St. Mary's Families,
Prayer. Everything we do at St. Mary's begins with prayer. Please pray with us:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
- LEARNING CURVE. The few schools that are open right now for in-person instruction have all learned the same thing over the last couple of days: "NORMAL" IS OBSOLETE. The world of education in August of 2020 looks radically different than it did in February of 2020.
- THANK YOU. Our students and staff have been amazing. Adapting to masks hasn't presented much of a challenge. Adapting to social distancing is taking some getting used to. PARENTS: Please remind your students that 6 feet of separation is the standard at St. Mary's. That distancing is as much for staff safety as it is for student safety. Why 6 feet? Read on.....
- TRAFFIC FLOW. Vehicle traffic flows CLOCKWISE around the building. If you are dropping off freshmen and/or sophomores, please ENTER at the EAST parking lot access (by the gym), proceed clockwise around the school as you drop off your students and EXIT at the WEST parking lot access. Please do NOT enter the traffic flow from the west access.
- EXPOSURE AND DISTANCING.
-- The World Health Organizations (WHO) recommends 1 meter as the safe social distance measure.
-- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 6 feet of separation for people who are unmasked.
-- The CDC defines COVID-19 "exposure" as being LESS than 6 feet from someone who is positive for COVID-19 for MORE than 15 minutes.
-- If we stay 6 feet apart, we will never be "exposed" per the WHO and the CDC.
-- When we count each student as a "course meeting" we have 113 individual course meetings each day, which means over the two days of Group A and Group B, we have 226 unique classroom events. In eight of those instances, we can achieve 1 meter (3 feet) of separation in the classroom, but we are still working on establishing 6 feet of separation. That is just one of the reasons why MASKS are so important.
- DATA-DRIVEN INFO.
- PATIENCE and FLEXIBILITY. And after patience and flexibility, some more patience and flexibility.
How You Can Help.
- PARENT SURVEY. Parents, keep notes on things we are doing well and things you feel we can do better. As Mr. Biondini would say, we want to know "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." NEXT Friday (Aug. 28) will be the first of what we intend to be bi-weekly parent surveys. Yes, we are planning to ask you for feedback every two weeks. PLEASE help us. Rants are always welcome, productive inputs are always appreciated.
- COMMUNICATE. Speaking of parent feedback, we have already had a couple of challenges come up where some parents stepped up and said, "We think we can fix that." If you see a problem, let us know. If you see a problem and you are willing to fix it, even better!
Parents, Students, how are you doing?
- BIG PICTURE. Reminder: The director of the CDC says getting teens IN school right now is important, in part because, according to the CDC, the three biggest threats to our teens in the COVID-19 world are: drug use, suicide, and the seasonal flu. All of us are worried, properly, about COVID-19. Here at St. Mary's, we are also going to keep an eye on the other threats to our teens. That means we will continue to randomly drug test, we are going to encourage parents to keep tabs on students' mental health, and we are asking you to make sure your students get a flu shot.
- ALL OF YOU. Thank you for, as Mr. Biondini would say, ROWING THE BOAT!
Daily Mass readings and Saints of the Day.
Deacon Rob Rysavy
President, St. Mary's High School