Holy Family Catholic High School Boys and Girls Soccer are back in action! Spectators wishing to attend games who do not own a booster club pass, family activity pass, or student/staff ID must pre-purchase tickets in advance. Those with a booster club pass, family activity pass, or student/staff ID must reserve their seat tickets using the link below. Each event is limited to 250 spectators per the Wright County Conference guidelines. Please show the email receipt to the gate attendant and abide by all protocol in our fan guide: HFCHS_SoccerFanGuide
You can do more with the grace of God than you think.- St. John Baptist de La Salle
In July 1999, Kathie Brown and her husband Dennis packed their belongings and relocated their family to the west side of the Twin Cities, an area more populated by cornfields than houses. Kathie was embarking on what turned out to be both an entrepreneurial venture and a vocational call – the creation of a new Catholic high school, the first to be built in Minnesota in over thirty years.
Twenty-one years later, Kathie views the decision to leave Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin as a significant close-your-eyes-and-leap of faith experience. “Sometimes a question challenges us to say ‘Yes’ to change, to embrace the unknown. Reflection is valuable, but we will never have all the information we would like to make a perfect decision. Leaving CMHS, friends, and extended family was difficult, but working with a passionate group of people to grow a school created a new sense of what it means to be family,” Kathie believes. This responsiveness to the needs of young people is a legacy offered to each class of Holy Family students.
By the time Kathie reported for her first day of work in an office of then Klein Bank in Chanhassen, the architectural plans were drawn. The ceremonial shovels had been stuck in the soil of the farm that would support Holy Family Catholic High School. What was left? Everything.
Busing, food service, furniture, equipment, and supplies had to be acquired. These are essential components of a school that are so easy to take for granted in an established institution. Of great importance, however, was developing a vision for the curriculum and finding the educators who were knowledgeable, flexible, and creative to achieve that vision.
Kathie began by using her experience with a combined English and history course at her former school and imbuing it with theology. Integrated Studies (IS) was born. Seeking a theology teacher who could envision an interwoven approach to learning and deepen understanding of the Catholic faith, she found Doug Bosch, someone capable and willing to explore ways ninth grade students might see education as more than earning grades. Today, elements of this integration are found in the junior-level courses of American Literature, American History, and Catholic Social Teaching.
Eleven other teachers filled the available positions by the time the building was ready for limited occupancy. Four remain: Doug Bosch, Gary Kannel, Matt Thuli, and Jim Walker. Kathie credits the tireless efforts of these first twelve educators for setting a high standard of collegiality and innovation not only for each other but for the next teachers to join the professional community as the school grew.
Kathie also recognized the importance of providing traditions and rituals for the first 147 students who walked through the doors in the fall of 2000. She established a weekly Convocation to pray, communicate information, and reinforce values. The classes of 2003 and 2004 established many other meaningful traditions. They suggested the Thanksgiving dinner and an honor society to acknowledge academic effort. These young people took ownership of their new school and led Holy Family quickly and decisively to a culture of excellence. Kathie recalls, “All they needed was someone to listen to their ideas and permission to use their energy to make them happen. I was in awe of their insights and eagerness to make Holy Family their school. They helped form me into the school leader they required.”
One of the most significant historical developments in the growth of Holy Family came in 2005 with the formal approval to join the Lasallian international network of schools. Former president Frank Miley initiated the discernment process and Kathie immediately identified with the Christian Brothers’ pedagogy that sees students as the center of the educational process. She loves the imagery of faculty and staff walking alongside youth as they teach minds, touch hearts, and transform lives – their own included.
An essential aspect of our Lasallian charism is to “Live Jesus in our hearts . . . forever.” It is witnessed frequently in the way people say “Yes” to what will help students thrive. They are not concerned whether a task is in a job description. Over the last twenty years, faculty and staff have volunteered to moderate clubs, plan events, and suggest better ways to do things – and then do them. Kathie hopes the culture of doing “whatever it takes” is so well-established that such generosity continues to grow. She has tried to lead the way by serving whenever her skills are compatible. She remembers everyone in her family cleaning the school’s windows and bathrooms the weekend before Holy Family opened in fall 2000. Recognizing every job is an essential one, she has served as Holy Family’s first counselor, a substitute teacher, ticket-taker, concession stand coordinator, and, for eight years, as both president and principal.
These experiences explain why what comes next is not a question Kathie can answer. She could not have predicted what would be necessary to end this school year with as little loss of learning and relationships as possible. As the challenges increased, what became important was supporting students and teachers in their efforts to adjust and stay healthy in every way. Again, she had help. Teachers ensured the students were well-taught. The staff and parents supported the teachers. Family takes care of family.
All is well these days as Kathie packs up the many memories two decades can collect. And because all is well, she is not concerned about making plans for the immediate future. The question that needs her next “Yes” will come when it comes.
The times are turbulent. The unrest is real. Our state, our nation, and our world are in pain. From the unconscionable death of George Floyd to the movement that his and so many others’ tragic fates have inspired, there exists a deep and essential need for healing and reform of both hearts and systems to address the plight of racism and the legacy of injustice in our society. Such an ideology and the oppressive actions it inspires, categorically opposes our fundamental belief as Catholic Christians and members of the Holy Family Catholic High School community that all humanity is made in the infinitely beautiful image and likeness of God.
Holy Family has been intensely engaged over the last weeks in meaningful dialogue to develop a message that communicates our response and reinforces our commitment to partnering with parents in the education of their children. While to some our timing may seem delayed, know that such comes from a place of intentional prudence and a desire to first both listen and understand, then to respond.
Without the revelation that there is the image of the divine found in all, we will be left with a void in our understanding of one another and doomed to repeat the sins of the past. “Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race…” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church #144)
It is our further belief that as an educational community built upon a bedrock of faith we are called to uphold in both word and action the principles and values inherent in the mission of our school and that of the Catholic Church — and serve, genuinely and authentically, as the face, hands and feet of Jesus Christ. The call of the Gospel is not merely to “avoid evil” but it also calls us to “do good.” There is the expectation of action. We must respond to that command. It is not a suggestion. We must ask how we can love our neighbor, ensure the dignity of others is upheld, and that justice for all is exercised…and then respond with our answers.
Holy Family’s response to that call is evidenced by the lived reality that is manifested in a school culture guided by faith and animated by action. We take this seriously. We empower our students to be agents of change. We equip our students with Catholic Lasallian values and inspire in them a passion to address the injustices that face our world. We foster opportunities for actively seeking justice and equality for the marginalized and suffering. We create safe spaces to engage in meaningful dialogue that supports authentic listening and understanding.
As an institution of learning, while we believe the primacy of educational responsibility resides with the family, Holy Family not only accepts, but welcomes and embraces the incredible responsibility of setting the table each and every day, serving our students a comprehensive educational and spiritually formative experience that cultivates both their hearts and minds with the aim of bringing hope and goodness to the world in which we live.
Education is perhaps the most powerful force we can enlist in countering ignorance and destructive ideologies. The questions are then: What have we done with such a gift? What must we do moving forward?
As we work to reopen our doors for the fall of 2020, we will remain steadfast in carrying out the good and holy work already in progress relative to the Lasallian ideals of social justice and support of the marginalized. We will continue our ongoing pursuit of professional development aimed at deepening our understanding of the impact of unrecognized biases. We will likewise enter into an assessment and evaluation of what we teach and how it is taught…both implicitly and explicitly. And of equal importance, reveal what is not taught. This will require extensive, and possibly uncomfortable conversations, in an effort to inform change where and when it is needed. And the voices of all must be present.
The world that awaits us in September will not be the same as it was just six months ago. That said, among many things, it will be imperative to explore new ways to open dialogue and talk about race and racism with our students. To that end we believe that perhaps the most important gift that Holy Family can bring to this conversation is Jesus Christ. As a Catholic school, we know the illumination that Jesus can bring to any situation, especially those in times of darkness. We pledge to renew our commitment to our Catholic Lasallian values and to all of our students – those of yesterday, today and tomorrow to ensure their hearts are prepared with the goodness that will help them transform the world that will receive them.
Let us pray for healing. Let us pray for hope. Let us pray for peace.
Last September, we gathered as a community at the Ignite the Fire All Family Mass to pray and celebrate as we ushered in Holy Family’s 20th school year. Not one of us could have imagined that implications of a global pandemic would force the final three months of school behind a computer screen as we transitioned to an online learning platform.
Much like the virus, this transition was indeed novel for a time; however, it soon revealed our inherent and fundamental need for community and a deep desire to learn in communion with one another – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
A virtual environment cannot fully support these elements. It falls short in contributing as effectively to the cultivation of a complete educational experience as when students and teachers gather in the physical classroom.
With this said, the leadership of Holy Family assumes a posture of complete conviction that we will reopen our doors and resume an on-site and in-person educational experience this fall.
Our campus is wonderfully well-suited to the health and safety measures that may be needed:
Our class sizes mean we can achieve social distancing while still teaching and learning in person.
Our 72-acre campus, 176,000 square feet school building, and wide hallways and stairwells provide ample space as needed.
Our front entry security doors and check-in policies allow us to closely monitor those who come and go to and from our building.
I invite you to watch the video linked above with details describing our process and approach as we spend the coming weeks and months outlining Holy Family’s plan for a return to campus in the fall. While next year may not look exactly the way it has in the past, we remain 100% committed to pushing the limits of our creativity to engineer both an innovative and safe environment.
With each step forward, we ask for your patience and compliance as we create a safe environment for our summer activities. The protocols and behaviors of the summer, in turn, will help inform Holy Family plans for the fall. You can expect updates as appropriate over the coming months, including in, but not limited to, our back-to-school packet in mid-summer.
Let’s end our year celebrating the talents of our student athletes, artists, and musicians. Over 1,200 members of our community joined our livestream of the Class of 2020 Baccalaureate and Commencement Masson Wednesday, May 20. This week we invite you to tune in at 7:00pm on Thursday, May 28, for the Holy Family ESPYs, Spring Virtual Coffee House, Spring Band Performance, and the earlier shared Virtual Art Show.
The 2020 Holy Family ESPY’S
AWARDS SHOW HONORING HOLY FAMILY STUDENT ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES
Introducing the first annual Holy Family ESPY’S, recognizing excellence in student athletics and activities.
Holy Family Spring Virtual Coffee House
One of Holy Family’s favorite musical nights of the year went virtual this spring with a coffee house featuring a few veteran performers.
Holy Family Band presents “Music from our Virtual Journey.”
From our Mrs. Laura Boillat, HFCHS Director of Vocal Music: Learning, rehearsing and performing music is on an ongoing group project, with an ENORMOUS amount of subtle yet essential non-verbal communication between musicians. School moving online in mid-March due to Covid-19 turned music performance groups on their heads! The Holy Family Band was no exception, but we embraced the online format and began a journey into the world of studio music and music production. In doing so, we have learned a LOT about recording, editing, and mixing, and just how vital that non-verbal communication is to perform live music effectively. We have certainly grown as musicians through this experience!
Many of the virtual performances presented here are the culmination of our third project in our exploration of a digital audio workstation (DAW) called Soundtrap (similar in function to Garageband). Students started out experimenting with loops and beats to create original ringtones they could use on their phones. We then moved on to incorporating our own recorded tracks for project two. Project three expanded on it and required students to work individually or in groups to create layered recordings along with loops. It took countless hours for everyone to get from zero to their final product. After the music was selected, we familiarized ourselves with it through listening and practicing. Working with a timeline of what needed to be done and setting goals for accomplishment, students needed to collaborate with others in their group to make musical and non-musical decisions. Students then began recording their parts in their homes, using only the equipment they had on hand. Recording, along with editing, required a lot of problem-solving and experimenting with everything from microphone placement (typically just a computer or phone) to tempo and balance. Students then layered, edited, and mixed them into our final performance of the 2019-2020 school year.
We present to you “Music from our Virtual Journey.”
Holy Family Activities – Summer Sports & Camps – May 26, 2020
Greetings Holy Family students, parents, coaches, and campers,
The following guidelines have been created to provide families with a clear understanding of Holy Family’s plans to create opportunities for students throughout the summer, while implementing measures to safeguard the health and safety of everyone involved. These procedures have been created based on recommendations from national, state, and local administrators and health experts, and tailored to the unique specifications of our school’s facilities and student body.
Families are expected to review the plan, and make decisions about their son or daughter’s participation in team training opportunities this summer.
Families who elect to participate in training and camps must complete the attached COVID release of liability form prior to participation.
Please know that this plan has been created with the most accurate and timely information available. However, as new information becomes available, it is possible that plans may need to be modified. We will ensure that families are informed of changes as they arise.
Updates about training and camps in July will be provided at a later date, based on the available information at that time. We are hopeful that we’ll be in a position to offer camps and training throughout July with progressively fewer restrictions.
Period 1 – June 8 – June 29:
All sports camps for elementary and middle school students that were scheduled to take place prior to June 29th have been either cancelled or rescheduled for July.
Individuals who have registered for camps will receive communication regarding rescheduling and/or refunds.
Registration fees will be refunded in full in a timely fashion for all cancelled camps.
Training for Holy Family students (including freshman enrolling in Fall 2020) will adhere to the following parameters:
No sports specific training will occur until June 15 in accordance with MSHSL guidelines. Coaches will provide specific information to their participants.
All coaches and students should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to participation.
Screening includes a temperature check administered at home prior to participation.
Families are required to monitor the health of their children and withhold them from participation if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:
Shortness of Breath
Close contact, or cared for someone with COVID-19
Temp (if higher than 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit)
Any person with positive symptoms should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.
Vulnerable individuals should not oversee or participate in any workouts during this phase.
Limitations on Gatherings:
Workouts will be conducted in “pods” of students with the same 5-10 students always working together
No gatherings of more than 10 people at a time inside. Up to 50 individuals may gather outdoors for workouts.
It is essential that parents register for summer training opportunities immediately to provide coaches the opportunity to plan and stagger trainings.
Parents, if your son or daughter is planning on participating in summer training for an activity that does not require online registration, please contact the program head coach for specific information about training opportunities and logistics
If locker rooms or meeting rooms are used, there must be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual at all times.
Outdoor training will be utilized, when possible, to increase distance between individuals
Parents who drop athletes off for camps and training are requested to remain in their vehicles, rather than entering the facility
Captain’s practices are not allowed during the month of June
Adequate cleaning schedules have been created, and will be implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases.
Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.
Hand sanitizer will be made plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
Appropriate clothing/shoes should be worn at all times to minimize sweat from transmitting onto surfaces.
Students are encouraged to shower and wash their clothing upon returning home.
There will be no shared clothing between students.
All athletic equipment, including balls, should be cleaned intermittently during training.
All athletic equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear should be cleaned between each use.
All students shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles will not be shared.
Hydration stations will not be utilized.
Rights and Responsibilities for Athletes:
Choices made by families – to participate, to not participate, or to participate only in some settings will be respected at all times.
Athletes are expected to respect the privacy and space of others, and may expect the same for themselves.
Coaches will provide opportunities for students who are unable to train on campus to develop skills and improve strength and fitness, as requested.
Students may elect to wear cloth masks if they choose to do so during training, but they are not required to do so.
Families will be informed if a student develops COVID-19, but individual health information about students will not be shared with other families. Families are expected to contact the Athletic Director if your son/daughter is found to have COVID-19.
Individual adherence to the guidelines found herein is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the outpouring of support that has been displayed for our students, teams, and school throughout some very challenging times!
We are grateful to serve a community so committed to leading the way for our students.
Nick Tibesar & Tim Triplett
April 3, 2020
All districts are offering free lunch to students who may or may not qualify for free and reduced lunch. Below are sites for area school districts. Click on the document below for links to sites for more information about free lunches during the COVID19 crisis.
We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz issued a Shelter in Place Order for the State of Minnesota from March 27 at 11:59 pm through April 10. With the previous requirement of gatherings 50 or less in place until mid-May and this new directive, we are moving forward with the following items.
NEW INFORMATION: Online School begins on Monday, March 30, and now extends until at least Monday, May 4, in accordance with today’s directive. Starting tomorrow, you and your student will receive more details from our faculty and staff on expectations, plans, and resources. By 8:00 am on Monday, March 30, students will receive information and directions for the week ahead.
We are tremendously grateful for the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff as they prepare for the launch of an extended online learning dynamic. Redesigning lesson plans and implementing an online approach rich in human connection is not a small task, yet, their commitment to seeing our students through this transition remains steadfast.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
NEW INFORMATION: Minnesota State High School Leaguewill honor the Governor’s executive order and suspend all spring sports until the state lifts distance learning measures. The league has not made a decision about the cancelation of the spring sports season. However, coaches have been notified of the MSHSL’s extension of the ban on any practices, training, etc. until at least May 4when schools could potentially reopen.
We understand your disappointment as this is not what anyone planned or imagined, especially for our seniors. Discussions are underway to ensure we celebrate and acknowledge important rites of passage for our seniors. As more definitive plans (or as absolute as these times allow) develop for senior events and others, we will share more information. The continually changing COVID-19 landscapes make this work challenging, but not impossible.
Please know we are keeping you in our prayers and ask for your prayers in return. Please stay safe and take every precaution recommended by the State of Minnesota as all of us shoulder our responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We must echo the sentiment expressed by so many, “We will get through this together.” We will get through this together because of our deep faith in God, who guides our every step. We will get through this together as a caring and supportive family. We will get through this together and emerge as an even stronger community with new ideas and innovations in providing excellence in education for our students in mind, body, and spirit.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 8:00 a.m.
As we follow the recommendations of our state and national government, our campus is closed until further notice to all individuals with the exception of employees who have permission to access the building.
Monday, March 16, 2020 – 6:48 p.m.
Update from Assistant Principal Dols regarding tomorrow’s Student Assistance Day
First of all, great job, everyone!! Thank you for taking today’s practice experience seriously, working hard, and giving it your full attention. Most importantly, thank you for responding to the survey. The combined feedback from students and teachers will help us build on our strengths and make adjustments and corrections as needed.
We feel very good about today’s outcomes and confident in our preparation for a smooth and successful transition to online learning after the break. Our committed and talented teachers put in many additional hours in preparing today’s lessons. We are grateful for their flexibility and efforts, which allowed us to test our systems and software proactively.
The overwhelming majority of our students reported feeling prepared for online learning after today’s practice. We are in excellent shape to begin online classes on March 30. Closer to that date, we will send reminders and any necessary information to ensure a meaningful and academically strong extended online learning experience.
I want to reiterate the expectations for tomorrow’s limited Student Assistance Day. To minimize person-to-person contact, students should only attend Student Assistance Day if they have an appointment with a teacher to complete Quarter 3.
Finally, students may pick up any remaining necessary items from their lockers, but please make it a quick grab and go. We ask all students to enter and exit the building through the main entrance. The doors will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times. In true Holy Family spirit, today was a success because of your willingness to work together and take care of each other. We will continue to do so beyond the course of this virus because that is what we do every day.
This morning Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-2 authorized the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, Holy Family administrators made plans for the continuation of learning, following the week of our scheduled spring break. While Governor Walz’s mandate was an order for public schools, we will be in compliance utilizing the following plan, as described below.
CONTINUATION OF LEARNING
Online Practice Day – Monday, March 16
To prepare as fully as possible for an online learning dynamic, Monday, March 16, remains a practice day for online learning. Students are to be at home on this day and will be expected to participate in a full day of online classes utilizing our regular schedule. It is essential that our students and families take this day very seriously as we prepare for the potential of a long-term dynamic due to COVID-19.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Students will be sent a survey evaluating their practice day experiences by the end of the school day on Monday, March 16. Because we need time to evaluate this information for discussion with teachers on Tuesday morning, it is imperative that students respond to the survey by no later than 4 p.m.
NEW INFORMATION: Tuesday, March 17 – Student Assistance Day/End of the Quarter
School leadership made the decision to move Thursday’s end of quarter date to Tuesday, March 17. On that day, Holy Family will offer a Student Assistance Day for students who must make up Quarter 3 tests, quizzes, and/or presentations that cannot be accomplished from home. The hours of SAD are 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
The building will be open on Tuesday until 5:00 p.m. to pick up any additional needed personal items or learning materials for the March 30-April 3 online learning dynamic. Students will not be allowed to congregate—only to pick up materials.
Teachers will communicate how they are wrapping up the quarter. This includes information regarding any scheduled assignments, projects, tests, and quizzes.
We are allowing an exception to our uniform policy for the March 17 Student Assistance Day. Students may be out of uniform.
There is no busing transportation available on Tuesday, March 17.
If a student feels unwell, his or her parent should notify the school office, and the student should stay home.
While so much of our attention is focused inwardly on the needs of our school as we navigate these uncharted waters, let us not lose perspective of the ways we can support others beyond our campus. If you are coming to campus, please considering a non-perishable item to support local food shelves as they experience increased demand.
NEW INFORMATION:Extended Spring Break
Spring break will begin on Wednesday, March 18, for students and last until the original scheduled end on March 27. Teachers will be using the additional days to wrap up the third quarter and refine plans based on Monday’s experiences and feedback received. For those of you making the decision to travel during spring break, we ask that you carefully read the travel guidelines listed in the “How You Can Help” in last week’s email and an update in the section below.
NEW INFORMATION: Effective immediately, all sports and activities are suspended until further notice, including, but not limited to training, practices, scrimmages, banquets, meetings, and contests.
Decisions regarding future events continue to evolve. We will communicate decisions as soon as they are definitive. Calendars will be updated accordingly.
Please see the information in the previous update for a list of ways our community can continue to help with the management of the spread of COVID-19. Please note: If a family member has tested positive or been exposed, contact the school at email@example.com.
These are challenging times, and this is a significant response by our state to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This raises many questions that we cannot answer immediately, but we are committed to keeping you as informed and supported as possible. There is much more information to come.
As you prepare for the changes this will entail, please know that HFCHS is committed to providing a strong educational experience in the face of these drastic, but necessary measures. Together, we can ensure these next days and weeks will be productive as possible while we all curtail our activity in such a way that protects the health and well-being of each other, our families, and our community.
Stay healthy and continue to do all that you can to prevent the spread of germs.
We are keeping all our families in our prayers and ask for His blessing on our community as we enter into this new phase.
3/12/2020- Special Announcement Regarding Holy Family’s Plans Moving Forward
Holy Family remains in solidarity with numerous government, business and educational institutions as we exercise vigilance and enact preventative measures with regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prioritization of the health and well-being of our community – both local and extended. As such, Holy Family continues to monitor information and recommendations from official and credible sources including the Minnesota Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
Additionally, our professional networks are both strong and extensive, and include the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the local public school district ISD 112, the greater metro area Catholic high schools, and the Lasallian/Christian Brothers secondary schools across the nation. The exchange of information has been constant and the dialogue has been rich and supportive…we are in this together.
While this email is lengthy, there are times where more communication is helpful. We appreciate your thorough attention to the following information. Students will be provided this information tomorrow during Convocation and, additionally, in their classrooms.
Online Practice Day – Monday, March 16
As shared in an earlier communication, Holy Family Catholic High School has been preparing for the possible extended closure of the school for some time, framing lessons and procedures to support the continuation of instruction in a non-traditional environment. Each teacher has designed meaningful course work and experiences that will be communicated online using mySchool and Office 365.
To prepare as fully as possible for an online learning dynamic, Monday, March 16, is scheduled as a practice day for online learning. Students are to be at home on this day and will be expected to participate in a full day of online classes in accordance with our regular schedule.
This exercise will allow both teachers and students to experience various methods for academic instruction that could be utilized during any future implementation of online learning. Therefore, students are asked to bring all their textbooks, notebooks, calculators, instruments, music, and other resources home with them tomorrow and before they leave for spring break.
When students return to school on Tuesday, March 17, teachers will solicit feedback in an effort to troubleshoot concerns and build upon strengths and successful practices. After school activities presently scheduled for Monday, March 16, will continue as planned.
Visit this webpage created by Collin Nawrocki ’21 to honor the Class of 2020.
On Wednesday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. Holy Family Catholic High School celebrated our class of 2020 graduates through a special socially distanced Baccalaureate & Commencement Mass hosted at our outdoor track. Graduates and their families experienced the once-in-a-lifetime event from the safety of their own vehicles, spaced around the perimeter of the track, alongside their fellow classmates.
Following the preliminary Baccalaureate & Commencement Mass, two separate moving stages on opposite end of the track containing a podium and graduation décor will move from car to car as each student’s name is called. In front of both their household and high school families, they will then get their special moment to temporarily step out of their vehicle, receive their long-awaited diploma and handmade medallion of the Holy Family cross from a tabletop easel, take a commemorative photo, and cross the stage alone – all while experiencing an unforgettable academic milestone in a COVID-safe way.
A quality livestream captured with multiple cameras will be available on the Holy Family website for all graduating seniors’ loved ones and other community members to view, in lieu of the opportunity to attend in-person.
Planned carefully in compliance with guidelines provided to schools by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Education and organized with guidance from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and local officials, the Baccalaureate & Commencement Mass will recognize our graduating seniors while simultaneously ensuring the health and safety of each participant.
We asked current Holy Family junior, Graham, to document his online school experience with a camera and a day-in-the-life journal entry. Graham is making the most of this atypical situation and discovering the benefits of routine, discipline, and looking forward to the fall. Here’s his story.
Online School Journal
Online school is very different compared to being in the classroom, though some things are similar. My morning routine has stayed almost the same: I wake up, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day.
A typical day of school for me is the same, schedule-wise. My week varies in terms of Zoom/office 365 meetings, and classwork time. All meetings occur during the duration of the regularly scheduled class time. If we are not meeting, teachers may provide videos, notes, worksheets, or other activities for us to do for class. I prefer to do the class homework during the scheduled class time to keep my day on track.
I typically do my work in one of two places: the kitchen table or the desk in my room. I find that moving around throughout the day helps to keep my brain fresh. Any homework that I do not finish during class time, I will do around four o’clock, after a healthy break from screens. Following a schedule every day has been a critical part of my successful online learning experience.
Band and Jazz band are the classes that have changed the most. Playing together and communicating musically is something that cannot be recreated in an online setting, though we are still able to make music together. For jazz band we recorded several instrumental parts in Soundtrap, and stitched them together to create a song that will be in the virtual spring coffeehouse. We also recorded different pieces for band to make a mini concert created by Mrs. Boillat and Mr. Heller.
Having a goal to work toward keeps me from setting my instrument aside and getting a little rusty. I’m excited our music will be part of virtual performances, but it doesn’t beat being in a band room making music with 32 other musicians.
Online school also disrupted my spring sports season, along with every student-athlete nationwide. However, this disruption is not a time to forget about sports; it is time to train and become better for next season. Lacrosse is a team-based sport, but there is plenty of room for individual practice. Since online learning started in March and practices were cancelled, I continue to practice daily despite the weather. I go to Holy Family almost every day to practice in the fields. My practice routine consists of a 1-mile warm-up run, wall ball (throwing the ball against a wall to replicate passing), dodging drills, and shooting drills. It is every athlete’s responsibility to put in the individual work for the benefit of the team’s success.
Besides lacrosse, it has become clear that I miss Holy Family itself. From watching sports to seeing friends, to Mr. Murray’s fist bumps on the way into math class, Holy Family created an environment where students can grow educationally, socially, and spiritually.
Although we are ending the school year online school, Holy Family is finding ways to continue our education as best as possible. Teachers are more than willing to help students whenever they can. I am excited to go back to Holy Family next year and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
At the close of each semester, the Holy Family Catholic High School Visual Arts Department features a showcase of student work in ceramics, painting, drawing, illustration, photography, and videography. This year’s showcase occurred during our period of online learning, but dedicated visual art instructors, Dr. Shelagh Gamble and Mr. Brad Perrin-Smith, remained committed to seeing their students artwork presented for viewing for the Holy Family Community.
Artwork in feature image is ceramic by Reyana S.
A full list of students featured in the Holy Family Visual Arts show is included at the bottom of this post. All artworks included in this showcase are the property of the student artists and Holy Family Catholic High School, and may not be used without permission.
We checked in with Dr. Gamble and Mr. Perrin-Smith to learn more about the virtual showcase.
How did you come up with the idea of a virtual show?
Dr. Gamble: It’s been a popular thing to do at art museums with all the closures, and it just made sense to give it a try. The biggest challenge I had was that students had to learn how to photograph 3-D artwork at their homes, which as Mr. Perrin-Smith knows is an art form in itself.
Mr. Perrin-Smith: The virtual show is really no different for the photography students, as we always have this type of presentation showing in the Bus Lobby on a big screen during the event. This year, we just decided to add the non-photo students work the same way.
Why is it important to continue with the showcase?
Mr. Perrin-Smith: I believe it is good to continue for two reasons: the goal of showing keeps the student on track and working; the result of showing/exhibiting, is a critical component of art-making. It allows the artist’s voice to be heard and just as important, allows the artist to hear the audiences’ voice, praise, dislike, or ambivalence, from which the artist learns how to clarify their voice/expression.
Dr. Gamble: I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Perrin Smith’s comments. In addition, our students have been working hard on their artwork all semester, and some over longer periods of time. I wanted to make sure everyone, especially our seniors had a chance to share their work with the community.
Are your students still creating art even though they are learning from home? If so, what type of assignments have they had?
Mr. Perrin-Smith: Photo students always create outside of class, so it is not so different. Things would have been the same EXCEPT shelter-in-place and social distancing effected the opportunities and also became some of the topics.
Dr. Gamble: Absolutely! The painting and drawing students are completing assignments fairly similar to what we would do in the classroom. The clay students, however, are doing some completely different things since they don’t have access to clay. They have worked on recycled sculptures, Origami, museum tours and re-makes and even tried to make their own clay! It has been a pretty wild experiment.
What has inspired you when working with your students online?
Mr. Perrin-Smith: Willingness to try different things and maintain some semblance of normal class routines.
Dr. Gamble: The students continue to create artwork in so many creative ways, despite the challenges they are facing. Many of them are working in materials they have never tried before and they have really embraced the process.
What have you missed most about teaching during online learning?
Mr. Perrin-Smith: Group critiques, though it should be as easily done in on-line meetings, the students seem less willing to engage in the same way using technology.
Dr. Gamble: I miss the energy and collaboration that happens when students are creating in the same space. The little conversations and informal feedback that happens as the work is being made is invaluable to the final results. Art can be such a collaborative process and not having the interactions can force us into closed circles of creating.
List of students submitting work in the Spring Visual Arts Showcase
Here are my students:
President Brennan Announces Holy Family’s Next Principal
Earlier today, President Brennan announced the professional advancement of assistant principal John Dols as the next principal of Holy Family Catholic High School. Effective immediately, Mr. Dols will begin to work alongside current principal Kathie Brown to ensure a smooth transition as the necessary planning timelines of the upcoming school year approach.
President Brennan shared the following message with the community:
As you are aware, at the end of the current school year, Mrs. Kathie Brown will be retiring from Holy Family after 20 years of dedicated service to our school – a legacy for which we will remain forever grateful. What began as a search process aimed at finding a replacement for a single position would evolve, in the space of the last nine months, into a far more comprehensive, organization-wide process. This expanded approach called upon Holy Family to look inward and evaluate existing roles, functions, and their respective alignment in an effort to determine the optimal structure for effective school operations. The result positions Holy Family to build upon current levels of institutional momentum to support the attainment of our strategic goals aimed at driving growth through excellence.
With that said, as Holy Family Catholic High School’s president, and with the support of the Holy Family Board of Directors, I am excited to announce the appointment of Mr. John Dols as the next principal of our beloved school. Currently serving in the role of assistant principal, Mr. Dols is a licensed school administrator with 23 years of Catholic education experience. He grew up in Catholic education attending Minneapolis’ Ascension Catholic School for grades K-8 and DeLasalle High School for grades 9-12. Mr. Dols holds a Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies from St. Norbert College, a Master of Education from St. Mary’s University, and his principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas. He is a graduate of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice. He began his career as a theology teacher, first at Xavier High School in Appleton, WI, and then at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights before joining Holy Family as a campus minister and assistant principal in 2006.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of working and serving alongside John Dols for the last three years. With unwavering conviction, I can state that our school community is blessed and fortunate to have such extraordinary talent within our walls. Mr. Dols’ leadership will set forth a course for the future of Holy Family that seeks continuous innovation and reinvention, and remains authentic and true to the mission-centered aspects of our school’s culture – faith and family.
Effective immediately, Mr. Dols will work closely with Mrs. Brown to ensure a smooth transition as the necessary planning timelines of the upcoming school year approach.
As Mr. Dols shares in his message below, we are blessed to have such incredible and experienced educators within our current staff who lead with deep faith and passion for the mission of Holy Family. We look forward to enhancing each student’s educational experience with an unrelenting commitment to developing young adults with ever-deepening faith and Christian leadership skills — caring for them in mind, body, and soul— forming scholars and saints.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever!
A Message from Principal-Elect John Dols
Principal-Elect John Dols shared his gratitude and excitement as well as two additional position announcements.
Fifteen years ago, I drove to the Southwest suburbs to interview for a job I was not sure I wanted in an area that was utterly unfamiliar to me. One of the things that I remember vividly from that interview was a statement made by Kathie Brown. She said, “Holy Family does not have an entrance exam; we have a placement test. All kids are welcome here. All kids belong.” It was this statement, among others, that convinced me to take the job. It is the way this reality plays out daily that has made me fall in love with the school, the students, and the faculty and staff, and families.
Our mission is to take care of students wherever they are academically, spiritually, and emotionally, and help them grow. This mission lives and breathes in our faculty, staff, and administration— in the way we teach, the way we interact with students and families, and the policies and procedures that drive us. I am proud to be a part of this mission.
As I look toward next year and the years to follow, the innovations such as May Term, Canvas, and our International Student Program excite me. We can innovate while staying true to who we are, a Catholic school that strives to serve all!
I am pleased to announce the professional advancement of two distinguished Holy Family colleagues and the following first steps in further aligning our structure with our school’s mission and core values of scholarship, leadership, integrity, and faith. Current Dean for Academic Support, Melissa Livermore, will be promoted to the role of Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs – a newly developed position with an acute focus aimed at advancing the academic dimension of our school’s mission through faculty and student support, professional development, curriculum oversight, and technology integration. Current Director of Individual Giving and Alumni Relations, Matt Thuli, will serve as the Assistant Principal for Student Life – a position that supports our students as they navigate the ever-increasing complexity of life beyond the classroom setting. (Please see their bios below.)
I love Holy Family. I am honored and blessed to be able to serve as the second principal in the school’s history.
Current Dean of Academic Support, Melissa Livermore, takes on an expanded role in her new position as Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics Education from Willian Penn University and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Ed. S- Education Specialist from the University of St. Thomas. She holds a K-12 principal licensure from the State of Minnesota and is currently working toward the completion of a Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Learning from the University of St. Thomas. She completed the Lasallian Social Justice Institute, a formation program based on the Gospel. Mrs. Livermore joined Holy Family in 2001 as a math instructor, and has spent the last eight years overseeing academic support, guidance, and teacher development.
Current Director of Alumni Relations Matt Thuli has accepted the position of Assistant Principal for Student Life and Alumni Relations. Matt has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Winona State University and principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas. When Holy Family opened its doors in 2000, Mr. Thuli was our first physical education instructor, basketball coach, and activities director. For ten years, he performed the role of both activities director and dean of students, before accepting his current position on the advancement team four years ago. Mr. Thuli has successfully grown our alumni relations program and led three consecutive years of growth of the annual fund. However, his heart remains that of an educator and school administrator, and he looks forward to returning to serving students and families on a personal and daily basis.