Dear Parents and Students,

In watching Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like (2018) recently, it occurred to me that the themes we are trying to bring into a digital classroom are the same themes Fred Rogers was addressing on Mister Rogers Neighborhood (1968 – 2001) over fifty years ago. Through seemingly simple phrases, Mr. Rogers was able to take a world full of contradictions and focus solely on teaching children to see a person from the inside out, seeing who they are at their core. He told children that what matters most is what is inside of us.

Fast forward nineteen years from the time the last episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood aired and this message – how people connect with one another – is really at the heart of why digital learning is so difficult. How do educators connect to “the person” within each student through a screen?

Our VCMS community has been blessed with many opportunities during digital learning. One example is that we’ve hired additional highly qualified staff to work with smaller groups of students, and to provide homework support after school and in the evening. Additional supports, like advisement groups, a designated learning support specialist, and peer support through cohort groups have helped students transition into the new school year with digital learning.

The VCMS staff is fortunate to partner with the students and their parents about their day-to-day experiences with Digital Learning. The feedback we have received from the on-going surveys offers valuable insight and is instrumental in helping us fine-tune our educational program. We will continue to seek the feedback of our students, parents, and teachers to help ensure we are maintaining our culture of continual improvement. We remain committed to providing strong academics, building community, and addressing the socio-emotional needs of our students.

And now back to Fred Rogers. Mr. Rogers was onto something when he said “We all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.” It is our focus, as a Catholic school and a ministry of SSMO, to connect with one another – and that is what we will continue to do, whether it be through digital learning or in person learning. Thank you for choosing to join us on this journey.


Jennifer Gfroerer