COVID pages

COVID-19 has changed our whole lives and we are hopeful for the day we can be in community again. Below are emails talking about our Fall 2020/2021 plans for our classes.
*All things are subject to change. 

As of the beginning of July, we are able to safely accommodate all students on campus M-F for the full school day. We are able to do this because the space of our building and the size of our classrooms currently allows it while following state regulations. Please read the email details below from our principal for more details.

July 31, 2020 - Fall Planning Update

Hello St. Al Families,

I hope everyone had a great week and didn’t suffer too much with our mini heatwave.  I wanted to check-in again and share a few things about our school plans. There isn’t a lot of new information to share this week, but I am being told that several items will be shared with us next week.  Stay tuned for a potentially early email from me next week, depending on the news I receive.

School Supplies

Supply lists are posted on the school website, but I wanted to take a moment to elaborate a bit.  Typically, we build our school supply lists with individual items, knowing that some materials will also be shared in the classroom.   This year sharing is not possible, and all families are encouraged to think about individual portions and desk storage of supplies as they review the supply lists.  Examples of previously shared items would be Kleenex boxes, markers, crayons, glue sticks.  If any family is experiencing any kind of hardship in purchasing school supplies this year, please let me know.  We have donors happy to provide items with both parties remaining anonymous.  

Extended Care 

Final guidelines are still being determined with extended care.  It looks like preschool extended care guidelines could officially change today and results posted to the public by Monday or Tuesday of next week.  I will contact all preschool families about this and any other changes once I receive this information next week.   Elementary families will be contacted once I am able to receive more information from the Office for Catholic Schools about the latest guidelines for K-8 .  In the meantime please let me know if you are still planning on extended care for the fall.  We can be in touch directly about these.  

Classroom Connections

By now every student should have had the opportunity to connect with their teacher through a class meeting on Teams.  If your student couldn’t attend the meeting, feel free to reach out to the teacher for any info shared.  

New Families

Welcome to our all our new families.  We want to meet with you and help you navigate your new school.  We are scheduling an orientation for all our new families so we can make sure your families are all set to begin a new year at a new school.  Stay tuned for details.  In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me or your student’s teacher if you need anything. Also, feel free to join our parent group on Facebook and our school Facebook and Instagram.

Again, I will be in touch should new information become available early next week.  Otherwise, I will update everyone with the next round on Friday.  Have a great rest of your Friday and a wonderful weekend.  

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
Principal

July 24, 2020 - More Fall Updates
Hello again St. Al Families,

Happy opening day of baseball and for hockey fans, happy arrival of the Kraken.  This week’s update includes health and safety information, which you will find below.  The attachment to this email corresponds with that information.  However, before I address that, I wanted to take a moment to go over our current fall plans in light of SPS and other district announcements.  Surrounding districts have recently announced that they will be starting the school year online.  Larger public school districts face vastly different challenges and their decisions to begin online are not made based on the circumstances we have in our Catholic schools.  At this time, we are still planning an in-person start this fall. The Archdiocese has been and continues to meet with principals and state officials.  We are working with state/local guidelines and the Archdiocese as we continue to make plans for September. St. Al’s will also continue to update everyone with any changes to the current plan.  In the meantime, remember that we have been working on both in-person and online learning plans so we will be prepared to support our families and our staff in either environment.

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
Principal

 

The following are our current protocols for health and safety during this time.  We will be adding or adjusting items here as we finish classroom changes so another version of this information will be sent out in August.  Local and state health guidelines could also impact these decisions and we will let you know when any changes have been made.

Protocols for entering/being on campus:

  • Only necessary staff and students allowed on campus. Minimum number of allowed personnel on campus.
  • Any individual dropping off or picking up during school hours will ring the bell at the front door and wait for further instructions.
  • Health info will be collected and/or obtained daily
  • The temperature must be below 100.0; No-touch infrared thermometers will be used
  • Screening questions will be asked based on the attached flyer.
  • Screening will take place prior to students exiting vehicles or walk-on parents leaving premises.  Issues with health screening will result in the entire car or walk-up family, not just the individual,  going home for the day.
  • Masks required for K-8 students and all adults. Preschool students should arrive at school with masks on and we will work with students to assist with masks throughout the day.

Social distancing

  • Social distancing will be practiced inside and outside: 6ft. distancing
  • Schedules are staggered to provide for social distancing when students go to and from outdoor areas for recess or other instructional time.
  • Community gatherings will be allowed virtually or when local and state health officials and our governor/current phase deem it safe to gather in-person.

Protocol for illness at school

  • Sick students will be taken to our new health station (former admissions office on the second floor), the temperature will be taken, parents contacted, and testing results communicated to school administration ASAP.
  • It is important to support one another during this time and each staff and student situation is different.  Decisions are being made with all community members in mind.  Family situations or personal health may require a staff member or student to stay home or adjust items for in-person learning.  Please contact the principal if you need to discuss options.
  • Masks are expected to be worn by all employees and students. If masks are cloth, please wash daily. We recommend you have multiple masks per student to allow for cleaning time. A limited amount of extra masks are available for staff and students in the office if an additional mask is needed during the day.
  • Hand sanitation will be readily available to everyone in the building with hand sanitizer available in every classroom space and multiple sinks on each floor of our building.  We will continue to use the 20 second-hand washing method of sanitizing.
  • School closure for deep cleaning/disinfecting if student or faculty/staff is diagnosed; or exposure is confirmed. 14-day closure required. A deep clean of the facility will take place during this time.
  • School administration will notify families regarding a case in the school community as soon as information is confirmed.

Cleaning and health protocols

  • CDC signage and print 11×17 posters for classrooms, office, bathrooms, gym
  • All staff will be trained in cleaning and disinfecting procedures prior to the start of school
  • Cleaning/disinfecting procedures will take place before, throughout, and after the school day, especially high traffic/touch areas: classrooms, student desks, bathrooms, doorknobs/bars, hand railings, etc.
  • Drinking fountains will be used only to fill personal water bottles No congregating at the fountain or in hallways.
  • Air will be circulated using open windows and fans to move air out of rooms and outside.   Classes are encouraged to socially distance outside for lessons as often as possible, so we ask that all students arrive dressed for the weather, bringing appropriate outer layers as needed.

Building and furniture use

  • Any couches or fabric-covered furniture will not be used and no shared seating or rugs will be used in classrooms or shared spaces.
  • Students will have designated spaces and procedures for handling belongings.  Students will need to bring their own supplies for daily work as no sharing or items such as crayons, markers, pencils, etc…will be permitted.
  • Items that are not for use will have signs and coverings.
  • Hallways and stairways will be clearly marked with directions

There will be additions or changes based on state and local health guidelines as we approach the start of school.

July 17, 2020 - More Updates
Hello St. Al Families,
Our updates for this week include some future event updates and a few reminders.

Online learning planning continues but currently, we are still planning in-person schooling this fall. We are now working on specifics for a how-to manual and other necessary items for families. In-person plans are now focused on furniture placement and policies/protocols for daily activities. More specifics will be shared next week.

Teachers will be reaching out next week to arrange a summer hang out meeting through Teams. We are currently finalizing class lists in RenWeb and will contact families with Teams meeting info once courses in Teams have been created for the fall. We wanted to let classes connect with new students and familiar faces as we gear up for September. Stay tuned for more information.

This is just a reminder that our library is open. Our catalog and operating hours are available on the school website. Since we know the public library is not operating normally, we wanted to make sure that all students had access to items for summer reading. Middle school students have summer reading assignments and everyone can participate in our library summer reading program. Check the library page on our website for details.

I pray that each of you is well and that all stay safe. Have a peaceful and joy-filled summer.

Thank you,
Kathleen Daspit
Principal

July 10, 2020 - Fall Updates
Hello St. Al Families,

This week we focused our planning time on making changes to our online learning plan.  While we are still on track for attending school in person this fall, we are working on our online learning plan in the event we will have to return to a distance learning model.

Thank you to everyone who filled out our online learning and fall planning survey. The leadership team and I reviewed the survey data and came up with the following to improve our student and family experience with online learning at home.  Each section will include information related to a specific topic and includes as much information as we can include on that topic to date. More specifics will continue to be shared as the summer progresses.

Have a wonderful weekend.  I hope each of you gets some time to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having.

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
Principal

 

Online Learning Updates

Platform

We will continue using Teams for our online learning platform.  This platform gives us the best one-stop-shopping experience by allowing one site for virtual meetings, chat for teacher support, assignment viewing/turn-in, and file storage.

Teams has been working to add/upgrade a variety of features to meet the needs of educational groups.  We are working on how-to’s for basic items so families can navigate the platform with each student.  These how-to’s will be emailed out to families and posted in the main School Community team for reference.  School staff will reach out to new families to help with Teams and they can schedule a session with their teacher for additional support if necessary.

Schedules

Schedules will be specific based on student grade level—preschool, elementary, middle school. All groups start and end at the same time and all are encouraged to attend morning prayer and announcement time.

Preschool: Preschool schedules will be created by the teachers including time for virtual meetings, craft projects, independent work time, and guided learning with the teacher.  Class begins at 9am and ends at 1:40pm for the whole school but this will vary for pre-K students based on lunch/snack and nap times for each child.  Teachers will provide more details.

 

Elementary: Class will officially begin at 9am and will go until 1:40pm.  Students will have scheduled breaks and lunch time.  The day will be divided into 30 minute chunks that will include a mix of virtual meetings, lessons, recordings, social time, and time with specialists.  The 30 minute chunks will include both virtual meeting times and independent work time.  Students will have virtual time with their teachers multiple times each day but will NOT spend the entire 30 minute chunk for each subject in front of the computer.  Official schedules including times for specific subjects, will be determined by the teacher based on subject and class need.  These schedules will be made available weekly as a part of a weekly tasks sheet but will remain consistent overall. Specialist time will be included in the schedule for each class. .

 

Middle School: Students will begin their day in homeroom after morning announcements and prayer with the school community.  They will get a chance to see and hear each other through virtual homeroom meetings and find out about middle school specific announcements.  Classes are offered in a block format of 50 minutes each, including elective and library time Monday-Thursday.  Fridays are workdays for students to finish assignments from the week, ask teachers questions, or catch up on past assignments/videos/reading.  In addition to the posted schedule below, teachers will be available for one-on-one meetings or extra help between 1:40 and 3pm.

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:55 -9  

Morning Prayer and Announcements with Mrs. Daspit

9-9:15 Homeroom Time Homeroom Time Homeroom Time Homeroom Time Homeroom Time
9:20-10:10 1st Period 2nd Period 1st Period 2nd Period Periods 1&2 Teacher help
10:15-11:05 3rd Period 4th Period 3rd Period 4th Period Periods 3&4 Teacher help
11:05-11:35 Break Break Break Break Break
11:40-12:30 7th Period 6th Period 7th Period 6th Period Periods 6&7 Teacher help
12:35-1:20pm Elective Library 5/6 Library 7/8 Elective Work turn-in time
1:25-1:40pm Homeroom Time Homeroom Time Homeroom Time Homeroom Time Homeroom Time

 

Virtual Meetings

A comprehensive live meeting schedule for all class meetings will be posted for family reference.  Virtual meetings will be staggered as much as possible to assist families with technology sharing.

All meetings will be entered on the Teams calendar, so students can use the reminders and notifications for planning.

Whole school morning prayer and announcements will be virtual meetings taking place five minutes prior to the official start of the school day.  These will occur in the School Community team and will be led by Mrs. Daspit.

Preschool: Virtual meetings will take place multiple times per week.  Class meetings can occur in a variety of ways–small group, whole class, or individual.   The scheduling and type will depend on family availability and student need.  Teachers will communicate the schedule to families.

Elementary: Multiple virtual meetings will take place each day.  Class meetings will open the school day after school wide morning announcements, followed by one or two live lessons, and a closing virtual meeting at the end of the school day. Additional meetings may be scheduled for small groups or one-on-one support.

Middle School: Virtual meetings will happen at the start of each class period.   These meetings will be from 10 minutes to twenty minutes maximum instructional time and will include expectations for the day/week.  Each 50-minute class period is meant to provide both instruction and work time with teacher guidance available.  Student worktime during class periods is meant to take the place of traditional homework time.

 

Support and Check-ins

Additional virtual meetings will be scheduled by teachers, our Learning Resource Specialist (LRS), and other school staff to support students needing additional help with academics or just needing check-ins.  The LRS will reach out to families for specific times that work with the student’s school schedule.

Parents are strongly encouraged to reach out to their student’s teacher if more support or more frequent check-ins are needed.

Teachers and other school staff will be connecting one-on-one with each student through Teams.  The goal is that each student will receive a special check-in weekly or biweekly.   This check-in is a time for the student to discuss any issues they may be having or to simply chat about life.

 

Social Time

Class meeting time at the beginning and end of the school day is meant to provide social time, where classmates can chat and maybe play a game.   These times will be monitored by the teacher and will be included in the school schedule. Depending on the school day, social time may also be scheduled outside of homeroom/class meeting times.

 

Weekly/Daily Tasks and Assignments

Weekly assignment or task schedules will be provided to students based on class.  These schedules will include what is expected of each class that week.  Elementary teachers may include this in the class schedule to provide more clarity for each day.  Middle school will include this on Team for each subject.  Middle school students are strongly encouraged to use paper planners to help organize as well.  A paper planner will be issued at the beginning of the school year to each middle school student.

All assignments will be turned in via Teams under the assignments tab for their class. The Teachers will post a Word document when possible, that will allow students to edit and then return the document rather than deal with PDFs.  In other cases, they will need to upload pictures or documents.  To eliminate a amount of scanning per household, teachers will provide details about specific pages/items they need uploaded for each class.  Some items may be shared through video calls and will not need to be uploaded.  Specific instructions for how to submit work will be provided by the teacher.

All work will be due on Fridays by 3pm.  This helps students wrap everything up before the weekend and gives them the weekend to relax. Students needing other arrangements will need to speak with their teacher earlier in the week.

July 3, 2020 - Fall and Summer Updates
Hello everyone,

I hope summer has been going well and your families have enjoyed the sunshine. There has been a lot of activity around the school. We officially opened the library for summer pick-up hours. We began working on moving furniture in anticipation of socially-distanced, in-person learning this fall. Finally, we are working to develop further contingency plans for online learning and will have more to share next week. Of course, circumstances continue to evolve, and we will keep you updated should our primary learning format change.

The library will be open on scheduled days and times throughout the summer. The schedule and a catalog of our books are available on the library page of the school website. Also, stay tuned for a fun summer activity that readers of all levels can enjoy. Contact Mrs. Murphy with any questions about the checkouts and returns of library items.

As we continue to review the guidelines from the state and Archdiocese, I want to share information about masks to help students and families prepare for the fall. In line with state guidance, masks will be required for K-8 students. Preschool families are welcome to send students to school with masks, but per state guidance, preschoolers are not required to wear them. Masks do not need to be a specific color or type. They do not have to match uniforms, but they must be Catholic school appropriate. Families must provide masks, but we will have limited extras at school. Students with medical conditions that prevent mask-wearing can wear face shields instead. If you need assistance finding masks, or if you would like to volunteer to make some for other families, please let me know.

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
Principal

June 26, 2020 - Fall Planning Update

Hello St. Al Families,

This week the leadership team and I worked on logistical items and schedules to follow health and safety requirements, while still allowing all students to return in the fall.   Given the necessity for frequent handwashing, social distancing, and temperature checks the following happen with our school schedule:

  • School calendar will remain as is—no extra days in August will be needed and we can keep our start date.
  • Based on the survey most individuals did not want extended care.  For those that do, we may be able to accommodate you but space is limited and there are restrictions.  I will review the survey data and reach out to you specifically.
  • Drop-off will begin at 8 am and go until 8:45 pm.  This will allow us to follow the department of health guidelines in taking each student’s temperature as they arrive and maintain social distancing protocols as students enter the school building.  We will have a zoned approach with car drop-offs in the parking lot and walkers or bicyclists in the courtyard area by the flag pole.  More information about procedures will come out later in the summer with maps and directions to help everyone stay safe and healthy.
  • Those who arrive earlier will have homeroom time.  Algebra students will use this time for zero period.  Other middle school students can use the time for extra support with assignments, reading, or finishing homework.  Elementary students will have activities in their classrooms and can also receive additional support on assignments or work on homework.
  • School will end in a rolling fashion, much like arrival.  The latest class will exit the building at 3:15 pm.  This process will not take as much time as arrival as temps will not be taken.  The teachers will walk everyone out to designated spots in the large parking lot on the playground.  The staggered end will assist students in exiting the building safely, maintaining appropriate social distance.  More details about how to pick up students will be shared later this summer.
  • Recesses will be staggered by class groups to avoid too many students on the playground at one time.  We will have four recess times with two for elementary and two for middle school.  Preschool will have separate recess schedules as they will be using their own play area. Lunch recess will work in a similar fashion.   Everyone will have a set recess time but snack times and lunch times will be up to the teacher.  Guidelines state students are not able to eat in the cafeteria and must eat in their classrooms.  At this time it appears we are not able to have a hot lunch so each student will need to bring lunch come fall.  There is a chance we may be able to have prepackaged lunches available but we are waiting on more information from the state and the Archdiocese.
  • School mass is still a work in progress.  Right now, we are not able to safely distance ourselves if the entire school attends weekly mass.  We are discussing some options and will have more information about that soon.

Next week we will continue to work on specifics for schedules and procedures as well as work on additional logistics for the school days.  In addition, we are working on our online platform.  Thank you to everyone for your input with scheduling and online learning.  As we work through each step of the process we are taking your feedback into account, alongside state and Archdiocesan protocol.  There will be more information to come.

 

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
Principal

June 19, 2020 - Fall Planning Update

Hello St. Al Families,

I wanted to reach out with this week’s update on our fall plans for the school. This week I worked with some of our staff using current guidelines to measure and consider classroom locations and current enrollment. With a bit of creativity, we are able to safely accommodate all students on campus M-F for the full school day. Some classes will be meeting in spaces like the auditorium and the library but this will help us follow social distance requirements while still providing an in-person learning environment for all of our students. This is based on current enrollment numbers and could change based on significant enrollment or changes to state and Archdiocese requirements. Any changes to this will be communicated as soon as possible. We will also be updating online learning as well, in case we need to go back to learning from home at any point next year.

We will be working on specific schedules, online learning, and specific safety procedures next week. Thank you to everyone who filled out the fall planning survey. We will use this information as we plan next week.

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
Principal