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Update from Head of School - November 30, 2021


Dear Villa community,

Surprising as it seems, December begins tomorrow and our school year continues to move forward centered on compassion, curiosity, flexibility, creativity, and grace. This past weekend, the Christian church began the season of Advent, a time of hope and waiting for the fullness of love to be reborn into our lives. At the same time, the Jewish community began its celebration of the eight days of Hanukkah. In each of these religious observations, candles and light are important symbols. As a community founded by Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our Villa emphasis this month is to bring light, hope, and love to each other and our wider community. I invite you to participate in Villa’s annual Christmas service project, Adopt-a-Family. As a school, we have adopted seven families who need our support in making Christmas bright and joyful. You will learn more about your child(ren)’s families in an email from our student council moderators, Mr. Sean Lee and Ms. Emily Conlan and/or as part of a lower school grade level email. I hope that you join me in bringing light, love, and generosity to families in need this holiday season.

Amid the upcoming religious and family traditions that will be celebrated across the world in December, scientists and government officials from around the world have been sharing information regarding a new COVID-19 variant of concern. I can imagine that this news felt a little unsettling and likely tiring. As a school, we continue to base our COVID response on the guidelines and requirements of our state and county scientists and leaders. Vaccination against COVID-19 continues to be the first and strongest foundation of safety for our children and wider community and all Villa students who are eligible to do so are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated.

I know that many of our five to eleven-year-old students have begun their vaccination cycle. Please email a copy of your child’s vaccination card - even after the first dose - to Ms. Padilla in the main office, cpadilla@thevilla.org. Additionally, this month, Ms. Padilla or Ms. Higgins will begin to reach out to parents directly to ask about your child’s vaccination plans. This information is very important to us. If your child is vaccinated and is a close contact with another student who tests positive for COVID, your child does not need to quarantine. We have had, and will continue to have, students who test positive for COVID-19. This is not unexpected. We want to support our students who become sick and those who are identified as close contacts through our contact tracing protocols. Accurate and timely information regarding student vaccination helps us to be as supportive as possible.

The creativity and joy of Villa’s community will once again be on display at our drive-through Illuminata. On Thursday, December 9th, all families are welcome to drive through the grounds, listen to Jan Brett’s Christmas story, The Mitten, have a cup of hot chocolate, and leave a gift card to help a family-sponsored through our Christmas service project. Families are asked to attend Illuminata in the time allotted for your child’s grade level:

The schedule is also on the community calendar in VikingNet. I know that you join me in thanking the many, talented parent volunteers and our dedicated facilities department who have made Illuminata possible again this year!

As we close November, I am honored to celebrate the momentum and success of VillaNOW! We have some continued work to do to reach our inspirational goal of $400,000 in donations and I am so grateful to the families, faculty, staff, and community members who have given so generously to make our annual fund so successful. It is not too late to support VillaNOW this year. Every family’s contribution makes a difference for our students and their outstanding teachers. Thank you for joining this important effort!

In the Advent weeks ahead, my prayers for our Villa community will center on peace, health, joy, and love for each of our families, students, faculty, and staff. I am grateful for each of you who keeps Villa’s mission alive and makes our community such an outstanding place for children to grow and flourish.

With appreciation,

Julie Thenell Grasseschi, Interim Head of School

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