Dear St. Patrick School Families,
As mentioned in our Virtual Town hall last Wednesday, San Diego County was removed from the state’s COVID-19 watchlist as of August 18. While this is encouraging news that could help pave the way for St. Patrick School to re-open in person this fall, there are also important things to keep in mind.
These numbers will need to stay within the acceptable range for at least 14 consecutive days before schools in San Diego County may reopen without a waiver. Our processes and procedures for reopening continue to be updated on an ongoing basis. For the last several weeks, we have been developing reopening plans to ensure we do everything possible to ensure the healthiest environment for our students and faculty. Please see attached our school Re-open Plan.
At this point, should the County’s numbers continue to stay below the state mandates for the required 14 days, then K-12 schools may reopen after the 15th day. St. Patrick School still plans to use August 31 as our in-person New Student Orientation Day from 9:00am-10:00am. This is an opportunity for new students to meet their teachers and familiarize themselves with our campus while giving new parents time to meet with myself to review parent handbook policies and procedures. If given the green light to reopen, we plan to return to campus with a staggered approach beginning on September 1 for grades K-4 and then September 8 for grades 5-8.
This staggered, measured reopening will allow us to safely and smoothly transition onto campus allowing our younger students time to familiarize themselves with new safety protocols and procedures. Older students in grade 5-8 will begin with Distance Learning on September 1 where teachers will prepare them for their return the following week. Should we reopen on September 1, returning families will not need to come to St. Patrick School on August to 31 for textbook pick-up day as previously scheduled.
As is outlined in our Re-Open Plan, our strategy is to employ all of our protocols such as symptom screening, staying home when sick, wearing face coverings at all times, maintaining physical distancing, hand washing, and increasing cleaning and disinfection just to name a few, to avoid any COVID-19 community spread.
The decision to return to school in person is not one taken lightly. Input from various community stakeholders including our faculty, School Board, pastor, and parents, was taken into consideration when arriving at this decision. An overwhelming number of our families expressed in the Parent Survey the desire to return to in-person learning once San Diego County was removed from the watchlist. As we cautiously look toward September 1, it is crucial our entire community works toward returning safely. We ask for your cooperation and vigilance in this endeavor.
For those of you who still may have reservations about having your child(ren) return to school in person, please feel free to contact the office to discuss our Re-Open Plan or distance learning options. We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with local public health officials, the San Diego County Office of Education, and the Diocese of San Diego Office of Schools as we move forward. We will also continue to share updates with you as they become available.
We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we adjust to these ever-changing conditions. We remain cautiously optimistic.