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An Update from Mrs. Roberts:
July 21, 2020
I hope you all are staying safe and healthy as we continue to journey through this unprecedented year. I know many of you have understandably been waiting for word on our plans for opening this year. State requirements for openings are changing daily, and I am doing my best to stay on top of the most recent changes and requirements. Last week, the Archdiocese Principals and Pastors had a Zoom meeting with the Office of Catholic Schools. During this call, we were told that the plan is for all of our Catholic Schools to open for in-person learning on August 24th. We have therefore been working on plans for how in-person learning can safely happen in our own building.
At Annunciation, we believe that our Christ-Centered EL Education learning community is stronger when we are together than apart. We also believe in science and believe that our decisions should be based on the best and most current research available. We are therefore committed to providing our students with a quality education while upholding health guidelines that will strive to keep everyone in our building safe and healthy.
The Archdiocese has partnered with Centura Health to lend guidance to the school on opening our building safely. I have also been consulting regularly with our contact from The Department of Public Health and have researched state guidelines for reopening. I have also been reading the guidance from The Colorado Department of Education (seen here: (http://www.cde.state.co.us/planning20-21/healthguidancebycovidphase) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (seen here). (https://www.cdc.gov/). Our school’s Leadership Team, myself included, will be meeting tomorrow to discuss how best to implement these guidelines in our building in order to keep your children safe. With that said, we are already in the process of making some changes in our building, such as adding extra precautions in the restrooms, adding plexiglass in the cafeteria and front office, putting up signage for movement in the building for proper social distancing, and curricula planning for the teachers if we have to move to remote learning at a moment’s notice. Additional safety information, such as how we will keep your children safe and socially distanced while in the classroom, (among other things) will be sent to you later this week following our Leadership Team meeting. My hope is to give you weekly updates on our reopening policies and safety measures from this point forward. We thank you for your patience as we strive to make in-school learning as safe as possible for your children.
We will begin our year as we have in the past with assessments on August 24th & 25th. The first full day of school will be August 26th. Bea will be sending out the assessment schedule in the first week of August, and our safety requirements for assessments will also be sent in the coming weeks. On Assessment Day, the students will get a chance to meet their teachers, find their desk, and we will begin to introduce the new safety protocols that will be in place for the foreseeable future. Melissa Rodriguez, our tuition manager, will be available for parents to sign tuition contracts on Assessment Day. Sadly, since large gatherings are not permitted per state guidelines, we will not have our annual Ice-Cream Social this year.
As a school, we are completely committed to creating a safe school environment for your children which will allow them to learn and stay healthy. However, we understand that some families might not feel comfortable sending their students back to school for safety reasons and/or due to health concerns. Thus, The Office of Catholic Schools has created a distance-learning option for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. St. Isidore Catholic Curriculum will be managed by the Office of Catholic Schools and is available for any family who may not want to send their children to in‐school learning this upcoming school year. I am attaching a letter from The Office of Catholic Schools, which explains St. Isidore and how to register. Please note that your children will still be an Annunciation student, and tuition payable to Annunciation. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about this online option. Please send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can set up a time to chat. One thing to be aware of is that if interested, you must register no later than August 3rd.
As we work through these unknown times, I was struck by Pope Francis’ reflection this past week on the parable of the weed (Mt 13:24-43 “Jesus helps us understand God’s patience, opening our hearts to Hope!” My prayer for this year is that as a Christ-Centered Community, we can be a community of Hope for our students, teachers, and the world.
Please stay healthy, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Mrs. Roberts, Principal