Dear St. Margaret Mary Families,
Again, I want to thank you for all your trust and support through this challenging time of COVID and education. Since late August, we’ve been in school, and for that, we are all truly grateful for your confidence in our ability to educate your children. Thank you for your smooth transition into remote learning.
I know that moving into remote learning is not always an easy adjustment. Many of our families are balancing both working from home and supporting students at home. You have transitioned into remote learning with grace. I think we can agree that there is no replacement for in-person learning; however, there are times when we need to shift to remote teaching for our school community’s health and safety.
Currently, it is our goal to return to in-person learning on Monday, November 30, 2020.
With the Thanksgiving holiday just one week away, I know that some families will be getting together with extended family or traveling, while others will keep Thanksgiving to immediate family. Over the last several weeks, we have seen an increase in the transmission of COVID-19 in our community and surrounding areas. We do not feel that the cases at STMM were due to exposure within the school, as our teachers and students are doing an excellent job maintaining and following the guidelines set by IDPH. As we plan our return from Thanksgiving break, we need to work together as one community. We are asking families to consider remaining in remote learning for the ten days following Thanksgiving Break (November 30 – December 9) if your family traveled or attended family get-togethers with people outside your own home or immediate family. Asking families to consider remote learning is not a mandate or requirement; however, this is a way for us to be proactive in the outside spread of COVID-19. We are merely asking you to consider this to help slow the spread so STMM can provide in-class instruction. If we have an increase in COVID-19 at STMM after the Thanksgiving Break, we may need to transition into remote learning for the health and safety of our school community.
Please be sure to review our COVID-19 guidelines:
Rapid Tests: Per IDPH and the Health Department, negative rapid tests are no longer valid testing means for the school. Students and staff being tested for COVD-19 must have an RT-PCR test. The RT-PCR test takes between 3-5 days. When you are waiting for results, all family members must remain home and quarantined. If any person in your household is taking a COVID-19 test for any reason, all household members must remain out of school until the test results are received and notice is given to the school. It is also recommended that if you carpool with someone who is being tested for COVD-19, your child would remain out of school until there is a test result.
Close Contact Exposure **UPDATE**: If a family member has been exposed to COVID-19 or identified as close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, only the person identified as the close contact must quarantine 14 days from the date of exposure. You will need in the house is exhibiting COVID symptoms and or there are no outstanding tests, the family members that are second-hand contact may return to school. If symptoms arise during the 14 days or a family member goes for a test, all family members will need to remain home from school. At that time, your children will be transitioned to remote learners.
** Please consider remote learning if a household member has been identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19.
Remote Learners: The remote learning option is available to students that will be out of school for an extended period due to COVID-19 concerns or illness. Students will not be put into remote learning for appointments or vacations. If your child is out for an extended period, you will need to contact Mrs. O’Hearn. Additional information will be given to the family of the remote learner at that time. Students will be placed in remote learning within 24 hours of the notice. All students are eligible for remote learning.
Student Illness: If your child is feeling unwell, he or she should stay home, and you should contact the school office directly. Please do not email the office. You will be asked COVID-19 screening questions. These questions will help determine the next course of action. If it is determined that your child should see a doctor or have a COVID-19 test, all siblings will remain out of school until there is a test result or a doctor’s note to return. Students will need to stay home for 48 hours from the onset of any sickness (if the illness is not linked to COVID like symptoms) and 72 hours for a fever. Once a student is symptom-free, he/she may return to school if a COVID-19 test or doctor’s note was not required.
** Please consider remote learning if a household member feels unwell and exhibiting any COVID like symptoms.
Reporting to the school positive COVID cases: Please contact the office if you or anyone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19. Even when we are remote, this is essential information to share with the school.
It is the goal of St. Margaret Mary to continue to provide in-person learning for our students in a safe learning environment. We will continue to monitor COVID in our community and adjust as needed for our school community’s health and safety. Please continue to be ever vigilant as we enter the holiday season.
I appreciate your support and consideration in this matter.
If you would like your child to remain in remote learning after Thanksgiving Break, please contact me directly – firstname.lastname@example.org .
Principal – STMM