This hub contains all major communications about COVID–19 that directly affect the Saint Joseph Prep community. Content will be updated as the situation evolves.
- 08/25/21: Update about In-Person Learning
- 04/09/21 : Update Regarding In-Person Learning
- 03/30/21 : Update and Survey
- 01/14/21 : Important Schedule Update
- 12/31/20 : Return to Classes on January 4, 2021
- 12/15/20 : Schedule Update for the Week
- 12/14/20 : Important SJP Covid-19 Update, Part 3
- 11/28/20 : Important SJP Covid-19 Update, Part 2
- 11/27/20 : Important SJP Covid-19 Update
- 11/24/20 : Holiday Schedule Reminders
- 11/20/20 : Important SJP Holiday Travel Communication
- 11/11/20 : Important SJP Community Health Update
- 10/30/20 : Important Calendar Updates
- 09/22/20 : Start of School Reminders
- 09/11/20 : Important Update Regarding the First Day of School
- 08/21/20 : Fall Sports Update
- 07/24/20 : Upcoming Parent/Guardian Webinar
- 07/16/20 : Fall Sports Registration Update
- 07/10/20 : Reopening Plans for 2020-2021 Academic Year
- 06/16/20 : Commencement Update for Seniors & Their Parents
- 06/01/20 : Update for Week of June 1
- 05/21/20 : Update for Week of May 21
- 05/15/20 : Update to Seniors & Their Families Regarding Commencement
- 05/13/20 : Update for Week of May 13
- 05/06/20 : Update for Week of May 6
- 05/01/20 : Update for Week of May 1
- 04/24/20 : MIAA Update on Spring Sports Season
- 04/23/20 : Update Regarding Gov Baker’s Announcement
- 04/14/20 : Update for the Week of April 14
- 04/06/20 : Update for the Week of April 6
- 03/30/20 : MIAA Update on Start of Spring Season
- 03/30/20 : Update for the Week of March 30
- 03/25/20 : Update Regarding School Closure Extension
- 03/23/20 : Update for Week Two of Remote Learning
- 03/16/20 : MIAA Update on Spring Sports Season
- 03/16/20 : Update Regarding Coronavirus and Remote Learning
- 03/16/20 : Update for SJP International Students
- 03/13/20 : Communication About Temporarily Closing the School
- 03/13/20 : MIAA Spring Season Announcement
- 03/12/20 : Communication to SJP Community
- 03/04/20 : Initial Communication to Parents/Students
August 25, 2021
Dear SJP Families,
As we eagerly await the start of a new school and the return of our students to campus, we want to thank you again for entrusting your son(s)/daughter(s) to us and for choosing to be part of this remarkable community. We’d also like to offer a special thank you to those who have sent words of encouragement over the summer. As promised, we are excited to share our Covid plan for the opening of the 2021-22 school year.
Before we outline our plan, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge last year’s extraordinary collaboration between faculty, students and parents/guardians. We value our partnership with you, especially during these unique times. Your support for the comprehensive Covid policies and protocols adopted last year was a crucial factor in our remarkable success in ensuring the health and well-being of our entire school community. In turn, your support ensured our school's mission remained vibrant and alive, allowing us the opportunity to provide a faith-filled, exceptional, accessible, student-driven education for your son(s)/daughter(s). We are excited to share that there were NO CASES of Covid transmission within our school during the 2020-21 school year. This was a remarkable achievement made possible by the cooperation of all members of our community. Thank you!
The purpose of this letter is to offer you an update on our school’s COVID Preparedness Plan for the 21-22 school year. Our entire faculty/staff are committed to providing a safe, welcoming and faith-filled environment for learning as we return to our Full In-Person learning model. Be assured that the health and safety of your daughters and sons are always at the heart of every decision we make here at SJP and that we remain committed to ensuring that each student has the opportunity to continue to grow academically, spiritually and personally.
While none of us can predict the ebb and flow of this global pandemic, in an abundance of caution and care for our community, we will continue to follow the recommendations from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and our local Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).
After a careful review of the most recent updates from DESE, CDC and BPHC, we are confident that the following measures provide students with the kind of safe learning environment that will allow them to have an incredible year inside and outside of the classroom. Our plan aligns with the mission of SJP, as we focus on the good of the whole. Throughout the pandemic, our community has been flexible, resilient, supportive, understanding and generous – virtues that are at the core of our mission.
We will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and will make adjustments to our plan as needed. Building upon the success of last year’s Covid plan, the approach of erring on the side of caution, which served us so well last year, will continue to guide our planning. With your continued support, we believe our plan will ensure that we continue to offer your son/daughter the exceptional education experience SJP is known for.
Please find below a number of important items that will help you and your son/daughter prepare to return to Full In-Person learning for the 21-22 school year. These measures will help your son/daughter feel at home at Saint Joseph Prep, with safety and teaching/learning at the heart of the decision-making process.
1. In-Person Instruction: To ensure our school is able to offer our students the level of academic rigor and support we are known for, and so that we can better support the social-emotional well-being of our students, our school will return to our traditional learning model of 5 days a week of full in-person instruction. Taking into account the health and safety measures outlined in this letter, the school does not plan to offer a remote learning or hybrid learning option for students at this current time. In the event that circumstances change, we are prepared to make adjustments to this plan, as needed.
2. Masks for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Students/Faculty/Staff: Following DESE recommendations, guidance from the CDC and local public health advisories, all students, faculty/staff, including those who are vaccinated, must wear a mask indoors. Masks should be plain or have a modest design and should not have any words or slogans. There will be masks breaks throughout the day in classes, during advisory, and at lunch. Masks will be required on any school transportation.
3. Arrival to School: All students will enter through the main student doors /the glass doors located behind the school adjacent to the main parking lot. Students will be asked to wait outside or in their cars until 7:15 am if they arrive early. Supervision is provided in Café Phoenix before school, from 7:15 AM to 7:35 AM. At that time, students are released to the academic building for their first class.
4. Travel Within the Building: We will continue with the internal travel procedures set in place last year. One-directional hallways and stairways will assist with traffic flow. The end staircases will continue to be designated for single file downward travel. The middle staircase will be designated for upward travel.
5. Facilities Sanitization: PPE supplies will continue to be provided in each classroom, office, and building space within our school. Hand sanitizing stations will continue to be located throughout the building. Our sanitization team will continue to complete electrostatic cleaning of all building spaces regularly.
6. Lockers: All students will be assigned a locker for the 21-22 school year to allow them to store their personal belongings, including sweatshirts, winter clothing, non-school shoes, and other books/materials. Students will receive their locker information at the start of school and are encouraged to utilize their lockers before school, between classes, and after school.
7. Lunch: This year, students will be able to sit four to a table in the lunchroom with plexiglass dividers in place. Students who bring their lunch will again have access to the refrigerator and microwaves in Cafe Phoenix. We will be offering a full lunch service, including a hot lunch option. Details on lunch service will be coming from the Business Office next week. As always, if you are not able to provide a lunch for your student, please contact Mrs. Carol Woolston, Assistant Head of School for Community Life email@example.com
8. Study Hall Policy for Grades 9-11: All students in grades 9-11 are required to attend all study hall periods, including first and last blocks. This allows students the opportunity to complete work in a structured environment, collaborate together, and access academic enrichment services.
9. Study Hall Privilege for Grade 12: In recognition of the leadership exhibited last year, and in an effort to make the senior year experience as special and rewarding as possible, rather than waiting until the end of Q1, we will be initiating Senior Study Hall Privilege earlier this year. In September, a consent form will be sent home that will need to be signed by parents and students. Study Hall Privilege will begin once those forms have been submitted.
10. Restroom Protocol: Each bathroom will have a maximum capacity sign on the door. During class, students will be asked to sign out to use the restroom. If the restroom is at capacity, students should adhere to this maximum number and wait patiently on the marked area outside the restroom. Students should wash their hands and return directly back to class.
11. After School Supervision: Afterschool, supervision is provided from 2:40 PM to 4:00 PM. Teacher office hours will continue to be 2:45pm - 3:30pm. Of course, for students participating in or returning from an activity (i.e., athletic event, field trip, etc.) after 4:00 PM, the chaperones or coaches provide the appropriate supervision.
We ask that parents/guardians understand and respect that the School cannot be responsible for students after 4:00 PM.
12. Attendance Policies: All students are required to attend school and adhere to all attendance policies outlined in the Student Handbook. Students are expected to be in school every day unless they are ill, have tested positive for Covid, or are experiencing Covid symptoms. We ask families again this year to do a Daily Symptom Screen. Please see the attached Daily Symptom Screening document for additional details. Students whose absences are deemed to be excused will make up any classwork or tests when they return to school. Please see the Student Handbook pages 26-28 for additional information on absences and details on excessive absences.
13. SJP Covid Test and Stay Program: The school is working closely with DESE and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to implement an on-site “Test and Stay” Program at SJP. This Rapid BinaxNOW antigen testing will allow asymptomatic close contacts to remain in school and participate in sports and extracurriculars. We will update families with our Test and Stay Program capabilities in a future communication.
14. Sports and Extracurricular Activities: Fall sports are currently underway. At this current time, masks are required for all indoor sports, including games and practices and school-sponsored travel. Extracurricular activities will continue this Fall with the same health and safety procedures as stated above.
15. The Celebration of Mass and Monday Morning Gathering / Assemblies: As part of our return to a Full In-Person model, we will be providing a rich Community Life experience this year. This will include but is not limited to Mass, All-School Gatherings, Chapel Speaking and Retreats.
16. Safety Protocol Compliance: In order to keep our community safe and allow for in-person instruction to continue, the cooperation of all students will be essential, and all students are expected to comply.
17. Travel Plans: SJP will continue to follow the Massachusetts Covid-19 Guidelines. The most current guidelines can be found here.
18. Communication: SJP will contact all individuals and parents/guardians if they have been identified as a close contact. No identities of COVID-19 positive individuals will be shared at any time.
A few other important reminders:
19. Collaboration Wednesdays: We return to Collaboration Wednesdays, an in-person learning day roughly one hour shorter than a regular school day, running from 7:45 - 1:40pm. The extra time created by this plan will be devoted to Faculty/Staff Meetings, Department Meetings, Professional Learning Communities (PLC), and cross-curricular collaboration. It is imperative that we set time aside to enrich our educational practice. On Wednesdays, as usual, students will be allowed to leave after the afternoon announcements. Teacher office hours will run as usual from 2:45- 3:30pm. Cafe Phoenix will be supervised and open for students who wish to remain on campus between the end of school and the start of office hours or sports/extracurriculars.
20. First Day of School: The first official day of classes is Thursday, September 9, and is an A day on the schedule where students will meet with periods 1,2,3,4,5 of the classes on their individual schedule. Friday, September 10th, will be a B day, where students will meet with periods 6,7,8,1,2. Students should review the link to the academic schedule for ’21-’22 that was shared in the June 17 and August 13 communication to parents, guardians, and students.
21. Save-the-Date: Please mark your calendars and be sure to join us for the following events:
Athletic Program Meeting: Wednesday, September 1 at 6pm in Cafe Phoenix
Back to School Night: Thursday, September 23, 6-8pm
Open House: Sunday, October 24, 1-4pm
We are excited to pivot once again and welcome our students back to school for full in-person learning. Our gradual return to a “more normal” school experience with a familiar schedule is something we have all longed for, and now it’s here. As we have always done, we will rise together as a community of inclusive love. As this new academic year begins, let us continue to take care of each other in the days ahead and ask God to bless our journey together.
Please know how much your son/daughter is known and loved at Saint Joseph Prep. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Go Phoenix!
Head of School
April 9, 2021
Dear SJP Families,
Spring is here, and with the nice weather, advisories are going outside, teams are beginning to practice, our spiritual life is deepening, a Kairos retreat is being planned, classes are moving forward, and there is a movement toward hope. A slow return to the extraordinary ordinary is upon us. Many are Covid fatigued, but in the words of Christ: “Behold, I make all things new.” We want to thank all of you for your patience and especially thank those parents who have sent words of encouragement. As promised, we are excited to share with you our plans for the remainder of the academic year.
We also want to thank you for your responses to our most recent survey. This input is extremely important to us as we continue to plan for a return to in-person learning. The survey results were 58.4% In-Person, 25.3% Hybrid, and 16.3% Fully Remote. We will honor the decisions of families who have chosen to have their students remain hybrid or fully remote. For those parents who have chosen in-person learning, our plan is as follows:
On April 26, we will welcome back our seniors for a Senior Celebration Week. In an effort to make their last week of high school a special experience, we have made arrangements to host some of SJP’s senior traditions, including Senior Retreat, a series of special events, and for the Class of 2021 to attend classes together. Senior parents, stay tuned for an email from Mrs. Woolston later today with more details.
For those families who have opted for in-person learning, this will go into effect the week of May 3.
More details will follow regarding lunch arrangements and classroom spaces.
In order to facilitate sanitization protocols, Wednesdays will remain fully remote for all students. As always, we will continue to follow all DESE guidelines and protocols.
If students who are hybrid or fully remote choose to return to in-person learning, the school requires that families give a five day notice of this decision. This will allow us time to inform teachers and advisors and reconfigure spaces if necessary.
For families who opt for in-person, the expectation is that students will only be remote for extenuating circumstances.
One additional note, in order to facilitate junior SATs and Senior Retreat on Tuesday, April 27, we have made one calendar change.
Tuesday, April 27 will become our fully remote day for that week.
Wednesday, April 28 will be Cohort A students only.
We are excited to pivot once again and welcome back to school those students who are choosing to attend in person. Our hybrid and fully remote students will maintain a familiar schedule and all of us will rise together as the community that we know and love. Let us continue to take care of each other in the days ahead and ask God to bless our journey together.
Please feel free to reach out to either of us if you have any questions.
Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward
March 30, 2021
Dear SJP Parents and Guardians,
First of all, we want to thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate our way through this extremely challenging year. We also want to thank those parents who have personally reached out to us with ideas and support. Let us assure you that your daughters and sons are at the heart of all that we do at Saint Joseph Prep, and our decisions are motivated by what is best for them, academically, spiritually, and personally. We also value our partnership with you, especially during this pandemic year.
With a view to expanding our in-person learning before the end of this academic year, and with the following protocols in place (see listed below), we are asking parents/guardians to commit to one of the following three learning options: In-Person, Hybrid, or Fully Remote.
In order to assist us in this process, we are asking that you complete the following brief survey.
Unlike the previous survey, this is not anonymous, and we will require you to include your name, student name, and grade level. We are asking parents/guardians to complete this survey by April 5. In order to give us accurate data, it is important that every family completes this survey.
Once we have had a chance to compile this data, we will send out a follow-up communication on Friday, April 9.
Protocols: (Note: With the exception of the last bullet point, all other protocols have been standard since we returned to school in September)
All Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines for health and safety remain in place: wearing of masks; sanitization stations; continued use of separate entrances and exits for different grade-level; one-way traffic flow patterns within the building; maintaining social distancing protocols in classrooms, hallways, during lunch, etc.
Wednesdays remain fully remote to facilitate thorough cleaning of the entire building
Sanitization protocols (electro-static cleaning of the entire building) remain in place for Wednesdays and Sundays
Daily sanitization and disinfection protocols remain in place (all common areas, bathrooms, and Cafe Phoenix cleaned during the school day)
If selecting in-person or hybrid, families would be asked to give five school days notice before switching to in-person learning
Faculty and staff members have had the opportunity to receive the vaccine
In other news, we were able to share with seniors yesterday that there will be an in-person prom in late May at Granite Links in Quincy. Additionally, there will also be a week of celebrating seniors in late April that includes senior retreat, a cookout, and further opportunities for the Class of ’21 to bond before Commencement. We are exploring an in-person Commencement, and will share more details as planning continues.
Finally, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting in-person SATs for our juniors on April 27, with details to follow.
As we journey through Holy Week, let us continue to pray for each other that we will love as Jesus has taught us to love and believe that God is with us in every moment of our lives.
Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward
In the wake of serious concern over the worsening spread of the Coronavirus, we want to take a moment to address the issue and assure you, our students and families, that the School continues to take every precaution to keep our community healthy. Over the past few weeks, there has been a 50% increase in COVID-19 cases, with Massachusetts averaging almost 7,000 new cases daily. In addition, hospital capacities are starting to reach critical levels.
As always, the health and well-being of the Saint Joseph Prep community is our top priority. At this point, after consulting with our team, and in consultation with the CDC and Boston Public Health, SJP has made the following proactive, preventive decision. In an abundance of caution and care for our community, we have decided to continue in our remote learning mode until Friday, January 29.
Our plan at this time is to return to Hybrid learning on Monday, February 1. We will continue to be in direct communication with families. Please pay close attention to emails and website postings on our page dedicated to coronavirus information—see below for a list of calendar updates and adjustments impacted by this change.
Our hope is that remaining fully remote for an additional nine school days will give us time to gauge the impact of the recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases and to assess the potential impact any new strains of the virus may have on our community. It is our prayer that your families are remaining healthy, and we thank you for your continued support for our health protocols.
Like you, we continue to pray for the entire medical community, the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and anyone on the front lines serving those who have COVID-19. We pray especially for those families in our SJP community who have been affected by COVID-19.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out directly to one of us.
Kathy McCarvill and Gene Ward
Co-Heads of School
Calendar Adjustments and Updates:
PSAT Exam scheduled for Tuesday, January 26, has been canceled. We hope that CollegeBoard will offer an alternative date for this exam. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Tuesday, January 26, is now designated as a “Zoom Out Day” for all students. We encourage all our students to take a break from all things technology-related. Quarter 3 (Semester 2) begins the next day, Wednesday, January 27. This makes Tuesday the perfect opportunity to press the reset button and rejuvenate the batteries for the start of the second half of the year. For our faculty, this will be an opportunity to complete the necessary work to facilitate this extension to the fully remote schedule.
In recognition that extended time in remote learning (no matter how high the quality of instruction) can pose challenges for students, we have asked our faculty to offer a 15-minute “office hour” block at the end of each 80-minute instructional period. This adjustment will allow all students to connect with their subject teachers at the conclusion of each class to ask questions or seek clarification on information covered in the lesson.
At this time, extracurricular activities are not impacted by this change in schedule. We will continue to depend upon the guidance of the Mass Department of Health and State officials, and will keep you updated if anything were to change.
We hope that you had a blessed Christmas and have had a chance to relax over this break. For some, the Christmas celebration was much smaller, but for all of us, the birth of Christ is a reminder that God is with us and we are connected to each other in a sacred way. As we leave 2020 behind with all of its challenges and meaningful lessons, we welcome 2021 with a renewed hope in the days ahead. Like our mascot, the Phoenix, we continue to rise and to choose to be resilient together.
As a reminder, classes resume on Monday, January 4, and we will be fully remote through Friday, Jan 15. We plan to return to Hybrid learning on Tuesday, January 19. There are no classes on Monday, January 18 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day. As it has been all year, Wednesdays will remain Community Wednesdays with 60-minute blocks. For more information on our schedule, please refer to the calendar on our school website: https://www.saintjosephprep.org/community/school-calendar
Once we return to school, we will have just 14 school days until the end of Q2, which ends on Friday, January 22. As always, we encourage students to regularly check PowerSchool for the latest grade updates. If they have any questions or concerns, students should reach out directly to their subject teacher and/or Academic Advisor.
It is important for you to know that over Christmas break, three students were diagnosed with COVID-19. So far, and in no small way due to your support for our Covid protocols, no Covid cases have originated in our building. Along with our school nurse, Ms. Shea, we continue to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the CDC and Boston Public Health. Moving forward, we will continue to have an overabundance of caution and will make adjustments as needed. Let us continue to pray for those who have been affected by COVID-19 and for the loved ones who have been lost.
As we enter 2021, know that we wish you and your families a very Happy New Year. May this be a year of vaccines, a return to a sense of normalcy, and time of great grace for each and every member of our SJP Family. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay connected.
Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward
As you have heard on the news, a major snowstorm is forecasted for Thursday, December 17. Along with many other schools in the area, we have made the decision to go remote Thursday, December 17, and Friday, December 18. Students will be following the Hybrid “Community Wednesdays” schedule with 60-minute classes. A copy of the schedule is linked here as well as posted on the website. On Friday, we will be offering a shortened traditional Christmas Program before we break for Christmas vacation.
Since this Christmas program is so important to us as a community, we are counting on every student being there to celebrate and to remember the gift we are to one another. It has been a most challenging year and many families have been impacted by COVID-19. As we come together at our Christmas Program, we will make it our special intention to pray for anyone whose life has been made more difficult by COVID-19.
Christmas is a powerful reminder that God is with us and has a purpose for each of our lives. It is the season to lift people up, bring glad tidings to the brokenhearted, and make other people’s lives easier. We pray that Jesus is born again in all of us and that our hearts are open to new life and new hope. Be assured all of your families will be in our prayers at Christmas. We are truly blessed to be in the SJP Family together.
Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward
Today, we received word that a staff member in our SJP community has tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the part-time role of this individual, there was limited contact with an extremely small number of students. Our school nurse, Joanne Shea, is in contact with Boston Public Health and is in the process of implementing our “contact tracing” protocols to determine the close contacts of this individual. As you will appreciate, in order to protect the privacy of each member of our community, we are not able to share specific details.
The last day that this individual was on campus was Friday, December 11. Because the community at SJP adheres to the strict safety measures—wearing masks and maintaining six feet social distancing in all spaces—we are confident that every precaution was in place. Ms. Shea will be reaching out to a small number of close contacts today and will be sharing further information. The individual part-time staff member and the small number of students will not be returning to Saint Joseph Prep until January 19.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this staff member and all those who have struggled with COVID-19.
Please reach out to our School Nurse, Joanne Shea, if you have any questions.
Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward
Dear Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff,
Today, we received word that a student member of our SJP community has tested positive for COVID-19. Our school nurse, Joanne Shea is in contact with Boston Public Health and is in the process of implementing our “contact tracing” protocols, to determine the close contacts of this individual. As you will appreciate, in order to protect the privacy of each member of our community, we are not able to share specific details.
The last day that this individual was on campus was Tuesday, November 24. Because the community at SJP adheres to the strict safety measures—wearing masks and maintaining six feet social distancing in most spaces—we are confident that every precaution was in place. Ms. Shea will be reaching out to close contacts today and will be sharing further information. Once all contacts have heard from Ms. Shea and appropriate COVID-19 testing has taken place, we will reach back out to our SJP Community with an update.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual student and non-teaching staff member, both of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.
Please reach out to our School Nurse, Joanne Shea, if you have any questions.
Dear SJP Families,
We hope that all of your families celebrated a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.
Yesterday, we received word that a non-teaching adult in our building has tested positive for COVID-19. As you know, in order to protect the privacy of each member of our community, we are not able to share specific details. Upon learning the news, we immediately contacted the Boston Public Health Department in order to follow the proper protocols. We are also adhering to the DESE and CDC guidelines and have identified the close contacts of this individual.
The close contacts of this individual include a very small group of adults who were wearing masks and social distancing. None of those adults show any symptoms. Close contacts are persons who were within six feet of the individual for more than 15 minutes within a period of 24 hours. These close contacts have been informed of the situation and are being tested. No students have been exposed to this individual.
Since we have built into our schedule a remote learning week, we will not be back into the school building until Monday, December 7. We will be adhering to our extensive cleaning schedule that includes electrostatic disinfection. We will continue to take every precaution to ensure the safety of our students, families, faculty and staff. Over this Thanksgiving break, please do your part by following the recommended guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our SJP families for their continued efforts to stay home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission. We could not be more proud of our community and the efforts we have all put forth to take care of each other.
Stay safe for the rest of the Thanksgiving break and our remote learning period. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our School Nurse, Joanne Shea. We have promised transparency and clear communication around any COVID-19 cases in our building and we plan to keep that promise.
Please keep all of those people who have been affected by COVID-19 in your prayers. Your families remain in our own thoughts and prayers.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we could not be more grateful for our SJP community. Our students have shown incredible resilience and grit within our hybrid schedule, as well as in making the necessary adjustments for teams, clubs, and activities. You, our parents/guardians and students, have been committed to our seven-day vigilance in keeping our community healthy. It is a true reflection of your love for your children, but also your love for our SJP community. We are proud of each and every member of our Phoenix Family. The bonds within this family are one of our greatest blessings.
We are also aware that for many families this Thanksgiving looks and feels very different. Our choice to limit the number of people who sit at our table, to struggle over whether or not to travel or even leave our homes, has been a challenge. Let’s remember once again that we are all in this together and we look forward to a vaccine that is now within reach. Please keep in your prayers over the Thanksgiving holiday those who are the “least among us,” those families who would be hungry if it were not for the kindness of good people. If you can, be one of those people. Trust that God gives us all the grace to move through all of this.
We are including the Holiday Schedule below as a reminder of which days will be vacation days and which days we are on a full-remote learning schedule.
- Nov 25 (Wed) - Nov 30 (Mon): Thanksgiving Break: No classes
- Dec 1 (Tues) - Dec 4 (Fri): Interim Remote Learning Schedule
- Dec 7 (Mon): Return to Hybrid Schedule
- Dec 19 (Sat) - Jan 3 (Sun): Christmas Break: No classes
- Jan 4 (Mon) - Jan 15 (Fri): Interim Remote Learning Schedule
- Jan 18 (Mon): MLK, Jr Day: No classes
- Jan 19 (Tues): Return to Hybrid Schedule
Finally, two reminders. Please remember to fill out the travel survey that you received last Friday: SJP Travel Form Additionally, students and families interested in participating in swimming this winter should contact our Athletic Director, Mr. Bill Barton.
May God bless all of our SJP families with a wonderful Thanksgiving.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we are aware that some of you may be traveling out of state to visit family and friends. In light of the current COVID-19 surge, it is imperative that we track vacation travel arrangements. Please find below a link to the SJP Travel Form that will inform us of your family’s travel plans. This form must be completed by Tuesday, November 24, before we break for the holiday.
Thank you for helping us ensure the health and safety of our entire SJP Community. If you have any questions, please contact our nurse, Ms. Joanne Shea.
Dear SJP Families.
We hope this email finds you and your family safe and well.
We are writing to you today in response to a “celebration” gathering of the girls’ soccer team that took place last night in our school cafeteria. Unfortunately, since this gathering exceeded 25 people, was held in an enclosed space with no ventilation, and exceeded 15 minutes, we are mandated to follow Covid-19 protocols.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are requiring all students and staff who attended the event to take a PCR Covid-19 test before returning to school. In advance of any return to school, the results of these tests must be shared with our school nurse, Ms. Shea. In the meantime, we have informed students who attended the event that they should plan on remaining at home and transition to remote learning.
As always, the health and safety of our community is our number one priority. Through hard work, careful planning and with the support of our entire school community, we continue to see no cases of Covid-19 in our school. All of our efforts remain focused on ensuring that continues.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school as soon as we receive their negative test results.
We are incredibly grateful to the SJP community, both students and parents/guardians, as we continue to chart our course through these challenging times. Our united commitment to a seven-day vigilance of following the protocols established by the Department of Public Health has helped keep COVID-19 out of our building. As we have seen in the news, it’s often been weekend activities that have led to outbreaks at other schools. So, we ask parents/guardians to continue partnering with us, as you have done since last March, to safeguard the health and safety of our SJP community. Know that we could not be prouder of our students and their response to all we are asking of them this year.
Below you will find some important updates, especially to our calendar. We have made these calendar adjustments in an effort to better support the health and well-being of our community. Our hope is that by pivoting to this Interim Remote Schedule for a short period of time after the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, we will give members of our community the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with family members, travel outside Massachusetts if necessary, and do so in a way that allows us to return to school safely and minimize the chances of a Covid transmission within our school.
1. Friday, November 13: Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences - the original date for this was Thursday, November 12. See below for further details.
2. Thanksgiving Break+: Wednesday, November 25 - Friday, December 4
- No Classes: Wednesday, Nov 25; Thursday, Nov 26; Friday, Nov 27; and Monday, Nov 30 (Zoom Out day)
- Interim Remote Learning Schedule: Tuesday, Dec 1 - Friday, Dec 4
- Return to Hybrid Schedule: Monday, Dec 7 - Friday, Dec 18
3. Christmas Break+: Saturday, December 19 - Sunday, January 3
- Interim Remote Learning Schedule: Monday, Jan 4 - Friday, Jan 15
- Return to Hybrid Schedule on Tuesday, Jan 19 (Monday, Jan 18 - No Classes: MLK Jr. Day)
Parent-Teacher Conferences (Virtual): We’ve made a slight adjustment to our calendar and moved Parent-Teacher Conferences to Friday, November 13. Parents/Guardians will be able to sign up online for a time slot to speak via Zoom link with their son’s/daughter’s teachers. Times will be available from 8:30AM - 3:30PM. We encourage you to utilize the time slots available on November 13, but if you are unable to participate in conferences on that day, parents can reach out directly to teachers to establish a date and time that works best for them. More information will follow from Mr. Poponyak early next week.
Semester Exams: There are unique challenges that come with designing, administering, and preparing students to take traditional semester exams in a hybrid or remote environment. Thus, after careful consideration, teachers will not offer traditional semester exams in their subject areas this school year. Students’ grades will be calculated using the following weightings - Q1: 25%, Q2: 25%, Q3: 25%, Q4: 25%. In each Quarterly marking period, teachers will continue to infuse opportunities for students to practice summative style assessments. Click here for more detailed information on the rationale for making this adjustment.
Zoom Outs: At our last Parent Coffee with the Co-Heads of School, the concern was raised about the time students are spending on Zoom. In an effort to safeguard the psychological well-being of our entire community, we are introducing periodic “Zoom Outs” where we all will have technology breaks.
COVID-19 Protocols: A reminder that if a student has been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms, parents should immediately contact our school nurse, Joanne Shea. There are protocols in place that our school will then follow. Ms. Shea will make all the necessary internal contacts with administrators and teachers.
Please be assured that we are monitoring daily the case numbers in the cities and towns where our students live. As always, the health and safety of our community is our top priority.
We are blessed in so many ways and it has been a joy to resume school life together. Let us pray for each other in the days ahead.
Let us begin with gratitude to each and every member of our community for the safe and successful reopening of Saint Joseph Prep. As we finished up our first week of school in the hybrid model, we are confident that the intense planning and incredible work of our entire team have contributed to this excellent beginning. As we watch other high schools return to remote learning because of weekend parties or unsafe gatherings, we remind you that our commitment to each other is for seven days a week. We urge parents to continue to be vigilant. Together, we are all equally responsible for the health and wellness of our beloved community.
A few reminders:
All students in Massachusetts schools are required to get a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020. Please email the documentation that your child received their flu vaccine to the school nurse by that date.
If your child is not feeling well, we ask that you keep them home. Remember to contact their doctor’s office for guidance on screening, testing for COVID-19, or treatment for another illness.
Picture Day: Lifetouch will be on campus to take pictures on September 24 and 28. Details were sent home directly from the company and your daughter/son will receive a flyer.
Back to School Night has been moved to Thursday, October 1 and will be held virtually. Details to follow.
PSAT: Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to reschedule the PSATs for grades 9-11. Instead of taking place on Wednesday, October 14, our Guidance team is working with the College Board to establish a new testing date early in 2021. For purposes of scheduling, Wednesday, October 14 will be a regular remote Wednesday schedule.
This week, we will be introducing our All School Community Gatherings (virtually) and our Chapel Speaking Program during Advisories.
Virtual Club and Activities Fair, Wednesday, September 23 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM. This will be an opportunity for our students to find exciting new ways to engage in our community.
The Phoenix Spirit Shop is opening this week. Due to our policies around COVID-19, students cannot try on spirit wear and all sales are final and by appointment only. If you do not have an SJP ¼ zip or sweatshirt, now is the time to purchase one. Please contact Mrs. Nunan with any questions. You may shop remotely via the Phoenix Gear link found on our website, under “Community/PhoenixShop”.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Let us continue to pray for one another and to take seriously our responsibility to keep our community safe.
September 11, 2020
Dear SJP Families,
It has been a joy to see students returning to campus this week for grade level orientations and we are very excited for classes to begin on Monday. Witnessing the students as they warmly greeted each other after such a long absence makes the incredible efforts of our faculty and staff to prepare for their return over the summer easily worth it.
We have a few last minute details to share with you that should make our first day of classes run as smoothly as possible. If you haven’t yet seen it, there is a section on our School website dedicated to the Hybrid Academic Plan featuring resources and updates, including:
- “A Day in the Life” video regarding all safety policies and protocols
- Recordings of our Parent Webinars discussing Reopening and Re-entry
- Details of our Hybrid Learning Program
We will continue to update this page as plans evolve and there is a link to it from our website’s homepage for easy access.
Please take note of these two important pieces of information that students should keep in mind as they come to school next week:
- Lockers will not be available. Students must carry their belongings with them throughout the day.
- Students must bring lunch for the first two weeks of school. Our bagged lunch program will be implemented at the end of the month.
And finally, if you are in Group B (last name L-Z) or fully remote, you will access your first class on Monday either via the Google Classroom invitation sent by your first period teacher or by following the directions offered in this linked document. Group A students (last name A-K), we will see you in the building on Monday! If you have any questions about which classes are each day, please refer to your PowerSchool schedule or the Hybrid learning schedule.
Today we also look back on the events of September 11, 2001 and remember the sacrifice, courage, and humanity shown that day. May we take a moment to remember those lives lost and forever changed.
We hope that you are continuing to enjoy your summer. We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the latest information we received this week from the MIAA regarding fall sports.
In accordance with MIAA directives, the start of try-outs and practices for fall sports, at all MIAA affiliated schools, can begin no earlier than Friday September 18.
For SJP student-athletes in all of our fall sports (soccer, cross-country, volleyball, and golf), this means that we will not be starting try-outs and/or practices on Monday, August 24, as we had hoped.
We will be in touch soon with more information on the times and locations of try-outs and practices.
In the meantime, if your son or daughter has not had an opportunity to sign-up yet for fall sports, they can still do so by going to the link below. The new deadline for registrations is Friday, September 4.
Thank you to all those who have already responded to our Parent Survey on the opening of school. If you have not had an opportunity to do so, please take a few minutes today to complete this survey. We are depending on your feedback, your voice, and your partnership as we move forward. As we continue to develop and refine our plans for September, we welcome your input, ideas and suggestions. Thank you in advance for completing the survey. For your convenience, here is a link to the PARENT/GUARDIAN survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sjp_parent_survey
As you can imagine, this summer continues to be a busy one here at SJP. Even before school finished up in June, a number of Task Forces were established to help us plan and prepare for the opening of school. These Task Forces have done an amazing amount of work in a short span of time and we are ready to begin the process of sharing some of our plans for the fall with you.
With that in mind, next Thursday, July 30 from 6:00-7:00 PM, we will host a Zoom Webinar for parents. An email will be sent early next week with the link.
Next Thursday will be the first in a series of communications we plan to have with parents and students over the next few weeks that will lay out our plans for the opening of school.
At next Thursday’s webinar, members of our Team will share with you an overview of the plans and procedures we have carefully developed to ensure a safe learning environment and further celebrate our vibrant community life. As always, the health and safety of our students and faculty remains our number one priority.
In the second half of the webinar, we will give an update on our academic plans. As we shared in our previous communication, we have followed DESE guidance and have created three reopening plans: In-Person/Face to Face, Hybrid, and Remote Learning. At our webinar, we will share information about the school schedule and what encompasses a Hybrid Learning model at SJP.
If you cannot attend next Thursday, the webinar will be recorded and made available to all on our website.
We hope that everyone is having a wonderful start to the summer and that your family is remaining safe and healthy.
Like so many other parts of life right now, we are not exactly sure what athletics at the High School level will look like in the fall, so we are trying to remain optimistic and treat the registration as we typically do. With this being said the sports we have traditionally offered, could change, and there is no guarantee that we will play varsity sports in the fall of 2020. We will be sending another communication out in August with the latest guidelines on return to fall sports.
Our first priority is always to make sure that we are keeping all student athletes and coaches safe and healthy. Secondly, our goal is to provide the very best athletic experience for your sons and daughters. We are sending out this registration to gauge how many athletes are interested in what specific sports teams. There will be a new normal around just about everything, including sports. Completing the registration process also gives us the necessary medical information needed, so if we do make a shift there will not be a wait time to be cleared by the school nurse.
Right now, I know everyone has questions, like when does the season start, what sports will play, where will practice be, what happens if we do not have traditional school. These are all things that I do not have answers to yet, but as soon as I do I will communicate with everyone that registers for athletics. I appreciate your understanding as we work through our plans for the fall.
The registration for all fall sports is currently open until the 17th of August at midnight. Please do not wait to register until the last day.
It is extremely helpful to coaches and support staff to register as soon as possible to make sure that we can process the registration and plan for the appropriate numbers for the first day of practice.
Here is the information on how to register.
FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our programs, and helps us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. You enter your information only once for each family member for multiple uses and multiple programs.
You must register for all Fall Athletics through this system and it will be open until 08/11/2019. The first day of practice for Fall sports is 08/22/2019, once you register expect more information from the coach about that specific team, later in August.
BEFORE YOU REGISTER:
You should have a copy of your current physical so you can upload it in the FamilyID system. YOU MUST UPLOAD YOUR CURRENT PHYSICAL.
INFORMATION NEEDED TO REGISTER:
It will be helpful to have the following information handy to allow for accurate completion of your online registration: Doctor information, Current Physical, Health Insurance Information, and Emergency Contact Information.
A parent/guardian should register by copying and pasting this link into your web browser:
Follow these steps:
1. To find your program, click on the link provided by the Organization above and select the registration form under the word Programs.
2. Next click on the green Register Now button and scroll, if necessary, to the Create Account/Log In green buttons. If this is your first time using FamilyID, click Create Account. Click Log In, if you already have a FamilyID account.
3. Create your secure FamilyID account by entering the account owner First and Last names (parent/guardian), E-mail address and password. Select I Agree to the FamilyID Terms of Service. Click Create Account.
4. You will receive an email with a link to activate your new account. (If you don’t see the email, check your E-mail filters (spam, junk, etc.).
5. Click on the link in your activation E-mail, which will log you in to FamilyID.com
6. Once in the registration form, complete the information requested. All fields with a red* are required to have an answer.
7. Click the Save & Continue button when your form is complete.
8. Review your registration summary
9. Click the green Submit button. After selecting ‘Submit’, the registration will be complete. You will receive a completion email from FamilyID confirming your registration.
At any time, you may log in at www.familyid.com to update your information and to check your registration(s).To view a completed registration, select the 'Registration' tab on the blue bar.
- If you need assistance with registration, contact Fam
ilyID at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-888-800-5583 x1.
- Support is available 7 days per week and messages will be returned promptly.
You will receive an email to let you know when your registration is approved by our School Nurse.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to our Athletic Director.
Reopening Plans for the 2020-2021 Academic Year
At Saint Joseph Prep, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families are our top priority. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has released its initial guidance on how we may reopen the school for the 2020-21 academic year. While we continue to develop our plans and anticipate additional guidance from the DESE, we would like to share a few updates regarding the opening of school in the fall.
Planning and Preparation: As we continue our planning process, we will be creating three plans for reopening: in-person, remote, and a hybrid model. Given the guidelines from the DESE we are hopeful that we will be able to open in person this fall. We do understand that some students may need to stay home due to a need for quarantining or other health concerns, and we will take that into consideration as we determine our three plans. In addition, we have several task forces working on reviewing all aspects of life at Saint Joseph Prep including: scheduling, transportation, food service, health and wellness, and community life. Our goal is to ensure the best experience possible for our students and their families under any of the three reopening plans.
Screening upon entry: Parents and Guardians will be required to screen the student daily at home prior to coming to school. Screening should include temperature checks and a series of questions that will be provided. If a student reports any of the symptoms they must stay home from school (NO EXCEPTIONS) and contact Ms. Shea, the School Nurse, as well as their health care provider. Students are not allowed to return to school without proper documentation. More info will follow. Faculty and staff will also be expected to follow the same guidelines.
Masks: Following the DESE guidelines, all adults and students will be required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose. Parents are required to provide masks for their children and should have multiple masks available at home. Ms. Shea will have extra masks available as needed. Masks should be properly fitted to cover the nose and mouth and have 3-ply protection. Both cloth and disposable masks are acceptable. No bandanas or neck gaiters are allowed because droplets go under or through those. Face shields do not replace masks or face coverings. Additional information will be provided about exceptions for health and safety reasons.
Personal Hygiene: Students and staff will be expected to wash and sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day. We are working to provide additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the school to make access easier for students as they travel between classes.
Making Space: The DESE is requiring that student desks are three to six feet apart. We are working on plans to determine how we can create spaces throughout the building to accommodate having in-person classes this fall.
The Nurse's Office: Ms. Shea will continue to be available throughout the day and will assist in monitoring the health of our students. In addition to the nurse's office, there will be a designated isolation room in case a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 while at school. We are currently working on plans to determine where this space will be.
We are encouraged and hopeful that we will be able to reopen in person, but will make decisions that keep our community safe. We will be in contact frequently throughout the summer with more information as our plans unfold. Additionally, please be on the lookout later in July for a parent survey that will help us better understand the needs of our community.
June 16, 2020
Dear Seniors and Families of Seniors:
First, thank you for your patience as we thoughtfully developed a plan which balanced our first priority—the safety of all—with the best way for us to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our seniors! We have heard your concerns, listened to your suggestions, and sought input from many including the Departments of Health, the Mayor's Office, and our own Director of Health Services. Given all of this feedback, we are excited to share with you the final plan for Commencement 2020!
IT'S TIME FOR COMMENCEMENT 2020!
June 25, 2020
10:00 AM - Virtual Ceremony
3:00 PM - Diploma Distribution A-L
4:30 PM - Diploma Distribution M-Z
Virtual Ceremony: Available Online (link will be provided)
Diploma Distribution: The Saint Joseph Prep Parking Lot
Seniors and their families
(ONE standard passenger car per family for the LIVE ceremony)
HOW IT WILL WORK
- You'll drive to campus and enter from Cambridge Street at the second parking lot entrance to the Motherhouse. Please do not arrive earlier than 2:30 PM if your last name begins with A-L and 4:00 PM if your last name begins with M-Z. You will not be allowed into the parking lot if you arrive earlier than your assigned time.
- We will give you a placard for your windshield when you arrive and you will be directed from there. SJP staff will then work to get everyone parked. (Please be patient with us—this is a first for us, too!)
- Once in the parking lot, you'll need to turn off your engine. This means you'll likely need to have your windows down. We encourage you to wear masks in case your car is parked close to another car.
- Seniors will be called up in groups to graduate. More details will be offered during thevirtual rehearsal on Tuesday June 23 at 1:00 PM. A Zoom link will be sent out prior to the meeting.
- This event will be recorded and there will also be a Livestream you can share with extended family and friends. We'll email out this link early next week.
♦ IMPORTANT DETAILS & PRECAUTIONS ♦
We want to make sure everyone stays safe—and has a great time—so here are some important details, precautions, and things to remember:
- Wear a mask. (This is required for all attendees.)
- Place the parking placard given to you when you arrive on your windshield. Only one standard passenger vehicle per family. (This means no party buses or limos.)
- Remember there will be NO restrooms available and no one will be allowed inside the building.
- Make your car as festive as you would like, but see the "don't" column for restrictions.
- Get out of your car. We repeat: DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. Only seniors can leave the car and only at their designated time. If anyone gets out of their car at any other point, we will need to immediately end the event.
- Put anything in or on your car that may obstruct the views of others.
This will be a truly memorable Commencement. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2020. Our top priority is to keep everyone safe, and we need the support of our entire community to do so.
Thank you in advance for staying safe and for your patience.
And congratulations! This is going to be a special day for all!
Questions about procedures for the day? Please contact Ashley Altizer at email@example.com
We hope that all of you remain healthy as our state begins to reopen. Yesterday, we celebrated Pentecost Sunday on which Jesus went to the room where his disciples were locked away and said to them: “Peace be with you.” He then breathed the Holy Spirit of God into them. As we all witnessed the video of the horrific and heartbreaking death of George Floyd in the news this past week, let us pray for the Holy Spirit of God to comfort his family and friends, for our legal system to bring justice, and for our country to find peace.
A few updates from us:
- Our virtual STEAM Show will launch on our website on Wednesday, June 3.
- There will be a special Commencement video posted on Thursday, June 4 celebrating our Seniors on the original date of their Graduation. Administration, Faculty, and Staff will all offer a brief message of congratulations to the Class of 2020.
- A podcast premiere of War of the Worlds, performed by the Phoenix Players, will be released on Tuesday, June 9.
- The last day of classes for the 2019-2020 school year at SJP is Thursday, June 11.
- Commencement will take place on Thursday, June 25.
- Part 1: Virtual presentation of formal blessing and speeches.
- Part 2: Conferral of Diplomas: Beginning at 3:00 PM, there will be a ceremony in the SJP parking lot.
- We are working on our digital June mailing that will include the 2020 - 2021 school calendar along with uniform information, health forms, and rising senior information.
- Students continue to do an amazing job in all of their remote classes. We could not be more proud of the commitment and dedication they have demonstrated in their academic performance this Quarter. With just nine school days left, the finish line is in sight. As we always say here at SJP, educating our students is a team effort. Anything you can do at home to continue motivating your son/daughter to finish the marking period strong is very much appreciated.
As we finish up the last few weeks of this school year, who could have predicted the pandemic that we have been living through together? We have all felt grief around those taken to God by COVID-19 and endured the stay-at-home orders, the social distancing, the loss of freedoms and jobs, but we have also experienced the power of love, the resurgence of kindness, the generosity of spirit, and witnessed the very real sacrifices so many have made. Let us continue to look forward to the time we will see each other face to face. Until then, may you and your families experience peace and the Holy Spirit of God.
As we celebrate Ascension Thursday today, let us draw on some of the thoughts that Ms. Hughes shared with us in her Monday Morning Gathering reflection. When Jesus ascended into heaven, the Paraclete came to console and comfort his disciples. That same Spirit of God will never abandon us. God is still with us every single moment to console and comfort. And so, how do we comfort one another? What is the posture of our hearts toward the living God and in what ways can we spread love and not fear?
Two important updates and one reminder from us:
- As some of you may already know, Mrs. Ashley Altizer will be leaving Saint Joseph Prep at some point in the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. Her husband, Lieutenant Andrew Altizer, will soon be promoted to Captain in the Air Force and is being re-stationed in the coming months. Although we do not know the date and location for their new station, we know that they are both excited to start a new chapter of their lives. Mrs. Altizer has been a tremendous servant leader to the SJP community. Over the years she has served in many capacities including Theology teacher, Campus Minister, Department Chair, coach and, most recently, as Assistant Head of School for Community Life. Mrs. Altizer has been a valued member of staff since the opening of our school in 2012. Needless to say, while we wish her well in the next chapter of her life, she will be sorely missed by all of us here at SJP.
- With that upcoming move in mind, a search committee was formed in early spring to find our next Assistant Head of School for Community Life. After careful consideration, and meeting with a small group of highly qualified individuals, we are extremely pleased to announce that Mrs. Carol Woolston has accepted the position. Mrs. Woolston will begin her new role on July 1. For the last five years, she has served the SJP community in a variety of roles including Alumni Director, Assistant Director of Advancement, and Academic Advisor. She has been enthusiastically engaged in the community, both inside and outside the school, and serves on the Boards of Director for both the Allston and Brighton Boards of Trade. Mrs. Woolston earned a BA in Psychology from Williams College and an MBA from Yale University School of Management. She brings broad management experience as well as a lifelong commitment to education. Please join us in congratulating her! A more formal announcement will go out to our wider SJP family next week.
- Monday, May 25 is Memorial Day. Since this is a federal holiday, there will be no classes. As we celebrate together this weekend, let us remember all those men and women who have died while serving in the US Military.
Please know that we continue to hold your family in our prayers. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay connected.
Message that was sent to the Class of 2020 and their Parents/Guardians:
First and foremost, congratulations to each and every one of you for reaching this milestone. We are so proud of the class of 2020! It is difficult to put into words the challenges you have faced over the past few months and the losses you have felt about the last Senior events at SJP. However, this should be considered a celebratory time in your life and in the lives of your parents/guardians. Despite the campus closure for COVID-19 and social distancing, our goal is to make your Commencement a celebration to remember!
Since there is great uncertainty around the restrictions for social gatherings, we did not want to risk scheduling a late-summer ceremony that could get canceled. Therefore, after exploring every feasible option, we have come up with a two-part Commencement ceremony that will take place on Thursday, June 25.
Part I: National Anthem, Music Selection, Commencement Speaker, Graduate Speeches, and Individual Graduate Recognition
- This will be a recorded video to be aired at 10:00 AM on the SJP website.
- We are honored to announce Nancy Frates as our 2020 Commencement Speaker. Mrs. Frates is the mother of Pete Frates, who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Part II: Graduation Caravan/Drive-Thru
- On Thursday, June 25, starting at 3:00 PM until approximately 6:00 PM, we will hold a caravan/drive-thru style Commencement Ceremony. Graduates and their immediate families will travel, at staggered times, in alphabetical order, to SJP and enter from Cambridge Street. Faculty/Staff will line the driveway as an honor guard.
- Upon arrival, each student will exit the car, walk a red carpet to an outdoor stage, and receive her/his diploma from Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward.
- A Lifetouch photographer will take a picture of each graduate with his/her diploma, before the graduate returns to their family vehicle.
- Vehicles will exit after driving around the back of the Motherhouse. Expect to see Sisters of St. Joseph lining the exit route to offer their congratulations. Unfortunately, there will be no opportunity for congratulatory hugs, but there will be plenty of cheering! In compliance with social distancing best practices, family members must remain in their cars during the entire ceremony.
Please know there are still logistics to figure out and more celebratory details to add, but we wanted to get this information out to you as soon as we made our decision.
Also, keep an eye out for Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward in one of the SJP shuttles, as well as several faculty members, who will be delivering lawn signs, caps and gowns, and t-shirts to Seniors on Friday, May 22.
Seniors, as it was said to you in the beginning, and now at the end, you are known and loved!
Best wishes,Ms. Kathleen McCarvill and Mr. Gene Ward
Co-Heads of School
As we are reminded in last week’s gospel, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. It is through the gate of Christ that we meet God directly. How are you “meeting God” these days? What gateways lead you to what is good? This is an extraordinary time where we all pray that the sacrifices being made, the lives being lost, the kindnesses offered, and the graces that are given find a place in us. As Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit priest, reminds us: “Trust in the slow work of God.” Let us trust together as we continue on through the last weeks of this school year.
A few items from us:
- Although this reminder is probably not necessary, please note that there will be NO FINAL EXAMS at the end of this academic year.
- Please pray for all of the students who are in the midst of taking AP Tests.
- There will be a virtual STEAM Gallery in lieu of our annual STEAM Show. Stay tuned for details to follow.
- In honor of Memorial Day, May 25, there will be no classes held on that day. Let us remember those who fought for our freedom, the heroes who gave their lives to protect our country.
- Student Council Elections for School President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer will take place in early September. These elections generally take place at the end of the school year, but due to these unusual times, we are hoping for in-school elections.
- Classes WILL be held on June 5. Traditionally, our school community has the day off after Commencement to prepare for final exams. Since there are no final exams this year, classes will be held on that date.
- The last Coffee and Comfort Parent Meeting is tonight at 6:00 PM. Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward will have now hosted meetings for all current parents. We look forward to meeting with the parents of incoming students within the next few weeks.
- We continue to pay close attention to the Governor’s updates regarding our return to school in the fall and are working on several options that align with other Catholic High Schools in the Archdiocese.
Please know that we continue to hold your family in our prayers. We especially pray for any members of our SJP family who have been touched by COVID-19. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay connected.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students.
As last week’s gospel reminds us, we are continually led by our Good Shepherd. How important it is right now to feel we belong to something larger than ourselves, a flock, a community where we know each other’s voices and hear the voice of God coming from one another. Let us be open to listen and to learn all the things that God has to teach us in these virtual days. As the weeks wind on, know the gratitude deepens and the awe continues.
- This week, we will be hosting a Coffee and Comfort zoom meeting with parents/guardians of juniors (May 6) and sophomores (May 7). A link to the meetings was shared with parents/guardians on Monday. Both events are scheduled to start at 6:00PM. We plan to host a similar event for parents/guardians of freshmen next Wednesday, May 13. Keep an eye out for a zoom invite in your inbox next Monday.
- Gentle reminder that Q4 Interims for grades 9-11 are available today for review in Powerschool. Interims can be accessed by simply logging into PowerSchool. If you need assistance accessing PowerSchool, please contact Mr. Ware, Director of Educational Technology.
- Good luck to all our AP students as the AP Exams start on Monday, May 18.
- During these unusual times, we recognize the unique challenges that come with designing, administering, and preparing students to take semester exams remotely. Considering all of these factors, we have made the decision NOT to require students in grades 9-11 to take Final Exams in their subject areas. Instead, teachers will use this time to ensure students have mastered the skills and content from Q4. The final day of classes will remain, as scheduled, Thursday, June 11.
In order to accommodate removing the final exams, we plan to adjust Quarterly weightings as follows:
- Quarterly Grades (Q1, Q2, and Q3) will each be worth 25%
- Midterm Exam (E1) will remain at 10%
- Q4 will be worth 15%
With the change in weightings, we are confident that your son/daughter will not see any negative impact to his/her overall Y1 grade. In light of all the challenges that all our students are facing at this time, this decision will hopefully lessen any anxiety or additional pressure they are feeling and reward their extraordinary efforts in adjusting to remote learning. If you have questions or concerns about this information, please contact Mr. Poponyak, Assistant Head of School for Academics.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students.
We hope that your families had a restful April break. Last Sunday’s Gospel is a familiar one where the disciples are walking seven miles on the road to Emmaus mourning the loss of Jesus. As he walks with them, they are not certain of who he is. It is only after the breaking of the bread that they recognize him. As we continue on these uncharted waters, we too, feel the loss of not going back to school this academic year. But let us pray for one another that we receive the grace to recognize God all around us and become, even in small ways, transformed.
A few things to share:
- SJP offered some fun virtual activities that were well attended. Cross fit, yoga, baking, outreach letter writing, fun music, to name a few. There was such positive feedback that we have received requests to continue some of these offerings.
- We are resuming our Coffee and Comfort Series. A link will be sent to parents of the classes noted below on the day assigned.
- Grade 11: May 6 at 6pm
- Grade 10: May 7 at 6pm
- Grade 9: May 13 at 6pm
- Incoming Student Parent Meeting - TBD
- We would like to share some ways that we are celebrating our Seniors:
- Lawn signs have been ordered.
- Senior T-shirts are on their way.
- Seniors are being featured on social media; please check out our amazing Class of 2020 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- A large sign is being created to be put on our gate or on our building with a sincere congratulations to the Class of 2020. Everyone traveling down Cambridge Street will see how proud we are of our seniors.
- The COVID-19 section of our website will be updated this weekend by Nurse Shea with the latest CDC recommendations. Please pay special attention to these updates.
- Just a gentle reminder that on Wednesday, May 6, Q4 Interims for grades 9-11 will be available for review. Although not a final grade for the Quarter, this “snapshot” will give you a sense of how your son/daughter is performing at this point in the Quarter. Parents/Guardians can access Interims by simply logging into their son’s/daughter’s PowerSchool. If you need assistance accessing PowerSchool, please contact Mr. Ware, Director of Educational Technology.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We look forward to seeing you face to face in our Coffee and Comfort Zoom meetings. We remember anyone in your own families who have been impacted by COVID-19 and pray for their recovery. You remain in our thoughts and prayers as we continue our journey together through these uncharted times.
Spring Sports and Spring Tournaments Cancelled for the Remainder of 2019-2020 School Year
April 24, 2020
In accordance with Governor Charles Baker’s announcement Tuesday that Massachusetts schools will be closed to in person learning for the remainder of the school year, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) regretfully has cancelled all spring sports and spring tournaments.
Today’s decision by the MIAA Board of Directors was difficult, disappointing, and one that was deferred for several weeks as Association staff, Association members from the Tournament Management Committee (TMC) and the Board worked aggressively to construct optional structures to save the opportunity for our MIAA 80,000 student-athletes to enjoy a spring season.
Despite this disheartening but unavoidable action, it is paramount to applaud our constituents, principals, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes for their positive power of example and cooperation during this unprecedented crisis. The “life lessons” inherent in the games we play will be our resiliency to provide mental and physical strength to focus on the discipline and teamwork to make a difference in the challenging chapters in the Game of Life. #OneTeamOneMIAA
Dear SJP Families.
As you all know, Governor Baker made the announcement that all schools in Massachusetts will be closed for the rest of the academic year. Though we anticipated that this might happen, the reality doesn’t make it any easier. None of us knew that when we gathered on March 13 in Phoenix Hall that it would be the last time we would see each other this school year. There is sadness on many levels because we are truly a family and we genuinely miss each other. Yet we all know that this sacrifice is necessary in order to keep safe, and to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread any further. There are still many unknowns at this point. Have faith that we will be working through all the logistics and will continue to communicate with families on a frequent basis.
All of our hearts go out to our Seniors. We hold out the hope that sometime later in the summer arrangements can be made for a Prom and Commencement. For now, know that we are working on several ways to celebrate our Seniors in the days to come. We are excited to show our Seniors how important they are to us. We are also open to your suggestions. Seniors, we “got you.”
To all Grade levels, we are incredibly proud of and impressed by how you have transitioned to remote learning. Your teachers have not missed a beat and neither have you. Our common goal now is to continue the good work we have begun. As we journey this road together, know that you are far from alone. Your teachers, advisors, counselors, and all the staff at SJP are here for you. While difficult to appreciate now, the commitment, resilience, and old-fashioned stick-with-it-ness you show in the next few months will serve you well later in life. As your parents/guardians will attest, the most trying times in life often challenge each of us to be our best self and, in hindsight, can also be a time when we grow the most as individuals.
As always, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your families.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
We hope that everyone enjoyed a very happy Easter. For those celebrating Passover, we, like you, continue to pray for a new beginning, a rebirth. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all those who are dealing with healthcare concerns, feelings of loneliness and/or isolation, and all those who continue to serve our community. While these remain challenging times, we trust that better days are ahead.
A few reminders for this week:
- Saint Joseph Prep will honor April vacation. We continue to be impressed with the level of excellence, innovation, and hard work that has taken place in our remote classrooms, and our students and teachers deserve a break.
- During the April break, SJP will offer the following optional diversions: yoga, cross fit, creative writing, baking, a community service project, and live music. We will share with you the full schedule, along with descriptions, and links to each class by the end of the week.
- With just four school days until April vacation, we’d ask you to continue to check in with your scholar to ensure they’re on track with all their school work. As always, if you have any questions about assignments or grades, please reach out directly to the subject teacher.
- A reminder to Senior Parents that there will be a Comfort and Coffee Meeting on Wednesday, April 15 at 6:00PM. Parents will receive an invitation via Zoom.
- Comfort and Coffee Meetings for Grades 9, 10, and 11 will be announced after April vacation.
- For those who might be interested, CollegeBoard will be offering a webinar this Thursday, April 16 with pertinent information for parents/guardians of AP students regarding online testing. Register here for the April 16 parent webinar about the online AP exams.
It is our hope that April vacation will be a time to renew our spirits and rise to new life. Let us continue to pray for each other in the days ahead.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
As we begin Holy Week, we pray for the entire medical community, the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and anyone on the front lines who is serving those patients who have COVID-19. It is our hope that your families are remaining healthy and honoring the stay-at-home mandate that will contain this virus.
A few reminders for this week.
- Families of returning students will receive an email tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7, with information regarding the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
- School will be in session on Holy Thursday, April 9.
- There will be a virtual Holy Thursday service at 2:00pm that will be led by students. Ms. Hughes will send out a Zoom link and password on Wednesday, April 8.
- There will be no classes on Good Friday, April 10, or Easter Monday, April 13.
- Saint Joseph Prep will honor April vacation since students and teachers have been working extremely hard. We encourage less screen time if possible.
- During April vacation, there will be optional recreational diversions offered by SJP, including yoga, fitness, and other shared activities. Stay tuned.
- Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward will offer Zoom Town Halls, beginning with Senior parents on Wednesday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Parents will receive an invitation via Zoom.
- Grade 9, 10, and 11 Town Halls will be announced after April vacation.
Students continue to do an excellent job with remote learning. With just seven more school days until a well-earned April vacation, anything you can do at home to encourage your student(s) to stay on top of their work would be wonderful. Remote learning truly is a partnership. As always, if you have any questions about assignments or grades, please reach out directly to the subject teacher.
As our community heads into Holy Week and Passover, we are reminded of the sacrifices and long held lessons that define this week. We have given up much more than we anticipated this lent—for the greater good. We are all changed in some way as we journey through this sacred time. May we never take for granted those we love and the ordinary blessings of our lives. Let us open ourselves to rolling the stones away and rising again. Please remember all those families who have been touched by COVID-19, that they may be comforted by the Risen Christ.
May you and your families have a blessed Easter.
March 30, 2020
The MIAA Board of Directors voted today, March 30, 2020, to amend the start of the 2020 spring sports season in light of recent mandates from Governor Baker and recommendations from governing health agencies. The updated start date for the 2020 spring season is May 4, 2020.
Additionally, the MIAA Board of Directors voted to have completion of regular season and tournament games by June 27, 2020 with consideration of June 28, 2020 for weather and facility needs.
Details regarding the structure of the spring season will be addressed by the Tournament Management Committee (TMC). An update will be provided and reviewed by the Board by April 9, 2020.
These decisions are based on available information and are made in the best interest of our student-athletes, schools and communities. These decisions will be revisited and adjusted as needed.
Thank you for your patience while dealing with this very fluid situation. Be well.
March 30, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
It remains our deepest prayer that you and your families are staying healthy. As the weeks pass and we all deal with the uncertainty of our times, it is so important to keep our faith strong. In yesterday’s gospel, Jesus raised his good friend Lazarus from the dead. May we all believe in the power of God to “raise us up” in these moments of anxiety to be the best of who we are. Together, as an SJP family, we choose kindness and compassion to light the way in the darkness of these challenging circumstances.
Please know that we have received many emails from parents, grateful for our preparedness, the excellence of our teachers, the engagement of their children, and the strength of our loving community.
As always, we offer the latest updates for you:
- Quarter 4 began today, Monday, March 30 (Grades 9-11).
- Report cards for (Grades 9-11) will be distributed via email to parents and students the week of April 6.
- A vlog is being created for our next Phoenix Update capturing our students’ and faculty members’ experience with remote learning and their “stay at home” time.
- Ms. McCarvill and Mr. Ward will be scheduling Grade Level Town Hall meetings with parents. Stay tuned.
- A virtual Holy Thursday service will be offered to our SJP community on Thursday, April 9. Details to come.
- A Senior Capstone project will replace Senior Service. Seniors received an email about this today.
- There is discussion of holding virtual club meetings.
Also, Sr. Lee Hogan, the President of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, asked us to pass on this message.
“The Sisters of St. Joseph want to express our gratitude for all the ways you are cooperating with safety measures, reaching out to one another and beyond, and stepping up where help is needed. During this unusual time, we’re also aware, as you are, that there is an abundance of goodness around us—neighbors connecting in creative ways, heroic efforts of those on the frontlines of health care and emergency response, our own staff throughout our ministries, and those in wider circles who are singing across balconies and offering free concerts. These resurrection moments remind us of the power of light and love in the dark times. Be assured that we, your sisters in leadership, hold you in our prayers, and are here if you need anything.”
Finally, today’s Globe article “For teenagers, sudden loss of everyday routines is keenly felt” struck a chord with us. Parents and guardians, stay close to what your sons/daughters are feeling these days and let us know the ways that we can support your families. Stay healthy and strong.
March 25, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:
This afternoon, Governor Baker announced that all schools in Massachusetts shall remain closed until May 4. As we all know, these are unprecedented times and the situation continues to be fluid. In an abundance of caution and care for the safety of our community, we will abide by the Governor’s decision. Therefore, Saint Joseph Prep will remain closed until Monday, May 4.
We are deeply grateful to our students, parents, and teachers for the seamless transition to remote learning. We have received very positive feedback. Staying connected in these challenging times is of utmost importance to us. The SJP family and our strong relationships remain at the heart of our mission. Educating your sons and daughters is now, as always, a partnership that we embrace together.
We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions or concerns that you may have. We are in this together and we will rise!
Stay healthy and be assured of our prayers.
March 23, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:
Our prayer is that your families remain safe and healthy during these challenging times. Although we are communicating and educating remotely these days, the bond that connects us as an SJP family remains strong. Every team at our School is working tirelessly to move us forward. Be confident that we will take care of each other and we will continue to rise—together.
Remote learning went live for students last Thursday, March 19. Teachers posted assignments on Google Classroom and met virtually with their students via Zoom. Our students logged in and were actively engaged in learning. We couldn't have asked for things to have gone any better. We have a wonderful team here at SJP and amazing teachers. All the feedback we have received from students and parents has been extremely positive due to the commitment, flexibility, and dedication of our teaching faculty.
In this first full week of remote learning, please anticipate the following communications will be sent to students and parents:
- Two items on Monday, and each Monday following:
- The SJP Community Gathering Prayer, including a faculty/staff reflection.
- A weekly update from Mr. Ward and Ms. McCarvill.
- A College and School Counseling Update. A Grade Level email will be sent out to each of the four grades following this communication. Topics will include information about SAT/ACT testing, AP Exams, as well as scheduling check-ins with counselors.
We are asking you to assist us with the following:
- Make sure that your son/daughter is ready for their first period class each day.
- Q3 ends on Friday, March 27th. We are asking that you keep your son/daughter focused on completing assignments and making up any missed work.
- Powerschool is the most up-to-date tool to check your scholar’s assignments and grades. If you have any questions about grades, reach out directly to the subject teacher.
- Moderating your student’s use of cell phones during class time will ensure greater academic success.
We will be in regular communication with you and your family. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there are questions or concerns. Your family remains in our prayers as we all navigate this unusual time together.
MIAA UPDATE ON SPRING SPORT SEASON
March 16, 2020
The MIAA Board of Directors voted today, March 16, 2020, to amend the start of the 2020 spring sports season in light of recent mandates from Governor Baker and recommendations from governing health agencies. The updated start date for the 2020 spring season is April 27, 2020.
Additionally, the MIAA Board of Directors voted to have completion of regular season and tournament games by June 20, 2020 with consideration of June 21, 2020 for weather and facility needs.
Details regarding the structure of the spring season will be addressed by the Tournament Management Committee (TMC). An update will be provided and reviewed by the Board by March 25, 2020.
These decisions are based on available information and are made in the best interest of our student-athletes, schools and communities. These decisions will be revisited and adjusted as needed.
Thank you for your patience while dealing with this very fluid situation. Be well.
March 16, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:
We hope you and your families are well. As we navigate through this unusual time together, you can count on us for consistent and clear communication.
We will continue to use our website to provide important updates and information regarding our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we shared in our previous communication, we remain as confident as we can be that there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 among our students or staff. Per Governor Baker’s recent mandate, Saint Joseph Prep will remain closed until Tuesday, April 7. This is a change from our original date of April 1. However, this date remains fluid subject to guidance from the Mass Department of Health, CDC, and State Authorities. Also, based on recommendations from these authorities, we request that all families refrain from traveling out-of-state or internationally until further notice. Please let us know if you have travel plans that cannot be avoided.
Please know that any decision we make at Saint Joseph Prep prioritizes the safety and well- being of our community. During this time, we remain committed to providing an excellent educational experience for all our students.
Online Class Begins Thursday, March 19
Online classes will commence at 8:00AM on Thursday, March 19, via Zoom and Google Classroom. Please access the link to our Remote Learning Protocol and Procedure information here. Families should inform Mr. Scott Poponyak (Assistant Head of School for Academics) if you have questions about remote learning. If you experience issues with technology, please contact Mr. Darol Ware (Director of Educational Technology). We ask all families to review the website regularly for updates and to share with us any travel plans. We also ask all families to notify Ms. Joanne Shea (School Nurse) if a family member has contracted the virus and/or they believe their student has been exposed to it.
As the frequency of our communication increases, please ensure that this email address is saved in your address book so it is not flagged as spam.
Again, thank you for your understanding and support. We continue to pray for you and your families.
March 16, 2020
Dear International students, families, and agents,
As we work together to support and navigate our International students through this situation with the Coronavirus, we want to reassure you that we are moving forward with a plan that has the students' best interests in mind.
In an effort to minimize the health risks to our community, we have advised all domestic and international students to refrain from out-of-state or international travel. We do not want to put any of our students at risk. Due to Federal Government mandates, travel to certain countries is prohibited. Because of these travel bans, any student who is or will be traveling to parts of Europe and Asia (including South Korea and China) will not be able to return to Saint Joseph Prep for the remainder of this academic year.
As of March 19, Saint Joseph Prep students will be transitioning to a remote learning platform. Students have received instruction on how this learning will work. More information on remote learning is available on our website.
We will keep regular communications with agents and host families to ensure the well being of our students. Should you have other questions or concerns, Mr. Chan can be reached via email or via WeChat at achan628.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work together to ensure the continued well being, learning, and development of our students.
Dear Members of the SJP Community,
As always, the health and well-being of the Saint Joseph Prep community is our top priority. At this point, it is important to be clear that we are as confident as we can be, that we do not have COVID-19 at SJP.
In view of the recommendations of leading health officials, and after thorough consideration of all contingencies, SJP has made the following proactive, preventive decision. In an abundance of caution and care for our community, we have decided to close the School until Wednesday, April 1. This includes all extracurricular activities. We will continue to depend upon the guidance of the Mass Department of Health and State officials.
For a few weeks, we have been meeting to create contingency plans for remote learning. Teachers have already begun the process of training in the use of Zoom, a video conferencing application, which will be our primary remote learning platform. This afternoon, students will download Zoom, and receive training on how to use it. For those students who are absent today, we will reach out to each of them and guide them through this process.
We will continue to be in direct communication with families. Please pay close attention to regular emails and website postings on our page dedicated to coronavirus information, as the frequency of our communication will likely increase as this process unfolds. In addition to updates to the FAQs section, we will establish a Resources section with offerings related to remote learning, as well as counseling and guidance.
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out directly to Mr. Ward or myself.
Our entire community remains in our thoughts and prayers.
On March 12, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) elected to postpone the scheduled start of the spring sport season until March 30, therefore tryouts and practices for SJP sports will not commence next week as expected.
The following MIAA guidelines are in place during this delay:
- Out of season coaching is not allowed.
- Teams are not allowed to meet for captain's practices or other workouts during this time.
- The first competitions may not occur until the 11th calendar day after and including the first day of practice.
The MIAA will be revisiting this decision and the anticipated new start of the season as March 30 approaches.
March 12, 2020
Dear Members of the Saint Joseph Prep Community:
We write to provide an update on COVID-19 and SJP’s response to date. Please know that we will continue to monitor this situation, seek the latest information from the health care experts, and make the best decisions to ensure the safety of our students, families, faculty, and staff.
As of today (March 12), there continue to be no reported cases of the Coronavirus at Saint Joseph Prep. According to the most recently released information, Massachusetts thus far has six confirmed cases of COVID-19, and some 102 presumptive cases. As this situation remains fluid, we encourage you to visit the newly developed SJP Coronavirus Update webpage regularly for updated information.
Since our last email, we have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of people on our campus:
- We have cancelled the use of our facility by all outside groups.
- We are currently evaluating all upcoming SJP events for either postponement or cancellation. Currently, only the Robotics competition in Reading (March 13-14), the 10th Grade College Road workshop at BC (March 18), and the Kairos retreat in Vermont (March 27-29) have been cancelled.
- During all-school gatherings, Chapel, and masses, community members will refrain from holding hands during the Our Father and the sign of peace. This measure is in keeping with CDC guidelines and reflects recent dictates from the Archdiocese of Boston.
- For the week of March 16, all spring sports practices will be held on our campus. Practice and game situations will be reassessed after the first week of the season.
- Along with disinfectant wipes, every classroom is equipped with disinfectant spray bottles and paper towels.
- Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been added throughout the building, including to the Gym, classrooms, and common areas. In addition, free standing sanitizer stations have been ordered and will be installed to serve the Student Entrance and Main Entrance.
- As has been the case for the last few weeks, teachers will continue to prompt students to utilize hand sanitizers as they enter and/or leave class.
- To add to our already large inventory, additional cleaning supplies have been ordered and are scheduled to arrive on Monday.
- Our cleaning service company has widened the use of a stronger disinfecting product to their nightly cleaning of the entire School. This product is primarily used to clean restrooms, but since first notice of the outbreak, we have expanded the use to include all touch points, door handles, table tops, counters, desk tops, and all restroom fixtures and floors. Their efforts will continue throughout the semester.
- Our dining hall staff have also come up with a contingency plan that will include minimizing exposure to shared food setup.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) have been issuing guidelines regarding Coronavirus, and based on their recommendations, we call your attention to the FAQ section of our microsite.
SJP’s Emergency Preparedness Team is meeting regularly to monitor the quickly developing situation and to make decisions to safeguard the campus community.
Our intention at present is to continue operations as normal. Should the School decide to alter operations, we will immediately communicate these changes to the community. Obviously there is no singular approach that has been recommended by the CDC. We will continue to monitor the situation, and make appropriate decisions for Saint Joseph Prep based on advice from federal, state, and local authorities and the judgment of senior administrators.
Our Administration and Department Heads are actively meeting on the design and implementation of our remote learning environment. Should it become necessary to do so, we will share clear direction and guidelines that take into account the bigger picture impact of what school at home could look like in a quarantined environment.
Moving forward, all faculty will utilize the Google Classroom learning management program to post course materials for the remainder of the semester, and make use of other resources offered through our G Suite system. Operating on a Navy schedule, during the last block of the day tomorrow, we will be conducting a school-wide introduction to Zoom software which allows for video-conferencing for large or small groups.
We recognize that with Spring Break approaching, many may have travel plans. We are asking for open communication from anyone in our community who does travel to any areas of concern, and for a commitment to taking all necessary precautions during and upon return.
A Very Important Reminder:
As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak as a community and work to keep our campus safe, we remain committed to our values of inclusion, respect, kindness, and care for each other.
If you have any questions or health concerns, you can reply to this email. Responses are being monitored by SJP administration and School Nurse Joanne Shea (her email is linked here if you prefer to email her directly).
March 4, 2020
In the wake of the growing national concern over the Coronavirus and its potential spread, we wanted to take a moment to address the issue and assure you, our students and families, that the School is taking every precaution to keep our community healthy.
Saint Joseph Prep will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines for the prevention and management of Coronavirus. Information about symptoms, prevention, and treatment can be found on the CDC website. We also remain engaged with global, federal, state, and local health organizations in our continued effort to obtain the most current information on the virus and to understand and implement the most current recommendations.
To keep our campus as safe as possible, we are undertaking the following steps:
- Our Facilities Director and our contracted cleaning company will follow the CDC’s disinfecting guidelines.
- Teachers have cleaning and disinfecting products in their classrooms.
- Teachers and staff have been reminded of best practices for avoiding the spread of illness and continue to remind students to practice good hygiene.
For more information, please consult the following resources:
- Mass DPH - https://www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus
- CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.ht...
We will communicate any additional updates and information with our families as the local situation continues to fluctuate and develop. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Joanne Shea, our SJP school nurse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.