November 12 email from Principal Sepich – SPSL School Plans 11/23/20 through 1/11/21

Hello SPSL School Community,

As you know, our priority this school year has been to have our students at school for in person learning.  I am writing to communicate an adjustment to our school schedule intended to keep our students at school for in person learning for as long as possible this school year.

Experience tells us that there are increased instances of COVID exposure and positive cases within our school community, and in the Omaha area generally, after long holiday weekends.  This has resulted in significant staffing gaps at SPSL which is exacerbated by a shortage of substitute teachers.

As a result of this, along with the increase in positivity rates for COVID-19 in Omaha and its effects on our own faculty/student thresholds for quarantining, SPSL will proceed with the following plan for the time period of 11/23/2020-1/11/2021:

The purpose of planning for virtual learning for all students after the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks is to give added time to help with any transmission or infectious periods of our SPSL school community members over the holidays when there is the chance for more small and even large group gatherings.  Importantly, please note that students are expected to fully engage in remote learning the weeks of November 30-December 4, 2020 and January 5-8, 2021 and would be considered absent if not engaged in the online learning.

At present, for the time period of December 7th – December 18th, SPSL intends to have all students at school for in person learning (Plan A below).  However, if circumstances warrant, one of the other following options may be used:

Plan A:

Plan B:

Plan C:

Please be aware that these plans are subject to change as circumstances develop, including having to go full remote (even before Thanksgiving break) if state officials or the Catholic Schools Offices mandate it. This updated plan is our proactive approach to keep the health and safety of all those in our school community at the forefront.  Schools are necessarily operating with different plans and approaches during the pandemic.  Please know that the SPSL plan is predicated on our unique circumstances and has been formulated with the consultation and approval of the Douglas County Health Department.

The SPSL Return to School Plan includes an option for hybrid instruction (“Yellow Status”). However, our team intentionally built into our Return to School Plan the flexibility to modify our plans so we can adapt to changing circumstances. At this point, we believe the plans articulated above would better serve our students, support our staff, and keep our community safe rather than a hybrid option.

Please note that families should continue to report positive cases/exposures to SPSL over all holiday breaks. This will help us identify potential student/family clusters as their isolation/quarantine periods may extend into the restart of school coming back from those breaks. Parents should report positive cases and exposures to Mrs. Kathy Graney at kathy.graney@spsl.net, Mrs. Lisa Brewster at office.assistants@spsl.net and Principal Cory Sepich at cory.sepich@spsl.net.

We are asking that any families that plan to travel over a holiday break consider testing prior to returning to school. This testing consideration also includes large group gatherings like weddings and funerals. Also, if a student plays any sport (club, select, recreational, or parish-sponsored) and is exposed during that sport, SPSL requires the 14 day quarantine process to be consistent with all of our safety precautions and health measures.

Thank you for your help and your continued compassion, patience, and hope. We will get through this together, as we are an amazing school community and I am so blessed to be your Principal.

Dr. Cory Sepich
Principal
St. Pius X / St. Leo School