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.
Week of November 29
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SLUH REOPENING
I hope your Thanksgiving was a time for renewal and gratitude. This week we will hold all classes virtually as a way of creating a buffer from possible virus spread that may result from travel during break or close contact with people outside of immediate households.
We are finalizing details for our announcement on Tuesday, December 1, regarding the rest of the semester. In an effort to support a wider reopening, we have been carefully analyzing the two weeks of regional COVID-19 data since the November 16 pause in our plan to welcome all students who wished to return to campus on November 30. Our Tuesday announcement will cover the status of classes and final exams Monday, December 7 through through Monday, December 21 for exams. Classes end December 16.
We will announce our plans for our return from Christmas break through spring break in the December 13 issue of ParentConnect. We will also post a new school calendar at that time.
There are still so many uncertainties regarding the spread of the virus: Colder weather, more seasonal activities, and potential logistics for vaccine distribution in the spring (or sooner). While we all want stronger and clearer answers, this Advent season is a powerful reminder of the pause of these four weeks as we await Christmastide. It is perhaps fitting that 2020 has one of the longest possible Advent seasons.
Happy Advent, all. Continue to be safe and well. Know of my daily prayers for your family.
Ian Gibbons, SJ
It is critical that families take proactive precautions following our break. Please use our virtual week to protect your family and our community from any potential spread. It is far safer to assume all close contacts outside of your immediate family were positive than to presume otherwise. Social gatherings are quickly becoming the source vector for transmission in our region.
IT IS CRITICAL that ALL positive tests be reported to me, even during breaks or weekends. Please don’t assume that notifying a coach or teacher will eventually result in contact tracing, mandated school reporting, and notifications for close-contact quarantines. We are grateful for your diligence. There is no shame whatsoever in a positive case, but there is substantial risk for our community in not quarantining close contacts.
Last week we started our bi-weekly cycles for testing hockey, basketball, racquetball and wrestling players. Because of the spike in cases and demand for testing, we are facing challenges in this process (please see Athletics Update below). However, we will keep you updated on these challenges and our methods for working through them. Just like everything else in 2020, the layers of complexity are profoundly deeper this year.
The City of St. Louis requires all schools to test these programs every two weeks. After testing nearly 200 fall sport athletes and coaches at least twice, and now our first round of winter sports, we have had only three positive (and asymptomatic) cases. This is a remarkable result demonstrating the diligence of our community and impact of our safety protocols.
We currently have one staff member and six students who have tested positive and are completing isolations until cleared by their doctors and the department of health. As evidenced by contact tracing, in none of the cases was the virus contracted at SLUH.
Since we have reopened, we have had a total of 12 adult (one a vendor) and 29 student positive cases. As has been the case since reopening, there are some faculty and students in quarantine based on close contacts with positive cases. We will have accurate post-break quarantine data once we return tomorrow. Before break there were over 50 members of our community in quarantine, an indication of the current spread of the virus in the community. We must remain vigilant.
Care STL notified us this past Friday that it will temporarily suspend COVID-19 testing at the beginning of this week. Care STL is the Federally Qualified Health Center which conducts COVID-19 testing for our student-athletes in moderate and high risk sports. This suspension of testing is emblematic of the stress being placed on the healthcare system and facilities because of the recent spike in cases of COVID-19. The timing of this decision impacts a round of testing which we had scheduled for the basketball program, the wrestling program, and a portion of the student-athletes in the hockey program.
Upon being made aware of this decision by Care STL, Dr. Echols and the City of St.Louis Department of Health have affirmed the mandate that members of our teams in moderate and high risk sports must get tested in order to compete against teams from other schools.
In conjunction with Dr. Echols, the SLUH administration, and the coaches of the sports that were scheduled to test on Monday, November 30, we are exploring multiple alternative options for testing with the intent of minimizing the number of contests that need to be rescheduled in those sports. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this added external challenge to our athletics program.
- November 15
- November 8
- November 1
- October 25
- October 18
- October 4
- September 27
- September 20
- September 13
- September 6
- August 30
- August 23
- August 19
- August 16
- August 9
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SLUH REOPENING
We are altering our plan to have all SLUH students return to campus November 30. The basis for our decision is two-fold: 1. The spike in virus cases throughout the St. Louis region; 2. The increased number of SLUH students and staff in self-isolation as a result of positive tests. Currently 11 members of our community are actively positive and in coronavirus self-isolation, and over 50 are in close contact quarantine.
While we have had no spread on campus and our numbers are lower than the St. Louis region positivity rate, our students and faculty are facing escalating exposure to COVID-19 at home and throughout the region. We have been averaging more than one new positive case a day in the past week.
In order to provide us with the best chance to get everyone back on campus, we will hold virtual classes the week after Thanksgiving break and assess whether to proceed with fully reopening the following week of December 7. Based upon our assessment, we will either return to in-person classes with all students welcomed back or we will resume our hybrid cohorts. Our timeline will be as follows:
- November 23-25: Retreat days, no classes
- November 26-27: Thanksgiving break
- November 30-December 4: Online classes for the week
- December 1: Announcement regarding the rest of the semester
- December 3-4: Schedule sequence shifts to periods 1-4 and 5-7 for the rest of the semester (access calendar)
- December 7-16: Campus reopens with hybrid or 100% welcomed back format to close out the semester
- December 17-21: Semester exams with make-up day on December 22
- December 23-January 3: Christmas break
Our decision was a deeply challenging one. We want all our students to be able to return to campus, but it must be done safely. We understand that some will question and perhaps even dislike our decision. However, we are grateful for your patience and understanding during the current challenges of the pandemic. Our care for your sons is a foundational element of our SLUH mission. We continue to put our trust in God’s providence during this pandemic.
We are starting our biweekly testing of hockey, basketball, racquetball, and wrestling players. The City of St. Louis requires all schools to test these programs every two weeks. After testing nearly 200 fall sport athletes and coaches at least twice, we had only three positive (and asymptomatic) cases. This is a remarkable result demonstrating the diligence of our community and impact of our safety protocols.
We currently have two staff members and nine students who have tested positive and are completing isolations until cleared by their doctors and the department of health. As evidenced by contact tracing, in none of the cases was the virus contracted at SLUH.
Since we have reopened, we have had a total of six adult (one a vendor) and 17 student positive cases. As has been the case since reopening, there are some faculty and students in quarantine based on close contacts with positive cases away from our buildings and campus. Currently there are over 50 members of our community in quarantine, an indication of the current spread of the virus in the community. We must remain vigilant.
Last week I announced that on Monday, November 30, we will welcome to campus all students who would like to attend classes in-person four days a week. Next Sunday, November 15, I will send a selection form for attending classes in December, either four days a week or online. In December we will evaluate our return of more students daily and make any adjustments over Christmas break for second semester January 2021. I recognize that each family has unique circumstances, and we support those who prefer to opt for online instruction during the remainder of the semester before committing to return in January. Our HyFlex system was designed to support such shifts.
To assist your decision next week, I have attached a report (below) which outlines our data, projections and safety protocols. With our strict mask-wearing, sanitizing, hand-washing, and Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization air filtration system, we are shifting to a minimum of three feet of distancing for students in classrooms. Six feet will be maintained as close as possible throughout the campus, but three feet will be the minimum. All adults will remain at six-foot distances. With our increased winter testing of moderate and high contact athletes, as well as our Johns Hopkins contact tracing training program, we are ready to make this shift, which has been undertaken successfully by many regional and national schools we have studied. While more quarantines might become necessary, we have successfully been contact tracing and quarantining since the pandemic began.
We are re-measuring all classrooms and spaces for some major adjustments to furniture, desks, signs and equipment November 24-25. We will be asking our Fathers Club and a number of student groups to assist with the moves during the retreat days before Thanksgiving. I’ll share more details about this project next week.
No student should feel compelled to return to in-person classes after Thanksgiving. SLUH will be one of the safest spaces in the region, but we understand the complexities of the virus spikes, as well as concerns about Thanksgiving travel. If your family is planning to travel or being with others outside your small strict social bubble, you should plan on using the online option to quarantine after Thanksgiving. This is a prudent use of our HyFlex system, and students can return to campus by Monday, December 14, with ample time to prepare for in-person semester exams.
Our reopening process of St. Louis U. High will continue by welcoming all students who wish to attend daily classes in-person starting Monday, November 30. The St. Ignatius and St. Xavier cohorts will continue to alternate their days on campus through Thanksgiving, and we will make the transition to a general return to campus the following Monday.
Before we break for Thanksgiving, we will ask families to commit to either online or in-person classes. Students who remain in or shift to online classes after Thanksgiving will have opportunities to reconsider this in the second semester. Students choosing in-person classes will not have the option of attending classes online unless they are in quarantine or have an excused absence that day.
As you can imagine, there are many details and adjustments we will address in the near-term. We will communicate more about them in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
We are able to make this pivot because of the flexibility we created in our current system, as well as the strong commitment to safety demonstrated by our faculty, staff, students and families. We will need to be even more vigilant as we make adjustments in our classroom spacing, common areas, and campus migration. Masks, sanitizing, hand washing, and social distancing will be crucial to this next phase of our reopening, as there will be greater possibilities of quarantines with the expanded student population.
With the colder weather, upcoming holidays and the transition to winter sports and activities, we must take great care to protect SLUH, our families, and our region from the spread of the virus. Schools in general, and SLUH in particular, have been strong examples of how to safely reopen. We will continue to be measured, consultative and proactive in all we do.
Thank you for your support and understanding in this process. We know this is not the school year anyone wanted, and there are many deeply felt beliefs about pandemic responses. The important next step will bring us all closer to fully reopening our school.
Continue to be safe and well. Know of my daily prayers for your family.
The first quarter is complete. Report cards have been mailed and parent teacher conferences are coming up this week. A reminder that first and third quarter report cards are progress reports. Only semester grades are reported to colleges.
The weather is getting colder, which means wintry conditions may soon be upon us. As our students know, snow days will largely be a thing of the past because of our new HyFlex system. However, we will still notify families of closed campus days in the same way we have in the past.
We will announce campus closures via phone-blast, website, Twitter, and local television and radio. In many cases, snow days will feature online learning, which will be communicated in our messaging.
Conversely, if campus is open on a day of wintry weather, you should always feel empowered to keep your son at home. Simply give us a call and know that we will support your decision.
Here is a calendar update for the next few months. We will send an additional updated calendar in late November after our November 1 announcement regarding our next shift toward reopening our campus.
Finally, I’d like to share a special message from our Jesuit leadership in Rome regarding the impact of the pandemic on global Jesuit education. Please take special care to view our Jesuit Superior General’s message “The Pandemic: A Challenge and Great Opportunity.”
Continue to be safe and well. Know of my daily prayers for your family.
Friday marked the end of the first quarter. Now we are rapidly moving toward November. As promised, we have begun a review of our pandemic response. We are systematically examining our HyFlex model, evaluating what has worked well and what needs improvement. Because no plan can perfectly respond to a global crisis, we take a continual improvement approach at SLUH.
Your feedback is an important part of our review. We have already heard from many families, but we want to make sure we hear every family’s voice. HERE is a survey. Please carefully read and complete it by Friday, October 23.
In all major decisions during a pandemic, complexities abound. All schools exist in a unique context. Student population, physical plant, and local governance/regulations provide contexts that must be taken into consideration in any pandemic response. I’m happy to discuss these contexts as you prepare to complete the survey. Please add clarifying comments at the end of the survey. Thank you for your participation.
Other voices that we will consult in our review include:
- Student surveys and interviews
- Faculty surveys and focus groups
- Consultations with alumni in the medical and public health fields
- Conversations with the City of St. Louis Department of Health
- Interviews with administrators who have successfully returned all students to their campuses
- Interviews with administrators who have had to retrench or close their campuses
- Interviews with other administrators in St. Louis City and St. Louis County
We will announce our next phase of reopening on Sunday, November 1. As a result, I have appointed a review committee representing broadly our faculty, staff, administrators, parents, alumni and coaches. The group will help me analyze our data and make a recommendation.
There are clearly strong views and diverging needs among every stakeholder in our community. I ask for your prayers in our deliberation, and I appeal for an assumption of the good in all involved. Each voice is deeply committed to the formation of our young men.
As the air is starting to turn crisper on Oakland Avenue, the campus is still buzzing about the tremendous fun at Spirit Week last week. We’re grateful to Student Council moderators Mr. Bradley Mueller and Mrs. Megan Menne and the STUCO officers for creating an awesome experience. Now we are quickly advancing to the end of the first quarter, just two weeks distant. Despite the innumerable challenges facing us all, time seems to be racing forward.
With our senior ACT exams this Tuesday, there will be no Faber Day this week. The scope of administering and proctoring the ACT exam for the entire senior grade in pandemic conditions makes classes for the other students impossible. This will be an opportune catch-up day for the freshmen, sophomores and juniors. For most of our seniors, this will be their first and only opportunity to take the ACT exam -- a major activity for the week. Good luck, seniors!
Last week we asked all freshmen and sophomores to remain on campus until 3:15 p.m. on 8th periods (typically on Mondays and Tuesdays). The upperclassmen are encouraged to remain as well. There are so many activities now occurring formally and informally; we want to support every Jr. Bill in finding his “thing.” Reminder: On Fridays we publish a guide to the growing list of activities, meetings and events occurring the next week. You can find this at the link below as well. Students arriving into the school will need to check-in through the usual entrance by the Schulte Theater.
Starting this week, all students whose cohorts are not scheduled to be on campus that day will be allowed to come to campus for 8th period (and afterschool) meetings and programs. As a result, a St. Ignatius cohort student could come to events after 7th period on St. Xavier days. This applies to 8th periods on Mondays and Tuesdays (this week being a rare exception with the ACT exam on Tuesday and St. Xavier day being on Wednesday). All students not in quarantine may come to campus after school for sports and activities as scheduled.
Our pandemic response team has started a holistic review process of the first quarter. The team utilizes five committees to assist with research, recommendations and implementation:
- Safety and Wellness
- Curriculum and Professional Development
As a result of the review, the team will work toward a decision and announcement regarding calendar, schedule and safety protocols for the second semester. We anticipate an announcement on Sunday, November 1, of any pivots that we will make. Akin to our decision-making process this past summer, we will consult with public health, medical, and education professionals in our discernment.
Based on our surveys and many conversations, we know our families and students want to be back on campus to the fullest and safest extent possible. We want this as well and will approach our next pivot with the goals of reopening campus and caring for all the members of our community. Our Hyflex system will allow us to make adjustments in January 2021 which will best serve the complex contexts of all of our students, families, faculty and staff. I will provide updates regularly in this newsletter.
Additionally, we will make a major announcement in the next few weeks regarding a new health and wellness initiative at SLUH. The program will provide the opportunity for individualized fitness goals and training. All students will be invited to take part in the program.
It’s time for Spirit Week – a busy and fun week at SLUH! Get ready for non-stop ‘80s music and craziness, ranging from tailgates, wiffleball, scavenger hunts, open mic night, a drive-in movie and so much more.
Now that we’re halfway through our third week on campus (our cycles run Thursday through Wednesday), I’ve added a weekly section below with Coronavirus updates related to protocols, news and case counts. Our diligence continues to prevent the spread of the virus at SLUH. The protocols truly work, and we are grateful for your diligence at home and around the region.`
As we ramp up our student activities and athletics, we are introducing some new pivots for student engagement. Our first few weeks on campus have been hyper-focused on opening safely and smoothly, and now we can shift to rebuilding our legendary SLUH co-curriculars. In order to support this effort, the following will go into effect this week:
- Freshmen and Sophomores are strongly encouraged to stay on campus until 3:15 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. The 8th Period activity period on both days will feature formal and informal activities for all grades.
- Each Friday we will distribute a schedule of student activities for the following week. These activities will range from before school, lunchtime, 8th period on Mondays and Tuesdays, and after school. Planning ahead will be key to not missing out on great opportunities for fun and brotherhood.
Over the weekend consider reviewing the Friday activities bulletin and Sunday ParentConnect with your son(s) to help plan your week as a family. Everything in 2020 seems more challenging and we want to help in your efforts.
In the next few weeks, I’ll share our process of reviewing the first quarter and preparing for planning for Thanksgiving through Spring Break. There is considerable uncertainty surrounding all elements of our region, but we want to create a clear and transparent process for moving forward into 2021. We will be looking at both what’s worked well and what needs improvement. The pandemic puts great constraints on our school and region, but we will be proactive in living out the SLUH mission.
As we go into our third cycle of on-campus instruction this coming Thursday, September 24, I want to outline our HyFlex model of reopening campus. This model is being used by many of our 63 Jesuit high schools nationally, as well as many private schools and universities. It is a model that provides great flexibility and capacity to pivot to pandemic conditions. In a time of tremendous uncertainty, such a model makes tremendous sense. You can review the model in greater detail at the link below.
SLUH has used a seven-period day for many years. While we have reviewed other models as a part of our curriculum review process, the 45-minute period schedule has served us well.
Synchronous online learning with seven periods is daunting for time management and workload. Seven in-person transitions would add considerably more opportunities for viral spread. Block schedules carry equal challenges for in-person and online learning. The key is to find a system that can shift easily to opening or shutting down a campus. Nobody wants SLUH to close again, but not preparing for that possibility would recreate the chaos of last March.
The HyFlex system allows a school to offer classes all online, all on campus, or with some form of split. While a seven-period day or pure block schedule can work well enough for either online or in-person work, the adjustments necessary to shift from in-person to online are significant. Current distancing requirements, coupled with the 1,000 SLUH students and building capacity, necessitates limiting students to 500 per day.
Even as we add more students (hopefully sooner than later), there will be some young men who cannot come to campus for chronic health, quarantine or personal reasons. Our HyFlex system has created broadcasting and interactive capacity in all of our classrooms. Teachers can instruct from home, classrooms or elsewhere. While I would not wish the pandemic on anyone, our COVID response HyFlex model is a remarkable achievement. Someday the masks and distancing will be a distant memory, but the innovations of HyFlex will live on.
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.
- Semester Schedule
- Athletics Resources
- COVID-19 Testing Sites
- 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.