As we approach the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year, I am writing to communicate the school’s opening plans and mitigation protocols with respect to the COVID 19 pandemic. Please know that these decisions have been thoughtfully made with the goal of providing a quality, in-person learning experience and healthy environment for your daughters, while balancing individual expectations and overall wellness and safety. We have been guided by a team of medical and health professionals as well as the recommendations of the St. Louis County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Accordingly, when school opens in mid-August:
- Masks will be required for all students and adults when indoors. Masks will not be required outside. Student lunch breaks will be taken outdoors when at all possible, and distancing will not be required. When conditions require that lunch be taken indoors, masks may be removed, but distancing measures will be implemented. We will maintain our system of contact tracing/monitoring.
- Vaccines are strongly recommended for eligible students, faculty, and staff. We are pleased to report that 98% of our faculty and staff are fully vaccinated. Our student vaccination rate is currently 60%. An increase in student vaccination rates will help move the St. Joe Community closer to pre-pandemic normalcy, limit the need for some of the current mitigation requirements and allow us to limit mask requirements to only unvaccinated individuals. If you have not already done so, please upload your daughter’s vaccination card to email@example.com as soon as possible. If you prefer, vaccination cards may be faxed to (314) 965-9114, mailed to or dropped off at the Main Office or uploaded into your SchoolAdmin account. Please note, submission of proof of full vaccination status or regularly scheduled negative COVID tests will be required for any student to participate in retreats, certain high contact indoor sports and close contact extracurricular activities. Details will be provided to participants in these activities at the beginning of each program subject to this requirement.
- Quarantine policies have been updated to reflect the modified quarantine guidelines issued by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health:
- VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS who are deemed to have been in close contact with an infected person DO NOT need to be quarantined unless they develop symptoms.
- UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS who are deemed to have been in close contact with an infected person AND who were properly masked during exposure DO NOT have to quarantine and may attend school unless they develop symptoms. HOWEVER, under this modified quarantine policy, the student is still restricted from all other activities, including extracurriculars, for 10 days. Students who miss school for medical/quarantine purposes will make up academic work pursuant to pre-pandemic policies, which can be found in the Student Handbook. There will be no Zoom or other virtual options available this year.
- It is imperative that you keep your daughter home if she is feeling unwell or exhibiting any symptoms of illness. Students will continue to complete the Student Health Screening Form each day and show a record of completion (screenshot or photo of the completed form) to enter school. For returning families, this is the same form your daughter used last year to enter the building. For new families, a copy of the Student Health Screening Form can be accessed here.
- Our mitigation policies and protocols will be regularly reviewed and adjusted as necessary, based on internal vaccination rates, community transmission, internal transmission rates, as well as state and local guidelines and mandates. We will be in communication with you when any changes or adaptations to these policies are made.
We are happy to confirm that plans for the upcoming school year include many of our time-honored traditions and a day-to-day environment akin to a more traditional St. Joe experience. Use of student lockers has been restored and we will not require six-foot social distancing (except when lunch must be held indoors due to weather restrictions). We welcome the return of all-school Masses, community time on Mondays, Mission Week and the re-opening of Cup of Joe, among others, recognizing that these events, large and small, are the hallmark of your daughter’s time at St. Joe.
Thank you for your support and confidence as we embark on a new school year.