An Update from Mrs. Roberts: February 25, 2022 Dear Annunciation Community,
As you are probably aware, on Monday, February 28th, Denver Public Schools (DPS) will be lifting their mask mandate. Beginning on that date, masks will no longer be required but will be strongly recommended for all students, staff, and visitors across DPS. DPS came to this decision based on high immunity/vaccination rates and lower rates of severe disease per the Denver Department of Public Health (DDPH) & Environment and Denver Health. The Archdiocese of Denver has determined that each school should make its own decision regarding masks based on the individual needs of each community. We want to thank our parents, teachers, and middle school students who participated in the survey we administered last week as we worked to determine what decision was best for the Annunciation Community. After careful consideration and prayer,the consensus is to move from required masking to masking based on parent/family choice when we return from spring break on Monday, March 21st.Until then, we will still require mask-wearing while inside the school building.
Our decision to wait will allow us three more weeks to see cases decrease in our community and hopefully a continued rise in vaccination rates. This will also let us see how other schools in the area respond to any challenges after lifting the mandate. We ask that you continue to keep your child(ren) home if they or members of your family are feeling ill. If your child has received the COVID-19 vaccination, we ask that you please bring a copy of their vaccination card to the office for our records. If you have not yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccination but are interested in doing so, on Friday, March 25th, we will be hosting a vaccination clinic from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, please read the newsletter for more information. As noted in the survey, should the DDPHE and Denver Health once again recommend a mask mandate, we will put one back in place at Annunciation.
Masks were a necessity while two factors were true: there was no available vaccine, and the positivity rate in our community was high. We are now luckily at a point where a safe and proven vaccine is available for all people five and older who want it, and the positivity rate of Covid in our community has decreased to levels that scientists deem to be manageable. The combination of these factors has changed the necessity for masking in schools, according to scientists, and it is because of these factors that we are adjusting our own masking policies. We will continue to follow the advice of the scientific community in order to keep our children safe going forward.
Here at school, we will be having conversations with students and teachers about respecting the different choices families make; we ask that you use the next three weeks to have those same conversations at home. As our mission statement states, “we are an inclusive urban community,” therefore, we respect and honor the decisions made by the members of our community who decide to continue to remain masked and those who don’t on Monday, March 21st.
As always, our door is always open. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to come by the school or give us a call.
Sincerely ~ Fr. Charles Polifka, OFM Cap. Deb Roberts, Principal Jerilyn Manzella, Assistant Principal
Annunciation Catholic School is located in the historic Cole neighborhood of Northeast Denver, at the northern end of the River North Arts District, on the corner of Lafayette St. & 36th Ave. Contact us for more info or stop in for a tour!