In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Villa Marie School transitioned to a distance learning platform in mid- March 2020. April 1,2020 Governor Ricketts issued a Directed Health Measure ordering schools to operate without students in their buildings through May 31st, 2020. This DHM also cancelled all extracurricular activities. School is still in session, even through we are unable to be together. Our hourly and salaried staff continue to get paid and are allowed to work safely from home when possible.
We truly believe this is a rare time us to flourish and grow as individuals and families. God, family, the environment, the place we call home, friendship; the simple things in life are now in focus, more precious than ever before. One of our parents Katey Koenig beautifully stated, “This is a difficult time, but there has been so much grace and joy in our togetherness that it’s definitely a blessing in disguise so far!”
Our teachers continue to review IEP goals, gather materials and send home lessons on a weekly basis to ensure our student’s education continues. Staff and teachers are in contact with parents on a regular basis, working separate but together to share positivity, and encouragement. Since we feel strongly that reading is important, the school has ordered books at each child’s reading level and interest and had them shipped by Amazon with a note of encouragement. Initial care packages were delivered along with their school work containing food, toilet paper, fun things such as puzzles, coloring books and craft items as well as items for religious instruction and activities. Each child has a personalized homework schedule specifically designed for their level of tolerance and ability to focus, developed for their individual learning level. Weekly resources provided include a homework choice board, activities that can be done online, specified reading and math activities and skills worksheets.
Breakfast and lunch meal care packages are provided for our families on a regular basis and they have received a list of food distribution points in their area. Many of our families have received gift cards in their care packages to help with loss of income and needs for food and supplies.
Our students read with the residents of the Waverly Care Center on a regular basis. Initially our Giving Tuesday project this past fall, it has become a monthly highlight for the students and the residents alike. During this time of isolation for their friends at the Care Center, our students are making special cards to spread hope and encouragement and sending them to their friends in the mail.
Please pray we can continue to be a bright light to our families who are facing unique challenges while they are full time care providers of children with educations, social, emotional, and spiritual special needs. If you would like to help us in helping our families during this time, you can make a contribution through the donation link on our home page.