SUS Reopening Information

Dear St. Ursula Families,

I hope that the warm rays beaming down from today's summer sun serves as a visible reminder to the bright light of Christ's love for us. So this morning, my heart sings with praise and thanksgiving for the pride of being part of the faith centered community of HUSKY NATION. And as St. Julie Billiart was known to say, "How good is this God of all goodness?" Amen I say, AMEN!!

As I have spent much of the last few days chatting with families about the upcoming school year, I know that making a commitment to the educational placement for our children is an onerous decision for all. That said, I thought it might be helpful to share a number of items below that might prove helpful as you discern that which is in the best interest of your family:

  • Over three weeks ago, we stopped accepting new family applications. This decision allowed us the opportunity to make informed decisions about managing a safe learning space for already enrolled students instead of a potential increase of additional students.
  • As primary procedures of mitigation, our school setting will be one where the daily wearing of a protective mask, the routine of repeated washing/sanitizing of one's hands, all while maintaining proper distance throughout the day - will collectively serve as the centerpiece to our personal safety precautions.
  • As part of our cleaning and disinfection protocol to mitigate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, we are utilizing a two-step disinfecting and protecting process which will disinfect and protect all surfaces. The surface protectant we have chosen comes with a guarantee of its bacteriostatic product that will mechanically kill both viruses and bacteria on contact. The application of this product allows for 90 days of persistent protection against viruses and bacteria.  
  • Parents with students in grades K-8 will be required to complete a daily morning Wellness Check Survey which includes three health related questions. Each day, parents will receive a reminder link through our parent notification system. The Wellness Check will serve as a social contract of integrity which will rely on your daily diligence to the health condition of your child.  
  • Pre-K parents are required to travel to school with a touch less thermometer and take the temperature of their child each morning in front of an assigned St. Ursula staff member (upon the family's arrival to campus). 
  • We have eliminated excess classroom items (shelving units, file cabinets, storage tables, etc.) so as to provide increased spacing options for each grade level room. 
  • We have removed all multiple seating tables from each grade level classroom and returned to the use of individual student desks that will face forward instead of having students facing one another. 
  • The students will not gather in the cafeteria for lunch. Instead, the students will remain with their cohort classmates and eat lunch within their classroom.
  • No hot lunch or special food orders, including milk and juice, will be available to the students. The children are required to bring in their own lunch box or "brown bag" lunch (and drink) each day.
  • Access to communal water fountains will be eliminated. As such, students will be asked to bring in their own water bottle container each day.
  • We are planning to spread out our students during the recess periods by utilizing additional spaces on campus. And as well, we will have access to other adjoining areas for play that have been generously shared by our neighbors at St. John's and Parkville High School.
  • Volunteers and guests to campus will be limited to only those visitors whose presence is considered essential.
Travel Flow
  • All grade levels will remain in a cohort group (a class of students) in one classroom all day long. Teachers will travel to the students' classrooms instead of having large groups of students traveling unnecessarily throughout the building. This preventive measure will limit movement and control the environment for each of our cohort groups. 
  • We are preparing for the use of staggered time periods for both arrival and dismissal. Access during this time will likely occur through multiple doorways as a means in which to create appropriate spacings and limit the crossover of student groups. 
  • Restroom breaks and hallway travel (when necessary) will be staggered so as to limit group movement during non-instructional transitions.
  • Families are being provided an opportunity to select in-person or remote learning. Your Google Form response will indicate your requested learning intent for your child(ren). Your intent is per student and not a response for all of your children. For example, you may express your intent for in-person learning for your Pre-K child but remote learning for your 6th grade child.
  • If you choose to do remote learning, you are selecting that learning setting for the entire trimester. You will not have the option to change from remote to in-person learning during the trimester.
  • Daily attendance will be taken for both the students who are enrolled in remote or in-person learning. 
  • Students who engage in remote learning will be able to access the classroom instruction through the Google Meets video platform. We have purchased an AMX Acendo Vibe audio camera system for each classroom as a means in which to allow access to classroom instruction for our remote learning students. 
  • Remote learning students will not be online for the entire school day. There will be periods of direct instruction coupled with independent learning tasks provided to the students.
  • As student images will be viewable to the teacher through the Google Meets platform, the students will participate in class activities and discussions in a similar way to those within the classroom. 
  • Contingent on enrollment in each particular grade level, some classes may be required to participate in a hybrid learning arrangement. To this point, in a situation where the in-person learning number exceeds our ability to create appropriate space between students, a determined number of students would be assigned to remote learning on a particular day during a designated week.  The frequency of such a scenario will be dependent upon class size and how many students opt for remote learning (in each class).  

While this information should not serve as the entirety of our school reopening plan, I do hope that these procedural measures serve useful as you discern the best decision for your family.

Thank you as always for sharing the gift of your children with our community. We are truly blessed by your family's presence as part of HUSKY NATION!

Joyously in Christ...Rob

St. Ursula School
8900 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD. 21234