Board moved into later May), some classes may have students begin to work on final assessments starting May 11. Faculty will also facilitate alternate plans for students who may need to miss their final class because of AP exams. 

Advanced Placement Exams: Students enrolled in AP courses are expected to take their AP exams, as per our usual policy. The AP experience culminates in the AP exam, when students have the opportunity to demonstrate their yearlong effort to master college-level skills and content. Please note that AP exams are now scheduled exclusively as online exams between May 11 and 22 for most classes (schedule).

Semester Grades: Letter grades will be assigned for the semester and will be calculated as follows.

Grades for the spring semester will be calculated as follows:

  • Quarter 3: 50%
  • Quarter 4: 40%
  • Final assessment: 10%
This calculation increases the weight of our third, more traditional (face-to-face) quarter in the semester grade while keeping the learning inherent in cumulative assessments. Teachers have adjusted the amount of curriculum during the fourth quarter to essential and manageable lessons and welcome any work (including late work) from students that shows effort, understanding, and/or mastery.

There is an expectation of participation with authentic effort in at-home learning. A student will not be penalized for circumstances beyond his/her control. However, a student who simply chooses not to participate with authentic effort in at-home learning is subject to consequence. We continue to have teachers, school counselors, and the Dean’s office notify parents if it becomes evident that a student is not participating. What we ask from all students is simply their best effort during this challenging time.

Graduation: Assuming that we will be unable to have Commencement Ceremonies by May 23, we have secured reservations of St. Mary’s Cathedral on the following Saturdays at 10 am:  June 27, July 18, and August 1. We wanted to plan for future possibilities and provide concrete dates for families to plan. When we solidify the actual date based on directives by SFDPH, we will begin to consider other events as well (Baccalaureate Mass, Grad Night, Prom, etc.). Linked here is a communication sent to seniors this morning.

Cocurriculars: All spring sports have been canceled by the CIF, CCS and WCAL.  All other activities and events will occur online or have been canceled.

Thank you for your understanding and support. Stay safe, stay healthy, and have a restful break and Happy Easter.


Melinda Lawlor Skrade, PhD

Gary J. Cannon, EdD

Copyright © 2020 Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, All rights reserved.

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