The school year has started and distance learning is in full operation. Our teachers have prepared a complete curriculum that makes use of video meetings for classroom instruction, and students are settling into their new routines.
While we are starting the school year with distance learning, we are excited to announce St. Patrick School Orientation Days to help with the transition into the upcoming school year. Students will arrive in small groups, and be provided a special opportunity to meet their teacher, see their classroom, and practice safety procedures.
As you may have heard, Governor Newsom announced today that schools within counties currently on the State’s “County Monitoring List” will not be able to return to on-site instruction until 14 days after being removed from that monitoring list. Status on this list is linked to the number of COVID-19 cases.
Because Marin County is on this monitoring list, we will most likely begin the school year with Distance Learning. The St. Patrick School Reopening Task Force and School Advisory Board will meet next week to discuss and finalize our Distance Learning Plan.
We will share details of our plan with you during our Parent Zoom Meetings the week of July 27th. Zoom links will be shared in next Wednesday’s Summer Bulletin.
Our hope is to have small group orientations the week before school begins to have students meet their new teachers, receive new textbooks, and review Distance Learning expectations. These orientation days are contingent upon Marin County Public Health Guidelines.
Please know that we have been working diligently on our Reopening Plans and have the best interest of our school community at heart. We as Catholics value life, and as we plan our re-opening, it is incumbent upon us to make decisions that value the lives, experiences, and perspectives of all our community members. Let’s all do our part to care for one another: please wear your masks in public, maintain social distancing, and keep one another in your prayers. Thank you for your patience and adaptability.
With the 4th of July celebrations behind us and as we move into the final weeks of summer break, we turn with anticipation to the work of welcoming our students back to campus for a new school year. With significant health and social challenges facing our country and our world, we are more dedicated than ever to a safe return to school.
St. Patrick School has always sought to be a community of resilient and caring individuals who work to transform our students into lifelong learners. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives. Our school quickly evolved, using the creativity, ingenuity, and dedication of our faculty/staff to maintain quality education for our students.
With the knowledge that the situation will continue to evolve as we head into August, we have planned various contingencies for our students. Options for 100% Distance Learning, 100% Face-to-Face Instruction and a Hybrid model have all been mapped out. As the first day of school approaches, and we learn how the evolving situation of the pandemic is affecting current County and Diocesan Guidelines, we will choose the model of instruction that best supports the safety of our entire community.
We hope you are all safe, healthy, and enjoying the summer weather! The re-opening Task Force is staying up-to-date with the guidelines from Marin Health and Human Services, Marin County Office of Education, and the Archdiocese Department of Catholic Schools, and will continue our reopening planning. Final approval is a multi-layered process and we appreciate your patience. As always, bringing our students, faculty, and staff back to a safe environment is our top priority.
We hope you are enjoying the first week of Summer Vacation!
We are actively making plans for our return to school on August 19, 2020. Given the necessity of complying with local health regulations and the uncertain trajectory of this pandemic, we are designing a variety of contingency plans in order to ensure that we reopen with as little disruption to our families and schedule as possible.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco has communicated to school leaders that we will remain in our current Distance Learning Protocol through the end of the school year. At St. Patrick School, we are planning instruction through May 29th. Our school days in June will consist of celebratory events and end-of-year activities for all grade levels.
Before Easter break, the faculty and staff worked diligently with this potential outcome in mind. We analyzed the responses to parent surveys, individual parent emails, student comments, and teacher observations. This additional effort was completed with the goal to improve instruction and learning. Now, more than ever, the focus should not be on a grade, but on the process of learning. Distance Learning is an opportunity to practice executive functioning skills such as time management, organization, and planning. These are life skills that benefit students in their future school careers and beyond.
The current situation is unprecedented and the “new normal” calls us to work together to provide predictable structures and put learning expectations in place for our students to maintain a sense of normalcy and to feel grounded in purpose. We cannot ignore the fact that this could be challenging for some students and families, but together we believe our students will continue to meet our School-Wide Learning Expectations as Skilled Learners, Thoughtful Individuals, Active Christians, and Responsible Citizens.
Thank you for your continued support.
Mrs. Hadsell and the Faculty/Staff of St. Patrick School