Principal’s Newsletter 9/25/20

Email blast

Dear St. Francis Families,

The 1st Quarter of the school year has flown by. Our students and teachers have done a phenomenal job of implementing and sustaining the distance learning environment. I know a virtual learning model is not ideal, as it poses challenges for teaching and learning. I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support and positive validation you’ve shared over the past few weeks about the St. Francis faculty/staff. 

As you are aware, the Sacramento County Health Officer published health orders that essentially closed all public and private schools in Sacramento County until it is safe to return to in-person instruction. While certain waivers have been approved for K-6 feeder schools in the Diocese, they do not apply to secondary schools. 

Given the most recent Sacramento County health order of September 23, 2020, and with the county remaining on the Purple Tier 1 designation on the State’s new Tier System, we will not be able to return to campus until we are in the Red Tier for at least two weeks. At this point, it is not likely that we’ll be in this lower tier until later in October. 

In an effort to provide our students and teachers consistency of instruction and daily routine, we will remain in distance learning mode through the end of October. In consultation with our Executive Director of Catholic Schools and the Sacramento County Department of Public Health, we decided that the extension of distance learning through the end of October would be best for our school community to remain in a protective posture for a little longer. 

In addition, based on recent parent, student, and faculty surveys, we’ve also made the decision to modify our weekly schedule in order to decrease screen time and provide students with the opportunity to disconnect, catch-up on their studies asynchronously, or take some time to exercise positive self-care. The new schedule will include a mid-week asynchronous flex day that students can use to check-in with their teachers, talk with Guidance/Wellness counselors, or use it as a catch-up day. This change in schedule will start on Monday, October 5th when the 2nd Quarter begins.

The transition from the current Distance Learning Model to our proposed Hybrid Learning Model is multi-faceted and will require time and diligence to ensure a successful transition for all. As such, we will look at making this a phased transition to ensure our faculty/staff and students can adjust accordingly in order to acclimate to the COVID-19 safety protocols on campus. It will be imperative that all faculty/staff and students adhere to county guidelines to safeguard and protect all from inadvertent exposure.

I will continue to communicate with the Diocese and the Sacramento County Department of Public Health to ensure we are taking the needed steps to safeguard our faculty/staff and students. I will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

We genuinely care about providing our Troubies with a world-class education and preparing them for life after high school. This will continue to be our focus as we remain in distance learning. We are continuously looking at re-envisioning important community events that we all miss. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Again, I am grateful for your continued support, and for making the best of these unimaginable times.

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

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal