Dear School Families,

The Health and Safety Committee is happy to share regular updates over the coming weeks in support of a safe fall reopening. Today's focus is: GET READY To Wear A Mask! Masks are our best defense against the spread of any virus. Double or triple layer masks have been proven to significantly reduce droplet spread from coughing, sneezing and speaking.

As established by the Archdiocese of Chicago, all students, teachers, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask on our school campuses this year. The few exceptions will be outdoor recess and PE, outdoor learning spaces, and scheduled lunch/snack periods in designated areas  when students are safely distanced. Before and after school, students are to remain masked and refrain from intermingling on school property. We respectfully ask that children and parents making plans after school to please do so away from school grounds, and that all family members remain masked and safely distanced. The safety and efficacy of our schools' reopening relies heavily on a commitment to best practices, both in and out of school. 

Although scheduled mask breaks will be built into the school day, it is recommended that we begin building our children's tolerance now. Gradually increase the time your child wears a mask each day, both indoors and outdoors, while practicing proper handling and care by washing hands before and after. 

Each student and staff member will be required to have three (3) clean, properly fitted, labeled masks each school day. Students and teachers will arrive wearing one (1) mask, while keeping two (2) additional clean masks in a sealed baggie labeled with their name. Masks become ineffective when wet or mishandled, so it is imperative that all community members carry clean reserves. 


Out of respect for the safety of our school community, bandanas, scarves, and masks with vents or valves will not be permitted on either the SJ or SFX campus. While neck gaiters are allowed, they must have at least three layers of fabric and not slip off the nose. It is recommended by the Archdiocese of Chicago that children who are unable to comply with these requirements due to a medical or dermatological reason should opt for e-learning this fall. Examples of "approved" masks in adult and child sizes include those featured here at  Old Navy GAP Zazzle , and  Vistaprint

We recommend reviewing  this child-friendly video on How To Wear a Mask Properly . Children learn best by watching and modeling behaviors of their parents and caregivers. We can all choose to send a compelling and loving message of support and safety to our children by wearing masks and practicing good hand hygiene. Questions regarding mask requirements may be directed to the Health and Safety Committee at  reopening@sfx-school.org

A robust collection of resources, links and a catalog of past communications in support of reopening can be found on the school's website at  https://www.stjosephwilmette.com/reopening-faqs . Families are encouraged to check there often for updates as we continue to share information in support of a safe reopening this fall.


Thank you!

THE HEALTH + SAFETY COMMITTEE