January 7, 2021 - News & Notes
From The Desk Of Principal Kerr
Happy New Year! It was great to see everyone coming back after Christmas break. Somehow the kids (especially our 4th graders) look taller. Is that possible over 2 weeks? This has been an exciting week all around, as we welcomed a new section of 3rd grade students, along with a new 3rd grade teacher. They started yesterday on the feast of the Epiphany-what a fitting Christmas gift for our community!

Mrs. Podominick is our new 3rd grade teacher, and she welcomed 8 new students on Wednesday, taking them straight to Mass in the morning and then getting acquainted before early dismissal at 12:15. By next week they should be getting into the swing of things, and feeling truly a part of the St. Michael Community.

The new students will remain in their own cohort for a while, as the children have been out of full time, in-person learning mode since last spring. Once they are well situated, our two third grade teachers will be able to do some flexible grouping, which is one of the advantages of having more than one section at each grade level.

Again I need to extol the virtues of our fine faculty and staff. You may have noticed they have been challenged to accomplish a lot this year, and we asked them to dig a little deeper to get another classroom up and running mid-year. This has meant some schedule changes, some moving of work spaces, and a lot of last minute ordering and updating. Once again, our team has risen to the challenge and done the extra work to benefit kids and families. I am impressed at every turn by this amazing group of educators!

Our parent volunteers have been amazing as well, and the Gala committee is currently hard at work planning a virtual celebration and fundraiser. They met yesterday and are excited about the donations they are receiving for the silent auction, the agenda and program for the virtual party, the “party in a box” that will make the event special even at home, and the fund-a-need opportunity to get new laptops for our teachers next year. I can’t wait to see their finished project, to celebrate all we have accomplished this year, and to look ahead to the continued growth of St. Michael Catholic School!

The Gala committee could still use help procuring some bigger ticket auction items. The use of vacation homes, cabins, and other similar opportunities would be especially appreciated. Please contact Brandi McColm if you would like to donate an auction item, or have a suggestion for securing larger items.

God bless your families this winter weekend, and go Blues!

Mrs. Kerr
January PTO Meeting Tonight!
January 7, 2021 at 6:30pm - Virtual Meeting


All are welcome to attend. 
Join us on Google Meet- 
If using the Google Meet app, use code tgv-aqqf-crk

Meeting Agenda:

Welcome
Opening Prayer
Introductions
Winter Family Fun Activities
Events update (CSW and Gala)
Volunteer info and opportunities
SAC Update
Questions
Closing Prayer


Please email parentconnections@saintmpl.org with questions or connection issues.
Drop-off and Pick-up Reminders
As we near the halfway point of the school year, it is a good time to review the procedures we have in place for safe student arrival in the morning and departure after school. Here are a few reminders:
1. Please have kids step out of the vehicle from the passenger side only. Kids should not be exiting from the driver's side for safety reasons.
2. Please follow the route of the carline and drop kids off in the safety zone along the sidewalks. Front Carline: Please do not drop kids off at the end of the line and bypass the carline by cutting through the parking lot and/or parked cars.
3. Turn left when exiting the front parking lot and turn right when exiting the back/playground parking lot.
4. When busses have started moving out of the parking lot, wait for all busses to pass before exiting the front parking lot.
We understand it is not fun to wait in line, and it can be slow with so many littles who need extra help with car seats and heavy doors. Please be patient (perhaps say a couple decades of the rosary while you wait) and help us keep everyone safe. This is especially important in the icy winter months.
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 .
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.
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