Dear Ursuline Students and Families,

We have been working hard to put the finishing touches on the safe return of students to our campus. We are excited to welcome our students back into buildings starting on Monday, August 9. It will be great to see students, hear the voices in the hall, and connect with one another in person. The last few weeks we have been preparing for students to return and wanted to share a few reminders with our families.

Ready to Welcome Students Back Safely
As we prepare for in-person instruction, Ursuline Academy is taking measures to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Ursuline is committed to layering safety mitigation and prevention measures aligned to the mandates of the Governor’s Office, guidelines and recommendations of the Louisiana State Department of Education, and through continuing consultation and partnership with the Archdiocese of New Orleans Department of Catholic Education and Faith Formation and local health officials, and through our partnership with Ochsner Health System.

Below is a summary of our precautions:

  • Face Coverings: State officials are requiring all T3-12 students, staff, and guests (regardless of vaccination status) to wear face coverings inside school buildings this fall. Face coverings are optional when outdoors and may be removed when actively eating/drinking. Students in grades 1-12 may wear any solid color mask without adornments. Neck gaiters are not allowed. UA masks or masks that are monogrammed with a student’s initial are acceptable.

  • Physical Distancing: Classrooms have been arranged to maximize physical distancing between students, while still ensuring all children have access to a comprehensive, full-day experience. Younger students will remain in static groups when possible. Students should attempt to maintain distancing to the greatest degree possible during passing, while eating, and in common areas. When needed, larger classes will move to a larger space in order to provide for proper physical distancing.

  • Eating and Drinking: To ensure a safe eating experience, CDC-recommended physical barriers will be placed between students while eating indoors. Students will be socially distanced during outside lunchtime. Sage meal services will be available to students. Water fountains will only be available for bottle filling. Students are encouraged to bring approved water bottles daily. 

  • Hygiene: Hand washing or hand sanitizing is required of all students as they enter each classroom and before lunch and recess. Sanitization access will be available throughout campuses and classrooms. Hand sanitizer is placed in every classroom. Classroom surfaces and high-touch surfaces will be cleaned twice per day. Each classroom will have cleaning supplies.

  • School Closure: On-campus, in-person learning will take place every day. There is no all-virtual instruction model for individual students. Students will engage in virtual learning in the event of a government-mandated closure or if the school deems it necessary to close. Ursuline will not offer a virtual instruction model for individual students. 

  • Early Childhood Learning Center - an Essential Business. Our Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC 6, weeks-PK4) including Lily House, will operate as an essential business if there’s a mandated closure. ECLC and Lily House will continue serving our families and make educated decisions based upon information and recommendations from the Governor’s Office and the New Orleans Department of Health.

  • Contact Tracing and Quarantining:  Our School Nurse Janea’ Dillon will contact families of students who are close contacts and will coordinate the appropriate timeline for quarantine and testing if needed. Students who are close contacts of a positive COVID case will be required to quarantine if the close contact is not vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals who are close contacts are not required to quarantine according to CDC, LDH, and LDE guidance. Close contact continues to be defined as contact within six feet for 15 cumulative minutes or more within a 24 hour period. For specific questions regarding contact tracing and quarantining, please contact nurse Janea’ Dillon or Jennie Guidry, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction.

  • Faith Formation and Mass: Spiritual formation and faith development is a core value at Ursuline Academy. Our Campus Ministry team is providing resources for spiritual support and hope through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular school-wide celebrations of the Eucharist, retreats, and other opportunities to pray, study, worship, and serve may be modified or adapted as necessary.

  • Extracurricular Activities & LHSAA Athletics: Extracurricular and co-curricular clubs and activities will continue but must adhere to maximum group sizes, physical distance protocols, and all other safety guidelines as necessary. LHSAA Athletic activities will adhere to the recommendations put forth in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Guidance.

We are acutely aware of the state of the COVID virus and its Delta variant and know we must all still be prudent in our efforts on virus mitigation. The safety of all members of our community has been and will continue to be our first priority. We also believe that students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in fall 2021 is a priority. We all play a part in returning safely to school and staying healthy all year. We are implementing layered prevention strategies to keep everyone healthy and return to in-person learning safely, especially those not yet able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

These policies will be used to begin our school year and will be re-evaluated as we anticipate state and parish guidelines will be updated. Please visit our COVID-19 web page for more information on commonly asked questions and to review past updates.

Dr. Karen G. Jakuback
Academy President 
Ursuline Academy of New Orleans
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