Friday, June 26, 2020
Dear Parents of Saint Thomas School,
We wanted to provide you and your family with an update about the reopening of Saint Thomas School in August.
Fr. Ray, Mrs. Holtz and I have spent many hours in meetings with our Reopening Task Force, the Diocese of Covington, and other local school administrators. The parent surveys were considered heavily, and we now have our decision.
Our Task Force is comprised of the following:
Fr. Ross Kelsch, School Administrator
Mrs. Robin Holtz, Asst. School Administrator
Mrs. Alexa Baudendistel
Mrs. Orla Bowman
Ms. Elizabeth Gruenschlaeger
Mrs. Karly Meyer
Ms. Kristen Schnell
Dr. John Bruns, MD
Mr. Matthew Hollenkamp
Mrs. Lisa McClinton
This week the Kentucky Department of Education released the Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools. This document will serve as our guide for keeping our students and staff safe while at school.
Below are some general decisions that have been made, but there are a many more details to finalize. We will share our full, detailed plan before school begins.
- School will begin on Wednesday, August 19. This will be a full day of school.
- Opening of the School Year events like open house will be modified.
- All students and staff will return to school together with safety protocols in place. There will be significant changes in procedures and practices.
- Information about Lunch will be forthcoming .
- Families will have the option to choose Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI). If you think your family may want to go with this option, please contact Fr. Ross at [email protected] as soon as possible so that we may begin arrangements.
- Wearing masks will be the norm for all students in Grades 1-8 and every faculty and staff member. This is the norm for Public Schools in Kentucky and for all schools in the Diocese of Covington.
- The general rule is this: less than 6 feet apart- wear masks, 6 feet apart or more, no masks.
- In general, when students are at their desks in their classroom, they should be able to maintain a 6-foot distance. While at their desks, students will be able to remove their masks.
- Saint Thomas will provide 5 masks for each student – color coded for each day of the school week.
- Students in Preschool and Kindergarten are exempt from the mask requirement.
We are very excited to get back into the building and to begin the 2020-2021 School Year. There are lots of exciting things to show you and your students. Please begin to speak with children about this plan in a positive manner (even if you don’t feel positive about it). Your children may not be used to wearing masks, but they can be educated about the reason for them. We have witnessed children in the community wearing them successfully. We will be providing some more tips for you on how help your children adjust to our safety modifications.
While the start of the school year will look different, our team of faculty and staff are dedicated to making the 2020-2021 School Year the most positive experience for your child.
Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue to plan for an awesome school year!
Fr. Ross Kelsch