Dear parish families,
In these uncertain times, we would like to support your family in your faith formation needs and provide you with options as you make plans for this upcoming school year. We have recently been updated by the Diocese of Grand Rapids Office of Faith Formation with guidelines and protocols that need to be taken to ensure your family’s safety for each government stage during this pandemic. The staff at Our Lady of the Lake have been hard at work throughout the pandemic planning for all potential scenarios for Discipleship Class options depending upon the stage of the pandemic response to provide you the most engaging experiences for your children and youth. Please find details below and on the page for each grade level.
WILL CLASSES BE MEETING IN-PERSON THIS SCHOOL YEAR?
No, classes will be solely online until we are in phase 5. The only in-person opportunity is Summit (mid-week Bible study) for our high schoolers while the weather remains good and the meetings can be held outside. When we enter phase 5, we may add in some gatherings, socials, CGS Atrium practicum times, and prayer opportunities, which will follow phase 5 diocesan guidelines. However, the plan is to have all weekly Discipleship classes remain online for the entire school year to provide safety and consistency for our families and catechists.
WHY ONLINE AND NOT IN-PERSON?
We are following diocesan guidelines, and it has been decided that at-home learning is the best option for our parish families given the many safety protocols that would inhibit normalcy with in-person classes. Additionally, with our younger students, it is not possible to offer CGS at this time given the hands-on nature of this Montessori-style curriculum.
Elementary Students (K-5): What are the options?
Online OLL Discipleship Classes ($90 per student/$225 max per family): Sign-up for Discipleship classes via this website. We will begin classes as planned in late September; however, they will be online only. Each grade level will have a scheduled weekly 45 minute Zoom meeting class time on Sundays, instructed by a catechist, where the children will be led through the lessons. *These times vary from what has currently been scheduled, since LANE Kids will need to offer six Zoom calls per week, one for each grade level. These are not multiple grade-levels like CGS, and therefore require additional session times. At the end of the online lessons are printable activities. Parents are encouraged to help with printing and to support their kids in completing these activities. The curriculum utilized will be LANE Kids, which is based on the diocese’s new curriculum guidelines. Each family that registers for OLL Discipleship Classes or is already registered will have a weekly Zoom call. If they miss a Zoom call or want to revisit a lesson, their LANE Kids subscription gives them full access to their grade-level curriculum for the entire school year. The catechist-led Zoom meeting class sessions will all be held on Sundays (no Tuesday classes). Times will be announced soon. Online classes begin September 20.
LANE Kids: ($50 per student): These online classes are for kindergarten-5th grades. LANE Kids school-year subscriptions are purchased on the www.lanecatholic.org website and are to be fully homeschooled by parents (no catechist weekly meetings). Families need not be OLL parishioners to participate in LANE Kids. A preview for LANE Kids can be found here: LANE Kids
WHY WOULD AN OLL FAMILY PAY MORE THROUGH OLL ONLINE DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES RATHER THAN GO DIRECTLY THROUGH LANE KIDS, SINCE THEY UTILIZE THE SAME CURRICULUM? IS THERE A BENEFIT TO KEEPING CHILDREN IN OLL ONLINE DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES VS. LANE KIDS?
When a family participates through OLL’s Online Discipleship program, they receive additional support with weekly Zoom catechist instruction, and the students still get to keep in touch with each other in a live online classroom environment. Additionally, if we are able to start having some in-class experiences, prayer opportunities, and/or events, students enrolled in OLL Discipleship Classes will have the chance to take advantage of these opportunities should we enter phase 5 during the school year.
WHAT IF OUR FAMILY ALREADY SIGNED UP FOR DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES BUT WANTS TO HOMESCHOOL ONLY (NO CATECHIST SUPPORT)?
Refunds of $40 off the $90 fee (or subtraction to equal what LANE Kids costs online for multiple students from one family) will be issued for any family that would like to choose the fully homeschooled option. Contact Carla Niziolek at email@example.com if you want to make a program change.
WHAT IF MY CHILD IS IN 2ND GRADE? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR FIRST COMMUNION?
First Communion prep will take place through the LANE Kids curriculum. The retreat will take place in-person, as will First Communion, taking into consideration the diocesan regulations in place in May 2021.
WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH LAST YEAR’S 2ND GRADERS (NOW 3RD GRADERS) FOR RECEIVING FIRST COMMUNION?
A new in-person retreat/rehearsal has been scheduled for November 7, and First Communion is scheduled for the weekend of November 14/15. Correspondence to all the families on last school year’s First Communion list is forthcoming in the next two weeks to all applicable students. There will be additional online classes and support for these 3rd graders to do their Sacrament preparations this fall before November. The retreat will include Reconciliation and will follow the ten persons or less per classroom diocesan guideline.
Middle and High School
WILL MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOLERS AND CONFIRMATION STUDENTS MEET IN-PERSON?
No, all weekly Sunday evening classes will be provided through an online platform at the usual scheduled times. Adam McNutt will be in contact with all registered families before classes begin. Anyone not yet registered may do so through this website. Summit (mid-week Bible study) will meet in-person outside until the weather prohibits these meetings, at which time it will move to an online format.
DO WE KNOW WHAT CONFIRMATION WILL LOOK LIKE THIS SCHOOL YEAR?
We have been told that the bishop is discussing options with the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation leaders. Once they issue a plan, we will promptly share it with our families. Currently, we do not have more details to share.
Support from the OLL Staff
The staff at Our Lady of the Lake is here to serve and support you! If you have questions, please direct them as follows:
Grades K-5: Michelle Marko, Children’s Ministry Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle/High School: Adam McNutt, Youth Ministry Coordinator: email@example.com
Adult/LANE/LANE Kids/registration changes/refunds: Carla Niziolek, Director of Discipleship: firstname.lastname@example.org
LANE for Adults
Finally, parents, don’t miss out on the amazing adventures we are going to have this year at LANE. Continuing your lifelong learning and faith development has never been so exciting! You want to see this!