Principal's Pad (1/2/22)

Updates for the St. Stan's Community

What's in this Newsletter?

Haga clic aquí para leer el boletín en español


Here is what's new...

  • Welcome Back!
  • New Archdiocesan Covid-19 Protocols
  • Gentle Reminders
  • Home-Learning Hub

What's still here from last week?

  • Important Dates
  • TCS Information
  • CHAMPIONS After-School
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Welcome Back!

I truly hope that all of our families took advantage of the time off from school over the last two weeks to reconnect with loved ones and enjoy the holiday season. All of us at St. Stan's Academy will be excited to welcome our students back to the classroom on Tuesday.


Although it has only been two weeks since students were last in the building, the world around us has changed and caused the Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Catholic Schools to change important Covid-19 protocols. The changes in policy were originally sent out to families in an email from the Archdiocese earlier last week. I have outlined the significant changes below, but encourage you all to read over the original email on your own. It is important that all members of our community are clear on the new guidelines to avoid any confusion in the future.


Given the current state of the pandemic and the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Chicago and around the country, I ask that all parents and guardians have a renewed focus on following health & safety guidelines. We all must work together and do our part in order to ensure that all students are in the classroom and continue their learning with as few disruptions as possible.


Please have conversations with your child(ren) about proper mask wearing, hygiene, and social distancing. "Proper mask wearing" means that both the nose and mouth are covered at all times, except when eating or drinking. Our teachers and staff do their best to remind students of proper safety measures, but it helps if those messages are reinforced at home. Please consult some of these resources if you would like some additional guidance in having these discussions:


Believe me when I say that I understand how taxing and frustrating these times have been for families. I know, however, that if we can continue to work together and with the best interest of one another in mind, we will continue to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and our teachers.

New Covid-19 Protocols & Guidelines

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.


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.

Gentle Reminders

Tuesday - Gym Uniforms

The school week is starting on a Tuesday, so students will be having physical education classes. As such, please have your child(ren) wear the appropriate gym uniform.


Student Tardiness and Absences

We understand that there are extenuating circumstances which may cause a family to be late to school or cause a student to miss a day of class. Habitual tardiness and absenteeism, however, is an issue that will ultimately have a negative effect on the education of students. I ask that parents do their best to get students to St. Stan's on time and routinely as we start the new year.


Cell Phones & Electronic Devices

Students should generally have no need for cell phones during the school day. Should they have them, however, the phones are to be off and in a student's locker or backpack. Under no circumstances should a student be using their cell phone or personal device unless directed to by a teacher or school staff member. If parents need to contact their child during the school day, they should call or email the school's main office and the message will be relayed to the student when appropriate. Multiple violations of this policy will result in the confiscation of the device and require a parent or guardian to retrieve it from the main office.

Upcoming Events & Important Dates at St. Stan's

Classes Resume - January 4

Students will return to school on Tuesday, January 4. The teachers will be having a staff development day and preparing their classrooms on Monday, January 3.


Empower TCS Application Opens - January 12

On Wednesday, January 12 the portal for applying for a tax credit scholarship from Empower Illinois opens. These scholarships are on a "first come, first serve" basis, so families need to be prepared to apply at 6:30pm that evening.


Big Shoulders Fund TCS Application Opens - January 13

On Thursday, January 13 the portal for applying for a tax credit scholarship from Big Shoulders Fund opens. These scholarships are on a "first come, first serve" basis, so families need to be prepared to apply at 8am that morning.


No School: MLK Day - January 17

On Monday, January 17 there will be no classes in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Please be sure to take time as a family to learn more about his amazing life and contributions towards achieving racial equality in the United States.

Home-Learning Hub

Champions: A New Afterschool Program

St. Stan's Academy will be utilizing a new and improved afterschool program called CHAMPIONS. This new program will begin on Tuesday, January 4 and run throughout the remainder of the school year. Parents who utilize aftercare services received a flyer last week with additional information on how to register and sign-up. For a look at the CHAMPIONS program and what it has to offer, please click on this link.


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. 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 resources of the Champions program.

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Tax Credit Scholarships for 2022-23

January will be a very important month for any family hoping to receive tuition assistance from the Big Shoulders Fund or Empower Illinois. Both of those organizations offer Tax Credit Scholarships which often cover the entire tuition of a student in grades Kindergarten through 8th. These scholarships are determined, however, on a first come first serve basis and are very competitive.


The information below is from Big Shoulders and details several opportunities for how you can prepare for their TCS application process which opens on January 13. Please take advantage of these preparation opportunities and reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.


APPLICATION INFO SESSIONS

Schools and families are invited to join one of our Tax Credit Scholarship Information Zoom Sessions. These sessions will outline the application process, show a sample application, and help schools and families prepare for steps one and two of the Big Shoulders Fund application. There will be separate Zoom links for English and Spanish.


Tax Credit Information Sessions:
January 6 at 7 pm: https://bigshouldersfund-org.zoom.us/j/82453671348
January 11 LIVE Q & A at 7 pm: https://bigshouldersfund-org.zoom.us/j/84621849734

Sessiones de Informacion sobre la beca de Credito Tributario:
Enero 6 a las 7 pm: https://bigshouldersfund-org.zoom.us/j/3843056075
Enero 11 LIVE Q&A a las 7 pm: https://bigshouldersfund-org.zoom.us/j/84621849734


Do not forget that everyone must reapply each year.

To keep up with all new information and updates along the way, be sure to follow us on all social media platforms below, check out our website, and remember to SAVE THE DATE!


SGO Websitehttps://www.bigshouldersfundsgo.org/

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

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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