Dear Bishop Ireton Families,
I hope that all is well with your families and that your students are settling into eLearning. I appreciate the many challenges that come with online course work, and I understand the juggling that families are doing to make remote schoolwork, professional work and home life occur in the same spaces! I know that I speak for the faculty and staff when I say that we miss being together and seeing our students on a daily basis, but we are grateful that we have a way to connect and maintain our school community as we continue social distancing and responsible citizenship. God is with us in all things, and He is intensely with us at this time.
Last night, I shared a letter from our superintendent, Dr. Joe Vorbach, in which he provided diocesan information for the remainder of the school year. In accordance with his directive and through the guidance of the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE), I share the following adjustments to the Bishop Ireton schedule:End of Year Revised Calendar
Senior Events Detail
- March 30 – April 3 – online lessons for all students continue
- April 6 – 8 – students have time to complete and turn in all assignments from previous online lessons
- April 9 – 19 – Easter Break
- April 20 – online lessons resume for all students
- May 1– Senior College Sweatshirt Day! (info to come on where to send photos of you in your sweatshirts!)
- May 13 – Seniors last day of regular classes/Senior Tye Dye Shirt Day!
- May 15 – Seniors last day of school! (no final exams for seniors)
- May 18 – Seniors grades close
- May 21 – Underclassmen last day of regular classes
- May 25 – Memorial Day – no school
- May 26 – Underclassmen Study Day; Senior Virtual Commencement (#semifinal) Exercises (all grades are invited to view; details for seniors below)
- May 26 – 29 – Underclassmen End of 4th Quarter Assessments (no final semester exams)
- June 1 – 3 – Make up days for Underclassmen Assessments – Underclassmen last day of school
- June 4 – 5 – Professional Development for Teachers
- June 8 – 12 – Professional Development and Classroom Closeout for Teachers
- June 12 – Final Report Cards posted
- Date to Be Determined – A Celebratory Graduation Gathering/Ceremony for our Seniors and their families on a day and time when we can all safely be together again
We understand how important it is to celebrate our Seniors! While we will look to have a celebratory gathering for our Seniors and their families on a day when we are allowed to gather safely, we know that the possibility remains unclear as to where, when and how. Thus, we have several things in store to celebrate them during the month of May. Seniors will finish early (as is tradition) and will not have any final exams or final quarter assessments this year. Thanks to the generosity of our PTO, they will NOT have a graduation fee, while still receiving cherished graduation items: cap and gown, diploma, yearbook and a special package of graduation items. Packages will be prepared in advance of our Virtual Commencement #semifinal Exercises to provide some earned joy! Information on when to expect these packages will be forthcoming. We will have a separate pick-up day for all 2020 Flight yearbooks and official diplomas in the summer. Communications will be forthcoming from the Student Life Office for our senior families on the events below, but this provides the dates as you look ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions (Ireton FAQs as we are social distancing)
- May 1 – Senior College Sweatshirt Day
- May 13 – Seniors last day of regular classes; Senior Tye Dye Shirt Day
- May 15 – Seniors last day of school!
- May 18 – Seniors grades close
- May 22 – Senior Virtual Commencement (#semifinal) Exercises
- Virtual Mass at 9am
- Virtual presentation at 12pm
- Date TBD – A Celebratory Graduation Gathering/Ceremony for our Seniors and their families on a day and time when we can all safely be together again
While the information above provides families with new dates and details, I know that it still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Some remain unanswered as we deal with and heed safety restrictions. Here are answers to the most asked questions:Prom?
While we wish that prom could happen for our juniors and seniors, this event is regrettably canceled. We know that our families will find creative ways to celebrate this rite of passage – the Student Life Office will look for your photos! We will still be giving our students a “prom souvenir,” which they will receive at the yearbook pick-up event (see below).Yearbooks?
We are definitely having BI Flight 2020 Yearbooks, and this year’s will be the best yet! Yearbooks for seniors, which are usually covered in their graduation fee, are free for them this year as a gift and thank you for their sacrifice from our PTO. Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors can still order yearbooks. If you have already placed your order, you are good to go. If you would still like to place an order, a link for online payment will be sent out on Friday. We will have a yearbook pick-up day (which we hope to be a celebratory gathering!) in the summer. The date for this will be announced as soon as we know the yearbook arrival date and what type of pick-up event we can provide.
Will Advisories have the chance to virtually gather before the end of the year?
The Student Life Office will be working with advisors to get that virtual opportunity set up for each advisory. Students should watch their email for more information.Will Bishop Ireton still have the Academic and Service Banquet and the Athletic Banquet?
We will not have these events, BUT we will be recognizing BI academic, service and athletic accomplishments through our traditional certificates and awards/plaques. Seniors will be recognized during our Virtual Commencement #semifinal Exercises, and underclassmen will be notified before the end of the school year and will receive their awards during the designated summer pick-up event.Our Musical, Freaky Friday?
Mrs. Henry, our theater director, has been brainstorming with drama students on the possibility of sharing the musical through a podcast and then using this musical for our Fall production. She is awaiting permissions from the theatrical licensing agency. Once we have details, we will share dates with the community!When will juniors receive their class rings?
Those rings are being mailed directly to the students. When the Class of 2021 returns to school in the Fall, Fr. Noah will bless their rings at the first school Mass.When can students get things from their lockers?
We don’t have the answer for this yet. It will probably not be until after June 10. The state’s social distancing restrictions prevent us from having students on campus, even by appointment. As soon as we are permitted to let them into the building, we will communicate the dates and details to you. This same restriction stands for faculty.Why is construction work still allowed to happen at the school?
At the moment, we have a limited number of contractors in limited areas of the school. As the work continues and is completed, the area is deep cleaned and sanitized. Contractor work will continue while it is still allowed by the state. That said, there are several orders and deliveries that can’t be filled at this time due to temporary production shut down. We are being fully compliant with the state while trying to complete projects and maintain work for our contractors.Will traditional grades be given for the 4th quarter or will they be pass/fail?
All of the diocesan high schools will be giving traditional grades for the 4th quarter. Our students are engaged in the curriculum designed for their subject areas through full teacher facilitation, and they have worked to achieve actual grades during this eLearning period. Because we are not giving final exams this year, the final report card grade will not include a final exam grade in the calculated average.Will we receive a refund for unused lunch funds?
Our lunch vendor, Three Brothers has shared the following: “Any students that are returning to Bishop Ireton can keep their balances in their accounts for next year, but you are not required to do so. Any seniors or students that are planning to transfer or not return next year should follow the steps below to receive your account balance. Unfortunately, the company used for our point of sale system is a subsidiary company and cannot disperse the funds directly into your account, therefore a check will need to be issued and sent to the address that you provide.”
Instructions on how to receive your Café balance:
Please send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your child's name and account number
- Your complete address
- The name to whom the check should be made out
Will we receive a refund for our parking fee for the 4th quarter period?
Yes, prorated refunds are coming. Mrs. Whitley and Mr. Bass are working to provide our finance department with family information so that a prorated refund can be provided for the time that you were not on campus. That information will be forthcoming. If you have any questions, you can contact Mrs. Whitley at email@example.com
or Mr. Bass at firstname.lastname@example.org
.Do we pay the regular tuition rate for the remainder of the year even though we weren’t on campus?
Yes! We understand that some may have questions about why tuition must be paid if school is not operating normally. The tuition that we charge is collected on a 10-payment scale, even though the cost of running the school continues all year long. Many of our families don’t realize that our tuition fees do not even cover the per child cost to educate each student. I can assure you that we are working harder than ever to serve all of our families. Our teachers, who make up the greatest cost in school operation, are working doubly hard to shift to and execute an eLearning model; and our staff continues to work around the clock to maintain community through a variety of creative methods which have included prayer opportunities, live streamed masses, video messages and emails. We remain fully committed to our mission on behalf of our students and families, but we cannot fund our full commitment to our teachers, staff and ongoing operations without full tuition payments. That said, we realize this virus is having a significant economic impact on some in our community. We encourage any family facing extreme economic hardship to contact our Finance Office and we will do all we can to address your need.What will happen with summer activities on campus – Summer Camps, Summer Classes, the PTO Used Book Sale?
We don’t have the answer for this yet. We are planning on holding these activities with the understanding that we may need to revise, adjust days, or even cancel some events. We will remain in communication with you as the days progress and answers are available. In the meantime, we will continue to plan as best as we can.My student has medications stored at school. When will I be able to get those returned?
As soon as we are able to have students and our nurse on campus, we will provide a date for pick up. If there is an emergency and you need to speak with Mrs. Lorge, she can be reached through email at email@example.com
.I bought tickets to the BI Gala. Will the event still be held?
It was with great disappointment that we postponed our Gala and began preparing to make it an online event. Our Gala was to provide much needed funding for our Annual Fund, which helps to offset the costs that tuition fees don’t cover, as we serve your child throughout the school year. This funding also provides much needed financial aid for so many students in our community who wouldn’t receive an Ireton education without assistance. Our Advancement team is working with wonderful parent volunteers to shift the online event to a late Spring date (still to be announced). The money raised through the online Gala, the car raffle and our upcoming June Day of Giving will be more important than ever as we help families in need during this time and cover operational costs as we look towards the 20-21 school year.
So often, it is the “unknown” that brings anxiety, and that certainly is a big part of worldwide concerns at this time. How blessed we are to have our faith and our Bishop Ireton community as we wait, keep our families safe, and adjust to what is needed to stay healthy. While the information in this email regarding canceled or changed events may be disappointing, I hope that we provided some answers that will bring peace and direction as we move forward. We want the best for all of our students and we want to do all that we can for them as we close out the school year. Please know that I continue to pray for all of you. I ask you to pray for me and the entire staff at this time.
Stay Safe ~ Go Cardinals ~ Advance Always ~ Live Jesus!