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Fr. Weiss offers a message for the St. Augustine Family.

Dear Saint Augustine Family,

As we mark the end of our First Quarter of the school year, with our quarter exams, it has been a period of many challenges, disappointments and successes. During these first weeks of school everyone had to deal with a new environment brought on by the Covid-19 Virus Pandemic. This has required everyone getting use to wearing a face mask or covering to help stop the spread of the virus, temperature checks, the constant washing of our hands, and keeping our social distance. These changes are challenging, especially here in New Orleans and at St. Augustine since we are accustomed to greeting one another with a handshake, and at times a hug. It has been different for everyone.

However, through the course of this period, I believe there are several key elements that have aided us as a faith-based school community to meet these challenges. They are our cooperation our patience with one another, and most of all our faith and trust in God. It has been these key elements that have allowed us to come together to face these challenges and working together to move forward and overcome them based upon our trust in God.

As this First Quarter comes to an end, I would like to congratulate and thank our administration our teachers, and our staff for their hard work and commitment to our students. The administration has been working diligently in developing and executing plans that will provide our students with the best education possible while at the same time keeping everyone safe from the virus. This has not always been easy, since there are many moving parts to make our educational program work efficiently. Our administration has been constantly searching for different and new techniques that are being developed in the area of virtual teaching. When they do discover something that might aide our teachers and student’s they quickly share this information with our instructors so that they can integrate these skills into their presentations. Even now our administration is working on a plan that will enable our students to return to school under a hybrid school schedule. It is important to understand that this is not easy due to the many different schedules that are present to meet the individual needs of our students, however, it is being accomplished. 

Likewise, our teachers have also been working hard to meet the challenge. Virtual teaching is a real challenge. Besides dealing with students not being present in a classroom setting, they must also develop new techniques to maintain the student’s attention, while at the same time imparting knowledge. As I walk the halls of St. Augustine I am always impressed with the commitment and dedication of our teachers as they continually strive to educate our young men, and instill within them the true character of a Purple Knight, to always strive to greatness and to succeed.

To you, our parents, your commitment, dedication, and help has made all that has been accomplished possible. Your openness and willingness to work together have been outstanding, which enables great things to continue to happen here at Saint Augustine High School. I do realize that at times it has not always been easy, and at times even disappointing when different activities that we have grown so accustomed to have been postponed or even canceled. Please know that as a school, we are always striving to keep you and our young men safe from the effects of the virus. However, everyone’s health and safety must always be a priority. As we journey through this pandemic together, I pray that eventually, we will arrive at our new normal together.

To our students, you also need to be praised for your hard work so far, this academic year. I know that you are also adjusting, not being around your classmates, missing so many activities, such as just “hanging out” with Fr. Tony in the Campus Ministry Office during lunchtime. However, remain focus and remain faithful and be patient. In time with everyone practicing the guidelines offered by CDC, this pandemic will pass, and we will be able to return to our new normal.

As we move forward into the Second Quarter, let us continue to work hard and support one another through our actions and our prayers. Saint Augustine High School is truly a family, and as a family when we stay connected, work together and pray together, we will continue to rise to the greatness that God has placed within us.

Saints Augustine and Joseph; Pray for us.

 

Fr. Peter C. Weiss, S.S.J. 

Chief Religious Officer