We are in this together. To be sure, this is an anxious time in our collective experience. As we all practice social distancing to help protect the most vulnerable among us, we will also be confronted with higher levels of anxiety and stress tied to the sudden, dramatic changes we are inflicting on our personal social routines. The CDC offers useful suggestions for dealing with these side effects.
This time also presents a unique opportunity to reconnect with family, friends, and your community. Open up while you hunker down. Pick up the phone and reach out to relatives and friends with whom you may have been out of touch. Call those who may feel isolated or are living alone. WhatsApp offers free voice and video calls (and group chat capabilities) everywhere in the world, and Zoom is an option for multi-person get-togethers. Some Central students have found creative ways to stay in touch – and in shape! Then, if you’re holed up with others, unplug and reconnect with the people around you. Appreciate this chance to spend quality time together – it is rare in our modern lives to have this chance to put down our devices and really benefit from prolonged exposure to the ones we love (and their unique taste in music).
Here in Minnesota, Governor Walz has declared a peacetime state of emergency, and schools are closed at least through March 27, 2020, followed by Spring Break through April 5th. It is very possible that the school closures will be extended, and we want to make sure everyone in the Central Family is aware of resources available to help us through this time.
St. Paul Public Schools has provided multiple valuable resources available, including:
- Meal Access Plan: SPPS is delivering meals at bus stops and schools. Each student is able to receive a full week of meals. Learn more here: https://www.spps.org/Page/38722
- Formal Distance Learning: Teachers are working hard to prepare for these courses in the likelihood that schools experience a long term closure. Formal distance learning is scheduled to begin after Spring Break, on April 6th. Learn more here: https://www.spps.org/Page/38732
- SPPS Health Start Clinics Open: While they are unable to test for COVID-19 or the flu, multiple Health Start clinics will remain open for youth who feel healthy to have their preventive and emotional needs met. Learn more here: https://www.spps.org/domain/16183
- SPPS COVID-19 Response Plan: https://www.spps.org/domain/16185
- SPPS Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.spps.org/Page/38704
- CDC Checklist for Parents: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/checklist.html
- Suggestions for managing anxiety and stress: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
- PBS Learning Media offers free learning resources for kids of all ages: https://tpt.pbslearningmedia.org/
- Audible Stories has unlimited free stories for kids as long as schools are closed: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
- Khan Academy offers free online classes, schedules and resources for families with children at home: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Fun video on how to wash your hands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNzRIgt4fVE&feature=youtu.be
Finally, St. Paul Central High School Foundation Scholarship applications opened 2 weeks ago, and they are scheduled to remain open through April 6th, 2020. If you have a Central Senior at home who intends to pursue post-secondary education this Fall, remind them to apply! We are very excited to have 2 new scholarships to award this year:
- Class of 1999 Heart and Soul Scholarship: $1,500 to be awarded to a graduating senior who demonstrates heart and soul and a passion for Central High School by embodying the St. Paul Central motto, “Many traditions, one school,” through involvement in school activities, clubs, and/or the community.
- Fischer Anderson Scholarship: $1,500 to be awarded to a graduating senior who displays scholastic achievement, participation in instrumental music and/or soccer, and a high-quality application essay. Applicants are encouraged to receive a letter of recommendation from a soccer coach or instrumentalmusic teacher.
While this is uncharted territory for us all, we are thankful for such a supportive and caring Central Family. The COVID-19 pandemic may get worse before it gets better, but we look forward to looking back on this as a time where we were asked to stay further apart, only to grow closer together.
Stay healthy. Be safe.
2020 Foundation Board
Did you know that you can designate St. Paul Central High School Foundation in your Amazon account by using Amazon Smile? Go to Amazon Smile and choose St. Paul Central High School Foundation as the designated charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% to the Foundation.
You can also write a check and mail it to:
St. Paul Central High School Foundation
P.O. Box 8082
St. Paul, MN 55108.
The Saint Paul Central High School Foundation is a non-profit organization exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Your contribution may be deducted to the extent allowed by law. We recommend you consult your tax advisor.