Home/Stay Informed/All Diocesan Articles

All Diocesan Articles



Saint Joseph School Embarks on Distance Learning

Posted on March 31, 2020 in: News, School News

Saint Joseph School Embarks on Distance Learning

FCC News Desk

As the Coronavirus has altered the lives of the entire world, school communities like St. Joseph School (SJS) in North Grosvenordale have had to make swift changes in a short time to keep the educational process moving forward for the students they serve in grades Pre-K through 8. As students and teachers physically gathered for the last time on Friday, March 13th, plans were already underway to enact a Distance Learning Program, which culminated in a special Professional Development Day for teachers on March 16th.

“I cannot thank the entire SJS community enough for their patience and flexibility during this new normal we are all facing,” Principal David Sizemore said. “In terms of the faculty, they have created a hybrid approach of worksheet packets, links to educational websites for students to work on, as well as an increased capacity to conduct classes via Zoom, a technology which allows students and their teachers to meet online in a virtual classroom. We collectively meet as a faculty/staff twice a week via Zoom so that we can continue to make improvements and adjustments to our Distance Learning Plan."

Nicole Ruoppo, a teacher at the middle school level for SJS, explained her distance learning experience.

“So far, our distance learning program has gone well," she said. "I have already been having Zoom classes and I have been able to set up a discussion board about a new book that we are reading that covers the Revolutionary War period. Feedback from the students thus far has been positive, but their biggest complaint is that they miss each other. In the meantime, however, I'm going to make sure they keep learning and that we all stay connected with each other!”

“I love that the top priority for teachers is the education for our students, even from a distance,” said Kelly Arsenault, mother of Manny Santos, a sixth-grade at SJS. “As a full-time nurse, I was initially concerned how I was going to be able to manage this. All of the teachers have been extraordinary in helping to facilitate this process!”

Families at the Pre-K level are also expressing their gratitude with a new type of partnership that has been forged with the faculty at SJS. One Pre-K parent, Jean Hemmig, has cited fun activities that she is doing with her son Jace like completing outdoor scavenger hunts and making a volcano. “As a former elementary school teacher, I have incorporated some of the lessons I have used previously with the materials and communication provided to us by Jace’s amazing Pre-K teacher, Mrs. Apley,” said Hemmig. “The most important thing is to make sure your child is having fun while learning!”

Courtney Brooks, a mother of three students, two in Pre-K (Josephine and Louisa) and one in Kindergarten (Edythe) also shared her thoughts about this unique situation we are all facing. “There could be many reasons to fret during this uncertain time, but I am thankful for the strength and the commitment of the SJS community, maybe now more than ever! SJS families are kept in constant communication, parents and teachers are helping each other out, and kiddos still interact with each other, just virtually. My girls love to see photos of their friends doing their schoolwork at home and look forward to a story read to them every night by Mr. Sizemore through Class Dojo, the school’s Learning Management System.”

“While our Distance Learning Program can in no way replace the in-person experience of learning, I do think that once this situation passes, we will hopefully have some new innovations that will become part of the fabric of the SJS community,” said Sizemore. “Finally, one of the key elements of our mission is that we are a caring, respectful, and nurturing environment, and that, without a doubt, has been on full display more so than ever before.”


To find out more information in regards to registering your son or daughter for the 2020-21 school year, please send an email to Mr. Sizemore at dsizemore@sjschoolng.com. Additional information about the school can be found on its website, www.schoolofstjoseph.org, especially with a new blog that has numerous activities for families with regards to distance learning. When you go to the website, click on the link PSC at the top of the page to see those activities.

The next Open House that SJS will host for families will be Sunday, May 3rd from 8:30 am – 11:30 am. The Open House will be paired with a Sunday Breakfast that will run simultaneously where guided tours will be offered by current SJS families as well as faculty members. Breakfast is complementary for all prospective families. Although this revised date follows after Easter, the Easter Bunny will still be coming to town on May 3rd for family pictures.

Note: Please visit the school’s website as listed above for any future date changes to this event that may occur.

Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Kevin Randall: Video and Pictures
The motto Sub Umbra Crucis, or “Under the Shadow of the Cross,” underscored the special and holy gathering Nov. 4, 2023 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich to celebrate the Episcopal ordination of The Most Rev. Kevin S. Randall to Titular Archbishop of Glenndalocha and Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh. “The cross is for us inevitable,” Archbishop Randall said in his remarks following his ordination, “But bearing it brings us our salvation.” The Most Reverend Cardinal Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, con...

Read More

A Prayer of Thanksgiving - 2023

Posted on November 16, 2023 in: News, Reflections


A Prayer of Thanksgiving - 2023
Heavenly Creator, In this season of gratitude and abundance, we give You thanks for our many blessings as we pray for all who struggle with hunger and want. Be with them in the dark of night, when all hope seems lost. Keep their faith strong as they await relief. Let Your goodness flow throughout our hearts and hands as we reach out to one another in the full, true joy of Thanksgiving in Christ. Amen

Read More

Prayers for Our Veterans

Posted on November 09, 2023 in: News


Prayers for Our Veterans
"God of compassion, we remember and honor those who have served our country with courage and sacrifice. Bless them and their families. Grant strength to the injured and comfort to those who have lost loved ones. May your peace surround them, and may we, as a nation, strive for a world where conflict is replaced by understanding. Amen."   “Dear Lord, Today we honor our veterans, worthy men and women who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect their country. We pray that you will bless them for their unselfish service i...

Read More

Rest in Peace- Deacon Anthony Dombkowski

Posted on November 13, 2023 in: News, Vocations


Rest in Peace- Deacon Anthony Dombkowski
Deacon Anthony Dombkowski   Deacon Anthony Dombkowski, a Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Norwich, died on Sunday, November 12, 2023. Obituary and arrangements are below.    Griswold-  Anthony Dombkowski of 163 Geer Road, Griswold died on November 12, 2023 after a years-long struggle with Parkinson's disease.   Anthony was born on February 24, 1938 and was a lifelong resident of Griswold Connecticut. He attended Griswold High School and later proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. He worked as a pipefitter and we...

Read More

Spiritual Solidarity: Parishioners Unite to Pray the Rosary
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)           In a powerful and uplifting display of unity and faith, over 80 parishioners from St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Colchester and St. Francis Assisi Catholic Church in Lebanon gathered on Sunday, November 19th, in Lebanon, to pray the Rosary. The occasion? A response to the introduction of a controversial 'Satan Club' at Lebanon Elemen...

Read More

Welcoming the Stranger: Archbishop Kevin S. Randall Embraces Diversity, Service in Bangladesh as Church's new Apostolic Nuncio
Archbishop Kevin S. Randall had the opportunity recently to celebrate Mass with members of Connecticut’s Bangladeshi community, a tight-knit group of about 600 worshipers based in Manchester.  A well-traveled man who has served in Roman Catholic diplomatic posts on four continents, Archbishop Randall, the Church’s newly-named Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh,c “We’re a country of immigrants and it takes different forms at different times. It’s interesting to see what attracts them,” the New London native said several weeks before...

Read More

Annual Fundraiser

Help Us Spread the Word with Your Gift

Your 100% tax deductible gift will help us continue to bring the gospel message and the news of the diocese to the faithful throughout eastern Connecticut and the world. Your generosity helps defray the production costs of our print, online, and email newsletter editions of the Four County Catholic, as well as enhancing our Social Media presence. 

For those who would rather mail their gift click here.

Signup for Weekly Newsletter

    Recently Added Galleries
    Click to view album: Nativity photos
    Click to view album: Archbishop Kevin S. Randall - Episcopal Ordination, Nov. 4, 2023
    Click to view album: Rite of Election
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination  for Fr. Jacob Ramos
    Latest Articles
    What are the Precepts of the Church?
    The Annual Convocation for Priests in the Diocese of Norwich - Dec. 4-6
    Preparing Heart and Home: Meaningful Advent Activities for Families
    Celebrate: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12
    COP 28: U.S. Bishops Call for International Climate Policies that Promote Justice
    Where has the Reverence Gone? 
    Sharing the Reason for the Season - Your Nativity Crèche Photos Wanted
    Calendar of Events

    Annual Catholic Appeal






    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294