Anne Marie Ulring is teacher and Terri Solazzo instructional assistant for Holy Family kindergartners. (Courtesy Holy Family School)
Anne Marie Ulring is teacher and Terri Solazzo instructional assistant for Holy Family kindergartners. (Courtesy Holy Family School)

After a warm “good morning,” a temperature check and a squirt of hand sanitizer, Holy Family School’s kindergartners happily head (properly distanced, of course) to their classroom for a busy morning with teacher, Anne Marie Ulring, and instructional assistant, Terri Solazzo. The Southeast Portland school takes safety seriously. Classroom organization, desks protected by plexiglass, masks, contact tracing, and social distancing are all part of the daily routine. Students are attentive to safety protocols.

“They are so adaptable,” said Solazzo. “They call each other out if they get too close to each other and always use hand sanitizer and wear their masks.”

Holy Family is committed to good instruction for both digital and in-person learners.

“Having a consistent, predictable schedule for both digital and in-person learners has been very successful,” said Ulring. “Kindergartners need structure and they like to know what to expect. I am able to help the students on Zoom at the same time as the in-person learners.” Hard copies of materials for lessons and activities are sent home to each student every two weeks. 

The pandemic teaching model has its challenges. “The most challenging thing for me has been adjusting to ever-changing safety protocols, but it is very rewarding to see that my students, both in-person and digitally, are happy and learning. That is what I care about,” said Ulring.

Solazzo, kindergarten assistant for 16 years, has a different challenge: trying to hear students’ little voices behind masks.

“They have learned to speak loudly for Mrs. Solazzo,” she said.

And what does Mrs. Solazzo find most rewarding? “Their excitement when told ‘good job.’ I may not be able to see their entire face, but can tell when they are smiling through their eyes.”

 

Holy Family School

7425 SE César E. Chávez Blvd. 

Portland 97202 

503-774-8871

jgalati@holyfamilypdx.net

school.holyfamilyportland.org

Grades: preschool – eight

Enrollment: 210

Tuition: $7,007 for parishioners and $8,765 for others

Financial aid available

Applications due: Feb. 15

Weekly Mass, full-day kindergarten, extended care, Spanish, art, PE, library 

Open house: Jan. 26, 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Kindergarten open house: Feb. 3, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.