As was evidenced by the rain and cooler temperatures these past few days, we have entered the season of Fall. We turn the calendar to October on Friday. In a school, the end of September is always welcomed. The rhythm of the school day takes hold and the opportunity for deep learning presents itself. Rules, routines, schedules and organization of materials become a more integrated part of each day and focus can be on educational and personal growth. We “Take Courage” as we look forward to the amazing months ahead.
This coming Friday is our annual Blessing of the Animals. Last year, we had to pivot to zoom for the event and though we can be together in-person as a school this year, we cannot bring our pets, or any guests, onsite. We will gather with Fr. Colin at 2:30pm in Banchero Hall with pictures or drawings of our pets or even a stuffy that a young student might want blessed. Feel free to send the representation of the animal you would like blessed to school with your child/ren on Friday.
During the next two weeks students (in grades 2nd-8th) will be taking the archdiocesan required MAP (Measurement of Academic Progress) tests in Reading, Math and Language Arts. Students have not taken the MAP tests since the fall of 2019 and we want them to relax and just put forth their best effort. We use the data from tests to look at our overall program, student progress and areas where we can improve. Homework load will be lighter on test days and all we ask is that students get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast before the tests.
Finally, I have had a couple of questions about our Covid protocols and contact tracing. If/when a student is diagnosed with a positive case, I immediately call the King Co. Dept. of Health to report the case, give the answering nurse the details and follow his/her direction on contact tracing. The infectious period starts two days or approximately 48 hours before symptom onset. If the student was in school during that time period, we will identify other students/staff who were found to have spent over 15 minutes, (total) during a school day, within a three-foot distance of the person with the positive case. We will call the parents of any students found to have had possible exposure. I also let the class and the entire school know that we have a case.
There are different requirements for students who are vaccinated as far as quarantining. If a student is found to have been exposed to a positive case and they are fully vaccinated, they do not have to quarantine. Any student determined to be a close contact, not fully vaccinated, will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 5 days followed by a negative PCR test. They can return to school on day 7.
If a student diagnosed with a positive Covid case has unvaccinated siblings attending the school, the siblings will be required to quarantine for 14 days, returning only if no symptoms are present. The student with the positive case is allowed to return after 10 days of symptom onset.
As we have seen over the past 19 months, things change very quickly. I have three meetings a week with the archdiocese addressing any updates to protocols. I promise to pass on any changes to families as soon as I learn of them.
Have a great week.