St. Mary's School

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,


I hope this message finds you well. The faculty and I would like to thank you for your support throughout our reopening process. Whether your child has returned to instruction in-person or remotely, we truly appreciate your patience and partnership. These are difficult times, but these past few weeks have been another reminder to us of how blessed we are to gather together as a school community.


This evening I write to share with you information regarding the "yellow" designation the Town of Melrose received yesterday. Based on the average daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, each city or town is designated as a higher risk (red), moderate risk (yellow), or lower risk (green) community. Specific town/city designations are published every Wednesday in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report. We utilize information from this report, as well as frequent dialogue with the Melrose Department of Public Health, to inform our decisions regarding health/safety measures and the feasibility of continued in-person learning.


In yesterday's report, Melrose was moved to a "yellow" designation, which means that the average daily incidence rate over the past 14 days is between 4 and 8 cases per 100,000 residents. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends full remote learning only for those municipalities receiving a "red" designation for three weeks in a row unless the district or specific school identifies other extenuating circumstances that prevent in-person instruction.


While this move to "yellow" is not cause for extreme alarm, it is an important reminder that we all need to continue practicing vigilance with regard to the health and safety measures we have in place here at St. Mary's School. These health and safety measures are as follows:


1) Daily Symptom Check Webform: We appreciate your diligence in completing the daily symptom check webform in a timely manner and accurately reporting any symptoms your child may be experiencing. We also appreciate that the general default mode for most of our parents is "when in doubt, keep them out." Keeping students and staff with symptoms out of the building is the most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of the virus, so thank you for your work in this regard.


2) Mask-Wearing: The students are doing an amazing job of wearing their masks, as well as following the proper procedure for removing and putting their masks back on when we have snack, lunch, or mask breaks. A+ for everyone on this one!


3) Distancing: Students have been doing great with this in the classrooms and hallways, and we continue to work with them on maintaining appropriate distance at all times during recess. The one area for improvement with regard to distancing is at afternoon dismissal time. We know it's a long day and we know students want to gather together to socialize. However, this socialization should occur with physical distancing, otherwise there is the potential for all our hard work during the school day to be negated. Over the past week we have noticed gatherings of students outside the school building and in Mary Foley Park that are occurring without appropriate physical distancing. We love that students want to spend time together after school. Our expectation is that if they are outside our school building or in Mary Foley Park they will follow the mask-wearing and distancing protocols we have established to promote the safety of our school community.


4) Handwashing: Another A+ for everyone. The students are doing great with the handwashing and hand sanitizing protocols we have implemented.


Thank you again for your continued partnership and I hope you all have a great weekend.


Sincerely,

Mr. Christopher Beza

Principal

October Lunch Orders


Lunch orders for the month of October can now be placed online at orsgonline.com. The deadline for submitting the October order is Tuesday, September 29 at 11:59 pm.
  • If you already have an account with OrgsOnline, click here.
  • To create a new account, click here and use school code 442SMOTASMA when registering.


All students in PreK - grade 8 may place orders for lunch or milk.

School Picture Day


Individual school pictures will be taken by Lifetouch on Thursday, October 1. All students may wear their own clothes for pictures. Lifetouch is strongly encouraging picture orders to be placed online. Orders may be placed at mylifetouch.com (picture day ID: EVTCMNNGH). If you are not able to place an order online, the printed picture form should be sent to school with your child on picture day.


For our remote learners, we have reserved 11:30 am - 12:00 pm for your pictures. When you arrive, please enter the Lower Church Hall via the Myrtle Street entrance. Students should wear their masks except when they are called forward to have their picture taken.

School Band


We are pleased to be partnering with Paul Effman Music to offer instrumental band lessons once again this year. The program will be held virtually this year. Students in grades 3-8 have the opportunity to learn how to play instruments like the clarinet, drums. flute, trumpet, trombone, and more. Students in grades 1 & 2 are eligible to join the band and learn how to play either the violin or the ukulele. If you're interested in learning more about the program, including how to register, please visit https://pemusic.com/join.

Cross Country & Basketball


We have been informed by the Archdiocese of Boston that the cross country (fall) and CYO basketball (winter) leagues that our grades 5-8 student participate in have been cancelled for the year. No decision has been made yet regarding the status of spring track; we will share more information regarding that program as it becomes available.