We are seven weeks in from the start of school, progress reports for Quarter 1 are going home today, we are past the half-way point of our high school volleyball and football seasons, and we are still having face-to-face school despite the pandemic. I am happy to report that at this time we have not had a positive case reported in our school from our students or staff. Praise the Lord! So far our protocols and guidelines are working. It isn’t easy. Lots of extra work and extra time has been spent on these precautions.

I want to commend our teachers and staff for all the extra duties that come with teaching during a pandemic. Lots of sacrifices by lots of people. Teachers have had to put in more time each day due to COVID-19: coming earlier each day as we screen all our students before they enter their classrooms, lots of extra cleaning and sanitizing by our teachers to keep their classrooms and our building safe, lots of extra time spent on planning and preparing for the possibility of remote learning if we have to do that, and also be ready to teach students who may have to quarantine while their classmates are here in the building. It’s stressful but we continue following our plan. Our teachers and staff are such great people and such a great team!

I want to commend our students. No one likes the precautions. No one likes wearing a mask. We have been a “mask-required school” since the first day. This is keeping us safe. Wearing a mask makes communicating difficult. Wearing a mask takes discipline. Our students are doing what they need to do to keep our school open, to keep our extra-curricular activities going, and to keep our teachers safe. With the latest DHM involving “Investigations: PreK-12 Settings,” the guidance is specific for students who are masked that if we were to have a positive case in school, the only person that would have to quarantine would be the student who tested positive. Their classmates will not have to quarantine if all involved are masked.

A concern of mine is what we are doing outside of school time. Are we making good decisions? Are our students and staff following best practices to stay safe? When we aren’t in school, we should still be wearing face coverings when we are unable to social distance, we should stay home if we feel sick, we should avoid crowds and situations that could lead to exposure, and we should wash our hands often. Doing these things are sacrifices, and it certainly means giving of oneself for others. But that’s what we all need to do. Contact tracers are going to look at all the possible exposed contacts, not just during school hours. We want to keep our school open. Keep doing the right things. We are all in this together.

Sacred Heart School – a family educating heart, mind, body and spirit for this life and the next. Thank you.