I know that we all have so many emotions right now with the end of the school year, the physical move of our school, uncertainty about the summer and plans for the fall, not to mention the financial situation of so many, the protests...the list goes on. Regarding the plans for schooIing in the fall, I was hoping to have some useful info for you in this week’s newsletter, as we were supposed to hear from the Dept of Health, the governor, and OSPI last Monday. Unfortunately, no one had any info. We received an email from OSPI late on Monday, letting us know that they hope to have info out by the end of this week. What I CAN tell you right now is the following:
- The governor/Dept of Health will make the final determination about what is allowed for schools in the fall. They will tell us whether we can go back. They are the only ones who matter on this topic.
- According to our superintendent at the Archdiocese of Seattle Office for Catholic Schools, every Catholic school will be able to make THEIR OWN determination about how to open, once we are given the ok to do so. That is EXCELLENT news for us! We are a small school and are well-positioned to do social distancing to the best of our ability. So, HRBA will determine our own fate.
- We DO NOT need to follow the local public school district, or even other Catholic schools in our area, when they announce their re-opening plans. So, if schools have large numbers and can only have classes for half days, every other day, or only bring certain grade levels back on campus, that DOES NOT impact what we are able to do.
- We will follow the health dept guidelines for safely re-opening schools.
- If the governor allows it, HRBA has EVERY INTENTION of being back in session full time, every day, for all students in grades PK 4 - 8th, starting on Sept. 1st.
- Before and After School Extended Care will likely have space caps on, so we will probably have to limit the number of students and will only be taking reserved spaces, not drop ins. So, it will be important to sign up for Extended Care as soon (as we know the plan for next year) so that you can be assured your child/ren has/have a space.
So, that is what I know at this point. What I am HEARING, but am NOT CERTAIN OF at this point is this:
- Students (and staff) should plan to have 4 - 6 masks (one for each day) in case they need to be worn at school under health dept rules.
- We will likely do a temperature screening for each child at drop off every morning before they enter the school building, as they cannot enter school with a temperature above a certain point.
- The cleaning protocol will be significantly enhanced to include all high traffic areas and playground equipment at least once (or more often) every day.
- Students will be kept in cohort groups as much as possible so that they are not intermingling with other grades/groups. This means that they will be separated during recess. They will also likely be required to eat meals in their classrooms, not in the lunchroom. They will also likely NOT have music or PE (though that is not definite), due to the concerns over shared equipment and droplets being expelled through music/band.
- Social distancing guidelines will likely mean that students will be in desks as much as possible (as opposed to groups at tables) and separated by 6 ft, with all desks facing in one direction, toward the front of the classroom.
- Each classroom will be supplied with gallons of hand sanitizer and students will be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water throughout the day.
I don’t want to overwhelm people, but wanted to let you know what I know and what I am hearing (the most likely info) as soon as I know it. I will send out an update as soon as I know more...maybe even later this week. I will also send a survey out once we have a better idea of which questions would be most helpful for us to know the answers to. Often times, I feel that surveys which are too open-ended or are done when not much is known, can cause more anxiety than when we wait for a little more info and guidance. So, once we get direction from the governor and the dept of health, we will be asking you for feedback. Of course, if you have any questions that are on your mind, don’t hesitate to ask me. I will either give you the answer, find out the answer, or let you know that we are waiting on the answer. I am available by email, of course, but am also in the school building everyday from now through June (typically from 8:30 - 3).
I just want to say that I know that there has been a lot for you to handle and I appreciate your flexibility, your dedication, and your willingness to work with us through the challenges. I continue to be so impressed by all that the teachers, the parents/families, and our staff are accomplishing. We are doing our best and will continue to improve our product in the event that there are times when we need to do distance learning (hopefully only for brief bouts, if at all) next year. I am excited that we will be receiving all new laptops for the students and teachers. This will make a big difference!
Have a wonderful week and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.
Are You Available to Help us Move?
Another Shout Out for our Auction Crew
Our first ever Online Auction was a major success! Many thanks to all of you who participated. We had a quick timeline to put it all together, but it ran very smoothly. Many thanks to the auction committee members for their participation in the planning process: Gina Cole, Tomas Ramos, Naomi Smith, Juli Archer, Jamie Chaloner, Carrie Hernandez, Mark Brady, Mary Schaff, Valerie Pettit, Brad Johns, and Michael Milasich.
This year's fund-a-need went to support Teacher Salary Increases for the 2020-21 school year. We received some very generous donations to support this fund. After expenses, our event raised $62,000 surpassing the goal of $50,000. A huge thank you to our community and donors for supporting us in this new format! We hope you enjoyed it, as well!