Indefinite School Closure – Coronavirus Concerns

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It is assumable that you are remaining abreast to the situation pertaining to COVID-19, which is so heavily impacting everyday life.  Most, if not all, of you are aware of Governor Jim Justice’s announcement earlier today in which he stated that schools are to be closed for an indefinite period of time.  This announcement includes all private schools as well, thus affecting our ability to operate in normal fashion.  As a result, our Diocesan Schools Superintendent, Mary Ann Deschanine, has informed building level principals to devise an instructional plan for this extended period of school closure.
With that said, we have worked hard in formulating a plan that considers all constituents (students, teachers, parents, etc.).  Therefore, beginning Monday, March 16, our students will be required to complete assignments via online or via homework packets (dependent on grade level).  This “cyber day” instructional model has been in place at SFCCS for several years and has been utilized on snow cancellation days.  Due to circumstances remaining fluid, we have effectively planned for up to four weeks out of school. However, let me be clear in stating that we have NO way of knowing the duration of this school closure.
At this point, I am sharing with you our school’s general plan of instruction up to Wednesday, April 8 (again, this may change based on relevant information/updates prior to this date):
  • “Cyber days” will only occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  It is our belief that distance learning for more than three days per week places too heavy a burden on students, teachers, and parents.  We also feel that by only utilizing three “cyber days” per week, our students will benefit by having an extra day in-between assignments to complete their previous work.
  • In regard to instructional assignments NOT being assigned on Tuesdays & Thursdays, our plan to makeup those days are as follows:
    • Monday, April 13
    • Tuesday, April 14
    • Tuesday, May 26
    • Wednesday, May 27
    • Thursday, May 28
    • Friday, May 29
    • Although there are a combined seven Tuesdays & Thursdays between March 16 – April 8, we are approved to makeup only six of those days (as listed above) and account for the seventh day by utilizing our banked instructional minutes accumulated throughout the school year.  This will allow our school year to be completed prior to June.
  • Faculty and staff have been instructed by Diocesan officials to remain off school grounds beginning Monday, March 16.  Consequently, our faculty and staff will be working tomorrow (Saturday) from 8:00am-4:00pm.  Each individual will perform a deep clean in their respective areas, as well as gather all materials necessary in preparation to work from home.  Because personnel will be in the building tomorrow, if your child was absent from school today and needs books/materials during the indefinite school closure, then please stop by our school office between 10:00am-4:00pm tomorrow to pick up what is necessary for your child.
  • If you have not yet received “cyber day” direction from your child’s grade level teacher(s), you can expect a communication before the end of this weekend.
  • Additionally, the WV State Superintendent has suspended all extracurricular activities at schools until Friday, April 10.  At that point, an evaluation will be made to determine the next step.
Whew.  For each of us, this has been an overwhelming 48-hour period.  We remain prayerful during this unique time in history that all remain safe and healthy.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely, as well as follow the guidance of experts leading us through these unchartered waters. I, along with all SFCCS staff members, remain open to be contacted during this indefinite period of school closure.  Lastly, I have attached a copy of Bishop Brennan’s statement that was released a short while ago.  Please take a moment to read it.
Thank you for your patience in enduring this extended communication.  Take care of yourselves and your children.  God Bless……

 

Updated: March 13, 2020 — 6:21 pm