The Saint James School administration is working diligently to prepare our school for the 2021-2022 school year. Our Return to In-Person Instruction Committee met last week to review recent guidance from the State Department of Education, State Department of Public Health, and the Archdiocese of Hartford.
In reviewing the preliminary information from these sources, it does appear that many of the protocols put in place this past year (2020-2021 school year) will continue to be with us in the fall. Of notable exception is that we will NOT be offering a remote learning option as the new year kicks off. Instead we will require all students be back in the school building. Some of the procedures that will remain in place are as follows:
* Four separate entrances for grade K-8 students to enter the building depending on their classroom location (details will be forthcoming later in the summer but they will remain the same as last year). There will be separate entrances for Pre-Kindergarten cohorts as well.
* K-8 students will report directly to their classroom upon arrival (7:30am – 7:50am) if they are not using before-school care.
* Using updated spacing guidance, desks will be spaced throughout the classroom area to maintain at least a 3-foot distance between students.
* Frequent handwashing and sanitizing are key to preventing the spread of Covid as well as other viruses and illnesses. Students will continue to frequently sanitize and wash their hands while at school.
* Ventilation protocol will be followed along with utilizing the customized filtration systems installed last year in each classroom.
* A rotating schedule is being established to allow each full grade (grades 1 through 8) to eat lunch in the cafeteria together at the same time. To allow appropriate distancing and ensure all students eat at a reasonable time, alternate grades will have their lunch in the classroom during that same time. Hot lunch will still be available to students in grades 1 through 8 when they are scheduled to eat in their classroom.
* Saint James School’s maintenance staff and cleaning contractors will thoroughly clean and disinfect all high traffic areas of the school – including bathrooms and stairwell banisters – at least twice a day. Classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned each day after dismissal.
* Afternoon dismissal for K-8 students being picked up at 2:05pm will continue to be held outside in the main school parking lot. Pre-Kindergarten students will be dismissed from their assigned entryway.
* Extended day students will be placed in assigned cohorts based on their grade.
We still do not have clear guidance on mask protocol. As was the case this past year, our priority will continue to be the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff along with keeping our students moving forward academically, socially, and spiritually inside our school building.
Thank you again for your continued commitment to the Saint James School community and entrusting us with the education of your children as we navigate and meet the challenges of the 2021-2022 school year together.
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5