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Coronavirus Updates

School Re-Entry Plan Update 6/22/2020

Dear Parents & Students,

St. Augustine Catholic High School looks forward to welcoming students back on campus in August to a safe environment where they are provided an opportunity to accomplish all their academic goals while growing in their Christian spiritual life

Although it is our hope that all students will be able to join us on campus in August, we also realize because of illness and other reasons not all will be able to do so. For those students, a distance learning option using online resources (Edgenuity, Google Meet) will be made available.

For those students able to be on campus, the attached plan (see below) was developed. This plan is based on guidelines issued by the Diocese of Tucson, the Arizona Department of Education and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The major themes of each guideline are:

Social distancing of 6 feet should be achieved whenever possible. If not feasible, masks should be worn.

Gatherings of large groups should be avoided, especially indoors. The use of the cafeteria and any large group assemblies should be discontinued.

Common areas of contact should be regularly cleaned with disinfectant products.

The school's primary way of responding to the guidelines is to institute a cohort model for all classes. The cohort model refers to a way to group students with similar classes together. The advantages of a cohort model include:

Better contact tracing so the smallest number of students are impacted if an individual student or teacher contracts the virus.

Reducing the use of areas that are utilized by others.

Less chance of social distancing being violated during passing periods.

Reducing the number of student interactions.

St. A’s has advantages over many high schools in implementing these guidelines: we have a relatively small student population, classrooms are physically larger than most, and outdoor corridors and areas can be safely accessed.

The overall goal of the plan is to maximize student learning in the classroom setting while providing necessary safeguards for the students.

These plans are subject to change based upon an evolving situation. We intend to be prepared for any changes in guidelines and recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control, Arizona Department of Education, Pima County Health Department, and the Diocese of Tucson.

Stay safe, and God bless,

Dave Keller

Principal

St. Augustine Catholic High School

Back to School Re-entry Plan – 6.19.20

Health and Safety

All students that are feeling ill are required to stay home. Parents are responsible for making this happen.

Students will be scanned for their temperatures using a touchless infrared thermometer if they appear to show signs of illness.  Parents must pick up students with fevers immediately.

Students must carry a mask with them at all times. Neither students nor teachers will be required to wear masks if six feet of social distancing is maintained. However, students and staff should wear masks any time the 6 ft. distance cannot be maintained or while in any common areas where they are at risk of exposure, defined as less than 6 ft. for longer than 15 minutes. If a student or teacher feels more comfortable wearing a mask at any time, they may do so.

At all times, students will be encouraged to practice social distancing and good hygiene and refrain from hugging, hand shakes, high fives, fist bumps, etc.

Custodial personnel will be present throughout the day to wipe down common areas and bathrooms. The school is hiring additional custodial staff, with the intention of wiping down all common area surfaces at least 3X a day.

If a student in a class cohort shows signs of COVID :  

Isolate the student and monitor symptoms; staff member monitoring must wear medical grade PPE.

Isolate any area(s) that the student was in for longer than 15 min. and prepare the area for cleaning/disinfecting according to CDC guidelines.

Call the student’s parents/guardians to have them pick up the student and, depending on the severity of symptoms, determine whether to take him/her home, to the doctor, or the hospital.

Student may not return to school until he/she is symptom-free for 72 hours, without the aide of medication; if diagnosed with COVID, he/she may not return until:

3 days with no fever and

Symptoms improved and

10 days since symptoms first appeared and

Doctor’s note releasing student back to school

If diagnosed w/COVID, school notifies parents of the student’s cohort that there was a positive diagnosis of COVID within the cohort and all health/safety protocols were followed.  Parents can decide whether to self-isolate their children for 14 days or send them to school.  If parents keep children home, the school will provide an at-home learning option.

School notifies County Health Dept. with any COVID-positive cases.  According to the County Health Dept., because this is a pandemic, if County Health requests names of others possibly exposed in order to do contact tracing, the school can provide the names without violating FERPA. 

In any cases of symptoms or COVID-positive cases, school staff are alerted to what cohort(s) were affected and what areas of campus are closed until disinfecting is completed.

Faculty and staff will be trained on these new protocols before the start of school. Rules on social distancing and other protocols will be posted throughout the campus.

The expectation and hope is for students to be on campus everyday for all classes. If an individual student cannot attend classes due to illness for an extended period of time during the semester, an online curriculum will be provided.

Classes/Cohorts

Classes for all students will be held on campus on Monday through Friday.

To minimize interaction between the entire student body, St. A’s will arrange each grade into four to five "cohorts" based upon each student’s requested schedule of classes.  Each cohort will have 15 - 20 students who will be taking the majority of the same classes together each day.

Block scheduling is suspended. St. A’s will schedule only six classes a day (instead of seven), which covers all the core classes for freshmen and sophomores.

In order to split students into cohorts, St. A’s will need to temporarily suspend elective classes for at least the first semester for the freshmen and sophomore classes. Juniors and seniors may be able to take some elective classes during 5th and 6th period, schedule permitting.

St. A’s will be assigning each grade an area of the school. Each wing will have hand-sanitizing stations installed.

Each cohort will be assigned to a classroom in their respective area. The students will stay in the same classroom throughout the day and the teachers will move from classroom to classroom. The only exception will be for biology and chemistry labs. The students will travel to those respective labs, accompanied by their teacher. The labs will be sanitized between classes.

Each classroom will be large enough so that students have a 6 ft. area around their desk. Students will sit at their assigned desk each day.

There will be no shared classroom items. All instructional materials will be provided electronically or with individual packets. Students should bring their own supplies such as pens and paper. As students will be in one classroom for most of the day, there will be no lockers assigned this year.

In addition to providing a physically safe environment, the school will work to ensure the students maintain a healthy mental perspective by:

Scheduling some class time for certain classes outdoors.

Providing time before the first period begins so the cohorts’ “homeroom” can have time to discuss topics of concern.

Arranging for the weekly (or bi-weekly) visit of a certified school counselor.

Scheduling short “recess periods” for students so they can take an outside break from their assigned classroom.

Allowing students to decorate their cohort homerooms (with certain constraints) to allow them a greater degree of ownership and belonging in that space.

Arrival and dismissal

Students will be expected to immediately report to their first period classroom to discourage loitering and incidences that could cause them not to social distance appropriately.

 Dismissal will be by groups (those who drove, the St. John's bus, etc.) to prevent gatherings in the courtyard, and each group will have a different drop-off/pickup location. For instance, the Santa Cruz bus may drop-off pick up near the chapel, whereas the St. Ambrose bus will use the parking lot to the east side of campus. If students are not in a supervised activity after school, they are expected to leave campus after the last bell rings. The dismissal process may take approximately 15 minutes.

There will be one bus for each pickup/drop-off location (Santa Cruz, St. Ambrose, and St. John’s). All students are required to wear a facemask to ride the bus, and riders will sit one to a seat, in a designated location. All buses will be cleaned in-between use.

Community Activities

Community Mass will be suspended. Community prayer will be done “virtually.”

St. A’s is permitting optional summer sports practices in alignment with Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) and CDC guidelines. All athletes and parents will need to review the specific guidelines for each summer sport they plan to participate.

Fall sports will be permitted if scheduled by AIA, following whatever guidelines are published.

Clubs and other activities may resume in the fall semester when the school monitor (teacher) for those activities creates protocols that satisfy CDC guidelines and all students involved agree to adhere to those guidelines.

Lunches

Lunches will be staggered and served to the wings, and students will have the option of eating in their classroom or socially distancing themselves outside in assigned areas. Additional picnic tables and benches have been purchased so there are more outside areas for students, allowing for more social distancing.

Microwaves will be available for student use, available at stations in each wing. Students will be required to wear gloves (provided at the station) when using the microwaves, and to wipe down the contact points with a disinfecting wipe (provided at the station) after each use.

Students will be required to wash or sanitize their hands with soap and water before and after eating lunch.

-30-

 

SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE 3/30/2020

Dear parents and students,

Governor Ducey announced this morning that all school campuses will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Although our physical campus will be closed, per the governor, St. Augustine Catholic High School will continue our classes online through the end of the year.

I regret the hardship of the campus being closed causes, particularly for those struggling academically, and encourage them to continue to reach out to their teachers for assistance - they are quite willing to help! I am also saddened by the impact it has on those participating in sports, but most especially for our senior class, who have been robbed of the many activities planned to celebrate them. A separate email to seniors will be sent later today to address graduation and other activities.

I believe Mr. Vu and the faculty have created an excellent plan in delivering curriculum online. We have seen very good participation with our "online campus," but it remains important that assignments are taken seriously - they are graded and COUNT. Although assignments will continue to be adapted to an online environment, different than what would normally be given in our campus classrooms, they are still important.

This Friday progress reports will go out. Although most of the grades on the reports are those "pre-online," some of the progress report grades are reflective of the online assignments. The next 8 weeks will ALL be online grades, so as stated earlier, STAY ENGAGED.

Please stay safe, and may God bless all of us,

 

Dave Keller, Principal

 

Estimados padres y estudiantes,

 

El gobernador Ducey anunció esta mañana que todos los centros educativos permanecerán cerrados por el resto del año escolar. Aunque nuestro campus físico estará cerrado, según el gobernador, St. Augustine Catholic High School continuará nuestras clases en línea hasta el final del año escolar.

 

Lo siento por la dificultad que el cierre del campus causa, especialmente para aquellos que luchan académicamente, y los animo a que continúen contactando a sus maestros para que los ayuden, ¡están muy dispuestos a ayudar! También me entristece el impacto que tiene en aquellos que participan en deportes, pero especialmente para nuestra clase de estudiantes del último año a quienes se les ha robado las muchas actividades planeadas para celebrarlos. Se enviará un correo electrónico por separado a estas personas más tarde hoy para abordar la graduación y otras actividades.

 

Creo que el Sr. Vu y la facultad han creado un excelente plan para entregar el currículo en línea. Hemos visto una muy buena participación en nuestro "campus en línea", pero sigue siendo importante que las tareas se tomen en serio: se califican y CUENTAN. Aunque las tareas continuarán adaptándose a un entorno en línea, diferente de lo que normalmente se daría en las aulas de nuestro campus, siguen siendo importantes.

 

Este viernes, se enviarán informes de progreso. Aunque la mayoría de las calificaciones en los informes son de antes de que las clases en línea empezaron, algunas de las calificaciones del informe de progreso reflejan las tareas en línea. TODAS las próximas 8 semanas serán calificaciones en línea, así que, como se dijo anteriormente, MANTÉNGASE COMPROMETIDO.

 

Por favor, cuídense, y que Dios nos bendiga a todos,

 

Sr. Keller

 


 

Updated School Closure information 3/20

Dear Parents,

This last week has been unnerving. The daily briefings from the President have been sobering to watch – clearly the medical experts are cautioning us on what could be a lengthy period before things return to “normal.”  That said, I hope we can try to have a little optimism in hoping the worst will never come.  Prayer can help!

After consultation with the diocesan superintendent, it has been decided to keep the school campus closed until after the scheduled Easter break. We will now plan on re-opening campus on April 13. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution to protect all members of our community – students, parents, grandparents, faculty and staff.  We will review this return date each week, and base any decision on what healthcare professionals recommend.Per diocesan recommendation, all sports (practices and games) are postponed until after school reopens on April 13 to minimize community spread of the virus.

We realize having the campus closed represents a hardship to many of our families. We regret this - it is truly unfortunate, but at this point also unavoidable. 

Some points to be considered:

Online core classes only (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Theology and World Languages) will continue during this period. Students should be engaging with their assigned teachers (one day periods 1, 2, & 3, the next day periods 4, 5, 6, 7) on a daily basis.

Students who cannot connect to the Internet should contact the school immediately. There are some free plans available from Internet providers in our community that we may be able to assist you in obtaining.

Students who need extra help should email their teachers or Mrs. Thompson for online, individual appointments.  Unfortunately, this can only be offered on a limited basis, and only if the student has already exhausted all other instructional aids offered in the class.

Students who receive meals under the National School Lunch Program should respond to emails sent to them yesterday to arrange a pickup of their meals.

We appreciate your patience and support as we navigate the uncharted waters. Please contact the school if you have any questions. 

Keep safe, practice social distancing, and may God bless you all,

Dave Keller, Principal

National School Lunch Program Information During School Closure

INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES WHO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM (NSLP)

It is very important to our school board, faculty and staff that all families that rely upon the school for daily meals are able to obtain lunches during the campus closure.

St. Augustine Catholic High School will provide “grab & go” breakfast and lunch meal bags for students who participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the campus closure. Beginning Monday, March 23, the meals will be available daily Monday thru Friday from three locations:

St. Augustine’s curbside in front of the Admin building

The bus stop on St. John’s campus

St. Ambrose’s curbside pickup

We will need to keep a log of all students that receive a meal each day. Please bring your student ID card to assist us in this process. Each student will only be given one bag per day.  (The bags will include a breakfast item, sandwich, 2 fruits/vegetables, and 2 milks.)

The meals will be available for pickup in the St. John’s parking lot from 7:30 am to 8:30 am.

You can pick up the meals from outside St. Augustine’s Administration building between 8 am and 9 am.  Please note students picking up their meals from the St. A’s campus may not remain on campus nor visit with faculty or staff.

St. Ambrose will have curbside pickup outside of the office from 8 am to 9 am.

In order for the bag lunches to be prepared, we will need to know if you are interested in participating in this program, and which location you would want to pick up the meal bag.

If you are not able to come to any of these locations and are in need of meal resources for your family, there are many locations around town making meals available. Many of the area TUSD schools will be open for meal service.  If you need help identifying those schools, please contact me.

Please respond to this email ASAP (before Friday) if you will plan to pick up a daily breakfast and lunch meal bag, indicating which location (St. John, St. Ambrose, or St. Augustine) you intend to use.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to assist you in this time of uncertainty.

Thank you,

Stacy DeLong

Finance Director at St. Augustine Catholic High School

sdelong@staugustinehigh.com

A message from our counselor

I am committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of my clients during the COVID 19 pandemic.  Starting today, I will be available to meet with you utilizing telemental health, which involves two options. I can either send you a direct link for an on-line video conference using your computer or mobile device, or we can hold a phone call in place of an in-person meeting.  Both methods are HIPPA compliant and confidential. 
 
If you have an appointment scheduled in the near future, please reach out and let me know if you would like to use one of these telemental health alternatives. For scheduling, please call me at (520) 240-3599 or email me at tanis@qualityoflifecounseling.net.
 
I found this interesting article that addresses ways to cope and deal with the coronavirus.  Psychology Today post
 
Please stay safe and follow guidelines to keep your family healthy.  It is important to remain optimistic with all that is going on. Let me know if I can help or if you have any questions. 
 
 
Best regards,
 
Tanis
 
Tanis L Thouin, PhD
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
 
 
6375 E Tanque Verde Rd, Suite 140
Tucson, AZ 85715
Tanis@qualityoflifecounseling.net
(520) 240-3599
 

Informational Links

Links that may help during this time: 

 

Internet service during Coronavirus: 

https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19

https://www.cox.com/residential/internet/connect2compete.html

 

CDC guidelines for Coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

Diocese of Tucson website

https://diocesetucson.org/

 

Pima County Health Department Updates

https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=527452

 

How to help your teens who may be anxious during this time

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/well/family/coronavirus-teenagers-anxiety.html

 

St. A's Reentry