School Re-Opening Update from the Governor/Archbishop:
I want to say a big thank you for hanging in there, for your feedback, and for your flexibility on our plans for Fall learning during the COVID situation. I know this has been stressful and challenging for everyone. We WILL get through this together...from 6 feet apart. :)
This morning, all Catholic School Principals for Western Washington (Seattle Archdiocese) met with our Superintendent. We discussed what the Governor had to say in yesterday's press briefing and then the final decision from our Archbishop, with respect to all schools in the Seattle Archdiocese. I am attaching the letter for you to review. The short version, however, is that we are all required to follow the recommendations from the Governor's Office. Since we are in a high risk county (case count at above 75/100,000) because Pierce County currently has a positive COVID case rate of 144/100,000, we will be starting the year remotely. The exception to this would be childcare. We are still planning to provide "childcare" for Pre-K and K and the education will happen during the day at childcare. We are just waiting to determine whether we can still have onsite cohort tutoring for students in grades 1 - 8 one to two times per week, from 1 - 3 pm, for students who can attend. I hope to get the answer to that very soon! So, as a reminder, here is the plan, but please also read the attached letter. I have also included the new guidelines on school re-openings from the Department of Health and the decision tree on this topic. All of the links are below. Please note that I have asked the Archdiocese to have their letter translated into Spanish for us and will send that version as soon as it is available.
The Plan for Learning:
- School (remote learning) and child care will begin on Sept. 1st, as planned
- Pre-K will be on site for educational childcare from 8 am - 3 pm daily. Drop off begins at 7:30 am.
- Kindergarten will be on site for educational childcare from 8 am - 3 pm daily. Drop off begins at 7:30 am.
- Grades 1 - 8 will begin with remote learning while we are a "high risk" county (75 or more cases per 100,000)
- Once Pierce County moves to a "moderate risk" phase (25 - 75 cases per 100,000), we are able to definitely bring back the elementary students to on site learning.
- VERY IMPORTANT: According to the Governor's criteria, the middle school students are supposed to wait until we get under 25/100,000 and have entered the "low risk" phase. Since our middle school students are in an elementary environment, however, we are trying to get clarification that they can be deemed elementary students and therefore are able to return in the moderate phase. We will let you know as soon as this is determined.
Information for Onsite Instruction/Childcare:
- All students or children in the childcare setting (ages 5 and above) or tutoring cohorts will be required to wear a mask at all times while on campus, except when eating or drinking. Students who are age 4 can wear a mask but are not required to do so.
- All people who enter the campus (students, staff, parents, visitors, members of the church, etc.) will be required to undergo a health screening BEFORE entering the school/parish building. This means: temperature screening and answering a list of questions about symptoms. People MUST pass this prior to entering the building.
- Students will maintain social distancing of 6 ft or more during the school day and desks will be set at a minimum of 6ft apart.
- All staff will be wearing masks or face shields when working with students. If they are instructing remote learning and alone in their classroom, they are not required to wear a mask.
- Meals will be eaten in the classroom, not in shared spaces
- Good hygiene will be encouraged through frequent hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizers, which will be provided
- Frequent cleaning will be done at the school campus, especially in childcare areas, classrooms, common areas, on doors/handles and other high-contact surfaces, etc.
- Ventilation/Outdoor - Windows will be kept open and fans used, when possible and outdoor spaces will be used (weather permitting) to allow for better ventilation and spacing of children.
Questions that we are still getting answers to...
- Are tutoring cohorts of up to 5 students (grades 1 - 8) still allowed with the teacher on site from 1 - 3 pm one to two times per week?
- When can middle school students return? Can we bring them back at the moderate risk phase for Pierce County or do we have to wait until Pierce County hits the low risk phase?
- Once our numbers go down below 75/100,000 or below 25/100,000, do they have to stay in that range for 14 days before we officially enter the new phase or is it immediate?
- Will we be offering extended-day care after school (or before 7:30 am)?
You may have additional questions. If so, please put them in the latest Survey Monkey (just 4 questions, I promise!). Also, I need to find out your preferences on before/after school care and afternoon tutoring cohorts. So, if you will be returning, please make sure that you take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3T6PDG7
Just one last reminder: Tuition payments for FACTS are set to pull on Aug 10th and/or 25th. If you need to make any changes, please contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org asap.
Thank you. Stay safe. Mask up so we can all be back together again asap.