2020-2021 School Reopening Plan
I am sure we all experienced a mix of anxiety and excitement as we approached the opening of school last Tuesday. I began work on the school reopen plans in early June and they were my primary focus throughout the summer. Due to changing health conditions in our local community and state mandates, it felt like the target kept moving. With every announcement came revisions and a wave of emails and phone calls. When the teachers and staff returned on August 27, the pace accelerated as teachers and IA’s learned how to incorporate Schoology in to their daily teaching program and 26 teachers took on the additional leap of faith, learning how to use equipment necessary to deliver remote instruction to over 60 students in Kindergarten – 8th grade.
A great antidote arrived on Tuesday to help relieve anxiety – students! It has been almost 6 months since students were at school. It is hard to find words that adequately describe how much we missed our students. Seeing their faces (the masks could not hide the smiles) and hearing their voices brought an energy to the campus and lit a fire in our hearts. The adults have been stressing over details for months and, in a few minutes, the students reminded us about the importance of being joyful. The students are very excited to be with their teachers and friends. They have been positive and cooperative as they adapt to new procedures. We are truly blessed to have them back at school, including those who are learning remotely until they are ready to return.
I also feel blessed to be working with a committed and talented group of educators. They have worked very hard, harder than ever, to provide our children with an excellent education in a nurturing, faith-filled environment. We all know that school is a crucial place for learning. But school is not just a place where kids are educated. School, especially our school, is a place where God-given talents are honed, hearts are shaped, friendships grow and a deep and loving relationship with Christ is formed. We are very happy to be working with our students in God’s garden, otherwise known as St. Edward the Confessor Parish School
Finally, we are blessed by our parents. Seeing you over the past week has bolstered our spirits. We are grateful for your words of encouragement and thanks. Parents got a firsthand glimpse of the work involved in overseeing a child’s education while simultaneously juggling family and professional responsibilities. Educators learned the important role of relationships when working with their students. This has not been easy for any of us, but we are stronger and wiser due to lessons learned on this journey. To be sure, 2020-2021 will be a school year like none other. Together, we’ll find our way with our kids at the center of it.
Updated 2020-2021 School Reopening/Safety Plan
Reopening Update 8-18-2020
St. Edward School Community,
Yesterday, I was directed by Diocesan school leadership to reopen St. Edward Parish School for in-class instruction if the school’s application for a waiver is approved. This means that school will open for TYKE – 6th grade on Tuesday, September 8 if the waiver is approved prior to this date. The decision to comply with the directive was made in consultation with Diocesan leadership and Fr. Philip. Prior to yesterday’s directive, the decision to begin the school year with distance learning was a school based decision. St. Edward Parish School will comply with the directive to support the Diocesan objective for all schools to be aligned with this approach to reopen schools.
This decision may have no impact on school reopen plans as we were planning to reopen school if Orange County is removed from the state COVID-19 watchlist. On August 19, the state confirmed that the county is below all of the state’s monitoring thresholds. The county must maintain this status for three consecutive days in order to be removed from the county monitoring list. If trends continue, Orange County will be removed from the state’s monitoring list on August 22nd. Provided Orange County is removed from the monitoring list and daily COVID numbers remain below the state set thresholds for 14 consecutive days, schools would be able to resume in-class instruction at the discretion of the local health department and the Diocese. If this timeline holds and we receive approval, we would be able to reopen school for all grades on Tuesday, September 8th.
There are no guarantees that the school’s waiver will be approved. At this time, we have not received word on the status of our application. If the waiver application is approved, it applies to TYKE – 6th grade. Students in 7th and 8th grade would start school following the distance learning platform. The school community will be notified as soon as information is available regarding the school’s waiver application.
I want to assure this school community that either approach is consistent with our strong desire to return to school for in-class instruction as soon as it is safe to do so. Whether children attend classrooms or learn remotely at home, each option carries a risk of harm to students, their families and the adults who work with them. Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate through these difficult decisions.
8-14-2020 Reopening Update Message
- Ensure the safety of our students and staff
- Remove the uncertainty about how school will start
- Promote a smooth opening of school and make the best use of instructional time
- Tuesday, September 8: The first day of school will focus on your student getting set up for school. Activities include meeting their teacher, seeing their classroom and picking up school supplies and devices.
- Students and a parent will meet in small groups (five students with one parent each, no siblings please) staggered throughout the day to allow for social distancing. Details will be forthcoming.
- Students will turn in their Summer Solutions ELA and Math workbooks.
- Wednesday, September 9: Academic instruction will begin utilizing the distance learning platform. An overview of the weekly schedules by grade level are included in the reopen plans. In-class instruction will begin for TYKE – 6th Grade on September 28 assuming we have been granted a waiver, or sooner for all grades, if the county is removed from the watch list.
Principal Message 8-7-2020
Normally, this is down time in the office but these days are not normal. This week I worked with the AP’s and several teachers on revising the academic year school calendar, planning opening of school meetings with teachers and students and designing the daily/weekly instructional schedule for our distance learning program. My goal is to send the following information to parents next week:
- Revised academic school year calendar
- First day of school, including supply pick up information
- A draft of the daily instructional schedule and learning expectations for distance learning
- Staffing changes for 2020-2021
- Revisions to the school reopen plans based on current CDPH guidelines
- Update on the waiver application process
Thank you for your patience and support during these challenging and uncertain times.
Keep our school community in our prayers.
- We would like to provide an opportunity for students to meet their teachers and classmates, and see their classrooms before beginning online instruction. This would also allow for the distribution of school materials including 2019-2020 yearbooks. We will brainstorm ideas on how to get students on campus during the week prior to the first day of instruction. We would stagger the times students are at school to allow for physical distancing. Plans will be shared with parents when they are developed.
- Students (grades 3 – 8) and staff will be required to wear a facial covering (mask or shield) if mandated
- We are unable to provide a full online learning option for students who are not able to return to school due to underlying health issues. We investigated the option of live streaming classes but determined that it did not meet our standards due to practical (cost of equipment and need for dedicated staff), academic (limited student-teacher interaction; availability of classroom teacher to facilitate in-class and virtual learning) and privacy issues (students on camera during in-class instruction). Online instruction will be provided for students during temporary school closure.
- If the school is closed and delivering instruction online, we plan to offer child care for preschool students that includes an educational component. Information will be forthcoming regarding reopening our preschool.
- There are no plans to adjust educational costs while distance learning is in place.
- The school calendar will be revised to reflect the new start and end dates. Parent and staff feedback will be included to determine how to accommodate for instructional days lost due to the delayed start of school.
- Please review the school reopen plans for a complete description of the precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
Letter from the Principal 7-23-2020
Letter from the Principal 7-17-2020
Dear St. Edward the Confessor Parents, Faculty & Staff:
As you have probably heard, this afternoon Governor Newsom announced his school reopening plan for the 2020-2021 academic year in the midst of the pandemic. He issued specific guidelines in conjunction with the California Department of Public Health for when and how schools should reopen for in-person instruction.
At this time, we are working closely with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange Office of Catholic Schools to determine how this announcement impacts our reopening plan at St. Edward the Confessor. As soon as we receive further guidance from the Diocese, we will advise our St. Edward community.
We thank you for your continued prayers and patience as we navigate these uncharted waters and ensure that St. Edward the Confessor Parish school continues to provide a rigorous, faith-based education while keeping our students, faculty and families safe.
Tom Waszak, Principal