Message from the Principal – Return to School Update (10/19/20)

Email blast

Dear St. Francis Families,

As we continue to phase in our students’ return to campus, I want to provide you with an update on where we’re at in the process. 

As I indicated in my October 14th update last week, the shift from distance learning to our proposed hybrid learning model is multi-faceted and will require time to successfully make the transition for all involved. As such, we will phase this transition to ensure our faculty/staff and students can adjust accordingly in order to acclimate to the COVID-19 safety protocols on campus. Again, it is imperative that all faculty/staff and students adhere to county guidelines to safeguard and protect all from inadvertent exposure.

Additionally, we’ve partnered with a local medical provider, Dr. Rusty Oshita, that will be working with St. Francis  to screen all students, faculty, and staff for COVID prior to the start of our full Hybrid rotation scheduled for Monday, November 2nd. As part of the COVID screening, a smartphone application called Immunify will be used by students, staff and faculty to conduct daily self-screening, contact tracing, and updated test results.  By adding this additional element to our already robust safety precautions of face coverings, personal hygiene, physical distancing, and frequent cleaning efforts, we are increasing our ability to mitigate COVID transmission and remain open long term. 

An informational parent webinar has been scheduled for Thursday, October 22nd at 5:00 p.m., so you can hear from St. Francis administration and Dr. Oshita’s team directly on how the COVID screening process will work. The link for the webinar will be sent out the morning of the event.  

I realize this timeline is a little too close for a quick turnaround, but I wanted to give you as much time as possible to prepare. The baseline COVID screening for all 9th and 10th graders, will take place on Friday, October 23rd from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. The 11th and 12th graders will be screened on Monday, October 26th from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. Students or their parent/legal guardian will be able to schedule an appointment to drive through for COVID screening. Only the students will be screened and no other family member.

As always, parents can make the determination to allow their child to participate in COVID screening or not. However, in order to participate in in-person instruction beginning Monday, November 2nd, every student and faculty/staff member will need to be tested weekly. 

As a result of this new development and incredible opportunity to have every student, faculty, and staff member screened for COVID, we have pushed back our planned events for this week. I am sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, but given this amazing opportunity, we had to adjust our timeline. 

The following is the revised schedule for next week:

  • Monday, 10/26: The Sophomore Class may return to campus from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for distance learning and familiarization to our new safety protocols and preventive measures.
  • Tuesday, 10/27: The Freshman Class may return to campus from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for distance learning and familiarization to our new safety protocols and preventive measures.
  • Wednesday, 10/28: Faculty Office Hours/Student Flex Day
  • Thursday, 10/29: The Junior Class may return to campus from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for distance learning and familiarization to our new safety protocols and preventive measures.
  • Friday, 10/30: The Senior Class may return to campus from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for distance learning and familiarization to our new safety protocols and preventive measures.
  • Wednesday, 10/28: Faculty Office Hours/Student Flex Day
  • Monday, 11/02: Begin our Red/Gold Hybrid Schedule. 

Your daughter’s physical return to campus at this time is optional. If your daughter or the family chooses not to have her come to campus, she will continue all classes via distance learning. If she plans to continue distance learning once we move to the hybrid schedule on November 2nd, you must notify our Dean of Students, Cynthia Cost, at ccost@stfrancishs.org as soon as possible. 

We are excited to bring everyone back in the safest manner possible and will proceed with caution.  We look forward to seeing our students back on campus soon. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I am grateful for your continued support and patience as we continue to navigate these turbulent times. 

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us! 
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum,

Elias Mendoza
Principal