Principal's Pad (2/27/22)

Updates for the St. Stan's Community

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What's in this Newsletter?

Haga clic aquí para leer el boletín en español


Here is what's new...

  • A Few Words
  • Gentle Reminders
  • Mask Optional Policy
  • i-Ready 2nd Diagnostic Results

What's still here from last week?

  • 3C's (5-Essentials) Parent Survey
  • Home-Learning Hub
  • Important Dates
  • Covid-19 Protocols

A Few Words On...

As the leader of St. Stanislaus Kostka Academy, I would just like to share a few words and thoughts on several topics and happenings in our school community.


Mask Optional Policy

As I said in my email to families last week, I want to thank you all for the enormous support, patience, and understanding you have shown throughout this school year surrounding our Covid-19 protocols and the wearing of masks while in the school building and at school events. I also want to commend you for the compassion and respect that you all have shown for one another, our students, and our teachers despite any differences in personal convictions.


The decision has been to move to a mask optional policy throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago beginning on Monday, February 28. I hope that everyone understands that this decision will be met with joy by some, but also fear from others. Members of our school community have lost loved ones to this pandemic over the last two years and the trauma from those events is not easily forgotten. I ask that our community continues to do what it can to support and love one another moving forward. We must never forget that the purpose of St. Stan's Academy is to challenge our students to achieve academic and social excellence, lead by action and example, and to serve and love God through others.


I encourage you to have discussions with your child(ren) to determine their preference and comfortability with mask wearing in the future. Members of our staff will not require students to wear masks, but we will provide them if a student wishes to have one when they are in the building. Please read further in the Principal's Pad for more information on our updated Covid-19 protocols.


Ash Wednesday & Friday Mass

Due to the school calendar, schedule conflicts, and cancellations due to mother nature, we have not been able to gather together for Mass very much over the last month. Although we have been having prayer services and virtual Masses at the school, it is clearly not the same as gathering together in the church. I very much look forward to the opportunity we have to celebrate with Fr. Anthony twice this week.


We will be observing Ash Wednesday as a school community on Wednesday, March 2. The proceedings will be open to all school families over at the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church: Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy beginning at 8:30am. Additionally, we will be celebrating our normal weekly Mass on Friday, March 4. As always, families are welcome and encouraged to join us.


Enrollment Contracts

Thank you to those families who have returned their enrollment contracts thus far. If you have not received these forms, please contact Ms. Abby Torres in the main office immediately at atorres@ststanschicago.org or by calling 773-278-4560. You can submit your enrollment contract by sending it to school with your child to be given to their classroom teacher or by emailing an electronic copy to either myself or Ms. Torres.


We ask that you submit your contracts no later than Tuesday, March 1. We would like to get started on considering financial aid options for families as well as potential staffing needs for the 2022-23 school year. If you have any questions, concerns, or are still discerning a return to St. Stan's Academy please do not hesitate to reach out to us so that we can have a conversation.

Gentle Reminders

Formal Dress Code

Please help your child(ren) to remember the proper formal dress code for both Wednesday and Friday this week. We have been noticing an increasing number of students who are coming to school without some key pieces of their uniform. We understand that for our younger students this is often out of their control. I ask that parents be sure to help students look their best on formal dress days and especially help with items such as ties and tucked in shirts. Just as a reminder, please follow these general guidelines:


  • Boys - White dress shirt (short or long sleeved), black or red tie, black dress pants, and dress shoes.
  • Girls - Plaid jumper (grades 1-4), plaid skirt and navy tie (grades 5-8), white blouse, navy or white knee-highs/tights, and dress shoes
  • Optional Attire - Cardigan sweaters, v-neck sweater pullovers, or sweater vests


We understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances which prevent a student from being in the proper uniform. We only ask that parents communicate with classroom teachers ahead of time if there will be an issue. Additionally, the school has several extra uniform items should families need them due to unexpected growth spurts or other unforeseen situations. Please contact Ms. Abby Torres in the Main Office if you wish to browse through our stock of uniforms.

Weekly Parent Survey - 3C's Survey

For the next few weeks, our "Weekly Parent Survey" will be the "3C's (5-Essentials) Survey." We need to have 20% of our parents respond in order for the data gathered to be valid and useful. Please click on this link to access the survey. Your responses are anonymous and appreciated because they will help us to improve our school.

Mask Optional Policy & Other Protocols

Although mask wearing is still recommended, especially for unvaccinated students and staff, it will no longer be required at St. Stan's Academy. The Principal does, however, retain the ability to require masks for brief periods of time should there be instances of rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus throughout classrooms or the school. These decisions will be made in concordance with the school Pastor and Regional Director.


It is important to note that we are not getting rid of all Covid-19 mitigation protocols, but are instead peeling back one layer. Social distancing, close contact tracing, and quarantining are still practices we will engage in as necessary. If students are experiencing typical Covid symptoms for longer than 24 hours, they are still expected to be tested before returning to school.


Other suburban Archdiocesan schools who have removed mask mandates have seen an increase in other illnesses as well. The stomach flu and strep throat have been more prominent in these schools, so it is important that parents continue to monitor the health of their children and keep them home as needed. Please continue to be considerate of one another's health and safety.

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i-Ready 2nd Diagnostic Results

Several weeks ago, our students completed their second Diagnostic Test for i-Ready. This test gave teachers valuable information on the progress of their students as well as provided areas of focus and improvement as we continue the school year. You should have received (or will receive shortly) an update from your child's classroom teacher on your child's testing results. This information can be more thoroughly discussed during Parent-Teacher Conferences held on Friday, March 11.


We are most concerned with the growth our students show. Although some may be ahead of grade-level or behind on certain skills, we want all students to exhibit growth throughout the school year. I am pleased to report that, as a school, we saw tremendous growth from our students. i-Ready uses a measure called "typical growth" which is the average growth a student shows throughout a school year. If a student gets to 100% of their "typical growth" by the end of the school year, that means that they grew as expected in their skill and learning development.


St. Stan's Academy currently has a "typical growth" rate of over 70% in both Reading and Math. Considering that the Diagnostic Test was given a little more than halfway through the year, this shows that our students are ahead of the curve when it comes to their expected growth. We are very pleased with these results, but know that there is still more work to do. Please continue to encourage your children to work hard at home and in school whether they are working on i-Ready lessons or normal curriculum. Our students will achieve more when we all work together!

Please click here for a video that explains the i-Ready Growth Model

Schoolwide Father/Daughter Dance

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Home-Learning Hub

Upcoming Events & Important Dates at St. Stan's

End of 2nd Trimester - March 4

Friday, March 4 will mark the end of the 2nd academic trimester at St. Stan's Academy.


First Reconciliation - March 9

Our students wishing to receive their First Communion later this spring will participate in the sacrament of First Reconciliation on Wednesday, March 9. Parents should expect to attend the proceedings with their child beginning at 5pm in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.


Parent/Teacher Conferences - March 11

Parents and guardians will be able to discuss their student's progress with teachers on Friday, March 11. There will be no classes on this day so that teachers can meet with as many families as possible.


Father/Daughter Dance - March 26

St. Stan's Academy will be hosting a Father/Daughter dance on Saturday, March 26. The dance will begin at 6pm and conclude at 8pm. Sign-up details and more information will be forthcoming.

Athletics

St. Stan's has joined a new athletic conference, the City-Suburban Catholic Conference!


If you are interested in helping coach or in having your son/daughter involved in athletics at St. Stan's, please contact our Athletic Director, Mr. Ryan Reed, via email at rreed@ststanschicago.org

Champions Afterschool Program

All K-8 families wishing to use aftercare services must register with CHAMPIONS as soon as possible. Use this link to enroll and begin the registration process. For a look at the CHAMPIONS program and what it has to offer, please click on this link. Any other questions should be directed to the CHAMPIONS Area Manager, Paula Short. She can be contacted at pshort@discoverchampions.com or 847-850-9817.


All families of a PK student should contact Ms. Abby Torres at atorres@ststanschicago.org to schedule your days of care and plan for payment. Tuition rates will be the same as the CHAMPIONS program since all students will have similar access to the same resources.

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Covid-19 Protocols & Guidelines (as of 1/30/22)

Fully Vaccinated Status

The CDC defines fully vaccinated individuals as those who have done either of the following:
  • have received a booster of vaccine
  • have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
  • have completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.


5-Day Isolation/Quarantine

The updated CDC quarantine guidance requires the following:

  • If someone tests positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status, the individual must:
    • Isolate for a full 5 days regardless if symptoms are present or not and regardless if symptoms resolve before the 5 days are complete.
      • For symptomatic people, Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms develop.
      • For asymptomatic people, Day 1 is the first full day after the positive test is administered.
    • The individual must be fever-free for 24 hours before leaving isolation. The 5-day rule still applies, but if a fever is present after 5 days, the individual must remain isolated until fever-free for 24 hours.
      • There is no need to test before leaving isolation. While individuals could remain COVID positive for some time, they are no longer contagious.
  • If a vaccinated individual is a close contact with a positive individual:
    • There is no need to quarantine at home as long as the vaccinated individual is not symptomatic.
    • Testing is recommended 5 days after exposure OR if symptoms develop.
  • If an unvaccinated individual is a close contact with a COVID-19 positive person:
    • The individual must quarantine at home for 5 days.
    • Testing is recommended 5 days after exposure OR if symptoms develop.


Test to Stay Option

Students who are deemed to be "close contacts" to positive Covid-19 cases have the option to either quarantine for 5 days or "test-to-stay" in school. This is being done in the interest of allowing our students the best opportunity to continue their learning uninterrupted while also providing safety measures to prevent virus transmission. Please note the important details below:

  1. Any test being used as part of the "test-to-stay" protocol must be administered by a clinic, doctor's office, or pharmacy such as Walgreen's or CVS. Home tests administered at home will not count as valid.
  2. A home test may be used only if it is conducted in the presence of a school official (the Principal or Administrative Assistant) at the beginning of the school day. If the test shows a negative result, the student may remain at school so long as they are not showing any symptoms.
  3. The "Test-to-Stay" protocol will not apply should I see it necessary to quarantine an entire classroom due to overt spread of the virus.


Travel Guidelines
We continue to follow the state classifications designated in the City of Chicago Travel Advisory.
  • Domestic Travel to an “Orange” State:
    • Fully vaccinated students/teachers/staff do not need post-travel COVID-19 testing or self-quarantine as long as they are not symptomatic and provide proof of vaccination.
    • Unvaccinated students/teachers/staff must quarantine for 5 days OR provide proof of a negative test, taken after travel and as close to the start of school as practical, but no earlier than 72 hours prior to returning home. Persons must quarantine until a negative test is received. If the test result is negative, no further quarantine is required.
  • International Travel:
    • The CDC currently requires a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery to board a plane to the United States. Because of this requirement, no quarantine is required upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status.

Contact Us

Please reach out to us if you have questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions. We love feedback from those we serve in the St. Stan's community!

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