Totino-Grace

Principal's Page

Mid-Year Message to TG Parents and Guardians

During Catholic Schools Week I’m filled with two strong emotions, pride and grief. I am proud to be working in a Catholic school where I get to greet students as they walk in the front door or say hello to a student I see on screen. I was giddy last week, seeing students who returned to school after being online during the fall. When a student in the commons gets called  back to the classroom because there is an available seat, I clap and congratulate them on the opportunity to be in the room! We are blessed to be in person and offer a remote option for those who need it. 

I am proud of our teachers and staff who are united behind our efforts to keep students safe, keep kids learning and provide a high quality education each day. I am immensely grateful to parents and guardians who appreciate the opportunity to be in school while also understanding the sacrifices teachers and families make each day.  When I am reminded that there are students who haven’t stepped into a school yet this year, I am proud to be part of a community that collectively works toward the common good. While almost nothing is normal about this year, some things remain constant, our love for your kids and your commitment to our school. The results of our parent survey prove this to be true. 

With those feelings of pride come strong feelings of loss. Your comments on our Parent Survey conveyed the grief we are all experiencing due to the loss of community-building  events we value at TG- attending competitions together, selling concessions at last night’s game, designing costumes for the upcoming play, overcrowded lunch tables filled with stories and laughter, visiting residents at the nursing home on Friday afternoons, service immersion trips, praying together at an all-school mass….. and the list goes on and on. Collectively, we are filled with grief over what we have lost this year. An article I read recently in The Harvard Business Review, entitled “That Discomfort You Are Feeling is Grief” suggests a few steps we can take to manage that grief: 

  1. acknowledge the sadness and loss 

  2. live in the present 

  3. control what we can control

  4. be filled with more compassion. 

When we experience loss, our feelings can sometimes come out sideways. Our kids may quickly get angry, anxious, sad or frustrated. We too may feel that way sometimes. It’s hard not to believe we’ve been cheated out of so many things we enjoy. That’s where the compassion comes in. Our theme this year, Grow with Grace, encourages us to find grace to endure these challenging times. I want to issue a challenge to our staff, students and parents to use compassion, through Grace, to build community during the remainder of our school year. 

Here are a few suggestions to discuss with your student or consider yourself so that together, we can grow with grace:

  • Connect with one transfer student who is in your class. Ask them to join your small group or join you for lunch. 

  • Schedule a Zoom meeting with other TG parent friends to reconnect and check in. 

  • Encourage your student to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children with Campus Ministry staff. 

  • “Adopt” one of our dorm students and invite them to your home for dinner or an activity. 

  • Encourage your daughter to join the “Graceful” girls faith-sharing group. 

  • Check out the new podcast, The Bible in A Year. Gather a group of friends to join you in this spiritual journey. 

  • Schedule a virtual activity/game night with TG parents you’ve gotten to know. Invite a new family to join you (virtual art classes, game night, Escape Room). 

  • Consider joining a spring sport.

  • Gather a group of friends and sign up for the free “Happiness”  course through Yale University- modified as The Science of Wellbeing.

  • Join TG’s Book Club in reading Stamped

While much has been canceled this year, there are many things we can do to foster our relationships, build community and grow in grace. Please join me in this challenge as we move into the second half of our school year together. 

Cheri Broadhead 
Principal