Holy Cross Catholic School
From the Desk of Mrs. Wagner
January 14, 2022
Each year Bishop Miege High School sends us a list of our former students who made the Honor Roll and many of our former students made the list. This week it was exactly the affirmation we needed that all our hard work shines through our students even after they leave our building. God knows just when we need those reminders. Our students at Holy Cross receive a top-notch academic and spiritual education due to this amazing, hard-working dedicated staff.
We all wish that we could go a week without mentioning Covid, but the reality is that it has consumed our discussions and affected the daily operations and functionality of our school building over the past two weeks. Our priority is to ensure everyone is safe. That is why we have taken our entire week to consult with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCHDE), and local school districts to help us navigate the biggest surge of Covid-19 cases we have had in our school to date.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated their guidance recently with a shortened isolation period from 10 days to 5 days for the general public and we have been waiting for finalized guidance from JCDHE for schools. The epidemiologist contact told us directly "we are in a huge public health crisis right now so we must have a 10-day isolation until further notice". Our JCDHE meeting was this week and the stats shared were alarming. The percent positivity rate when we left for Christmas break was at 11% and this week the percent positive was at 30.3%. In comparison to last year at this time, we were at 11.7%.
Our concern at Holy Cross is that we are following all mitigations and guidelines and our numbers are still rising. We have 21 positive cases currently, some of which are still in isolation from last week, but that brings us to a 11% positivity rate in our school community. Keeping our personnel healthy is also a concern for several reasons including finding substitutes. Fortunately we have been able to cover internally this week, but the worry is when we are unable to do so, that is when we risk closure. In order to protect each other and our children's learning environment, it is imperative that we are checking our children for any symptoms every day. If they have even one symptom, please keep them home until after talking to one of our wonderful school nurses. JCDHE also recommended students and staff to wear KN95 masks or a mask that fits properly with at least two layers. We are hopeful that our current mitigations, carefully watching for symptoms and proper mask wearing will help us lower the positivity rate in our building next week and in the future.
Please continue to be patient with us as we are getting unclear guidelines from the health officials and are doing everything possible to keep our staff, students and families safe and healthy. I know we say this often, but it is true. We are Holy Cross Strong! We will get through this...together.