September 8, 2020


Dear HFCS Community,

Welcome back to Holy Family Catholic School!  I was just reading my back to school message from last year and reflecting on all that’s transpired in the last 12 months.  Wow!  It’s really incredible that we find ourselves where we are today…and to ponder the events that led us here.  Regardless, whether you are a returning family or new to our school, I pray that you and your students have a blessed, exciting, faith-forming and fun-filled school year. 

Even in our uncertain times, HFCS is committed to providing the best possible educational environment for all students—and we will support our teachers in ensuring that they have the tools and support that they need to be successful!  We are taking our time getting into the swing of school because it’s important for our students.  We are going to use this time to assess and gather data so that we can tailor our instruction to each child’s strengths and weaknesses.  We will provide “excellence in education—both spiritually and academically—for the whole person, thereby nourishing the gifts uniquely given to each by God.”

We’ve done a lot of work to keep our students, staff, and teachers safe this school year.  Thank you for complying with our requests and requirements and understanding that we are implementing precautions not out of fear, but out of respect and love.

I’m very excited for this school year.  I’m anticipating a year full of faith, growth, excitement, and engagement!  Let’s make this the best year HFCS has ever seen!  Go Hawks!

#HFCS@School


We’re back! It was wonderful to have kiddos in the building and on the playground again. One of my favorite things is the joyful noise that students make in the building, in the classrooms, and on the playground–and it has been sorely missing for the last six months. I nearly cried with happiness during drop off this week; so many smiles, even behind the masks.

I have to give a shout-out to the teachers for the creative and wonderful ways they welcomed our students back to the building. We have aquariums and terrariums, office spaces and more. Lots and lots of outdoor learning is occurring. We have great teachers here!!

The week was full of back-to-school procedures, learning some new rules (thanks to COVID), and lots of fun with friends. Thank you for sharing your children with us. Thank you for trusting us to keep them safe. Thank you for your prayers and your support for Holy Family Catholic School.

HFCS Reopening Update


Dear HFCS Community,

I really cannot believe that it is the last week of July!  I can’t say that I’m enjoying the super-warm weather, but I am so thankful for the technology that brings us air conditioning! 

We have a lot going on at HFCS, trying to prepare for the new school year and navigate best practices to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe.  This post is intended to give you a brief outline of our plans.  A more complete document is on its way, pending approval from Panhandle Health and the Diocese of Boise.

Although we are hoping to begin the school year fully open on September 2nd, we also must plan for the different scenarios that the pandemic may throw at us between now and then—and beyond.  We have three different educational opportunities that we are planning for the 2020-2021 school year:

  1. Full Open:  A full open schedule will see us in the school every day.  There will be social distancing and hand washing protocols in place and we will be adhering to the Panhandle Health mask mandate.  I do not foresee students wearing masks all day; only when they cannot be safely socially distanced.  Teachers will be asked to structure their classrooms so that students can work at their desks without masks.  Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be in place.
  2. Hybrid Open:  A hybrid schedule will have students physically in the school building on alternating days.  Families will be assigned to “A” days or “B” days.  On your designated days, your students will attend school physically while the other group works at home.  Teachers will live stream classes daily for students working at home.  Specials will be on the days students are physically at school (so both A and B groups will have music and PE on their days at school).  Social distancing, masks, cleaning protocols, etc., will still be in place.
  3. Distance Learning:  This option can happen for two reasons:  1) The school is closed for a short time pending a COVID investigation and/or due to uncontrolled community spread and 2) if parents/guardians are uncomfortable with the physical risks at HFCS and wish their students to attend HFCS virtually.  Teachers will be live stream classes daily for students who are at home, whether for quarantine or by choice.

Right now, we all have a part to play in making the school year a success.  Our children will follow our leads and need to know that—while this isn’t a perfect situation—it is the scenario under which we are allowed to be together again!  We all have to sacrifice a little to make HFCS a safe place for us all.  Please practice mask wearing and handwashing hygiene with your child(ren) before the start of the school year.  

All of these precautions are really a social work of mercy:  we are trying to not only stay safe ourselves, but also to keep those around us healthy and safe.  There are many diverging views and opinions; I am confident that we can come together as a community and do what’s best for our children and our school.

Please take care and stay safe!

Many blessings,

Bridgit Arkoosh, Principal

July 2020!


Happy Summer! I’m so enjoying the relatively mild weather; I know that I’m in the minority, there, but it looks like the normal heat of July is on its way here.

There have been a lot of questions this summer about our reopening plans for the Fall. My plan is to reopen the doors to our students on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. The big caveat to that statement is: I can’t predict the future, nor can I promise that we can reopen as planned. We are working as hard as possible throughout the summer to make reopening a reality. We are also working on contingency plans for hybrid and distance learning. All of these plans include emergency child care options for families who have two parents working outside of the home.

Even with a reopening in September, there are going to be some necessary changes in the way we operate. I have a huge responsibility here, for the health and safety of our students, our faculty, our staff, and our families. This is a responsibility that I take seriously–and I am going to err on the side of caution in all things. What does this mean? Well, it means that we are going to try to socially distance via desk placement and carpet markers. It means that students will be asked to wear masks while working in groups or otherwise not distanced. It means that lunch will probably be served in the classroom and that recess parameters will be narrowed. It means that our attendance policies and expectations will have to be altered. I will do whatever is necessary to keep our HFCS family safe.

A reopening plan will be published soon. I have a task force of parents, teachers, and staff who are helping me sift through expert guidance from the CDC, Panhandle Health, and the State of Idaho to make decisions that are right for our community. Please keep us all in your prayers.

Stay safe and healthy, HFCS!

Ms. Arkoosh

March 25th, 2020


Dear HFCS Community,

Gov. Little just announced a stay-at-home order effective immediately, for the next 21 days, unless you are in an essential service job or seeking groceries, food, medicine, etc. Official guidance has not been posted, but is supposed to be posted later today at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/. This means that the school office will be closed on Tuesdays (and all other days) for the foreseeable future.

We are all overwhelmed, tired, worried, and weary; we will get through this! Take advantage of the enforced time with family and enjoy your loved ones. Spring break is in our future…we only have a half day of school tomorrow and then the kiddos are free! We are all looking forward to talking with you during parent-teacher conferences tomorrow and Friday; please let us know if you need to reschedule for any reason.

“God’s love calls us to move beyond fear. We ask God for the courage to abandon ourselves unreservedly, so that we might be molded by God’s grace, even as we cannot see where that path may lead us.” – St. Ignatius Loyola

You are in my prayers daily. We’ve got this, HFCS!

Many blessings,

Bridgit Arkoosh, Principal

March 24th, 2020


Dear HFCS Community,

The news yesterday about the extended closure broke my heart. I want everyone to be safe and healthy–and I want us to all be back at HFCS as a community of faith and learners. This experience is certainly a time to take stock of our many blessings and give thanks–event in the face of tribulation. We have so many creature comforts; we have our school family and friends; and most importantly, we have our faith.

So, following the guidance of the Idaho State Board of Education, we will be closed until April 20th. We have been working to gather resources to help you navigate the school closure; they are posted here: http://hfcs-cda.org/covid-19-news-and-resources/. We will continue to update the page, so please share any resource that has helped you during this closure.

Tomorrow at 9:30 am, we will have an all-school prayer service via Google Meet. Please join us by following this link: meet.google.com/jax-ydrc-mez. You can also call in with the following number and PIN: 470-228-0004; PIN: 783 921 797#.

We will still have Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday and Friday. I know that I speak for the teachers when I say that we are excited to visit with you! Please notify your child(ren)’s teacher(s) if you cannot meet during the scheduled time, whether via phone or video conference. We will NOT be having face-to-face conferences.

Thank you for your patience and fortitude. We are all working as hard as we can to ensure that our students are experiencing excellence in education–both spiritually and academically–for the whole person, thereby nourishing the gifts uniquely given to each by God.

Today’s quote of encouragement comes from St. Therese of Lisieux: “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” Recognize God’s hand in all of this and find the joy in our trials. We’ve got this, HFCS!

Go Hawks!

Many blessings,

Bridgit Arkoosh, Principal

Covid-19 Closure Week 2


March 23, 2020

Dear HFCS Community,

“It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

We’re back online after a beautiful weekend! I hope you had a chance to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your fun posts on FaceBook; the Hawks are meeting the COVID-19 crisis with grace, dignity, and joy. I’m so proud of you!

A couple of notes for today:

  • We are starting to take “attendance” in our virtual classrooms. There are a couple of reasons for doing this, but one very important one is to ensure that we are keeping appropriate school records during this time. We want to be sure that each report card reflects the fact that our students kept learning throughout the COVID-19 closure. All we need for attendance is contact from the student (or the parent) during the day so we know that you’re keeping in touch with the teachers. Don’t panic if you can’t check in during traditional school hours; we will be flexible with this process. If you’re concerned, please make sure you reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and/or me.

  • The office will be open tomorrow form 8 am to 8 pm. We are still honoring social distancing norms to keep us all healthy; however, we know that there are people who will need to come to the school. Many teachers are leaving packets of work in tubs outside their classrooms–and you are also welcome to submit completed work in those tubs. Please work with your individual teacher about the drop off/turn in protocol for your child(ren)’s grade(s).

  • You are in my prayers daily. Please reach out to me (and or your child(ren)’s teacher(s) if there is any way we can be helpful. We are all in this together and are trying our best to be a support to one another. Please, please, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to hear from you!

Thank you for all your support and prayers. We will get through this together, HFCS!

“Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out of fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this is complete faith and confidence.” – Pope St. John Paul II

Many blessings and STAY WELL!

Bridgit Arkoosh, Principal

COVID-19 Novena


Lord Jesus Christ, our Divine Physician, we ask you to guard and protect us from Coronavirus COVID-19 and all serious illness. For all that have died from it, have mercy; for those that are ill now, bring healing. For those searching for a remedy, enlighten them; for medical caregivers helping the sick, strengthen and shield them. For those working to contain the spread, grant them success; for those afraid, grant peace. May your precious blood be our defense and salvation. By your grace, may you turn the evil of disease into moments of consolation and hope. May we always fear the contagion of sin more than any illness. We abandon ourselves to your infinite mercy. Amen. 

O Mary, Mother of God, through the years your people have called on your intercession in times of epidemic and illness. We call on you now, as our mother, and ask that you pray for us, that we might find healing and refuge, and a quick end to this time of illness. Be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor and draw us ever closer to your Son, the source of all healing and consolation. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. Amen.

(Prayers from Pedro de la Cruz & the Archdiocese of New Orleans)
 

Many blessings,

Bridgit Arkoosh
Principal

Hawktoberfest!


This week, HFCS is celebrating our school spirit in preparation for Hawktoberfest! Hawktoberfest is our annual fall carnival; there will be games, prizes, food, and more! This event will be at HFCS on Friday, October 25th, from 5:30-9:00 pm. Admission is one canned good item per person or $2 each. Tickets and wristbands can be purchased in advance or at the door. Please come and join our community as we celebrate our HFCS school spirit!