‘Working Hard to Stay Connected at Immaculata’

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Cara Ragusa is the director of communications for Immaculata Catholic School in Durham, which has 535 students from pre-K to eighth grade. She lives in South Durham with her husband, Kevin, who works for Duke, and children Nathan, 9, and Anna, 8, who also attend Immaculata.

We’ve all been home together since March 14. There’s a lot of coordination that goes on, juggling school work with two full-time jobs. I ordered a white board and some visual- schedule magnets to help my kids know what to expect for the day. We just try to check everything off our daily list and don’t assign times to anything – I have great intentions to do things in a certain order or by a certain time, but then I’ll have to jump on a time-sensitive project or my husband has to take a work call, so it becomes an impromptu recess for the kids. My daughter has special needs, so that throws another element into the mix, but we’re lucky that her resource teachers and therapists have been doing one-on-one video calls with her several days a week.

I’m an introverted homebody so I don’t mind all the secluded at-home time, but it can also be incredibly stressful some days just trying to manage it all (my house is a mess!). My kids have adjusted surprisingly well, but I think they miss the routine and their teachers and friends, and just getting out and about to playgrounds, restaurants, etc.

Like most schools in our country, Immaculata has transitioned to a distance-learning platform. We look forward to returning to campus as soon as possible but are working hard to stay connected as a community through virtual office hours with teachers, online prayer services, family-led morning announcements and even a virtual spirit week – families sent in photos like these each day.

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Amanda MacLaren

Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Arizona, she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for eight years. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Guasaca.

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