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Dear Catholic Academy and Parish School Families,
Since September, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools have been open and operating safely and efficiently. Thank you for your support in ensuring our guidelines for health and safety have been followed. Every person in our extended Catholic Academy and Parish Schools’ community has the responsibility to observe social distancing and wear a mask. This is what will keep the doors to our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools open; this is what will continue to keep everyone at our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools safe and healthy. Our principals, teachers and health aides have rigorously enforced health and safety protocols in our Catholic Academy and Parish Schools. For all this is being done on a daily basis, we are most grateful.
However, as students’ participation in outside extracurricular activities increases, the possibility of exposure to individuals who are positive for COVID may increase for both the students and their families. The same outcome can be true for attending any event with large numbers of people. This past week we have seen a very slight uptick in positive cases, and every positive case has been traced back to exposures at gatherings, parties, and events outside of the Catholic Academy/Parish School. We are sending this letter as a stark reminder COVID protocols do not end at the end of the school day and/or take the weekends off!
With that being said, it is crucial that every family completes the daily self-screening checklist, prior to sending their children to the Catholic Academy/Parish School.
If you can answer YES to any of the questions, your child may NOT enter the Catholic Academy/Parish School building. You MUST contact a health professional for guidance and notify the Catholic Academy/Parish School principal.
As a reminder, the questions are:
1. If your child has any of the following symptoms, that indicates a possible illness, which may decrease the student’s ability to learn and put them at risk for spreading illness to others. Does your child have any of these symptoms?
- Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sore Throat
- New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
2. To the best of your knowledge, in the past 14 days, has your child been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19?
3. Has your child or a member of your household traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.
According to the New York State Department of Health, your child will need to receive a note of medical clearance and a negative PCR COVID test to return to school, should they develop any symptoms or be sent home from school.
What else can we all be doing to maintain a safe environment for all? We can limit our exposure to large groups of people, continue to practice good hand hygiene, have a supply of masks on hand so that the fabric masks can be washed daily, and ensure everyone in your family receives a flu shot and all immunizations are kept up-to-date.
We truly appreciate everyone’s honesty, cooperation and dedication, to keeping our schools safe and healthy places of learning. During the month of the Most Holy Rosary, we continue to entrust our students, teachers, principals and staff to our Lady; the cause of our hope and joy.
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services