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14131 Seneca Road, Darnestown, Maryland 20874 | 301 869 0940 | F: 301 869 0942

Raise The Paddle

Dear Parents,

     Our 25th anniversary has been marked by the largest individual gift Mary of Nazareth School has ever received in my tenure.  This past winter an anonymous donor gave $100,000 toward the design and construction of a beautiful community space and courtyard that will further accentuate our Catholicity, bolster student engagement, and strengthen our community.  This transformative space will be designed so that Our Lady’s Chapel will be a focal point for our school community.
     Our original plan for “Raise the Paddle 2020” was geared toward giving the front entrance of the school a major ‘face-lift’ to accentuate this stunning courtyard.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 requires us to pivot from our original plan and put this project on hold for a year.   On behalf of the entire school community, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to this individual for his generosity and stewardship. 
     “Raise the Paddle 2020” will now focus on distance learning by raising funds to further support our teachers, purchase hardware, invest in virtual classroom tools, and online platforms to maximize student learning and improve communication.  We need to be prepared for the potential of blended and/or distance learning to continue in the fall.  We also need to continue investment in tools to prepare our students for the future, as this pandemic will likely create a new emphasis on virtual interactions as they advance to high school, college and enter the workforce. 
     We have come a long way in eight weeks with our current resources, however, we need to continue to improve and grow over the summer.  The Board and I are in the initial phases of contingency planning for reopening in September; we will keep you informed.  Please thoughtfully consider this vital investment, and “Raise the Paddle” during our MoNline Gala this weekend.  The funds we secure will be used to:

  • Purchase new laptops for teachers to enhance productivity, improve accessibility. and increase efficiency
  • Facilitate the purchase of yearly Zoom for Education subscriptions for teachers to use with students
  • Access online textbooks and resources for book series we already own
  • Additional computer hardware and improved school Wi-Fi
  • Staff professional development and training for online platforms and distance teaching
  • Additional web-based platforms for consideration

  • Staff Development on Virtual Communication and Belonging for Students and Families
     This is an opportunity for each of you to directly impact the education of your child by improving the virtual/online instructional capabilities of the school.  I encourage you to share this document and invite friends and family to the Gala this weekend.  Enjoy yourselves at your virtual Happy Hours and get-togethers — Cheers to 25 Years and Stay Safe!
Michael Friel

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