OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE & SCHOOL REOPENING PLAN
Updates for reopening will be posted here and sent to all parents via the Anchor Splash.
COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist – Download PDF Here
COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) – Download PDF Here
Update as of 4/1/21
Orange Tier Updates
As many of you may know, LA County has officially moved into the Orange Tier. This will change some of the protocols on campus and will help open up more opportunities for us to provide more support and events on campus. There is no official word yet as to what the changes will be but we will be sure to update everyone in the coming weeks when we know more information.
Update as of 3/22/21
Over the weekend there were a lot of changes made to the CDC guidelines pertaining to distancing in the classroom. The new CDC recommendations are for students to have 3 foot distancing between desks, while wearing a mask. This weekend we received confirmation that ADLA and the county will be adopting these new recommendations. Per our superintendent, these new guidelines are effective immediately.
St. Jude is committed to the safety and health of our children. We will continue to have as much spacing as possible in the classroom. Some class sizes will benefit from having 3 foot distancing while others will be able to still maintain 6 foot distancing. We are encouraging our teachers to have as much spacing as possible. In addition, every classroom has new HEPA filtration systems installed for the best ventilation possible. We will continue to keep doors, windows and fans on to keep air flow moving in the classroom whenever possible.
Tomorrow we will be moving our 6th grade students back into their 6th grade classrooms. The 4th graders will now be able to move back up to the 4th grade classroom. The first day that students will enjoy a full day in their classrooms will be this Wednesday. As a reminder, per regulations, we will have students receive the primary amount of their education in their homeroom classrooms. We are limiting student movement between classes and will continue to increase our sanitization efforts everyday on campus. Also, lockers are still not permitted per the regulations.
Below I have attached a copy of the letter from our superintendent about these changes including links to the CDC and county health sites.
Links to the Full Version of Revised Guidance:
Update as of 3/11/21
The county has released their latest adjusted rate data on new Covid-19 cases and we currently sit at 5.2 per 100,000. The trend we are seeing is roughly a 30% decline in new Covid-19 cases each week! This is great news! At this rate, we are still on target to have our 7th and 8th graders return to campus for full-time instruction on March 24th (Wednesday).
Update as of 3/5/21
Good news! The positive Covid case numbers continue to decline in both Ventura and LA County. The main statistic to follow is the new case rate per 100,000 people. For our 7th and 8th grade students to return to campus, full-time, we need the statistics to be under 7 per 100,000 people. As of this past Tuesday, LA County reported an adjusted rate of 7.2 per 100,000 people. This means that we are 0.2% away from being able to bring back all students on campus! Being under 7 per 100,000 will also move our county into the Red Tier which brings upon newer protocols to follow.
With this news, we are preparing for a tentative return date for our 7th and 8th graders to be Wednesday, March 24th.
In preparation for this, we are planning to bring back our 7th and 8th grade students as soon as we can. There are many factors that come into play in preparing for this. The first challenge will be how to properly schedule each class since we are told that students are not allowed to switch classes. The LACDPH has not released a specific mandate about how many teachers will be able to provide live instruction in the red tier as of yet. Currently, in the purple tier, students are not allowed to have more than 2 instructors providing live instruction throughout the school day. This is why some of our students have to attend class virtually, even while on campus. We are waiting for further guidance on how this will look very soon.
Our second challenge is to properly run an efficient car loop for the whole school with the outdoor church blocking one of our car loop lanes. As many of you have experienced, we have only the one drop off/pick up lane and adding two more grades will add more traffic. Our team is working on an alternative plan that will eliminate the traffic as best as possible and continue to mainstream our screening protocols. All students are continuing to be screened as they come onto campus everyday and we appreciate you continuing to screen your child at home. Please see the attachment at the bottom of today’s message to continue to screen your child every morning.
For more information about what the difference in the colored tier system means for schools, please see this article:
Update as of 2/18/21
3rd Grade Update
While our extension on the waiver allowed for 3rd grade students to return to campus in cohorts, the new county Covid numbers have gone below the 25 per 100,000 mark in LA County. This means that we are no longer needing to cohort students and will begin bringing back our students up to 6th grade over the next few weeks.
On Monday, February 22nd, we will bring back our 3rd grade students to campus for full day instruction!
School will go from 7:50-2:40pm everyday. We have increased our maintenance teams hours and will add additional cleaning equipment to help ensure the safest environment possible. In addition, we will be updating our pre-screening protocols to match the latest recommendations from CDC, the state and ADLA. Before arrival please screen your child for the following symptoms:
Does your child have a fever over 100.4?
Does your child have any of the following symptoms:
Cough or sore throat
Vomiting, stomachaches or diarrhea
Loss of taste or smell
Body aches, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Have you or your child been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 10 days?
4-6th Grade Update
We are excited to announce that March 1st will be our official return to school date for grades 4-6th! It has been nearly a year since these students have been on campus and we are excited for the opportunity to safely return our students back on campus. There is a lot of work to be done and we will need the support of our parents to help make this process go smoothly. Below are some important pieces of information we need all families to know and be aware of to prepare for a safe return to school:
Now that LA County is below the 25 per 100,000 mark for positive Covid cases, we can bring our students back to school for full day instruction. There will be no cohorting for these students.
Students will be in one classroom throughout the day and we will utilize outdoor space as much as possible. In addition, all student desks will have 6 foot distance in the classroom and some classes will have desk shields due to the size of the classroom.
We will offer both in person and online options for students in grades K-6th. We will need a commitment from our families on whether or not they will want to have their child return to school full-time starting March 1st.
UPDATE AS OF 2/11/21
It is with great excitement to announce that the LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has released new protocols for our current K-2 students on campus. Starting Tuesday, February 16th, we will no longer need to adhere to cohorting rules that have caused us to have split day cohorts. Starting Tuesday, all students in grades K-2 will be able to attend school for full day instruction. Per new guidance from LACDPH and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, schools will now work with “Stable Groups” meaning that we can provide instruction for all students, as long as we can maintain 6 foot distancing in the classroom or in any instructional setting. Given the change between “Cohorts” and the now “Stable Groups,” we are able to provide 6 foot distancing in the classrooms and all instructional settings on campus.
Our K-2 school day will have some minor adjustments to the schedule. We will begin school each day at 7:50am and school will end at 2:40pm. Our pick-up and drop-off procedures will still be in place as we have had all year. Students will still receive a health screening and have their temperature taken daily.
3rd Grade Changes
Due to the new regulations, the return of 3rd grade students will still remain under the cohort rules. We have tried to lobby to have our students in 3rd grade come back to school for a full day but at this time, the county will not allow this to happen. However, there is a great possibility that this will change once Covid-19 rates go down and once we are able to do so, we will transition the 3rd grade class to full day instruction.
Ms. Andrea will be sending out our 3rd grade cohorts shortly. We are doing everything we can to support student and family needs when scheduling these cohorts.
Return To Campus 3rd-6th Grade
Another positive outcome of the new LACDPH guidelines is the latest update and revised rates of positive cases in LA County. The health metrics in LA County have been steadily improving. The adjusted case rate for LA County is now 31.7. This downward trend indicates that it may dip at or below 25 per 100,000 in the coming weeks. Once we are below 25 per 100,000 we will be able to open our campus for full day instruction, in stable groups, for our 3rd-6th grade students.
We cannot put an exact date on a return but we are anticipating our 3rd-6th grade students returning to campus sometime in March! Preparations are already underway and we will be prepared to open campus when it is safe to do so.
7th & 8th Grade Students
While the news about reopening our campus for our K-6th graders is exciting, we are also planning ways to safely bring back 7th and 8th grade students. There are many factors in doing so and we are exploring every option possible to provide a safe return to campus for all students. Currently, the waiver states that we can bring back 25% of our students that are not included in the waiver. However, this rule will be revised once the county is below the 25 per 100,000 positivity rate. Here are the potential outcomes that may happen:
- We may be able to bring back all of our 7th and 8th graders if the 25% rule is still in effect as it is today
- If the 25% rule changes, we may have to create some rotation between the 7th and 8th grade classes
- If we are unable to bring 7th and 8th grade back on campus, we will look for alternative settings or times to bring students on campus to give them some on campus support. This will have to be addressed once the new rules are in place for LA County
As a staff we are committed to making sure our 7th and 8th grade students have some time on campus. More information will come.
Online Only Students
We will continue to offer online options for students that are unable to return to on campus instruction. For our K-2 students, we will continue our usual 7:50-10:30am time frame. However, we will be expanding this time online to 11:30am in the coming weeks.
For 3rd grade students not returning to campus next week, we are offering an online model as discussed in our parent meeting earlier this week. However, when we are able to return to school for a full day, we will increase the instructional time online as well. More information about how and when will come shortly.
We want to provide the best education possible for every student. In light of this news, if anyone is interested in changing their child’s current on campus or online placement, please contact Mr. Freel for more information on how to do so.
Health And Safety Focus
Our primary focus at St. Jude is the health and safety of our students and staff. Given these new changes, we will install new health measures to ensure a safe transition of our school schedule. There will be additional sanitation every 2 hours throughout the school day for all heavy traffic areas on campus. For classes that are continuing to cohort, we will continue to do a deep clean of the classroom and equipment between cohorts. A deep clean of the entire campus will take place everyday after school as well.
We have hired additional staff and put additional funds into proper cleaning material as we anticipate more sanitation than before these changes. In addition, students will continue to follow all safety and sanitation processes for the duration of the school day. We will continue to monitor our student and staff health everyday and communicate immediately if there is a positive Covid-19 case on campus.
I hope and pray that everyone understands the importance of our students safety on campus everyday. My first priority as principal is to ensure that we navigate through these difficult times safely, while also providing the best education possible. Thank you for your time and attention to these details and I look forward to more positive steps forward in the near future.
UPDATE AS OF 1/15/21
Yesterday, the state of California released a new website for people to find the most updated information about school reopening procedures, protocols and other helpful information for families. Please visit the site if you want to find the latest information in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic https://schools.covid19.ca.gov/
Vaccinations have started and all educators are listed in the 1B category. There has been misinformation about vaccinations and I wanted to make sure I give all of our families the most updated news possible:
- The 1B category is not yet eligible to receive the vaccine. Once we are able to do so, our school will help make appointments for employees that want to get the vaccine.
- There are two rounds of shots needed for the vaccine to work fully. Our local medical professionals estimate that teachers and school staff will be fully vaccinated by the end of March.
- We will continue to monitor our staff and students’ health everyday on campus. Our K-2 students have been notified about the new screening procedures and protocols.
UPDATE AS OF 1/1/21
As of today, January 1st, the ADLA has advised us to not reopen on-campus instruction until January 19th. This will undoubtedly complicate the first day of school for our K-2 classes as it is such short notice but we will continue to commit to our promise of being positive and proactive with all the changes that will continue to take place for the remainder of the school year. This change will only be in place until January 19th when our school is scheduled to reopen for on-campus instruction.
We have developed a modified schedule for Monday for our K-2 students. This will only affect Monday’s schedule. Otherwise online school for the remaining two weeks will be online from 8:30-11:30am.
We will have a material pick-up on Monday from 10-11am. If you cannot make it in that timeframe, we will have supplies available in the office at any time. If you cannot make it at all on the 4th, please notify your room teacher for additional support.
To recap the changes needed to be made to transition to online learning for two weeks:
K-2 staff will prepare materials for students transitioning to online learning Monday morning.
Material pickup will be from 10-11am. Anyone who cannot make it at that time can come to the office to get materials.
Class for K-2 students will go from 1-3pm virtually for Monday only.
We will start the normal 8:30-11:30 online learning time frame until Jan. 19th.
This will continue to be an ever-evolving change in circumstances as we guide our school through the 20-21 school year. Unfortunately, even with the calendar changing dates we find ourselves in the same situation and we want to make sure we take every precaution possible to protect our students safety and health. The decision to switch to remote learning did not come lightly and I understand that this may cause inconveniences for you and your family. We appreciate all that you have done this year to be resilient and flexible as our country navigates this terrible pandemic.
Stay safe and healthy!
UPDATE AS OF 11/20/20
UPDATE AS OF 11/13/20
Our faculty has worked hard all week to ensure that our campus is safe and ready for the return of our K-2 students. We want to share some quick reminders for parents that are bringing their child to campus:
All parents can choose to either drop their child off through the car loop or park by the parish and walk their student into school. Kindergarten parents, on this Monday only, may walk their child to the classroom door. After Monday, all parents will be able to walk their child to the front steps and assist in the health screening.
Attached is an image of the car loop and our school safety plan for a return to in-person learning. It is important that all guidelines are followed and will be enforced by school staff.
It is mandatory to wear a mask at all times on campus. Before entering the office, please observe our new health protocols and allow for extra time during your visit.
Parents will not be allowed inside of the school office unless otherwise cleared to do so by the administration. There will be a table outside the front door to the office and someone will be able to assist you as needed.
During school hours, there are NO visitors allowed. We ask that parents refrain from bringing materials or food to the school. We do not have a lunch period and students will be given the opportunity to eat a snack during breaks.
As we work together to provide a safe environment for our students, we ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as we enforce newer protocols. With support from our community, we will be able to provide a safe environment that will help bring all students back to campus sooner rather than later.
UPDATE AS OF 10/23/20
School Reopening News
As always, we are keeping up with the latest information from the LA County Department of Public Health in regards to protocols and procedures in reopening our school. We have successfully submitted our K-2 waiver and are waiting to hear from ADLA and the county. Here are a few reminders about the waiver:
The county stated they will take up to 3 weeks to review any waiver applications. After an approval from the county, the application is sent to the state for the final approval
LA County is only accepting 30 school applications a week. In addition, they are accepting only a maximum of 5 school applications from each one of the “LA County Regions.” Our region is included with the West Valley, Santa Monica and parts of the San Fernando area
The county has stated that they will prioritize schools that have higher amounts of qualifying students in the Free & Reduced Lunch students first. St. Jude’s is below 10% while many schools in our area have an average of 40-70% Free & Reduced Lunch qualifying students
It is not all bad news though! We have successfully submitted our application before the majority of schools in the LA County region. In addition, the county has already approved four schools which shows that they are moving much quicker than the projected 2-3 week window.
We will be holding a webinar to review all K-2 reopening plans in the very near future. We want to get the reopening information out to all of you as soon as we can but have been advised to not share too many details until the county and state have approved our plans. Once we receive approval to reopen, we will have a 5-7 day window in which we are permitted to open. However, we want to share as much information as possible to parents in the meantime and will do so via an upcoming webinar.
As for students in grades 3-8, the county has rejected the Superintendent’s request to allow a 3-6th grade waiver. This is extremely frustrating given the fact that many schools in Ventura County are opening up soon.
Our focus here at St. Jude is to ensure that we are going to provide the best education we possibly can, given the circumstances we are in.
UPDATE AS OF 9/25/20
COVID-19 Updates & News From The Archdiocese
I am excited to announce that we have received hopeful updates from LA County and the LA Archdiocese this past week. The Archdiocese has announced that nine schools from Santa Barbara and Ventura County have had their TK-6 waivers approved to reopen school. In addition to that news, the Superintendent announced yesterday that the LA Archdiocese has now fully launched an advocacy group to petition to the county of Los Angeles to open all Catholic schools. The advocacy group, Students First Coalition of Los Angeles, has partnered with local public and private schools to actively advocate for the reopening of our school campuses. Our Superintendent, Mr. Paul Escala, has now asked that any parent wanting to advocate for the reopening of schools can do so by attending the next LA County Superintendent Board Meeting. The information is attached here.
In addition to the Archdiocese wanting to now openly advocate for the reopening of schools, the COVID-19 statistics are trending in a good direction. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, LA County has a lower number of positivity rates and new cases per 100K people than Ventura County! With the guidelines how they are, LA County will be off of the Purple Zone and in the Red Zone in 2 weeks. What does this mean? In theory, being in the Red Zone means that all students can return to campus. However, LA County stated that even if the county is in the Red Zone, they will not allow schools to reopen for another 6 weeks minimum. With so much uncertainty going on, I can assure you that St. Jude’s will have the most up-to-date reopening plan and take all the precautions necessary to reopen campus as soon as we can. I am hopeful that we will see a return to campus for those that choose to do so. In addition, we will have a completely online option for all of our families for the remainder of the school year. As it gets closer to looking like we will reopen, we will hold a virtual meeting for all parents before opening school.
UPDATE AS OF 9/18/20
Remote Learning Updates
The numbers in LA County are starting to trend in the right direction and we are getting closer to being off of the “Purple Zone.” Once our county moves into the “Red Zone” we are able to apply for a waiver for our K-6 students to return to campus. While the LADPH announced that they will not review waivers until November, St. Jude’s waiver will be ready to submit the first day they are accepting applications. We have been working in conjunction with all other Catholic schools in Ventura County to make sure we have all the necessary information and data in our waiver to ensure the best chance for approval.
As stated in earlier Anchor Splash messages, St. Jude’s will be offering a 100% remote learning option for students for the remainder of the year as well. When we are able to bring students on campus, the remote learning plan will also be sent out for families to choose from.
UPDATE AS OF 9/4/20
School Reopening News
Much anticipated news about school reopening plans has come forward to us from the Archdiocese and local government. The Archdiocese has given us the clearance to prepare our waiver paperwork and have it ready for submission. Santa Barbara and Ventura County are not open as of now but are accepting applications. Las County is not accepting applications at this time but our county numbers are improving. If you want to read more about the improvised state reopening plans and follow the data more closely, please visit the state’s website at: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.
While Santa Barbara and Ventura County are accepting applications, they have rejected all 10 applications from other Archdiocese schools. While this is not the news many were hoping to hear, the good news is that they gave us all very specific information for what is required on campus to have an approved application. Our waiver application will have the most up-to-date information and guidelines enforced to ensure our campus is safe and healthy for all to return.
Part of the data we need is a parent survey, with a written statement, on how you feel about school reopening for on-campus learning. Next week you will receive a special Anchor Splash with a survey attached. It is extremely important, for the application to be accepted, that we have more than 80% of our parents fill out the survey. We appreciate your attention to this matter when the survey is released next week.
School Reopening Hybrid Plans
While we continue to stay up-to-date on all measures needing to return to campus, we also are working on our school’s hybrid model. This model will be available for any family who feels that a return to campus is not the best option for them. The Hybrid plan will involve detailed information about how your child can still learn from home, even when we are open again for on-campus instruction. While there are always changes to be expected in the days ahead, our administrative team will be working on a plan to be set in place when the day comes to reopen. We will ensure that before the school reopens, you will get a chance to see the Hybrid model before having to choose.
UPDATE AS OF 8/19/20
First Day of School Event
To ensure the health and safety of all in our community, we will be taking many precautions to make this event fun and memorable. Please read the following guidelines and regulations before attending the event by reading our guide here.
Online Protocols & Expectations
Please see our recently updated online policies for this upcoming school year. We want to ensure that our students are in the best position to learn each day during remote learning. It is important that parents understand that to make our students as successful as possible, we need to allow them room to grow and make mistakes. Making mistakes is a part of education and we encourage you to review the guidelines prior to the year starting.
UPDATE AS OF 8/14/20
Click here to see our updated remote learning plan. Please read through it carefully and see important information about how we are scheduling the school day, the times and dates for Back To School Night and online policies for school this upcoming year.
Please note that students will not need to wear uniforms for school during remote learning. It would be a good idea to start ordering uniforms for when we return to school on campus. Please visit Dennis Uniform for more information.
Important Dates and Events
- New Parent Orientation In Person! (9am – 10am)
- Laptop Distribution Day (10am – 1pm)
- Packet Due Date! All forms must be completed and turned in by the end of the day on 8/20. Please click HERE to see all forms online.
- First Day Of School! Check out what time your student may come on campus to pick up books and meet their teacher!
- First night of our Online Back To School Night, grades Kinder-2nd only (8/25 will be 3rd – 5th grade, and 8/26 will be for our middle school.)
New Parent Orientation – New parents are welcome to join us for a presentation outside in the covered seating area where masses are currently being held. We look forward to seeing you all and welcoming you with a friendly introduction to our school.
Laptop Distribution – If you registered to borrow a laptop you can pick it up in the main office on August 20th between 10am and 1pm. If you want to register for a laptop please click HERE
First Day Of School – We will be bringing our students on to campus to meet their teachers, pick up supplies and have the opportunity to take a “First Day of School” picture! Each class will be given a scheduled time to arrive and directions to follow next week. The times will be as follows:
8:00 – Kindergarten
8:30 – 1st Graders
9:00 – 2nd Graders
9:30 – 3rd Graders
10:00 – 4th Graders
10:30 – 5th Graders
11:00 – 6th Graders
11:30 – 7th Graders
12:00 – 8th Graders
UPDATE AS OF 8/7/20
I am sure many of you have heard that the waiver to open up K-6th grade will not be accepted by LA County. While this may be seen as a set back to some, we will remain positive about our remote learning plans moving forward. The mindset I’d love to have us all take away from this is that we at least know what school will look like to start the year and we can plan accordingly. We appreciate your support and look forward to building a great remote learning plan.
The Archdiocese has decided not to offer the Mother of Divine Grace option that was previously offered. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact Mr. Freel.
Back To School Night & Packet Day
This year we will be holding our Back To School Night on August 24th, 25th and 26th remotely, via Google Meets. We believe that moving the Back To School Night up to the first week of school will be beneficial for our students and families to understand our remote learning protocols and needed information. More information will be included in the “Remote Learning Plan” that will be released early next week.
Due to COVID 19, we will not hold Packet Day in person this year. We have made all forms available online and they are in fillable documents. You can send in the documents to Mrs. Frawley via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can print them out and turn them into the office anytime. We need all documents filled out and submitted before the start of school. Please visit our website to find the information at http://stjudeschool.org/parent-forms/
Our new parent orientation will still continue to happen on August 20th. We are still looking to find a way to hold this meeting in person. More details and information will be made available to you all very soon. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we try to provide a safe but engaging environment to welcome in our new families! We are blessed to have so many wonderful new families join our community this year!
UPDATE AS OF 7/24/20
Distance Learning Reopening Plan
Our reopening plan is focusing on key areas that our staff has identified as areas in need of great focus for next school year online. Our distance learning program will have the following:
- We will provide structure throughout the school day for students and families
- There will be live teacher-led instruction every day in all of our classes
- We believe in providing Enrichment Opportunities for our students. These opportunities will be additional supports for both social development and academic achievement
- Attendance will be taken every day
- Students will be required to turn on the camera and be in an appropriate setting to learn
- K-5th will have Core Academic Instruction from 8:30-11:30. 6-8th will go from 8:30-12:30 and will work on a block schedule. (More information on the middle school block schedule to come soon)
- Students K-8 will have Enrichment Opportunities from 1-3pm every day. These opportunities will include both social and academic support. The social development programs will include clubs and small group activities. Academic Enrichment will include teacher office hours, elective classes (Spanish, Music, etc), and academic resources for parents to use to help provide additional support and advancement opportunities for students.
- There will be live teaching done every day during the Core Academic Instruction time slot
- Students will work during those hours in either a whole group lesson, small group, and independent work. We will not have 3+ hours of face to face instruction but the teacher will be online and available to answer questions and provide support when not leading instruction
- We will provide teacher office hours between 1-3 pm and your child (And parent if appropriate) can arrange a time to meet with the teacher for additional supports
Information From ADLA About Possible Campus Reopening Options
Waivers: There is a provision in the governor’s public health order that allows elementary schools to apply for a waiver to re-open in advance of the county/local health jurisdiction to be removed from the state’s monitor list. Here is the language:
A waiver of this criteria may be granted by the local health officer for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction. A waiver may only be granted if one is requested by the superintendent (or equivalent for charter or private schools), in consultation with labor, parent and community organizations. Local health officers must review local community epidemiological data, consider other public health interventions, and consult with CDPH when considering a waiver request.
We have learned that the state and county public health departments are developing procedures to receive waiver applications. ADLA is investigating this further and will provide further details about how to pursue these waivers. Please note that the waiver process does not guarantee a waiver will be approved. It’s likely that county health departments will be reluctant to grant waivers if a school is in an area exceeding the state’s monitoring thresholds (i.e. transmission rates, hospitalizations, hospital capacity). Here is an article on the waiver issue on EdSource: https://edsource.org/2020/california-districts-can-seek-waiver-for-elementary-schools-from-ban-on-in-school-instruction/636807
Advocacy: ADLA and private/parochial schools throughout the state are deeply concerned about the application of this order on our schools and the impact it will have on our families and schools, particularly when the state is not providing us with financial support. While none of us would invite our students and staff back to campus if we could not implement necessary safety modifications, we also recognize our enrollments are generally smaller than our public peers and we have more flexibility with schedules and facilities to ensure safety measures can be met. We are working through the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO) and the California Catholic Conference on seeking relief for our schools, but we cannot do this alone. There is also work at that federal level led by the USCCB to include Catholic schools in the next stimulus bill, such as expanding a tuition scholarship program nation-wide. I encourage your school communities, students, parents, and staff to share their concerns with their county supervisors and governor, along with congress on the stimulus bill. Your voice matters!
*School reopening plan is subject to change.
UPDATE AS OF 7/17/20
I pray that this message finds you all safe and healthy. Our staff has been working extremely hard this past week to finalize our plans to reopen campus and have our students back in the classroom as soon as possible. However, as many of you know, Governor Newsom held a press conference today to discuss the reopening of our schools in California. I want to take this opportunity to highlight what was announced and how this will affect St. Jude’s.
Governor Newsom stated today that schools will need to start the year remotely in both LA and Ventura County. Schools cannot reopen until the county that the school resides in (LA County for St. Jude’s) has been off the COVID-19 watch list for 14 days. Also stated was that this order is in effect for both public and private schools. The Archdiocese has officially stated that all Catholic schools need to prepare to start the school year online. It is important to state that we want our school to open in the fall and understand the tremendous burden this may bring to many of you if we do in fact start the year online.
At this time, we will still continue to prepare to reopen our schools safely when we are allowed to do so. In the meantime, our school will prepare to enhance our online academic curriculum, create faith-based instructional plans and work on how to develop social-emotional skills through distance learning. Though this is not the result we were hoping to hear today, we will continue to be proactive in our approach to providing a strong, faith-based education.
This is an incredibly important time as a school and a community on how we decide to respond to the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a school we believe that in-person instruction is the best way to properly educate students and recognize that online instruction can be difficult. In these trying times, it is important to remember that what makes St. Jude special is our community. I cannot stress enough that our sense of community and commitment to our school will be greater than ever as we navigate these uncharted times. In times of crisis, we need to remember to keep our focus on God and how we can serve Him best. As a community, I pray that we embrace these difficult times with great positivity and hope for a better future.
While I believe strongly in the strength of this community to stay close with one another and support each other, there is a great need for clarity and honest communication during these times. I will ensure that any changes, new information or relevant items will be communicated with you all as soon as possible. Please look for additional messages in the coming days and weeks.
*School reopening plan is subject to change.
UPDATE AS OF 7/10/20
We want to keep our families in the loop about what our projection for next year will look like. It is important to understand that any plans that will be sent out are subject to change at any time. Our plans need to be flexible and responsive to local health metrics. Our school’s administration will be closely monitoring county data on a daily basis and will be continually updating our plan throughout the summer. As of today, the Archdiocese has given each school reopening guidelines and has announced that they plan to open in the fall. We intend to follow all guidelines and always keep our focus on the health and safety of our school community.
We are excited to announce that our school is finalizing details on how to safely reopen, Monday through Friday, for full-day instruction. School, as of today, will begin on August 24th. We are working closely with the Archdiocese and we’re in communication with other local K-8 Catholic schools to provide the best plan possible. We foresee being able to open school due to our small size and availability to provide alternative learning spaces for our students. To do this, we need to prepare our staff and campus adequately and will be conducting the following action items this summer:
Our campus will receive an entire deep clean before students arrive on campus. Every item of use on campus will be sanitized every day after student use.
We will be providing hand sanitizing stations throughout campus and in classrooms for student and staff use.
Our students will receive a health screening and have their temperature taken by a contactless thermometer before entering campus every day.
It will be required that students have a mask with them on campus but it will be at the staff’s discretion as to when students will need to wear them. More specific guidelines on this will come shortly. It is our goal to limit the amount of time a student wears a mask throughout the day as much as possible.
We have purchased a mask and face shield for every staff member on campus to wear throughout the day.
An electrostatic cleaner has been purchased to disinfect our learning and office spaces multiple times throughout the day.
In addition to the precautions we are taking to keep our campus clean and students healthy, we are aiming to be extremely proactive in how we approach next year. Our staff will work diligently to provide a great education for every student and provide a “blended” learning environment for all students. To prepare, the following measures will be taken:
Our teachers will “blend” their in-classroom materials with their online platforms, either Google Classroom or Jupiter Ed. This means that any activities or assignments that are happening in class will also be available online that same day. If for any reason a student cannot be on campus, students will be able to stay up to task on all assignments while out.
Teachers will receive Professional Development on how to use online classroom platforms and how to best maximize their teaching online in the case that our schools are shut down and we need to work remotely again.
Staff will have the opportunity to complete a summer course on “COVID-19 Contact Tracing” provided by Johns Hopkins University. This course shares best practices and ways to limit the spread of the virus.
Thank you to Dr. Gupta and Dr. Rana, two St. Jude parents, for volunteering their time to present to all students on the first week back to school to discuss best practices for self-sanitizing and preventing the spread of germs.
All classrooms and eating spaces have been measured for 6-foot distancing. Our team has made arrangements to find alternative learning spaces for all students as needed.
*School reopening plan is subject to change.