Dear Eagle Community,

We hope this email finds you well and enjoying your summer. With the start of the school year approaching, we are looking forward to having our students back on campus for in-person instruction five days a week.

The Diocese of Orange has released the updated COVID-19 guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year. As a school within the Diocese, we are required to follow these guidelines. Attached you will find a letter from our Superintendent, Dr. Erin Barisano, explaining the protocols including information on mask requirements. 

SMCHS remains committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our community as we continue to provide excellence in Catholic education that is academically rich, socially rewarding and grounded in faith. Below you will find the most up-to-date COVID-19 policies in accordance with state, county and diocesan guidelines as we begin the 2021-2021 school year. Due to the evolving nature of the situation, guidance is subject to change. We will continue to keep our community informed.
Thank you for your partnership as we work together to keep our campus healthy during these ever-changing times. May the love of Christ be with each of us and continue to guide us as we journey together this school year.

We look forward to seeing all of our students back on campus soon!

Caritas Christi,
The SMCHS Administration
With regards to in-person instruction for the upcoming school year, Orange County Catholic Schools is mandating indoor mask-wearing — a policy that is in strict accordance with both state and federal guidelines. The state has not given school districts the discretion to make face coverings optional, or to create their own standard for enforcement. We appreciate our community's support and cooperation.

Per the California Department of Public Health, reflecting recent updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at this time:

  • All K-12 students are required to wear masks indoors.
  • Adults in K-12 school settings are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students.
  • Masks are optional outdoors for all in K-12 settings.

The Diocese of Orange remains committed to following the recommended public health guidance, and for this reason, students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks while indoors for the coming school year. Read the full letter from the diocese.

Per the California Department of Public Health, “CDPH will continue to assess conditions on an ongoing basis and will determine no later than November 1, 2021 whether to update mask requirements or recommendations.”
At this time, Orange County Catholic Schools is not requiring that all students and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the Bishops of Orange, in accordance with the Holy See, strongly encourage everyone 12 years of age and older to receive one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines, as they have deemed safe and effective, even against the Delta variant, as well as morally acceptable. Watch a message about COVID-19 vaccines from The Diocese of Orange.
  • Schoolwide sanitization and disinfection protocols of shared touchpoints, high-traffic areas and surfaces.
  •  Hand-sanitizing stations throughout campus
  • Stand-alone, in-room medical grade fine air particulate purification systems. The Defender air purification systems are recognized by the FDA as a Class 11 medical device and are hospital-tested. 
  •  MERV 13+ HVAC filters, considered appropriate for general surgery rooms
Santa Margarita Catholic High School plans to offer in-person instruction five days a week while maintaining high safety standards.
Athletics will return to their regular seasons beginning in the fall. A wide array of extracurricular programs and opportunities for students to socialize and grow in their faith will be offered in accordance public health guidelines.
Expanded mental health support is available through the school’s Wellness Department. Visit for more information.
Students or faculty/staff members with symptoms of COVID-19 should not to return to campus until the following California Department of Public Health criteria has been met:

  •  At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
  •  Other symptoms have improved; and
  • They have a negative test for COVID, OR a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma) OR a healthcare provider has confirmed an alternative named diagnosis (e.g., Strep, flu virus), OR at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset. Faculty, staff and students who have symptoms and get a negative test to return to school, need to notify the Nursing and Health Services Office and submit their negative test result to the nurses before returning. 

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone confirmed positive, please notify the school nurses for further instructions at or 949-766-6029 and do not come to campus until the Nursing and Health Services Office has cleared you to do so.
Sources of information about COVID-19

Travel Resources

Questions? Contact your health provider or our school nurses, Lisa Volpo RN, BSN and Rebecca Wood RN, BSN, at or 949-766-6029.