Week of April 11, 2022
How to Submit News to SaberSpeak
We are happy to publish appropriate information in this newsletter. Information must be relevant to the St. Hilary School or St. Hilary Parish community, and cannot promote a personal interest or a school other than our own. To avoid confusion, if you are requesting publication of information on behalf of a group, please be sure you have coordinated with others in the group and that you are authorized to speak on their behalf. The school reserves the right to determine what content will be included. Information to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter must be emailed to email@example.com by 3:00 p.m. on Friday for the following week. Thank you for helping us keep mass emails to a minimum by remembering this deadline as you plan.
Hot Off The Press
IMPORTANT! NEW ONLINE PLATFORM COMING IN 2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR - WATCH FOR EMAIL FROM DIGITAL ACADEMY MAY 1!
We are in the process of transitioning to Digital Academy, a one-stop online platform that will replace and streamline many of our current platforms, including One Call Now. You will receive an email from Digital Academy around May 1 that will ask you to complete a verification process so you can be added to our new communication database. It is extremely important that you do not delete the email and that you complete the requested process immediately. If you do not, you will not be able to receive important school mass communication over the summer about fall sports registration, hot lunch ordering, class lists, the start of the 2022-2023 school year, and more. Please watch for this important email and take a few minutes to complete the process so we do not lose touch with you after May!
MORNING DROP-OFF SAFETY
- Parents, please remember that students should never get out of the driver's side of the car and cross in front of the car during morning drop-off. There have been tragic accidents resulting from this practice and we want to make sure all of our children are safe. If your child is unable to get out of the passenger side in the car line, please park and walk him or her to the building.
- Also, please do not pass cars when they are dropping off on the Moorfield Road side of the building. This creates an unsafe traffic situation on the road.
PARENTS' ASSOCIATION BOARD TO REMAIN IN PLACE FOR 2022-2023
Due to the unusual circumstances the past two school years, as we transition back to normal for the 2022-2023 school year, our Parents' Association Board will remain in place to help ensure continuity. Our 2022-2023 Parents' Association Board members will remain Erin Klaus as President, Jasmin Denholm as President Elect, Ashley Chicatelli as Vice-President, Lindsey Yoder as Secretary, and Katie Stahr as Treasurer. If you would like to be involved in the Parents' Association Board for 2023-2024, please watch for the call for nominations for open positions next spring!
FAIRLAWN SAFETY TOWN NOW REGISTERING
The Fairlawn Police Department will once again sponsor its Safety Town program this summer. Click here for complete details and to register.
The Main Event
Click here for the school Google calendar
~ April 11: Chesterton Academy Visit for Grade 7 8:40 - 9:25 am
~ April 11: Grade 8 Presents Mime of the Passion 10:30 am
~ April 14: Spring Break Begins
~ April 17: Easter
~ April 25: School Resumes
~ April 25 - May 13: MAP Testing for Grades K-8
~ April 26: Student Council Officers Meeting 3:15-3:45 pm
~ April 27: Grade 2 Jesus Day at the Lodge at Allardale
~ April 28: Spring Musical performance for students and staff 9:30 am
~ April 28: Grades 6-8 Youth Group 3:15-4:40 pm
~ April 29: Fourth Quarter Interim Reports
~ April 29: Spring Musical 7:00 pm
~ April 30: Spring Musical 7:00 pm
~ May 1: Spring Musical 1:00 pm
CELEBRATION 2022: A NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
Join us May 21 from 6 to 11 pm as we enjoy A Night Under The Stars in the party tent on our very own campus! As we ease back into normal, we look forward to bringing our school community together for this exciting night of friendship and fundraising! It's time to purchase your tickets and raffle tickets! For more information, please click here!
Interested in donating a silent auction item or sponsoring this event? See the attached donation form and sponsorship form!
Any questions? Please contact co-chairs Brianne Alaburda, Erin Klaus and Tara Reuscher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ST. HILARY PARISH BUSINESS MANAGER SOUGHT
St. Hilary Parish & School, one of the larger parishes in the Cleveland Diocese, with over 2,800 parish families and 500+ students enrolled in its school, is seeking a full-time Business Manager. This position offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Please submit resume to Rev. Steven Brunovsky, Pastor, at email@example.com by April 15, 2022. Complete details can be found below.
PARENTS' ASSOCIATION SEEKING VOLUNTEERS FOR 2022-2023
Part of what makes our school so great is the amazing efforts of our parent helpers. Please click the form below for a listing of various volunteer opportunities, and consider how you can help during the 2022-2023 school year. Please contact Parents' Association Secretary Lindsey Yoder at TLM456@aol.com with questions. Click here to volunteer!
PLAYGROUND MONITORS NEEDED
Looking for a fun way to be involved at school, see your child during the school day, get some fresh air, and make some extra money? Consider being a playground monitor! Help is needed for the 2021-2022 school year in order to ensure that our students are properly supervised during recess. Monitors work just a couple of hours each day, so this is the perfect part-time job for those with limited time! If you are interested in learning more, please contact Cassie Samaan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS NEEDED
We are always in need of individuals to serve as substitute teachers. A summary of requirements would include the following: a bachelor's degree in any subject, Virtus training, a background check including fingerprinting, and a substitute teaching certificate. If you meet (or are able to complete) these requirements and are interested in being added to our pool of substitute teachers, please email a current resume to Miss Malick at email@example.com as soon as possible.
SCAN AND SUBMIT RECEIPTS FOR "BOX TOP" PRODUCTS TO EARN MONEY FOR OUR SCHOOL
The Box Tops program has gone digital! Now it's even easier to support our school with your grocery purchases! Click here for details!
Growing Together in Faith
CHRIST RENEWS HIS PARISH MEN'S RETREAT APRIL 23 & 24
Christ Renews His Parish Men’s Retreat
can help you find it!
Christ Renews His Parish
April 23 & 24
Do you thirst for quiet, away from the noise and busyness of everyday life? Do you seek rest from the trials and tribulations of the world? Is it time to slow down and take some time to reflect? CRHP is a great opportunity to satisfy your thirst. Come gather with other men to be renewed spiritually, develop / deepen your friendship with Christ, and grow in faith as a husband, father, worker – wherever you find yourself right now. Men 18 and older are welcome to join us at Loyola Retreat House, April 23 & 24. For questions, please contact Randy Malick in the Parish Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register at sthilarychurch.org/menscrhp.
SCHOOL MASS APRIL 29
Our next school Mass for the 2021-2022 school year will be April 29 at 9:30 am planned by grade 1. All students will attend in person! School Masses are no longer being live streamed. A copy of this year’s liturgy schedule can be found in the Forms and Documents section under the Red Folder on the school website. Masses are also posted on the school Google calendar. Upcoming Masses are May 6 planned by grade 6, May 13 planned by grade 2 (May Crowning, Grade 2 Processional, Kevin Neff Scholarship), May 20 planned by grade 7, May 27 planned by grade 8 (8th grade Farewell), and June 3 planned by grade 4. There is no school on April 15 and April 22.
We will continue to celebrate Mass together each week and on holy days. Space for parents and other guests is limited at school Masses.
SCHOOL ROSARY MAY 17
We will have a school Rosary service on May 17 at 1:45 pm in the Church.
PARISH LENTEN OPPORTUNITIES
St. Hilary Parish offers a full slate of events and observances to help make your family's Lenten journey more meaningful. Please click below for details.
Called to be Christ to Others
PLEASE PRAY FOR...
ADVANCED CODING CLUB NOW REGISTERING
St. Hilary School will host an advanced Coding Club open to students in grades 6, 7 and 8 in March and April this year. The sessions will be on Wednesdays from 3:15 – 4:15 pm starting the week of March 7. Students can come to the computer room after school to log into the club. Mrs. Weber will be in the computer lab for each session. Students will be dismissed at 4:20 pm from the Art Room doors.
Parents can register their students using the following link: https://auth.digitalacademy.org/Curricula/Form/CPC2022 Parents will be asked to pick a session (choose Wednesday) and indicate whether they are participating individually or with a school group (choose school group). The cost is $25, but there are scholarship options available if cost is an issue. Payment can be made by credit card during checkout, or by check. Mailing instructions for checks will be included in the registration receipt.
Please email Mrs. Weber email@example.com if your child is interested in participating.
CAMP CHRISTOPHER OPEN HOUSE APRIL 24 - CAMP REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Camp Christopher will hold an open house at its location at 1930 N. Hametown Road, Akron, OH 44333 on April 24 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Please visit www.campchris.org for information and to register for camp.
SUMMER CAMP INFO
Summer is around the corner, and that means it will soon be time to register for summer camps! Information about camps will be available in the school office as it is received. At this time, information is available for:
Archbishop Hoban Summer Camps
University of Akron "Multiply Your Options" Engineering Day Camp for Middle School Girls
YOUTH MINISTRY UPDATE
"New Fire", our youth ministry program for grades 6-8, is underway! Details are as follows:
Participating students need to meet at 3:15 pm in the main hall by the new school office. Mr. Schechter or Fr. Cameron will walk students over to the Spiritual Center.
Parents, please park in the lot and walk to the sidewalk outside the parish office to pick your child up promptly at 4:30 pm.
Meetings will take place every other week on the following dates:
4/28, 5/12, 5/26
Questions? Please contact Mr. Schechter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022-2023 CALENDAR PUBLISHED
Our 2022-2023 school calendar has been approved by the Diocese of Cleveland and is published on our school website. Click here to view the calendar.
FAMILY HOLY WEEK CHALLENGE
Come join the Knights of Columbus in celebrating Holy Week 2022! Families with St. Hilary students, bring your children to the four major spiritual events of Holy Week—Palm Sunday Mass, Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, one of the four Stations of the Cross services on Good Friday, and Easter Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) Mass. Those families with St. Hilary students that attend ALL FOUR spiritual events will receive a special reward when you return to school. You must pick up your colored strip of paper that will be in a bag on the Welcome Desk in the Spiritual Center after each event. Unify your family together in this holiest of weeks and bring our Lord closer to your hearts and minds. God Bless and Happy Easter!
STUDENTS COMING INTO THE CHURCH AT EASTER VIGIL
Three of our current students, eighth grader Sebastian Tavera, fifth grader Ben Barrett and fourth grader Evan Conner, as well as future 2022-2023 St. Hilary School fourth grader Ava Barger, will receive Sacraments and come into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass on April 16. We are very proud of all of these students and ask that you keep them in your prayers as they prepare for this significant step in their faith journeys.
OHIO CATHOLIC FEDERAL CREDIT UNION STUDENT BANKING PROGRAM RETURNS TO ST. HILARY APRIL 27, MAY 25
The Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union Student Banking Program will return to St. Hilary School two more times this school year: April 27 and May 25. An OCFCU representative will be available in the Multi-Purpose Room from 8:00 to 8:30 am for any students wishing to open a new account or make transactions in an existing account. For more information, contact our school’s banking representative at Ohio Catholic FCU: T.J. Dotson, Branch Community Manager, at 216-478-0064. You can also watch this video for a more informative presentation.
APRIL 28 STUDENT COUNCIL MEETING CANCELED
The Student Council meeting scheduled for April 28 has been canceled due to conflicts with other activities at that time. If your child normally participates in Student Council, please make sure he or she has arrangements for dismissal at the regular time on that day.
ST. HILARY STUDENTS TO STAGE THE LION KING APRIL 29-MAY 1
Don’t miss St. Hilary School’s junior high production of the musical The Lion King on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m., in the school’s Horning Hall gymnasium. Tickets are available at the door, which will open a half hour before all shows. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. The public is invited to attend. Many St. Hilary School seventh and eighth graders and their advisers have been rehearsing for months for this production, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
ORDER 2021-2022 YEARBOOKS BY MAY 27
Ordering is now open for our 2021-2022 school yearbook! This beautiful full-color book is available in a soft cover format for $25 or a hard cover format for $30. All ordering must be done directly through Lifetouch at ybpay.lifetouch.com. The order code is 3685722. The deadline to order is May 27, 2022. Please keep a record of your order - the school has no access to or record of orders.
2022-2023 SCHOOL SUPPLIES
ORDER KITS BY JULY 1
Our school supply lists for 2022-2023 have been published. Click here to view the lists and shop on your own. Or, take advantage of our 1st Day School Supplies service. Through our continuing partnership, 1st Day School Supplies is going to help our parents and teachers get the exact supplies needed for next school year. 1st Day School Supplies is convenient, easy and hassle free! Plus, they have guaranteed competitive prices on the highest quality brands including the germ fighting brands like Purell and Clorox. So, why not purchase school supplies from the comfort of your home? You can make your purchase beginning right now, through July 1! Click here to get started.
DRINKING FOUNTAINS OPEN
Our drinking fountains are now open for use. The clinic will no longer have water bottles available, so students who do not wish to use the drinking fountains should continue to bring water bottles from home.
SCOLIOSIS SCREENING COMING SOON
ALMOST SOLD OUT! DON'T MISS OUT!
ONLY 6 CRYSTAL COMMEMORATIVES LEFT!
ONLY 6 Crystal Commemoratives are remaining to fill the window in the Horning Hall alcove! All of the 12" x 12" and 12" X 6" crystals are SOLD OUT! There are only 6 – 6" x 6" crystals remaining available for $2,500 each. Crystals can be paid for over 5 years. These beautiful etched glass panels support the St. Hilary School Endowment Fund and are a great way to honor a special person or occasion or memorialize your family's name as part of the St. Hilary community. Crystals are going fast so don't miss your opportunity to be a part of this lasting legacy. Contact St. Hilary Parish Foundation Development Director Diane Sarkis at 330-608-4787 email@example.com for more information.
MORNING DROP-OFF REMINDERS
On Both Sides:
- Please pull up to the sign at the end of the drop-off area. This allows more cars to stop between the two signs. All cars that fit within the zone between the signs may unload at the same time.
- Please make sure students are ready to exit the car when they arrive. Seatbelts need to be unfastened, backpacks need to be loaded and zipped, masks and winter gear need to be ready, and last minute discussions about the day need to be handled before the point where students need to exit so as not to hold up the line.
On The Moorfield Road Side:
- Please do not pull around stopped cars when they are dropping off students. Occasionally, a driver may need to exit from the non-curb side, and passing creates a dangerous situation.
On The Parking Lot Side:
- Please do not pull up to areas other than the designated car line to drop off. If you do not want to wait in the line, you may park in the lot and walk your child to the building.
- Please do not pull beyond the sign at the end of the drop-off area. Please keep the crosswalk clear for pedestrians.
A FEW REMINDERS - PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH CAREGIVERS
For the safety of the children, please take a moment to read these reminders. Thank you!
- We are a cell phone-free campus during drop-off and pick-up. For the safety of our children, please refrain from using your phone during these few minutes.
- When dropping off on the parking lot side of the building, please stop before the cross walk in order to leave the cross walk clear for pedestrians crossing from the lot to the building. Please do not stop on the cross walk to drop off.
- When pulling forward, please make sure you are looking forward and that the path in front of and around your vehicle is clear before moving the vehicle.
- Three to four cars can fit in the drop-off zone. All cars in the drop-off zone can unload at the same time to help keep the lines moving.
- Please be sure your child is completely clear of your car before pulling away. Water bottles are often dropped and may roll under cars. Please instruct your child not to reach under the car or run back to the car for a forgotten item. Adults on duty will assist.
- Please do not put your car in park and get out of the car in the drop off lines. If your child needs assistance getting out of a car seat or unbuckling, please park in the lot, help your child get out, and walk him or her to the building.
ATTENDANCE EMAIL ADDRESS NOW AVAILABLE
We now have two options for reporting student absences:
- Call our school attendance line at 330-867-8720, ext. 350, or
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Although not necessary, you may also email your child's teacher as a courtesy. Please do not email other school staff regarding absences, as our dedicated attendance email inbox is checked each morning, but other emails may not be immediately received.
Whether calling or emailing, please state your child's name, grade, and the reason for the absence, including specific symptoms if due to an illness. If the school has not been notified of the absence by 10 am by either call or email, a call will be made to parents.
Please contact teachers directly regarding requests for homework; however, please understand that requests may not be able to be filled until the next day if the teacher does not see your request until late in the day. Thank you for understanding that our teachers' first priority during the day is teaching.
DAILY LOGISTICS TO NOTE
- If your child will be absent, tardy or picked up early for any reason, please call the school office at 330-867-8720 to report this. You may speak with a secretary during school hours or leave a message on the attendance line 24/7. Absences must be reported to the school office by 9:30 am on the day of the absence. We are required by law to follow up with families who do not do so. You may also notify teachers and Latchkey as a courtesy. It is not necessary to email other school staff.
- If a student needs to be picked up for an appointment or is ill and being picked up to go home, please pull up to the Moorfield Road door, call the school office at 330-867-8720, and your child will be signed out with your permission and released to your car under staff supervision.
- Students who are ill may not return to school until they are symptom free for a full 48 hours (2 days) without fever reducing medication OR they have a negative COVID-19 test (must provide test results) OR they have a note from the attending physician stating that symptoms are not the result of COVID-19. There is no incentive to come to school when ill. The perfect attendance award has been eliminated. The policy on excessive absence will be reviewed and applied on a case-by-case basis during the duration of COVID-19.
- The drop off bins have been relocated to the Moorfield Road side of the building to allow 24/7 access. If a lunch or other forgotten item needs to be dropped off to a student in a time-sensitive manner, please call the school office at 330-867-8720 or ring the bell at the Moorfield entrance door, let the secretaries know what you are dropping off and for whom, and leave the item – clearly labeled with the student’s name and room number or teacher – in the drop-off bin. A staff member will retrieve the item and get it to the student.
Box Tops for Education benefits our school every time you purchase qualifying products. Please click here for more information.
VERIFY & UPDATE ONE CALL NOW INFORMATION VIA SELF-UPDATE PORTAL
As the new year begins, please make sure we have your current telephone number(s) and email address(es) in our One Call Now database. Doing so will ensure you receive the latest mass email updates, as well as phone calls in the event of snow days or school emergencies.
New families: Please make sure you have returned the yellow One Call Now form contained in your child’s acceptance packet so your One Call Now account can be set up.
Returning families and new families who have returned yellow One Call Now forms: Please click the My School button at the top right corner of the school website, login, and click the One Call Now link to be directed to our new One Call Now Self-Update Portal. Click the green SIGN UP button as a first-time user to create your login for the secure portal. Users will be able to view only their own information. Follow the prompts to verify and update your information as needed. Please retain your login information so you can return to the portal and simply login to make any necessary future updates.
Please contact Mrs. Smith at email@example.com with questions.
REMINDER: "TEACHER REQUESTS" NOT PERMITTED
As student registration for 2022-2023 approaches, we are beginning to receive questions about "teacher requests". Please be reminded of the following information that was announced August 1:
► "TEACHER REQUESTS" COME TO AN END
Under previous leadership, information began to be published at re-registration time each year to clarify the manner and deadline to make concerns known regarding class placement that may affect student learning needs. Such concerns were to be communicated in writing to teachers by March 1 each year. Over the years, parents began to interpret this yearly notification as an invitation to request particular teachers for students. As leadership changed and we moved together through the COVID pandemic, every attempt was made to accommodate families' needs when special requests were made due to the challenging times we were all experiencing. However, we have been inundated with requests for months, continuing into the summer, and we simply cannot continue to accommodate requests if we are to achieve properly balanced classes. While some concerns shared have been valid, requests have been coming in for reasons such as "I've heard great things about teacher X", or "All my other children had teacher X", or, in many cases, for no reason at all. Requests have been received not just from parents, but from aunts, grandparents and other well-meaning relatives and friends. Therefore, as we return to normal, we also need to end what was never intended to be license for parents to request particular teachers for their children. In other words, "teacher requests" have come to an end.
► KEEP LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN
Instead, we encourage every parent to have open and ongoing dialogue with his or her child's teacher about the child's needs beginning at the start of the school year. Things that can and should be shared with teachers include concerns about the child's learning or social-emotional well-being, as well as changes in the family situation, illness in the family, and similar matters. We want to clarify that this dialogue should be between the teacher and the parent, not other family members or friends. In reality, children spend more time interacting with their teachers and classmates than with their own parents during the school year, so our teachers get to know your children quite well. Teachers are generally very good judges of your children's personalities, learning styles / needs, peer relationships, and more, and they work hard to make sure all of those factors are considered when placing students in classes for each subsequent year. If you have kept the lines of communication open with your child's teacher throughout the school year, there should be no doubt in the teacher's mind about which placement will be best for your child for the coming year. Teachers begin creating classes in the spring; hence, the previously communicated March 1 deadline. Please do not wait until the spring to begin a conversation with your child's teacher about a situation you feel may impact your child's learning.
► MANY FACTORS AFFECT CLASS PLACEMENT
We realize how important it is to you that your child be placed in a classroom setting that will be the best fit for him or her. This is our priority as well, as it is for each of the more than 500 students we educate each year. When class lists are created, your child is one piece of a much larger puzzle with many factors that must be considered to ensure the best placement for every child. These dynamics control which students can be together, which students should not be together, and which students need to be with which teachers. There are a myriad of reasons behind each and every decision that goes into creating each class. We are blessed to have three classes in every grade level, which allows us greater leeway in creating balanced classes that aim to foster the spiritual, academic and social-emotional growth of every student. Additionally, our administration monitors the "big picture" to ensure that every angle is considered as classes are created. However, it has been challenging for us to work around the overwhelming number of requests while still weighing every other factor that must be considered in creating classes that work for every student and teacher. We need you to trust us, as educators, to do our jobs and make the best possible decisions for your children.
► EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES
We understand that there may be times when extenuating circumstances create a situation for your family that you did not expect and that may significantly affect your child's learning needs. Please share that with us if it happens, and we will do our best to work with you.
UPDATE! NEW COVID-19 REPORTING GUIDELINES IN EFFECT MARCH 14
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Ohio and across the nation dramatically drop, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is updating systems to monitor COVID-19 community spread in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This will include a shift from daily reporting of cases, hospitalizations, and vaccinations to the public at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/home to weekly reporting on Thursdays beginning the week of March 14.
In addition, ODH is easing requirements for case reporting by K-12 schools effective immediately. Summit County Public Health (SCPH) has adopted these new guidelines, which St. Hilary School will follow, as well.
Schools will no longer be required to:
Maintain a COVID-19 reporting system for parents to report positive COVID-19 cases.
At St. Hilary School, this means that, effective immediately, parents will no longer be required to complete our COVID-19 reporting form in the event a student tests positive. However, parents still need to state that a student has tested positive for COVID-19 if applicable as the reason for an absence when reporting the student absent on the attendance line.
Have a designated COVID-19 coordinator for the district.
Notify parents of positive COVID-19 cases among staff, students, or coaches.
At St. Hilary School, this means that, effective immediately, we will discontinue our weekly COVID-19 update emails. Our COVID-19 information page and COVID-19 Dashboard will remain live on our school website through the end of this school year, but will be deactivated in June.
Report positive cases of COVID-19 to their local health department unless the school tests a student for COVID-19 and the result is positive.
At St. Hilary School, this means that, effective immediately, student and staff COVID-19 cases reported to us will no longer be our responsibility to report to SCPH.
Quarantine and isolation measures, as outlined in the Mask to Stay, Test to Play
https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/schools/k-12-schools-quarantine-alternative.pdf protocol for K-12 schools, will remain in effect. Mask to Stay, Test to Play supports in-person learning by allowing any student exposed to COVID-19, but not symptomatic or COVID-19 positive, to remain in school while appropriately and consistently wearing a mask.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we will continue to monitor conditions and follow the latest guidance as necessary. For more information and resources to monitor community spread, read more about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Community Levels https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html.
We appreciate your continued cooperation and support throughout this pandemic situation.
MARCH 1 COVID PROTOCOL UPDATE
The CDC has made significant updates to its masking recommendations. We have also received guidance from Summit County Public Health indicating that it is adopting these updates in Summit County. The CDC is now recommending varying degrees of masking based on the level – high, medium or low – of COVID-19 activity in a particular community. With this updated guidance, the CDC will now only recommend universal school masking in communities at the high level. Summit County’s community level is currently rated low for COVID-19. You can search current levels for other counties across the United States here.
Some of the updates released by the CDC directly impact our school community.
First, the CDC has issued updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 schools and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level. While we moved to strongly recommending, but not requiring, masks on February 7, we did have some exceptions in place, including wearing masks at school Mass. In light of the new CDC guidelines, Bishop Malesic has communicated to priests in the Diocese of Cleveland that signs may be removed from churches regarding the request to wear masks and that the mandate requiring masks to be worn during the distribution of Holy Communion is lifted. Therefore, beginning with our March 11 Mass, masks will no longer be required to be worn at school Masses and prayer services. We will also no longer require masks to be worn during school assemblies, or when individuals are working in close proximity one-on-one or in small groups. Students may be asked to wear masks in the school clinic at the discretion of the school nurses.
Second, the CDC also made updates to the requirements for masking on school buses and vans. Under the new guidelines, school systems at their discretion may choose to require that people wear masks on buses or vans. You can find more information about this here. Four public school districts provide bus transportation for St. Hilary School students: Copley-Fairlawn, Highland, Revere, and Woodridge. At this time, all four districts have communicated to us that students are no longer required to wear masks on their buses, but may do so if they choose. In some cases, drivers may continue to wear masks. Please note that in relation to school field trips involving buses, while students will not be required to wear masks on the buses, we will respect the mask policy of the field trip location during our time there.
The CDC has stated that with this new guidance, COVID-19 community levels and public health prevention strategies can be increased when communities are experiencing more severe conditions and decreased when things are more stable. As has been the case for the past two years, our school response will continue to follow the guidance we are given as conditions change. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation as this situation evolves, and are hopeful that we are headed in a positive direction with this latest, less restrictive guidance.
NEW MASK, ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE GUIDELINES EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 7
Effective February 7, the following policies will be in effect:
We have previously stated that we would continue to monitor conditions surrounding COVID-19 to determine when a less-restrictive mask policy could be put in place at our school. With the surge in COVID-19 cases appearing to be on the decline in our area, the number of pediatric and school-associated cases dropping, the number of cases in our school community having dramatically decreased since December, all families who would like to have their children ages 5 and up fully vaccinated now having had the opportunity to do so, and the guidance for the general public and schools in particular regarding isolation and quarantine having changed yet again, we believe it is time to scale back our mask protocols. Effective February 7, we will strongly recommend, but not require, masks, with certain exceptions.
We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we have systematically and regularly evaluated data to make the best possible decisions in order to preserve a safe in-person learning experience for our students and staff. Our mask policy is the only protocol among many layers of protection against COVID-19 that is being reduced at this time. We continue to strongly recommend masks, and as Catholic school leaders, we expect that there will be no stigma attached to any individual’s choice to mask or not. We will also continue to maintain distancing, sanitizing, hand washing, symptom monitoring, temperature checking, and symptom-free return-to-school protocols, at least through the remainder of this school year.
We want to be clear that this decision is being made solely by us as the parish and school administration based on the facts and data available at this time. While we thank those who have taken the time to share their views with us on the topic, please know that our information and guidance comes directly from the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health, Summit County Public Health, and the Diocese of Cleveland.
Effective February 7, masks will be strongly recommended, but not required, for students, staff, volunteers, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
However, masks will be required of students, staff, volunteers, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, in the following situations:
When riding buses to and from school or for field trips (the mask policy of the field trip location will be followed while off-site);
At school Mass or prayer services;
At all-school assemblies;
In the school clinic as necessary;
In settings, situations and school spaces when individuals are working in close proximity one-on-one or in small groups; and
If there is an outbreak in a classroom or the school.
We will continue to monitor conditions and may make changes to the mask policy as warranted.
Please make sure your child has enough masks to wear a clean mask each day. A spare mask should be kept in the student’s backpack at all times.
CONTACT TRACING AND REPORTING
In order to operate with our new mask policy, and to protect all students and staff, especially our most vulnerable students and staff, we will continue to contact trace and notify families of exposure.
In order to assist us in tracking and contact tracing, if your child tests positive or is exposed to a positive individual, you will be asked to complete this form immediately upon learning of the positive test result or exposure. You must still contact Mrs. Woodman immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org, as well. Please click here for easy access to our COVID-19 reporting form.
We will continue to report the total number of student and staff COVID-19-positive cases for the week each Friday. We will no longer break down the cases by grade level as affected families are notified individually. Please click here to view our COVID-19 Dashboard.
ISOLATION, QUARANTINE AND SYMPTOM-FREE POLICY
In relation to isolation and quarantine, we will follow the revised Mask to Stay / Test to Play guidelines issued on January 26. These guidelines serve as a baseline starting point for K-12 schools, with the freedom for schools to expand upon them. Our only deviation from these guidelines is that we will require, not recommend, students who have been exposed to COVID-19 to be tested on the 5th day following exposure. In summary:
ISOLATION FOLLOWING POSITIVE TEST: Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for 5 full days from the date of their positive test. If asymptomatic on day 5, these individuals may return to school on day 6 from the positive test and must wear a mask at all times for 5 days upon return.
QUARANTINE FOLLOWING EXPOSURE REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS OR LOCATION / NATURE OF EXPOSURE: Students and staff who are exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, regardless of vaccination status or location / nature of exposure, may return to school immediately without needing to quarantine. These individuals must wear a mask at all times for 10 days upon return. These individuals must also complete a proctored test on the 5th day following exposure and may remain at school if the test result is negative.
In addition, our 48-hours symptom-free policy remains in effect. As a reminder, this means that your child cannot return to school until a full 48 hours have passed from the last evidence of symptoms, NOT from the start of symptoms. We realize this may be inconvenient, but it has prevented COVID-19 spread in our building on numerous occasions and with the lessening of other protocols, we need to keep this policy in place at this time.
We will continue to offer distance learning in COVID-19-related situations as approved by administration only.
In a few short weeks, we will mark the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, we have evolved along with the situation, and believe there is no longer a need to continue the COVID-19 Task Force. While we are grateful for the service of the task force members during the past two years, we have not met with the task force since November 8, 2021. Therefore, the task force has been disbanded effective January 31, 2022.
As we move into this new phase of the pandemic and our school response to it, we are aware that our families fall into a variety of situations. Please be mindful that others’ circumstances may differ from those of you or your children, and remember that kindness and respectfulness must be maintained in all interactions with children or adults in our school community. We appreciate your cooperation in talking with your children about this at home to ensure that a Catholic, Christian environment prevails in our school each day.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Fr. Steve Brunovsky
COVID-19 TEST KITS & DRIVE-THRU TESTING AVAILABLE
In light of the recent increase in COVID-19 activity in our school community, we want to remind you that we have a limited supply of proctored "at-home" COVID-19 test kits available in our school clinic. Kits can be obtained by contacting either of our school nurses, Mrs. Bauman at email@example.com or Mrs. Laughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, test kits are available through Summit County Public Health, which is currently offering up to 4 kits per request. Local public libraries in Summit County also have test kits available on a call-ahead basis. Finally, Akron Children's Hospital is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing by appointment. Click here to learn more.
STUDENTS MOVING TO DISTANCE LEARNING OVER THE WEEKEND
Parents, if you contact us between Friday evening and Monday morning with news that will require your child to move to distance learning, please understand that materials will not be ready to make this change until 3:30 pm on Tuesday. Thank you for your understanding of the time needed for teachers to prepare materials while also teaching classes.
DIOCESAN STATEMENT ON MASKS
On August 20, the Diocese of Cleveland issued a statement strongly recommending masks in its Catholic schools. Click here to read the statement.
DID YOU KNOW?...
- If there is a COVID-19 related situation in your household at any time, you must notify Mrs. Woodman ASAP at email@example.com to help determine next steps for your child. This includes your child being exposed, your child having symptoms, your child being tested, your child testing positive, a member of your household being exposed, a member of your household having symptoms, a member of your household being tested, or a member of your household testing positive. Your cooperation is imperative.
- Students who need to participate in distance learning while quarantining or isolating at home for five days or more must allow 24 hours for set-up , including preparation of materials that will be necessary to learn from home.
- Under the CDC guidelines, students exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom setting who consistently wear a mask at school do not need to quarantine.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR RETURNING TO SCHOOL DURING COVID-19
Below are some tips for families as we return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Things to have at home:
- Thermometer for daily temperature checks
- Working printer and paper in the event of distance learning
Things to bring each day:
- Individual snack (birthday and other treats must be factory sealed or from a bakery - nothing home made)
- Water bottle - disposable or refillable (we have bottle filler fountains)
- Extra mask(s)
What to wear to school:
- Gym uniform if gym day - students will stay in gym clothes all day
- Velcro shoes for kindergarteners / first graders if unable to tie shoes
Click here for 2021-2022 Back-to-School Forms
Click here and here for important Back-to-School information, including arrival and dismissal procedures, the Kindergarten opening schedule, and more
Click here for information about our drop-off and pick-up procedures (note exception for Kindergarteners as shown on opening schedule)
Click here for the 2021-2022 School Handbook and Amendments, including important health and safety information, school policies and procedures, and more
The Admission Policy of St. Hilary School is in accordance with the student acceptance regulations of the Diocese of Cleveland. St. Hilary School admits qualified students of any gender, race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, tuition assistance programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.