Ms. I's Update

December 2020

St. John School - Empowering for Excellence

Dear St. John School community,

What a year 2020 has been! Everyone has been affected in some way by this pandemic. We have all had our moments of pain and moments of happiness. Thank you for reaching out when you needed help and for giving back when you were able to. We are one community and are stronger when we support each other.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I know that this year's celebration and holiday season is very different and many sacrifices are being made. Holidays are a time of ritual and gatherings. Though there are options (Zoom, care packages, etc), it will be different for all of us. St. John School thrives on rituals and time-honored traditions and we had to completely reimagine/recreate a lot this past year. Our Fall Dinner turned into a virtual celebration of Sr. Shirley. Our annual Christmas Pageant is a highlight of the holiday season and another tradition we had to reimagine.

This year, the students of St. John School came together and created a wonderful virtual Christmas show for you all (see below). Thank you to our amazing teachers for orchestrating this. Thank you to Vincent Archuleta for taking all the submissions and putting them together! I hope you enjoy our Christmas present to you. Listen to our wonderful St. John School students share the history of Advent, sing, dance, reflect, and pray. Please also take a moment to check out our Student Spotlight below.

As we we remember the birth of Jesus, let us pray that the door of hate is closed and the door of love is opened all over the world. Let kindness guide our thoughts, words, and actions. May this holiday season bring us grateful thoughts, peace, forgiveness, and love.

Merry Christmas!

Alexandra Iwaszewicz


Update: Continued

Reopening Update

St. John School successfully reopened and provided in-person instruction to all of our grades. In the last few weeks we had our first positive cases. We quarantined three cohorts and though SFDPH did not require it, the decision was made to go to distance learning for the remainder of the school in the last week before Christmas break. Please see my posts on SchoolSpeak for information on the timeline of cases and our response (here).

Mitigation Plan: Success

As I stated before, the positive cases that we’ve had were not contracted or transmitted within St. John School. Our plan works- thank you to our staff and students on campus. I also want to emphasize how grateful I am to our parent community for adhering to our plan and for immediately notifying us when there has been a possible exposure in your family. Thank you for keeping your child(ren) home to symptom watch and for getting them tested even if they have not been identified as close contacts. Your timely notifications help us greatly in our mitigation efforts. As always, the identity of any positive cases are kept confidential to respect the privacy of those individuals. It is completely up to the person/family to share their information.

Close Contact Policy Change: Siblings

Close contacts need to quarantine for ten days. Any siblings of St. John School in-person close contacts will transition into distance learning. Though not required by SFDPH, this decision was made based on staff and parent feedback post our response to our first positive case. Thank you for your feedback.

T2 Survey: In-person vs. DL

Thank you to everyone that completed the survey for in-person/DL (here) for T2. Please see below for more info.

Distance Learners/Families

Thank you for being present in your Zoom classes. Being on Zoom is difficult. Showing up prepared and on time takes effort. Thank you to the parents who ensure this happens and thank you to our students who log in daily.

In-person families

Thank you again for:

  • adhering to our Community Health Pledge by wearing your masks, social distancing, and practicing healthy behaviors.
  • completing the daily health checks
  • letting us know if you have traveled outside the Bay Area so that your child can complete the mandatory ten-day quarantine.

We look forward to welcoming our in-person learners on campus safely and our distance learners on Zoom. Thank you for doing your part to safeguard the health and safety of our staff and other students.

Please continue to provide us with your opinions and feedback.

Every comment and email is read. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Your opinions and thoughts matter.

Return to School- Survey Results/Questions

Thank you to everyone who completed the T2 In-person/DL survey (here) letting us know if your child will be an in-person learner or a distance learner. See below for graphic of results (as of 12/24/20). We still do not have everyone's response. Teachers/admin need to be able to plan. Thank you for assisting us in planning for your child's success.

Questions on Survey:

1/11/21 Return: We have a substantial amount of parents that are essential workers and need their child(ren) to have a safe learning environment starting on 1/4. If you are at all uncomfortable with the 1/4 start (holiday season; rapidly rising cases; uncertainty): Keep your child(ren) home. You will continue to have the option to return to in-person on 1/25 or at a later window.

1/4/21 Return: If you find yourself concerned with the cases, or in need of quarantining etc- notify us ASAP, so that we can update our contact tracing logs. We want you to be safe and our staff/community to be safe. Daily health checks and temperature checks will continue to be conducted prior to admittance on campus.

Understanding Risk: St. John School has successfully implemented an Infection Mitigation Plan that has proven effective (none of our positive cases spread between cohorts). However, there is still a level of risk in sending your child(ren) to school. We had to quarantine three cohorts. Thank you to everyone for following the health guidelines to slow the spread.

Travel: There is currently a mandatory ten-day travel quarantine upon return from any travel outside the Bay Area. The Archdiocese has provided a health check for all in-person learners (starting 1/4) asking parents/guardians to confirm that all health guidelines were adhered to.

Please note: 10 days before 1/4 would mean beginning to quarantine 12/25. (Home Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines)

COVID Updates: St. John School will continue to update our community on any positive cases among our in-person learners.

Opt-In for DL Reminders: St. John School will send reminders prior to the two additional opt-in windows for in-person. (1/25, 2/16)

Trust: Thank you in advance for helping us maintain trust in our community. We are a small community and everyone is connected. You have the right to make choices that are best for your family. Though not advised by SFDPH, those choices may involve travel outside of the Bay Area or congregating with people outside your household.

If you find yourself in any situation that falls outside the guidelines set forth by SFDPH, your child(ren) has/have the option to distance learn and we thank you in advance for making that decision.

Please do not knowingly send your child to school if you or your family found themselves in a situation that did not follow the health guidelines. The responsible thing is to keep your child(ren) home and engage in distance learning. It may not be convenient- but it is the right thing to do. Our teachers thank you.

Together we can help mitigate the spread of this virus.

Big picture

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone that has supported the mission of St. John School. We are able to continue serving our community because of you. Thank you!

2020 St. John Christmas

St. John Christmas- By Grade

From us to you! Merry Christmas!

Here are the links to each class submission. Every class did a phenomenal job. I recommend watching it together as a family. Share with your family; screen share during your Zooms; marvel at our students:

Ms I (Reading When Santa Turned Green):

TK - Part 1 (Playing Instruments):

TK - Part 2 (Our Lady of Guadalupe; play):

Kinder - Part 1 (Advent Prayer):

Kinder - Part 2 (Advent Prayer):

1st Grade (Origin of the candy cane poem):

2nd Grade (Reflections on Christmas):

3rd Grade (Silent Night-ASL):

4th/5th Grade - Part 1(Intro):

4th/5th Grade - Part 2 (Jingle Bell Rock- Dance):

6th Grade (Meaning of Advent):

7th Grade (COVID Christmas Reflection- w/ bloopers!):

8th Grade - (Little Drummer Boy- song):

8th Grade - (Advent Prayer: Reflections):

Snapshot of December

  • School decorated in Christmas spirit.
  • First positive cases at St. John School; none were contracted from school; no cases spread in school.
  • SFDPH conducted secondary visit on 12/18; St. John School found fully compliant.
  • Internet upgraded on 12/21.
  • On-site COVID19 testing now available for staff twice a week.
  • Countless health checks/temperature checks accomplished.
  • Grants received (Thank you to our new grant writer- Staci Kavanagh)


Student Spotlight

One of our third graders was awarded a mini grant from Love Your Block #cityofrichmond for his food pantry project. Check out his most recent news story here. Congratulations, Eagle! Thank you for embracing the spirit of Serviam!

Do you have a story to share? Send it to us!

Check out our Instagram/Facebook pages for more student-centered media.

Christmas - Mystery Science

Here are some informational videos from Mystery Science you can share with your children. Click on the link to access the videos. I've included some extension questions and activities.

Is there a Pole in the North Pole?

1. Is there a pole at the North Pole? Why do you think that?

2. What did this lesson make you curious about? What other questions do you have about the North Pole?

Bonus Activity: There’s no actual pole at the North Pole. It’s cold there, with lots of ice and snow. If the ice melts, a pole stuck in the ice might sink into the water. What if you wanted to put a real pole at the North Pole? Think like an inventor! How do you make sure the pole doesn’t sink? How do you make sure it stays in the same place and doesn’t move? Draw or describe your invention.

What is the coldest place on Earth?

1. What is the coldest place on Earth?

2. What did this lesson make you curious about? What other questions do you have?

Bonus Activity: Can you find the coldest place in your home? Start by visiting each room in your home. Sit in each room for at least two minutes. Which room feels coldest? Once you decide which room is the coldest, find the coldest spot in that room. If you have a thermometer, you can use it to help you measure the temperature! Do you have any ideas about why that room feels coldest?

O come, O come, Emmanuel - (Piano/Cello) - The Piano Guys


Please always check SchoolSpeak for the most updated calendar

12/21/20- 1/1/21: Christmas Vacation

1/4/21: Classes Resume

1/15/21: No School (Teacher In Service)

1/18/21: No School (MLK)

1/25/21: 12:30pm Dismissal

Looking Ahead:

Easter Vacation: 4/2/21- 4/9/21 (4/1 is a 12:30pm dismissal)

Last Day of School: 6/10/20

*All Wednesdays are 2pm dismissals*

*Please note that the calendar is subject to change. SchoolSpeak will have the most updated version*

Extended Care

Extended Care began successfully on November 30th. Students must be pre-registered for each three-week session. If you are interested in signing up your child- please contact Mrs. O (


Fundraisers: See's Candy Fundraiser was a huge success! Congratulations to our top earning classes! We will soon announce the free dress days.

PTG Meetings: Links are posted on SchoolSpeak. Come join us!

Questions? Want to get involved?: Email

Please continue to look at SchoolSpeak under the PTG tab for updated information.

St. John the Evangelist Parish

Every weekend, Sunday Mass is being posted on our Parish website:

Referral Incentive

We love our St. John School community and feel that our parents and families know us best. Our school has thrived when current families have referred their friends/acquaintances to us.

Referral Incentive: Refer a family to us! If they enroll- your family will receive a $250 tuition deduction per newly enrolled student.

St. John School Gratitude Board

What are you grateful for?

We would love to see our community create a virtual board of what they are thankful for. Ask your children to participate and include an entry from them!

How to post:

  1. Go to link:

  2. Click the + sign

  3. You can write, record, add a photo, etc.

  4. Feel free to write your name or leave it anonymous.

(Please note that your addition won't show up immediately. I have to approve each addition)


General Precautions

  • Wear a facemask and stay 6 feet away from people you do not live with, including family members.

  • Avoid spending time indoors with people you don’t normally live with, including family members, to the extent possible. The risk of getting COVID-19 is generally much greater indoors that outdoors because the virus that causes COVID-19 can travel in the air more than 6 feet and collects indoors and in enclosed spaces. If you must spend time indoors, choose a larger room that is well-ventilated or where windows and doors can be opened, and wear a face mask at all times. See more at

  • Try to limit the number of people you interact with. For example, if you are travelling to see family, avoid in-person interactions with neighbors or friends.

  • Don’t share vehicles with people you don’t live with. Vehicles are small enclosed spaces where COVID-19 can spread easily between people. If you must share a vehicle, try to ride with the same people each time, make sure everyone wears a facemask, open windows, and maximize outdoor air circulation as much as you can.

  • Avoid or limit holiday meals or gatherings with people you don’t normally live with, including family members. Eating and drinking together is higher-risk because people must take off their masks to eat or drink, are more likely to touch their mouths 3 while eating, often sit within 6 feet of each other, and talk while eating, creating more respiratory droplets. If you do have a holiday dinner or gathering, it is safer for people in different households to sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart and to wear masks when they are not actively eating or drinking (such as when talking).

Per SFDPH recommendations, students will be asked to not return for two weeks if they have engaged in high-risk activity as outlined in the travel advisory.

Links to local, regional, state and federal guidance on holiday travel:

SFDPH travel advisory ***Updated 12/18***:

SFDPH guidance on Safer Holiday Celebrations:

Association of Bay Area Health Officers Association:

California Department of Public Health Travel Advisory:

CDC - Celebrating Thanksgiving