Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Daily Update - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fr. Doyle Community,

We've made it through another day. That may not sound like much to celebrate, but let's remember we're all taking this one day at time. Everything is new to us - we're still adapting to work from home schedules, managing devices and internet speeds, establishing healthy routines such as movement breaks, and working to minimize screen time whenever possible. Not to mention all of the other tasks we consider part of our "normal" daily lives. So, when you look at it that way, making it through another day sounds pretty good.

Furthermore, I would suggest we've done more than just "make it through." There have been some great lessons going on today, Zoom calls across the grade levels, creative projects submitted, difficult assignments completed, and more! No doubt, these are challenging times, and it looks like there will be more challenging times ahead. But let's take a moment to congratulate ourselves on today.

Good work everyone - we'll catch you in the morning.

Until tomorrow,

-Mr. Peloquin

Monday, March 30, 2020

Daily Update - Monday, March 30, 2020

Fr. Doyle Community,

Today we heard from Governor Raimondo that distance learning will be extended at least through the month of April. You can find what that means for our school community in particular by reading the announcement here, which was also sent to families via email.

It is difficult news to hear - not because we cannot continue to provide virtual instruction and assignments over the course of the next month. No, our teachers and staff remain fully committed to this goal, and I have no doubt that they will continue to hone their craft in the weeks ahead. This is difficult news to hear because it means a month without being able to experience what truly makes Fr. Doyle special - the sense of community that is built up within the four walls of our school building.

Through morning prayer service, interactions between teachers and students, sports, theater, service opportunities, dances, social events and more - our school is great because our community and the relationships it fosters is great.

So where do we go from here? We continue onward - one day at a time. We continue to put families and people first. We continue to provide robust instruction and assignments over a range of digital platforms. And we continue to look forward with hope to the day when we will once again open the doors of Fr. Doyle School for our students and families. May we never again take for granted what a blessing it is to be together.

Until tomorrow,

-Mr. Peloquin

Friday, March 27, 2020

Daily Update - Friday, March 27, 2020

Fr. Doyle Families,

I was reminded today of fictional president Josiah Bartlet from the award-winning television drama The West Wing. In a particularly poignant speech from Season 4, Bartlet remarks:

"...every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes... and we reach for the stars."

We undoubtedly face a great challenge amidst our current crisis, and we find ourselves looking to our American heroes - they're our healthcare workers, our teachers, our priests, and our parents. They're all those who are on the front lines of this crisis making sacrifices each and every day to meet the challenge.

Not a day has gone by in the past two weeks that I have not been amazed by a teacher, student, or parent has gone above and beyond to make the best of this situation. As we rest and recover this weekend and gear up for the next week of virtual learning, may we look up with eyes of faith and remember that our capacity to meet a challenge - when we do so together - may well be limitless.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Until Monday,

-Mr. Peloquin

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Daily Update - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fr. Doyle Community,

In her press conference this afternoon, the Governor remarked that - amidst this crisis - days can begin to feel like weeks. I know this is true not just for those in healthcare or government positions, but for many of our teachers, staff, and school families. The current crisis has disrupted nearly all that was part of our "normal" daily life, and this can be incredibly unsettling.

Aside form continuing learning progressions, providing enriching educational content, or monitoring the growth of certain skills, I pray that Fr. Doyle has provided our families with some sense of hope and peace in these unsettling times. If we have done that above all else, then we have succeeded.

To that end, I want to thank Fr. Woolley for offering to regularly celebrate Mass for the school community and for all his efforts in continuing to bring the faith to our families. It is an essential part of who we are as a school and parish community, and it will continue for as long as this crisis may last.

Have a great evening, everyone.

Until tomorrow,

-Mr. Peloquin

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Daily Update - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fr. Doyle Community,

Another day of virtual learning comes to a close. I hope you were able to get up and move throughout your virtual learning day today! This was officially our seventh day of virtual learning. For some of us, it may feel like it's been months, and for others it may feel like it's been a wonderful experience. Here are a few things I've seen noticed the past seven days:

Each Day is Different

For a myriad of reasons, virtual learning seems to create more "ups and downs" from day to day. Some days things run smoothly, there are minimal technical issues, and it feels like we've really found success. Other days... not so much! But what I can say for sure is - no matter what each day brings - our faculty and staff will be there doing everything they can to ensure the continued success of our students. Speaking of our faculty and staff...

Our Faculty & Staff are Incredible

Not one day out of seven has gone by without a teacher doing something that completely amazes me. Whether it's a creative assignment they have posted, the way in which they reach out and communicate with families, or simply how they care deeply for each and every one of their students - I could not be more proud to work alongside such exemplary educators.

Some Students are Surprising Even Themselves

While it may have taken a couple days to get into the swing of things, I've noticed many students from across the grade levels really taking initiative, diving into their assignments, and excelling in their work - sometimes to their own surprise! A job well done to each and every one of you - keep up the good work!

Ultimately, regardless of today's ups and down, tomorrow is a new day of learning - so rest up, recharge, and get ready to tackle another day!

Finally - a note that tomorrow we will be livestreaming a Mass for all school community members at 2:00pm with Fr. Woolley. Join us on our Facebook page for the Livestream!

Until tomorrow,

-Mr. Peloquin

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Daily Update - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hello Fr. Doyle!

Another day of distance learning is coming to a close. I hope each of you had at least one assignment today that intrigued or challenged you. We continue to revise our methods and learn more and more each day about the best way to connect with and teach our students. Thank you for your support!

Ultimately, we know that continuing regular learning progressions is just one part of the incredibly difficult and complex situation in which we currently find ourselves. Many of us may feel overwhelmed, confused, or lost amidst this crisis. For those of you (including me!) who could use a brief respite from daily events, I would encourage you to utilize these beautiful, 3-minute daily retreats provided by Loyola Press. It's a wonderful means to step away for a few moments and can even be completed as a family. Here's a link to access today's retreat:


In the words of St. Padre Pio - "pray, hope, and don't worry."

Wishing you all a great evening.

Until tomorrow,

-Mr. Peloquin

Monday, March 23, 2020

Daily Update - Monday, March 23, 2020

Fr. Doyle Community,

Welcome to Week 2 of Virtual Learning!

Thank you again for your feedback regarding our fist week of virtual learning. We're working hard to continue to adapt and adjust our platforms and expectations to ensure our students are having the best possible learning experience.

As we continue with our virtual learning, here are few tips for a successful home-learning environment, which I also discussed in today's Morning Minute:

1. Create a Designated Learning Space

It's helpful to have a specific location in your home where you know you will be completing your work and learning each day. Ideally, this location should have limited distractions and a clean, organized, flat surface on which to place devices, notes, and other materials.

2. Keep a Schedule

Without the regular ringing of our school bell, it can be difficult to keep a schedule and make sure all of the necessary work is completed within an appropriate time. Start each day by reviewing assignments and composing a tentative schedule. Tackle the work and assignments you find most challenging first, when you will likely be most focused and energized. Don't forget to schedule in lunch and frequent breaks (see below).

3. Take a Break!

Often times, virtual learning involves focused work in a stationary location for long stretches of time. With that being said, schedule in frequent movement breaks throughout the day. These breaks may include taking a quick walk, playing with a cat or dog, enjoying time with siblings, or even just doing a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing! Research suggests frequent, short breaks are most effective.

I hope these tips are helpful for you and your family. I'm looking forward to continuing to grow together as we explore this new learning reality together!

Until tomorrow,

-Mr. Peloquin

Friday, March 20, 2020

Daily Update - Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Fr. Doyle Community,

I know there are a lot of tired staff, teachers, parents, and kids out there. It's been a long, tough week as we adapt to a whole new way of learning. But we've made it - we've done what may, on Monday, have seemed impossible. It wasn't perfect, some assignments may have been completed incorrectly, others formatted wrong, and others still just missed entirely.

That's okay. We're working hard, we're growing together, we're getting better.

This weekend's homework? Rest. Relax. Recharge.

We'll see you next week. We've got great things in store.

Until then,

Mr. Peloquin

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Daily Update - Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Fr. Doyle Community,

In her vivid biography of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Frances Perkins describes the way in which Roosevelt approached particularly difficult situations:

"This is very bad," he would say, "but one thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how to do at the moment, and if it doesn't turn out right, we can modify as we go along."

Undoubtedly, the current situation is difficult, and we do not have a perfect solution. One could never fully replicate the learning that happens in our classrooms each day.  Yet, what is clear is that we must do something. And so, here we are, doing the best that we know how to do at this moment. Has our response been perfect?

No, it certainly has not. There have been issues with access, concerns over managing an appropriate workload, and many other bumps along the way - but as Roosevelt notes, "we can modify as we go along," and we will modify as we go along. As we travel on this journey together, we will continue to improve our methods and techniques as we strive to ensure that we provide the best possible education in what is certainly a less than favorable scenario.

Thank you for your patience, your prayers, and your support. Remain hopeful, stay focused, and know we are with you every step of the way.

Finally, a happy St. Joseph's Day to you all. I hope you were able to join us for Mass this afternoon. Thank you to Fr. Woolley and Fr. Lee for making this accessible to our community!

God bless and Go Saints!

-Mr. Peloquin

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Daily Update - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Fr. Doyle Community,

Technology can be incredibly frustrating sometimes! When we can't get that link to work, that program to load, or that password to be accepted, it can feel hopeless. Indeed, this is one of the drawbacks of online and virtual learning. Unlike the in-person learning that takes place in our classrooms, online learning forces us to depend upon an external device or platform that can often seem determined to work against us.

Yet, I also want to take a moment to share with you some of the feedback I have heard from the past two days about the positives we've seen in our distance learning programs:

Students Taking Initiative

Whether it is reaching out to a teacher with a technology concern or asking for clarification on an assignment,  over the past two days I've witnessed students across the grade levels advocating for themselves in a way that is prompt, professional, and effective. This type of self-advocacy is an essential skill, and it is exciting to see it taking shape through our online learning platforms.

I've also heard from many parents the positive way their child is approaching online learning - creating a designated learning space, managing time to complete a wide range of assignments, and even showing off some of their technical expertise. It's great to hear that our students are jumping in - full steam ahead - with online learning.

Teacher Ingenuity with Lasting Impact

Zoom Calls, Google Classroom, Class Dojo, Bloomz, web pages, Gradelink and more... you name it, and our staff is working on mastering the platform to better serve our community. I am incredibly grateful and continually impressed by our teachers' dedication and creativity in developing and implementing online lessons. And to think - this will only improve over time!

Furthermore, when we do return to regular classes - and we will, at some point! - I am eager to see the way in which these platforms will then be integrated into every day learning. Our teachers are already some of the best, and these new tools in their toolboxes can only further enhance classroom learning!

As we continue on over the next two weeks at least, I am sure there will continue to be both negatives and positives associated with virtual & at-home learning. This is only natural as we journey together into uncharted territory. When things get difficult and technology just doesn't seem to want to cooperate, let's not forget the progress being made and these initial positive steps.

I pray that you continue to stay healthy, and I look forward to many of you joining us virtually for the St. Joseph's Day Mass tomorrow at 1pm, streamed live from our Facebook page.

God bless and Go Saints!

Mr. Peloquin

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Daily Update - Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Fr. Doyle Community,

Virtual learning is up and running! In speaking with the teachers this morning, it appears that while there are certainly a few kinks in the system to be worked out in the coming days, we're off to a solid start. I thank you for your continued patience and support. Please reach out to your classroom teacher if you are having technical difficulties, and they can guide you in the right direction.

In a brief moment of pause this morning, I was saddened to think that we would not all be meeting in the gym for prayer service to start the day. Community is such an important part of education. This is particularly true in Catholic schools, where the faith community is the very lifeblood of the school. The reality is, we do not know how long we may be unable to meet together again - face to face. So what are we to do?

1. Pray

Though we cannot currently pray together physically, there is an undeniable unity in prayer that is unlike any other. I know that I am strengthened and encouraged to know that many are praying for Fr. Doyle School, our staff, our students, our families, and all those affected by the outbreak of this virus. Know of my continued prayers for you and your family, and may we continue to be united in prayer until we are once again able to start our mornings in the gym together.

2. Utilize Technology

While technology can be used to ill effect, it can also have tremendous benefits in an unprecedented situation such as this. Earlier today, I was able to hold a video conference call with all of our classroom teachers to check-in on the first day of virtual learning. Seeing their faces, hearing their feedback, and having a moment to once again be together was truly a blessing! As we continue to pursue all avenues of virtual learning, I know many teachers are planning ways in which they can further interact with their students digitally. I look forward to these continued advances!

3. Embrace the Words of Saint Pio

I recently stumbled upon the following passage written by St. Padre Pio:

"Stay in the boat in which the Lord has placed you, and let the storm come... you will not perish... No, do not fear. You are walking on the sea in the midst of the wind and the waves, but remember that you are with Jesus."

We currently find ourselves in the midst of a storm, but let us trust in our faith, in the gifts and strengths of this community, and - as Padre Pio implores us - "pray, hope, and don't worry."

God bless you on this St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Daily Update - Monday, March 16, 2020

Dear Fr. Doyle Community,

I pray that this post finds you safe and healthy. While the current situation is fraught with uncertainty, tension, and unforeseen challenges, my communications with teachers this morning left me feeling encouraged about our ability to transfer to online/home learning this week and - potentially - in the weeks ahead.

My hope is that online learning will not only provide students with an opportunity to continue academic progress, but also with a source of stability, consistency, and certainty in a time when our days seem to lack many of these things.

I would encourage you to support a daily learning routine with your child(ren) that includes a set time for logging in and viewing assignments, a designated work space, and planned activity breaks as needed. Again, creating consistency and stability tends to increase learning and academic progress.

Finally, I am incredibly grateful for the continued support and pastoral care of Fr. Woolley. To this end, Fr. Woolley will also be creating regular videos containing prayer and reflections for families, which will be included here at the Daily Saint. We hope this will be a source of comfort for you in this time.

Wishing you continued good health.

Until tomorrow,
Mr. Peloquin

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Welcome to the Daily Saint!

Fr. Doyle Community,

Thanks for checking in at the Daily Saint. Here you'll find daily updates regarding our school community's efforts to implement virtual/home learning during the Coronavirus crisis.

Check back on Monday (3/16) for the first daily update. I am also regularly checking email, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

I want to thank you for continued support and prayer as we navigate this challenging time. Know of my continued prayers for you and your family.

God bless and Go Saints!

Mr. Peloquin