We have received updated information to help us prepare for the reopening of school on September 8, 2021. As with everything we do, our top priority is to provide a safe and supportive environment where all of our students can flourish at St. Martin de Porres Marianist School where they are cherished and challenged to grow as children created in God’s image.
In this unique chapter of history, this means being alert to changing conditions of COVID-19. We have all learned to be patient and flexible on a daily basis. We want to share with you three key ideas that about what this means for your children and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School.
NY State Mandates: In recent days, incoming governor Kathy Hochul indicated she would like a mask mandate in all schools to start the school year, and likely continue as the school year progresses. That being said, St. Martin de Porres Marianist School will begin the 2021-2022 school year fully masked.
Return to Normalcy: Although not ideal, starting the school year fully masked will allow our students to fully return to all school activities that were restricted last year. By being full masked, we will also considerably reduce the number of students quarantined after each positive case. Student heath questionnaires will be reduced or eliminated as well. Finally, all outdoor activities will operate without restrictions and with mask optional. This is great news!
What to Expect: We anticipate additional state guidance that will further impact our opening plans and protocols. Please know, we are working diligently to finalize safety procedures and protocols for the upcoming school year. Any updated information will be provided to you as soon as we obtain it.
We understand that returning to school with mask is not ideal, however, there is a plus side to beginning the school year fully masked. Starting the school year with a full mask mandate allows us to give our full attention to the regular jobs that come along with opening school in September, without the added pressure of worrying about transmission among staff and students. We know that staff and students may test positive for Covid this year, but the mask worn by all will prevent the need for larger numbers of students to quarantine due to a classmate having developed Covid-19. At this time, we will do not need to conduct extensive contract tracing, nor do we need to conduct daily health checks with our students. We can allow students to play and congregate together in the classroom. We do not need to separate and distance them to the degree we had to last year. We can get them outside and play more, without a mask! We look forward to the end of the pandemic restrictions and hope to reduce mask and other restrictions in our school this year as vaccines become available to lower age groups and the positivity levels of the pandemic change.
We will not be offering the full remote option that we had last year. If a student needs to quarantine either because he or she has the virus or was in close contact with someone who has Covid, then your child’s teacher will work with you to keep your child up to speed with the schoolwork during the two weeks of quarantine.
The teachers and staff at St. Martin de Porres appreciate your support and cooperation with our health and safety protocols to ensure we continue providing in person instruction in a safe and healthy environment.
As one family united in the Faith with the Blessed Mother as our model, we will continue to meet the challenges ahead and continue to provide the very best Catholic Education to our children, the hope for tomorrow.
Grace and Peace,
Shawn Lisa Torres, LCSW-R