Schoolhouse Rocks

Salesianum Puts Teachers First with Child Care Option

Lucas Loessner, Reporting Journalist

While COVID-19 has turned lives completely upside down, Salesianum’s commitment to education hasn’t faltered despite enormous challenges. Since teachers have to come in every day of the week, one major concern was about securing childcare for their own children, since many of them will be learning virtually as well.

Enter the Salesianum Schoolhouse.

The Schoolhouse was created in order to provide a supervised learning environment for K-8 children of Salesianum faculty and staff. The program is completely free to enroll in. The final months of the 2019-2020 school year proved to be difficult for teachers to manage both their newfound online teaching schedule, as well as the schedules of their children. The hope is that by providing this benefit to Salesianum employees, some weight will be lifted off their shoulders.

“I’m thankful to Salesianum for being so committed to its employees that it would devote the resources it has to making life seem a little more normal and a lot less stressful,” said Mr. Joseph Rapposelli, Director of Alumni Affairs who has four children under the age of 10. “For however long it is available, my family will take advantage of it.” He also spoke of how the program allowed his 2 older children to better concentrate on work without his youngest child distracting them.

To make room within Salesianum for the new Schoolhouse, the Brisson Center was moved to the library and the space it originally occupied was converted into a large-scale classroom with child-sized furniture and desks. Employees may drop their children off in the morning prior to school. Once present, the children can be seen on their devices working with Mrs. ​Kelly Blewiit, Mrs. Christy Pastro, and Mrs. Sheila DiNardo​, who are ensuring that the kids are logging onto their classes and completing tasks, all whilst providing them support.

“Salesianum always takes care of its own and I wanted to be part of that,” said ​Mrs. Blewitt, the Director of the Schoolhouse. When asked how it had been dealing with challenges brought with the new program she stated, “​As we are getting going, we are really just trying to take them on at day-by-day basis.”

The Schoolhouse brings in children of teachers and faculty and allows them to do online school in a proper work environment. This well-deserved addition allows teachers to better focus on educating their students, yet another shining example of Salesianum looking out for its community.