Good morning St. Francis High School Families and Friends,
These are exceptionally challenging times for our communities, both here at St. Francis and beyond. Fr. Thien and I ask you to join us in prayer that God will continue to bless and protect all of us as we seek to move forward with wisdom, prudence, and care.
As of right now, our school will remain open and we will host all co-curricular activities, including rehearsals, practices, and ASB events. Sports have already started being modified this week and our league is voting in the next 48 hours as to whether we will postpone our spring sports seasons going forward. Mr. Hazel and your coach will have more information as it becomes available.
To be safe, we are canceling Battle for the Paddle this year. PVUSD has taken use of the gym away for the event, and in light of all of the recommendations for large indoor activities we feel this is appropriate and prudent. At this time, we have no plans to re-schedule the event. Therefore, there will be no need to host B4P practices on Sundays going forward. Mr. Castaneda will work with the class officers to see if we can do a modified version of B4P on Marian Day in May just for our students and staff. It is not ideal, but it is the right choice at this time.
Also, the Panetta Institute field trip scheduled for next week is cancelled. All other field trip events are cancelled indefinitely.
This Sunday, March 15, 2020 we will still host the Senior BBQ as an outdoor activity with 50 people or less. All seniors are welcome and encouraged to gather with their class for food, fun, and friendship. The event starts at 12:30 PM at our pool on campus.
At the end of school yesterday, I encouraged all students and teachers to take home their books and school supplies in case a school closure becomes eminent. We will ask all of you to follow this protocol each weekend until the virus has subsided.
Today, March 13, 2020 we are doing a deep cleaning of the entire school. This will be followed up with further cleaning on tomorrow, Saturday March 14, 2020 for those helping with the Campus Clean Up Day. Saturday will focus on Mr. Dewig’s classroom and the gym.
Next week Mr. Castaneda will have all of the teachers’ devices prepared for possible distance learning and we will begin training all teachers in case an emergency closure occurs.
We want to make clear that no one at St. Francis High School has tested positive for COVID-19
. Our decision to deep clean campus today and tomorrow, as well as prepare and train teachers for possible distance learning, comes from a place of caution and prevention.
There is much discussion as to whether schools should close or stay open. Neither the Diocese of Monterey nor the County Public Health Department is recommending closing St. Francis High School at this time. If a staff member or student is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Public Health Department will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of our school is warranted. The reason the County is not recommending school closures at this time is because children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities.
We are recommending that all students, parents, and staff auto-immunize by properly washing hands throughout the day – both at home and at school. If you are sick, whether because of the flu or not, stay home. The incubation period can be 14 days.
After my meeting with the Diocese of Monterey yesterday, if any household of ours has a guest come and stay with them from anywhere outside of the USA between now and Easter then our student has to self-report to me and must stay home for 14 days. If any family chooses to go on vacation outside of the USA between now and Easter vacation the expectation will be to self-report and stay home for 14 days after your return home. The student will be allowed to keep up with his/her work from home.
We realize that this is a quickly changing situation, and we will continue to monitor information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the state and county public health departments and let you know of any additional changes.
All future events such as blood drives, sports games, liturgies, spring musical, prom, Costa Rica, Senior Europe Trip, etc. will be reviewed on a week-to-week basis. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Mr. Valdivia or me.
Yours in Christ,
President & Principal