COVID-19 Updates and Resources
The safety, health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority at SLUH. We continue to monitor information from the St. Louis County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization regarding the coronavrius. We will share updates on this page as they become available.
We have reopened our SLUH campus after a brief supply chain delay for our safety equipment. We appreciate your patience and support for our efforts to keep the SLUH community safe. This past week, our Sts. Ignatius and Xavier cohorts successfully returned to campus.
It was really great to see the young men back on campus and share their enthusiasm for life at Backer Memorial. I’m thrilled to see my freshman Human Geography class in person for the first time this week. As we finalize the return to campus adjustments, we look forward to restoring activities, athletics, retreats and community service as we are able to do so. Stay tuned for our progress in these areas.
All students will enter school at the Schulte theater entrance. They will either walk up from the student parking lot or down from the circle drive, forming a socially-distanced queue as they pass through the temperature station and virus symptom check-in. Students will need a phone or iPad to complete the check-in. All students and adults must wear a mask on campus except while eating and drinking.
The St. Ignatius cohort will be on campus this Thursday, September 10, and the St. Xavier cohort will attend class in-person on Friday, September 11.
School supplies this year will include pandemic resources. Please add the following to your shopping list:
- Three washable facemasks (plain colored with no non-SLUH images or writing);
- Disposable facemasks (generally plan on keeping 2-3 in a sealed bag for the backpack);
- 1 oz. refillable hand sanitizer bottle;
- Small packs of facial tissue for backpack;
- Hand sanitizer at home for refills (we will have stations for sanitizing hands, but not for filling bottles);
- Durable and comfortable backpack (no lockers will be used and all materials will be brought home each afternoon);
- Refillable water bottle;
- Optional items -- face shield, lunch kit, disposable gloves, small pack of wipes.
Before our September 10 reopening, please review our re-opening plan on the Coronavirus update page. There are many important reminders about arriving, departing and being on campus.
Please continue to be safe and well. Know of my daily prayers for your family.
I was asked the other day by a parent if we were settling into a routine on Oakland Avenue. “As SLUH completes its first full week of Academic Year 2021, were we moving toward cruising altitude?” I appreciated the question on so many levels: Care for the SLUH community; confidence in our plan and operations; the opportunity for me to retell stories of gratitude. Part of me was also struck by the complexity of the necessary response. Nothing we have been doing is routine. Yet the whole point of our planning, training and safety protocols is to get us back to a routine resembling last fall.
I’m happy to say that we are moving toward September 10 with great haste. We are thrilled to be able to invite our students back on campus, filling the building with the energy of teenage boys engaged in the formative activities of learning, creating, solving and forming bonds of brotherhood. There are so many pieces we will need to restore: Athletics, activities, service, retreats, projects, dances, global education, liturgies, field trips, guest speakers, labs, pep rallies, concerts, and many other events we have taken for granted. This restoration will take time, but it will certainly happen.
This year I have traded teaching seniors in AP Economics for freshmen in Human Geography. These are wonderful young men learning how to think, analyze and take responsibility for their relationship with the world. We are formed by our environment -- and it forms us. Our Human Geo journey creates powerful moments of discovery for the freshmen, and I want to share it with them in person as much as possible. We’re getting closer to that reality.
Welcome to the 202nd opening of SLUH -- Academic Year 2021. As we begin the fall semester with three weeks of online classes, we are greatly anticipating having the boys back on campus Thursday, September 10. Our various teams are making great progress with the safety equipment and new HVAC filtration system despite the supply chain challenges. While nothing seems to be easy or go according to plan in 2020, the SLUH community embodies the “can-do” mentality so important to Jesuit education.
As we all know, an optimistic mentality combined with strong talent creates a school capable of overcoming daunting challenges. We are blessed to have such a school. In the spirit of gratitude, I’d like to highlight some of those who have helped us to restart at SLUH. We aren’t reopening perfectly, and there will be glitches along the way. However, we have an outstanding community dedicated to the formation of our young men.
As we begin our Academic Year 2021 journey, I’m grateful for the following:
- Our environmental services, grounds crew, and facilities teams for preparing the campus for a new and unprecedented year;
- The curriculum and professional development committee’s leadership in helping us build and deliver a hyflex model of reopening campus with the flexibility 2020 requires;
- Our schedule committee which developed the structures and details necessary to run classes here or halfway across the globe;
- Our IT department for preparing classrooms with cameras, microphones, and the technology to teach in myriad ways;
- My administrative team for seizing challenges and generating solutions, partnerships and paths forward;
- Alan Carruthers and the school leadership team for helping keep the bigger picture in focus as we work through the details;
- Our families for protecting us all with their optimism, care for community safety, and encouragement;
- SLUH alumni who have provided technical, medical, public health, pedagogical, material, spiritual and financial support for our reopening because they want your sons back on campus more than anyone -- and they have responded in powerful ways;
- Our students’ work, particularly the senior class and STUCO, this week has been quiet and often unseen, yet the work is building the brotherhood with encouragement, kindness and care for our younger students;
- The faculty and staff who navigate the indescribable challenges of teaching in the time of pandemic.
Being grateful is an antidote to the anxieties and unknowables we each face daily. I’m personally looking forward to being back in the classroom once more this year, trading AP Economics for Human Geography. My team of freshman geographers and I will be exploring our world in its complexity and beauty, providing another opportunity for gratitude.
Final Reminders about the Start of School This Week
All students will be attending school virtually for the first three weeks from August 20-September 9. School is held 5 days a week. On Thursday and Friday, beginning August 20th, students will take classes in Periods 1-4 and on Monday and Tuesday will take classes in Periods 5-7. On Wednesday, all students will meet their teachers for attendance at the beginning of each of the 7 periods. Following attendance, the teachers will work with their students to discuss the plan of the day.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH 3DAY/2DAY A WEEK CLASSES
Your teacher will provide a full schedule for the semester, but here are your meeting days for the first cycle of classes. A full cycle runs Thursday though Wednesday. This schedule covers August 20-26.
If a student has a 3 day a week class, such as Human Geography, Drawing I, Oral Interpretation, Lab Band, Concert Chorus, or Advanced Computer Topics, he will meet on Thursday 8/20 if the class meets in periods 1-4 and will meet on Monday 8/24 if the class meets in periods 5-7. The student will also meet on Wednesday 8/26 (Faber Day).
If a student has a 2 day a week class, such as PE, Weights, Yoga, or Computer Security, he will meet on Friday 8/21 if the class meets in periods 1-4 and will meet on Tuesday 8/25 if the class meets in periods 5-7. Your teacher will explain to you when you would meet next after the first meeting.
THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS
Students should log into the class in CANVAS and click on the Zoom Link at the top of the Home Page. Students should come to their classes prepared with all the equipment required by the instructors and in proper dress for the Zoom class which includes a collared shirt and no headwear or pajamas. Phones should be put away unless being used in the class.
Schedule --85 minute classes--begin at 8:30-end at 3:15
(10-minute break during the 85 minute class which would be assigned so that all students are not breaking at the same time.)
Days when Ignatius 1-4 or Xavier 1-4 meet
7:15-8:15 Zero Hour Class
8:30-10:10 Attendance, Prayer Service, Period 1
10:15-11:40 Period 2
11:45- 12:15 Lunch (Fr/So)
11:45- 1:10 Period 3a (Jr/Sr)
12:20-1:45 Period 3b (Fr/So)
1:15- 1:45 Lunch (Jr/Sr)
1:50-3:15 Examen and Period 4
Days when Ignatius 5-7 or Xavier 5-7 meet
7:15-8:15 Zero Hour Class
8:30-10:10 Attendance, Prayer Service, Period 5
10:15-11:40 Period 6
11:45- 12:15 Lunch (Fr/So)
11:45- 1:10 Period 7a (Jr/Sr)
12:20-1:45 Period 7b (Fr/So)
1:15- 1:45 Lunch (Jr/Sr)
1:50-3:15 Examen and time for co-curriculars, liturgies, meeting teachers, class meetings etc.
Faber Day Schedule
7:15-8:15 Zero Hour Class
8:30-9:25 Attendance, Prayer Service, Period 1
9:30-10:15 Period 2
10:35-11:20 Period 3
11:25-12:10 Period 4a (Jr/Sr)
11:25-11:55 Lunch (Fr/So)
12:00-12:45 Period 4b(Fr/So)
12:15-12:45 Lunch (Jr/Sr)
12:50-1:35 Period 5
1:40-2:25 Period 6
2:30-3:15 Period 7
The expectation will be that approximately 40 minutes of homework would be assigned for each block of regular classes (80 minutes per week) and approximately 60 minutes of homework would be assigned for each AP/Advanced/Honors class (2 hours per week). Homework will only be collected on days when the student has that class. No work will be due on Faber Days outside of class meeting time assignments which will be submitted by the end of the class.
It’s hard to believe we are beginning the 2021 academic year this week. The past five months have felt like a decade because of quick movement to a lockdown during spring break, online learning for the fourth quarter, synchronous summer school programs, the creation of our plan for this year, and the work necessary to reopen our campus safely and impactfully.
There are many details regarding this week and the start of the year. Please read all of the following information carefully.
- In our initial survey in July, we had solicited the opinions of all students’ families regarding reopening school using a number of possible scenarios. Then in a second survey last week we requested formal selection of a scenario.
- Approximately 25% of our families have not yet designated their choice of either fully online or hyflex in-person classes.
As a result, it is critical we hear from each family for each student. If you have not already done so, please respond to the survey HERE. If you do not select an option, we will place your student in the on-campus hyflex program.
- This Thursday, August 20, we will start the year with online classes for three weeks as we complete the installation of our state-of-the-art HVAC ventilation system. In the meantime we will use the block schedule explained in the published July 24 plan available below.
- On Thursday, September 10, in-person classes by cohorts will begin.
- Faber Days will be academic days for the first month. We will post a semester schedule of Faber Day special programs on September 16. Some of these programs will take place on campus and will be clearly marked on the schedule and school calendar. Typically, students will complete academic work at home on Faber Days.
- Student activities will generally take place on campus during Period 8 on Monday and Tuesday, as well as before and after school on non-Faber days.
We will publish a campus safety protocols document next week which covers school policies for campus arrival/departure, PPE, moving about the campus, lunch, free time, reporting symptoms and positive cases, campus visitors, cleaning hands and surface areas, and many other details.
- Class meetings this Tuesday (August 18) will feature many details regarding the start of the year. HERE is some information about meeting days for classes that met only 2-3 times per week before our new block schedule.
- Some freshmen have not yet submitted their paperwork to start the school year. Please check THIS LIST and submit the documents as instructed. Students cannot attend SLUH activities or classes until they submit the required information.
Information about Freshman Direction Day (Monday, August 17) and the Orientation and Mass of the Holy Spirit (Tuesday, August 18) follows my note to you this week. At the Mass of the Holy Spirit, our provincial will celebrate this traditional liturgy to bless the school year. Of special note, we will renew our Jesuit Sponsorship Agreement, which provides accreditation and membership within the Society Jesus’ national network of 63 elite Jesuit schools. Below is more information about the Sponsorship Review process and six-year cycle.
Also at the Mass, I will profess my Final Vows, the last step of Jesuit formation. I entered the Jesuits in 1995, was ordained in 2006, and have served at six American and European Jesuit high schools. It’s been a tremendous 25-year journey. Please watch THIS VIDEO for more information on Final Vows, including the actual universal vow formula I will be using. It has been several decades since a Jesuit has professed his final vows at SLUH, thus we will livestream this liturgy. You will be able to access the livestream via the link on the SLUH homepage (www.sluh.org).
Please continue to be safe and well. Know of my daily prayer for your family.
Monday, August 17
Freshman Direction Day 8-11 am (Ignatius Cohort) 12-3 pm (Xavier Cohort)
Transfer Student Orientation 9 am
Tuesday, August 18
Class Meetings 8:30 am (Ignatius Cohort)
Mass of the Holy Spirit 10:00 am (Ignatius Cohort)
Mass of the Holy Spirit 1:00 pm (Xavier Cohort)
Class Meetings 2:00 pm (Xavier Cohort)
Wednesday, August 19
Thursday, August 20
First Day of Classes
Periods 1-4 (Virtual)
Friday, August 21
Periods 1-4 (Virtual)
In order to safely reopen campus, we are closely following CDC directives and advice from our medical consultants. We must implement three critical safety protocols in order to welcome students and adults back to Oakland Avenue:
1. Everyone must wear a mask.
2. Everyone must maintain personal distancing of six feet.
3. Aerosol spread of droplets must be prevented.
We are in great shape for the first two protocols and are close to completing the third as I describe in the following update.
Part of our plan to limit aerosol spread will be the installation of state-of-the-art GPS Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) equipment into the ductwork of all the rooftop ventilation units and onto the air circulation system in the J-WIng classrooms and offices. The benefits will include: Particle reduction; odor elimination; the killing of pathogens (bacteria, viruses and mold); energy reduction by up to 30%. We are blessed to have the means and the access to this equipment. Unfortunately, supply chain delays have pushed back the installation completion to Tuesday, September 8.
Because of the outdoor and shorter duration aspects of the orientation activities, we will proceed with freshman Direction Day (August 17) and class meetings (August 18) on campus. However, the first three weeks of classes will be online. The first day of in-person classes will be Thursday, September 10, for the St. Ignatius cohort.
We are fully committed to the safety of our community, as well as to holding in-person classes. Our NPBI filter reflects our continued pursuit of excellence and will make us one of the safest schools in the region. We are grateful for your family’s support in our safety protocols.
Of equally great importance, it is time to formally commit to either in-person or full-time online instruction. Please complete this survey by Wednesday, August 12.
- School Day Schedule
- Athletics Resources
- Business Travel
- Keeping the Faith
- Talking to children
- Regular Flu Reminders
- Meal options for children
- Avoiding Panic and Rumors
- Whom to contact with questions
- Additional measures being taken at SLUH
- Protocol Related to Notification of Exposure to a Confirmed Positive Test or Diagnosis of a Confirmed Positive Test
In an abundance of caution, we are asking all SLUH families returning to the U.S. from an area identified by the CDC as an area of Level 2 or Level 3 concern to refrain from coming to campus for 14 days after their return home and to obtain medical clearance before returning to campus. This only applies to travel to areas of level 2 and 3 concern as determined by the CDC. If your travel is within the U.S. or to an international destination that is not a level 2 or 3 concern, there is no need to self quarantine. Please contact Dr. Brock Kesterson directly to discreetly report your son’s self-quarantine, and we will ensure his ability to continue all of his academic work.
Many of our parents are required to travel for business, and we ask that those who travel to areas of Level 2 or Level 3 concern inform the school of their travel so that we may provide appropriate guidance. We will minimally be asking travelers to refrain from coming to campus for 14 days after their return home. Please contact our Director of Student Health Scott Gilbert, RN, BSN, to discuss parent travel to Level 2 or 3 zones. Mr. Gilbert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 269-2191.
Please follow the simple steps that are routinely recommended during flu season:
- If your children are sick or exhibiting contagious symptoms such as fever, coughing, or sneezing, please keep them home from school to avoid spreading illness
- Frequently clean hands by using soap and warm water (for at least 20 seconds) or hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- When coughing or sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – dispose of the tissue immediately and wash hands
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care, and share recent travel history with your healthcare provider
We are very aware that anxiety can be heightened during situations like the current one, and we want to be sure to separate fact from rumor by relying on our healthcare experts and the local, state and federal agencies that are responsible for guiding us. As we work with members of our community to meet the challenges ahead, we are committed to keeping the channels of communication open and doing all we reasonably can to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.
- If you or your son have questions about a particular class, please contact that teacher first. Virtually every answer or resolution to your question is going to involve the teacher.
- Questions about the online program in general should go to Mr. Tom Becvar: email@example.com
- If your son is sick and cannot complete the day’s activities, contact teachers AND the Dean’s Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Should your son need to access the building, he will need to make an appointment with Mr. Dan Schulte. Walk-in visits will not be allowed. Contact: email@example.com
- For general questions or concerns regarding medical or health issues, contact our Director of Student Health Scott Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 269-2191. Questions about particular symptoms presented by students or family members should be directed to the family’s primary care physician.
- If you have any questions relating to our policies and procedures, please feel free to contact Principal Fr. Ian Gibbons, SJ at email@example.com or (314) 269-2125.
During summer break, the offices, classrooms and common spaces were cleaned and sanitized to the extent possible, and in accordance with best practice protocols advised by the Center for Disease Control. As always, the school provides access to clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels and alcohol‐based hand sanitizer.
The custodial staff of SLUH routinely cleans and disinfects all frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs, banisters, countertops, faucet handles and phones. In light of the coronavirus, our staff has increased its cleaning and disinfecting efforts in an attempt to stay ahead of the virus.
(Updated on 7/24)
Should a SLUH student be exposed to an individual who has tested positive or himself tests positive for COVID-19, the following measures will take place:
- The individual and/or his family should let the SLUH administration know immediately.
- If a student reports being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, all those who came into less than six feet of contact with that student and weren’t wearing a mask will be expected to self-quarantine for 72 hours.
- If a student reports having tested positive for COVID-19, all those who came into less than six feet of contact with that student and weren’t wearing a mask will be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- If an individual that has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 progresses through the entire 14-day quarantine without manifesting symptoms, the individual is eligible to return at the end of the 14-day quarantine.
- If an individual that has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 exhibits symptoms during a 14-day quarantine, that individual must get tested.
- If the test results are negative, the individual may return to activity following the 14-day quarantine provided that the last 72 hours of the quarantine are fever-free (without the aid of a fever suppressant) AND the individual’s symptoms have improved, including respiratory symptoms of cough and/or shortness of breath AND the individual has obtained a doctor’s note to clear the individual for return to activity.
- If a SLUH student tests positive for COVID-19, the individual may return to school after 72 hours with no fever (without the aid of a fever suppressant) AND improved symptoms, including respiratory symptoms of cough and/or shortness of breath AND a span of 14 days after the onset of the symptoms AND a doctor’s note to clear the individual for return to activity.
- Per local medical guidelines, exceptions to the requirement of a 14-day quarantine prior to returning to campus may be made for those who were wearing masks and socially distanced from an individual who tested positive.