Dear St. Cecilia Families,
I hope this finds you well. It has been so great to see so many of you at the many in-person events we have had over the last month - the 8th grade play, National Junior Honor Society Induction, volunteering for Teacher Appreciation Week, and of course, last weekend’s Dad’s Softball Tournament! We have worked very hard this year and we are thankful to be able to begin to open our school back up to some of these events.
As I reflect on this year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. Gratitude for the support, patience, compassion, and understanding you parents have demonstrated as we navigated teaching and learning in a global pandemic. And, immense pride in our faculty and staff for the effort they have made to bring our students back to campus, keep them in school, and continue to provide the high quality education our students deserve. All the while, simultaneously teaching students in-person and those learning remotely. A truly remarkable feat. While navigating this year has been challenging given the protocols we have had in place, I am grateful and proud that we were able to use the information and guidance provided to us to modify our protocols along the way. By modifying our quarantine and close contact policies this spring we were able to keep children in school. By allowing students to mix with other homerooms at recess and PE we have been able to help our students reconnect with friends and feel some relief from the challenges they have faced this year. In addition to students being able to receive Holy Communion in the school hallways for many months, over the last few weeks, we have also been able to return to Mass a few grades at a time each week, allowing the students to have an in-person Mass experience at school again.
As with every school year, the month of May is our busiest of the year. As we prepare to wrap up another successful school year, we are also working tirelessly to plan and prepare for the next school year. As we look to next school year we have been working on many facets of the planning for next school year - hiring new teachers, planning details for the school calendar and events, planning our campus improvement updates that will take place over the summer, and, of course, determining which, if any, COVID protocols will be modified as we begin the new year.
It has been our hope as the COVID numbers have been declining, and as vaccinations rise significantly, that changes would be possible for next year depending on updates from the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office. As stated in our April 15th Insider
, as information became available to us we would continue to communicate updates to our families.
Late last night, the Catholic Schools Office sent out a memorandum from the Superintendent, Debra Haney, to all the Archdiocesan Catholic school Principals. The following updated minimum level of expectations for all schools within the Archdiocese for the 2021 - 2022 school year will be followed here at St. Cecilia Catholic School:
- Masks are optional for the 2021-2022 school year if conditions remain stable or improve throughout the summer
- Self-screening for staff and students daily
- Regular cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing
- Handwashing and hygiene protocols
- Extracurricular (sports and clubs) allowable
- Field trips resume; buses permitted following guidelines provided by the CSO in August 2021
- Isolation rooms identified and used if needed
- Quarantine requirements follow CDC guidelines; those fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine
- To serve the school community, individual volunteers/visitors will be allowed on campus after being properly screened
- Maintain other health protocols as indicated by the CDC
- Parish protocols for Masses and liturgical celebrations will follow Archdiocesan directives from His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
At this time, there will not be any changes to the protocols in place for the current school year.
There continues to be much work to do to wrap up this school year and continue our planning for next school year. While we have anticipated this update and have been making plans accordingly, as more plans are finalized and as more guidance is given by the Catholic Schools Office, we will continue to share with our community.
As always, thank you for your continued support and confidence. We are really looking forward to a great end to this school year with many fun community celebrations with our Booster Club Athletic Awards, Virtual Auction, Graduation for the Class of 2021, and Field Day. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Warm regards and blessing,