St. Mary Catholic Schools
September 10, 2021
2021-22 School Year Health Protocols
Dear St. Mary Catholic Schools Community,
The mission of SMCS is preparing and inspiring students to lead meaningful lives, rooted in the teachings of Christ in our Catholic tradition. With regard to the current COVID pandemic, we believe this translates into the goal to provide the least restrictive educational environment in our schools while managing risk of harm to our students, staff, and community.
The challenge in the current environment is formulating and adjusting school policies to accomplish this goal amidst an environment that is evolving both in infections and in our understanding of best practices. As circumstances and events change and develop, so must our policies.
SMCS looks at the following when determining the policies to best accomplish our goal. These factors include:
- Infection numbers and rates in our schools
- Instructional and co-curricular disruptions caused by infections and quarantines
- Infection numbers and rates in our community
- Recommendations of local health departments
- Experiences of other schools in our area
- Recommendations from the Diocese of Green Bay
There are some steps that have been taken and will continue to be implemented for the foreseeable future. These steps include:
- Encouraging good hygiene through frequent hand washing
- Frequent disinfection of common surfaces and deep cleaning of school facilities
- Making masks available, including N95 masks for anyone who would like to wear one (Thanks to a generous gift, we are able to offer N95 masks to our students for no cost.)
- Providing vaccine availability information for those who wish to be vaccinated and are eligible for vaccination
SMCS started the year with a mask-required policy for our three elementary schools and our middle school while strongly encouraging masks, but not requiring them, at the high school.
Based on the current low number of COVID cases across our schools, and minimal academic disruption in neighboring schools that have a variety of COVID and masking policies, SMCS will strongly encourage, but not require, masks throughout our school system, effective Monday, September 13. We will still require masks at assemblies, middle school and high school Masses, etc.
We will continue to closely monitor COVID cases in our schools. If conditions require a shift in policy, including requiring masks, SMCS will do so. On September 24, SMCS will send out a policy update.
It is worth reminding ourselves that we are a Catholic community. Our faith calls us to a certain standard of behavior when we deal with each other and others outside our community. These standards become even more important when dealing with issues that evoke strong opinions and feelings. We will not all agree on every policy. While we value every person’s opinion and respect their right to share it, we expect that it will always be done in a manner consistent with our faith.
Please continue to pray for our students and their teachers.
St. Mary Catholic Schools is preparing and inspiring students to lead meaningful lives, rooted in the teachings of Christ in our Catholic tradition.