December 17, 2020 - News & Notes
From The Desk Of Principal Kerr


This is a busy time of year in many ways. We are preparing for a very different Christmas season, trying to fit in our regular curriculum and instruction, keeping an eye on safety and health recommendations, and planning the budget for the 2021-22 school year. Every day I give a small prayer of thanks that we are open for in-person learning, and that all the teachers showed up! They are working so hard on behalf of our Blues!

Our School Advisory council (SAC) met last week to discuss tuition for the 2021-22 school year. Many factors are considered in setting tuition year to year:
  • Educational plan and needs for next year
  • Projected enrollment
  • Faculty and staff (salaries and benefits)
  • Fundraising expectations
  • Parish contribution
  • Capital needs
  • Tuition history at St. Michael
  • Scrip requirement
  • Neighboring schools’ tuition

We set tuition for the 1st child next year at $5,125. This reflects a tuition increase of $150 and also the inclusion of the Scrip $200 buyout option. Over 90% of the funds raised by Scrip came from the $200/family buyout. Scrip will no longer be required, and that buyout was averaged to $125/student and included in the cost of tuition.

At $5,125, we are still in line with (or below) our neighboring Catholic Schools. The true cost of a St. Michael Catholic education in 2021-22 will be about $8100. The parish contribution on average is $1,800/child and the rest must be made up through our fundraising efforts. Detailed information was also shared via a separate email that went out earlier today.

We have been experiencing increased interest in our excellent school. Parents are appreciating the value of the Catholic education they are receiving here at St. Michael, and they are telling their friends! That is exciting for us, and also challenging. We want to make sure we have space in next year’s kindergarten for our current preschool families, our parish families, and the siblings of enrolled students. To that end, we will open our enrollment four weeks early this year. It will begin on January 4th.

The Catholic School Center of Excellence (CSCOE) recognizes this challenge and has offered us a grant to award an “Early Signing Bonus” for kindergarteners. Any family who registers a kindergarten student in the month of January will receive $150 from CSCOE once your child starts here in the fall!

We do expect to be full next year, so don’t miss this opportunity to reserve your spot early!

This weekend we light the 4th candle on our Advent Wreath which reminds us of the message, “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men” given to the shepherds by the angels.

Here is a reading from the Gospel According to 1st Grader Gabriel Y.:
Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “You will have a baby, and you will name him Jesus!” Then Angel Gabriel told Joseph that Mary will have a baby. Then Angel Gabriel told the shepherds to come and worship him. The shepherds came along. Then Angel Gabriel went up to heaven and shined like a star. He showed the wisemen where to go. Then baby Jesus was born.

God bless your families this final week of Advent. I’m looking forward to having one of my favorite Advent songs at Mass this weekend:
People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

As always go Blues and go Gophers (facing a tough Badgers team in a battle for Paul Bunyan’s axe on Saturday and coming off a win over Nebraska last weekend)!

Mrs. Kerr
OUT OF UNIFORM MONDAY & TUESDAY!


Students may be out of uniform on Monday, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22 dressed in red and/or green colors to show holiday spirit!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Updates to COVID-19 Mitigation Protocols
We have updated our COVID-19 mitigation protocols as directives from the CDC and MDH have changed. Please find Edition 3 of our Safe Return to Campus Booklet linked here and also on our school website .


Holiday Reminders!
A quarantine following out of state travel is still recommended, and we will continue to ask families to stay home 10 days after returning from out of state trips. While large indoor gatherings are not recommended, the Governor’s new order allows for up to 10 people from two households to gather. We ask families to keep this mind as we return from our Christmas break. Please quarantine if you have participated in large indoor gatherings that might have placed you at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19. 
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.
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 ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS AND DONATIONS!

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!

Please consider donating to make our Gala a success! Some ideas include a weekend getaway, an evening boat cruise, landscaping services, etc!

For questions please contact, Brandi McColm, Director of Advancement mccolm@saintmpl.org
Wednesday Early Release Days

Wednesday Early Dismissal Care & Homework Time - February 2021

Please let us know if your child(ren) will need Wednesday Early Dismissal Care (12:15 - 2:15) in February by completing this form as soon as possible, and no later than Friday January 15, 2021. 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. Please visit virtusonline.org to log in or to create an account and complete the required steps to be a volunteer.
School Office: (952) 447-2124
24/7 Absentee Line: (952) 447-2230