December 10, 2020 - News & Notes
From The Desk Of Principal Kerr
We are feeling so blessed to be in school, and attendance-wise this was a very quiet week. Most everyone was here! The weather was lovely, so we all were able to get outside, Christmas projects are underway, and we celebrated Mary with a beautiful Mass led by Ms. Raske's 1st grade class on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

God bless your families this third weekend of advent as we light the pink candle, the candle of JOY. On Gaudete Sunday our penitential season becomes more celebratory to remind us that Jesus is near!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are several thousand reasons to be grateful. You have amazing children, and thank you for sharing them with us!

Go Blues and go Gophers!

Mrs. Kerr
This light display brightens my day on the way in every morning. Thanks, Tande family, what a gift!
Preschool Gingerbread Houses
Just like playing with play dough builds motor skills, building a gingerbread house can too! Believe it or not, squeezing icing onto a graham cracker does more than just make a mess. It strengthens a child's muscles in their hands and fingers, which is key to their motor development. Their fine motor skills were also strengthened by picking up and placing skittles, pretzels, candy canes, marshmallows and fruit loops onto their creation. 



Building a gingerbread house allows the children’s creativity to run wild. The graham crackers serve as a blank canvas for them to create the house they imagine. We gave the children the freedom to create how they wanted and they turned out fabulous!  
USCCB Action Alert For Catholic School Parents
In the past few days Congress has restarted the COVID Emergency Relief talks. USCCB has indicated that there is a strong chance that it could be attached to the must pass federal budget bill. A bi-partisan, bi-cameral group in Congress released a new $908B framework and it is catching steam. The framework calls for $82B in education funding, but the exact legislative language is still in the works. While the Senate GOP proposal released Monday includes several favorable items for non-public schools, there are just a couple days to reach out to those members drafting this new language to ensure Catholic schools are included in the relief. The USCCB request continues to include the School Choice Now Act, as well as equitable services for private schools - but this time under Title VIII of ESSA, rather than Title I (meaning a per pupil allocation). Please circulate this Urgent Action Alert link widely to your email lists, social media and school leaders as soon as possible. 
ACTION ALERT LINK:
Not Sure When To Stay Home?
UPDATED QUARANTINE GUIDANCE FROM MDH:

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Monday afternoon issued updated guidance
regarding COVID-19 exposure and quarantine/isolation. The updated guidance is based on CDC recommendations issued late last week. You may find the MDH information here: 

We have changed our quarantine requirements accordingly, from 14 days to 10 days. Here is the policy:

  • If you have come in close contact with a person OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD with COVID-19, you may return to SMCS: 10 days after last close contact with COVID patient if symptoms have not developed during that time and you do not have a positive test for COVID-19 and no one in your house has COVID-19.

We have changed our quarantine requirements accordingly, from 14 days to 7 days. Here is the policy:

  • If you have a negative COVID test result 5 days after contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 and you do not have symptoms, and you have not had a positive test for COVID-19, and no one in your house has COVID-19.

  • The 14 day quarantine still applies if the close contact is a family member who has tested positive in the SAME HOUSEHOLD .

  • Close contact is defined as someone who has been within about 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour time frame; or having direct contact with sneezing or coughing (secretions) of a person with confirmed COVID-19.

  • If you have traveled across state lines you may return to SMCS after quarantining 10 days upon return.

  • MDH recommends you watch for symptoms through day 14. If you have symptoms, stay home, separate yourself from others, and get tested right away. Continue to wear your mask and stay at least 6 feet from other people.

  • YOU CANNOT END YOUR QUARANTINE BEFORE 7 DAYS FOR ANY REASON!


We have shared this before, and will keep sending reminders about when to stay home. We follow the decision tree developed by MDH.

  • Students and staff must stay home if they are experiencing ONE of the following more common symptoms: fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; new cough or a cough that gets worse; difficulty/hard time breathing; new loss of taste or smell.

  • Students and staff must stay home if they are experiencing TWO or more less common symptoms: sore throat; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; chills; muscle pain; extreme fatigue/feeling very tired; new severe/very bad headache; new nasal congestion/stuffy or runny nose.

  • Students and Staff must stay home if they have close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Please note:
  • Allergy and cold symptoms appear on the less common symptom list, and will be considered COVID-19 symptoms until a doctor gives an alternate diagnosis that is shared with the school.
  • Siblings must also stay home when a family member has symptoms.

This decision tree is part of our mitigation efforts. We are trying our best to avoid the spread of COVID-19 at St. Michael. We are trying to stay open for in person learning, 5 days/week, for the full 2020-21 school year. It is a pain in the neck wearing masks, trying to keep the kids at a safe distance from one another, hand washing and sanitizing constantly, maintaining learning cohorts, monitoring symptoms, and rethinking so many of our routines. We are all experiencing fatigue around these efforts. However, it is ALL worth it if we can keep our kids in school where they belong. Please hang in there with us, be vigilant, keep up the mitigation efforts and stay home if neccessary. Do it for the kids!
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COVID-19
Attendance Guide for Parents and Families

What do isolation and quarantine mean?
These words are used by people in public health to describe what someone should do when they stay home because they have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it. Isolation and quarantine are public health actions that help stop the spread of germs and keep people safe.

Isolation means keeping sick people away from healthy people. The sick person stays home and tries to stay away from other people in their home as much as possible. Here are ways to do this at home:
  •  Choose one person to care for the sick child, if possible. This person should keep their distance from other people in the house as much as possible, and use a face covering, stay 6 feet apart, and wash their hands often. 
  •  The person who is sick stays at home and away from other people who live there, as much as possible. They can stay in their own bedroom or another part of the home and use their own bathroom, as much as they can. They should stay out of areas where others gather, such as the kitchen and living room.

Quarantine means keeping people who are not sick yet, but who were exposed to a sick person, away from others. Someone can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms. Quarantine stops them from accidentally spreading the virus to other people.
  • Choose one person to care for the person in quarantine, if possible. This person should keep their distance from other people in the house as much as possible, and use a face covering, stay 6 feet apart, and wash their hands often.
  • The person who is in quarantine should stay away from others. This means not participating in activities outside the home.
Aim Higher Foundation
Reserve Fund Scholarships Available
The Aim Higher Foundation announced today that they are opening a Reserve Fund application for the 2020-21 school year. As a reminder, the Reserve Fund Scholarship is a $1,000 Aim Higher Scholarship awarded to K-8 students from families who experience sudden and unexpected financial hardship outside of the Foundation’s normal application and awarding timelines. The Reserve Fund is intended to help existing Catholic school families keep their children enrolled during a time of financial hardship. Please reach out to Darlene Casey if you would like to apply for this scholarship.
January PTO Meeting
January 7, 2021 at 6:30pm - Virtual Meeting
Agenda is TBD 

SAVE THE DATE and watch for more information on how to attend the virtual meeting!


PTO is looking for winter family fun ideas!
All school families should email their winter family fun ideas to the PTO before January 7th: parentconnections@saintmpl.org
PTO will compile and discuss ideas at the meeting in January.
2020 St. Michael's Blues & White Gala is NOT cancelled!  

Save the Date:
February 13, 2021

With the pandemic, rules and restrictions around gatherings and how many people venues can hold, we will be having a Virtual Gala.
We need volunteers to make this event successful. The more volunteers, the lighter the workload and the bigger the success.
Plus this is a great way to connect with our parent community!

For questions please contact, Brandi McColm Director of Advancement mccolm@saintmpl.org

Wednesday Early Release Days

Wednesday Early Dismissal Care & Homework Time - January 2021

Please let us know if your child(ren) will need Wednesday Early Dismissal Care (12:15 - 2:15) in January by completing this form as soon as possible, and no later than Tuesday, December 15, 2020. We are offering this for families who do not have other options available for Wednesday afternoons. If you are able to have your child come home at 12:15, please do so, as the teachers are finding the Wednesday afternoon planning especially necessary this year.

If you are picking up your child before 2:15, we ask that you call the office so that one of our staff members can bring your child safely to their car line pickup zone.

In order to ensure proper staffing and the safety of all students we request no late enrollment.

Please complete one form per student.

Volunteers Needed!
LUNCH AND RECESS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:
We still have many empty spots to fill; your help is needed!

  • Lunchroom and kitchen every day from 10:30am - 12:45pm. If you are available midday, please sign up using the Sign-Up Genius button below.
  • Recess from 11:10am - 1:10. Please use the Sign-up Genius button below.

All volunteers must be up to date on Virtus training. See section below for more information. Please visit virtusonline.org to log in or to create an account and complete the required steps to be a volunteer.
SCRIP GIFT CARDS CAN BE SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO YOUR HOME!
School Office: (952) 447-2124
24/7 Absentee Line: (952) 447-2230