Dear STM families,
Thank you for your patience awaiting our reopening plans. Attached you will find the summary of how we will proceed with opening school. You may find all the details to our reopening plan on the website. Please remember this is a working document and we will continue to make changes as needed to keep our students and staff safe while returning to school.
One of the changes we are making is opening school with a staggered start. This means that younger grades will begin school in-person while other grades will start remotely. Every week we will bring a few more grades into the building and we will open fully, with all grades, September 8th. I brought this idea to the Reopening Committee and to the School Board and both parties were strong supporters of this plan.
The reopening schedule is as follows:
August 17th - PreK and K in-person, older grades start remotely
August 24th - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade added to in-person attendance
August 31st - 4th and 5th grade added to in-person attendance
September 8th - 6th, 7th, and 8th added to in-person attendance
There are several advantages to opening school in this fashion. Primarily it gives us more time: time to allow for a decreasing trend in the viral spread in the community; time to prepare for a physical reopening; time to adjust procedures and protocols as needed once we start with small numbers on campus. This type of start also allows families to get used to the novelty of our procedures as you bring younger siblings and prepare older ones for re-entry in subsequent weeks.
We have done considerable planning on our end and we are now moving into the actual 'doing' part of the process. We are working on setting up hand sanitizing stations, building handwashing stations, grouping students, arranging furniture, to name a few.
To do this effectively, I need to have a preliminary number of how many students to expect for in-person attendance and how many students to expect for remote attendance. Parents who are opting their child to attend school remotely are committing their student to being a remote learner for the fall semester.
At the end of this letter you will find a link to a Google form. One of the questions included in the Google form will ask you to select the attendance mode of choice for your child. This is a noncommittal, preliminary selection to help us continue with our planning. You will have to make a final decision on how your student will attend school by next Friday, July 28th. I will send information on how you will do this next week.
Considering the complexities we are facing this year, I am exploring the opportunity of collaborating with KiDVENTURE for our afterschool care program. KiDVENTURE had been our partner in the past and you may know about their active curriculum and homework assistance program. KiDVENTURE has successfully held summer camps, one specifically on our campus, throughout the summer. They have learned through their experience these past few months and have the tools needed to produce a safe afterschool care environment. To continue my conversation with KiDVENTURE, I need to have a preliminary number of students who would use their services. In the Google form, you will also find a question pertaining to afterschool care. Please remember this is a nonbinding decision.
An exciting change for this year is our new lunch provider, The Simply Fresh Kitchen. The Simply Fresh Kitchen provides balanced meals for students across the Houston area. Parents can place lunch orders for their students online and The Simply Fresh Kitchen delivers these individually packaged hot lunches to school every day. You can look at their website at
More information about this is forthcoming.
Lastly, I wanted to shift our focus from the logistics of opening school to our students, whom I am eager to meet! Going back to school will be a substantial transition for our students. I am confident that together we can do this and we can do this well.
What are you doing at home to help transition your child back to school? Here are some ideas.
- Start talking to your children about some of the changes they will see around school.
- Take your child's temperature every morning - make this a part of your daily routine. Explain to him/her the reason for temperature checks.
- Have your child wear a mask at home. Start with a few minutes a day and slowly increase to longer periods of time.
- Slowly work towards reestablishing school-night bedtime hours.
- Begin waking your child up at a time closer to the regular school-day hours.
- Ensure your child is reading at least 20 minutes every day.
As we continue our fight against the Corona Virus with masks, sanitizers, and distancing, I encourage you to also fight with prayer. Find a time to come gather as a family and pray for protection, safety, and a speedy resolution of this pandemic.