Dear St. Xavier Parents, Guardians, Faculty, Staff and Students,
As we move through extraordinary times, we are comforted by the mission and faith tradition at St. Xavier. Pope Francis has offered that “present difficulties have stimulated the creativity and inventiveness” and this has invited us to new methods of engagement and ministry. To this end, a great deal of work and preparation has occurred this summer planning for the new reality of education in the Covid-19 world while also animating the vision of Jesuit education at St. Xavier High School. The information contained in the Safe Return to School Plan will clarify our new reality.
At this time, St. Xavier is planning for a full school reopening on August 19, with all students invited to attend their in-person classes five days per week. Our preference will always be full-capacity in-person learning. However, we all should be aware that should conditions necessitate it, schools may be required to reduce capacity by staggering attendance or be required to move back to fully remote learning. We have prepared plans to support students in any of these situations.
The major elements of our plan focus on containing the virus, limiting transmission, and responding to community spread levels while identifying what environmental and personal variables to consider for a safe return to school. Our plan is guided by recommendations and best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ohio Department of Education, and the Hamilton County Department of Health among others.
We continue to study and monitor developments across the country and across the world relative to schools reopening. Given how the rapidly developing circumstances related to COVID-19 impacts at the local, state, and national level, as well as a consistent flow of new data about the disease, the school strategies for health monitoring and tracing are expected to adapt to incorporate the most current information and recommendations. Therefore, we must continue to be nimble and adjust as we navigate this road.
We fully understand that some parents may not want to have their son return to in-person instruction because of a pre-existing condition that places them or a family member in the “high risk” category. We also understand that some parents many not want to their son to return to school because of safety concerns. In these situations, we will make remote instruction fully available.
Remote instruction will consist of in-person instruction and online instruction occurring simultaneously. Students electing to receive instruction at home will be able to electronically access their classes and participate in the ongoing instruction and will follow the same class schedule as students attending in person. If they choose, parents will have the opportunity for their student to return to the campus during the year. Link
In the same spirit in which we are allowing students to learn remotely, faculty members who do not want to return to in-person instruction due to a pre-existing condition that places them or a family member in the “high risk” category will be given the opportunity to teach from home.
No matter what schedule or limitations present themselves, our mission “to assist young men in their formation as leaders and Men for Others through rigorous college preparation in the Jesuit tradition” will not change. To this end we can promise:
1. The health and safety of our students and community will be our top priority.
2. Our faculty and staff will be well-prepared for what lies ahead.
3. We will execute any plan with the care, attention to detail, and excellence that you have come to expect from St. Xavier High School.
Now, more than ever, we need to rely on our Ignatian traditions, especially cura personalis (care for the individual) and cura apostolica (care for the community). In addition, we will be asking our community to serve as “men and women for and with others” in their actions and care, making sure that we act responsibly both inside and outside of school to protect the most vulnerable in our community and ensure that we can remain in-person in our learning. This includes wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing.
We cannot eliminate risk; we can only mitigate it. The safety interventions outlined in our plan are the best approach to mitigating the risk. Your cooperation and collaboration is greatly appreciated.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.
Terry Tyrrell, Principal Tim Reilly '76, President
- Everyone will be wearing masks while in the building. St. Xavier students will be provided two cloth masks. Please see our mask policy.
- We have every intention of continuing our planned school calendar with options that will allow us to move smoothly between fully-online learning and a near-normal regular capacity setting, following guidance from public health officials.
- Students will be able to engage in synchronous learning regardless of whether they are at school or need to learn from home for extended periods of time.
- We are revamping our food service program to accommodate appropriate physical distancing. All students will have a secure space to connect with friends and eat.
- There will likely be no large group gatherings at St. Xavier throughout the first semester, including Class Night, parent-teacher conferences, all-school liturgies and assemblies, school dances, parent meetings, etc. We are in the process of revising these programs to occur in other formats where possible.
- Our faculty and staff will have completed professional development focused on teaching and working effectively in fully-online settings. The training will enable them to make full use of our technological infrastructure to help those students who will need to learn from home.