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Dear Parents and Students,
I am excited to welcome you all back to a new school year. Let 2021-2022 begin!
We have been in the process of switching over student information systems for the last eight months. There is much to learn and new ways of doing things. Report cards will be digital, eventually parents will have access to gradebooks in order to monitor your child’s learning. Daily attendance will be electronic highlighting the importance of arriving at school by 8:55AM. The process has been slower than anticipated which has reflected in some of our summer communication, and in expediting classroom lists and demographics for the classroom teachers. In the next few weeks, we will put a link on our website, connecting you to your Family Portal, and ask you as parents/guardians to update your information and emergency contacts. You will be able to make informational changes. My apologies for the delay with some of the information.
We celebrated in June the successes of our COVID year. Unfortunately, the variants have persisted. We are fine tuning the best practices to ensure a safe and clean in-person learning environment. We will continue to follow the guidance of DESE and DPH of Worcester, that protocol kept us safe and in-person all year. They have relaxed spacing requirements and we can go back to group work and sharing school properties.
The conversation centers around mask wearing. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) ruled yesterday that masks should be worn in all schools. Governor Baker has up until now left the decision to the local district. Bishop McManus has stated that all non-vaccinated students be strongly encouraged to wear masks while indoors. He believes, at this time, that the ultimate decision should be made by the parents. St Peter’s is a diocesan school and therefore will adhere to the Bishop’s guidance. I am, however, strongly recommending the use of masks by all personnel and students, most of whom cannot be vaccinated yet. Masks were a major component in keeping us healthy last year. If as the parent, you decide not to mask your child, you will need to forward a written statement or a medical reason to me via email. I will be masked as will our staff, although we are all fully vaccinated. If your child aged 12 and up has been vaccinated, you may show proof of vaccination. Please understand that if your child rides the bus, they are mandated to wear a mask regardless. Like everything else this guidance may change as the situation of COVID evolves. I have said many times, thank you for your support. When your child is not feeling well, let us know and keep them home. Your cooperation last year accounted for just a few strep throats and flu cases.
We will continue to sanitize, stress handwashing and clean the building using strong cleaning agents. We expect to receive continued guidance from the local Board of Health.
The Before School-After School program will begin on September 1st. Drop off for that program will be in the Hammond St. lot. Escort your child to the door near the flagpole where you will be met by Mrs. Dryden.
Drop off and dismissal will remain the same. The car line will form in the Hammond St. lot. Grades 2-8 will enter through the main door with drop off in the lower parking lot. Students in Grades Kindergarten and Grade 1 will use the door in the upper parking lot to enter the school. Drop off between 8:35 and 8:55AM for K-8. The Preschool car line will form, and park in lanes 8 and 9, and extend into the parking lot. The doors will open at 8:50-9:00. When you see the teacher step out the line should move up to the gym doors where the children will be met by a teacher and escorted upstairs. Your car tags will be enclosed in your teacher notes. New students will be met at the front door by Mrs. Kursonis and paired with a student to go to their homeroom. Please follow the same procedure, as last year when you need to dismiss your child from school for illness or an appointment. Please enter the Ripley Street lot, call the office, exit your vehicle, and proceed to the door by the flagpole where staff will meet you with your child.
We will for the time being allow parent entrance to the building by appointment only. I hope this too can end soon. It is not, nor has it ever been our policy to not welcome all parents inside.
Please continue to send a beach towel to school for outside sitting. Hoping all this rain stops and we can emerge from the Ark, we will be outside for snack as often and as long as we can, helping to limit the amount of indoor masking.
If you or your child test positive for COVID notify the office immediately. You will need to be tested and quarantine for 10 days. Your child’s work will be posted to their Google account so that they can continue to learn. I will send home the COVID protocol when school starts as well as posting it on the web site.
We welcome Ms. Elizabeth Benoit our new second grade teacher and Mrs. Sarah Kelly who will be teaching Grade 7 and 8 Religion. Welcome back to Mrs. Vasquez in Preschool.
The bus routes are expected to be posted on the Worcester Public Schools web site. Look for our school’s name. As soon as we receive them, we will send an all call and post on our web site.
If we continue to work together and PRAY our 2021-2022 school year will be successful for our students.
Thank you for entrusting their care and learning to us. We are reminded once again this week how fragile life can be. Hug each other tightly, forgive each other quickly and encourage each other too always be the best. Above all embrace your faith and believe that God will bring us through all of our trials.
We are still looking for help in our Nurse’s office. The position can be part-time, three hours a day, one or five days a week. Please contact the school.