In partnership with local, regional, and national health agencies and schools, St. Michael’s continues to monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are following the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pima County Department of Health and the State of Arizona to inform our decisions regarding the health and well-being of all persons in the St. Michael’s community. We will be updating this page regularly to share information about the School’s preparations and responses.
Given the significant rise in infection rates in Pima County and the state in July, the sustained high level of community transmission, and the widespread inadequacies and delays in testing, the school year at St. Michael’s began online on Monday, August 17.
Following expert guidance from our medical professionals in the St. Michael’s community—with the support of our Board of Trustees and administrative team—we are projecting a safe return to campus for students, families, and faculty on Monday, September 14.
In this document, we address what has been the essential and most pressing question for the school year: What is the plan and what are the options for the education of our children at St. Michael’s for the coming year?
Since March of this year, we have embraced and remain committed to the following principles to address these challenges and to guide our decisions:
- To embrace fully our professional and ethical responsibility to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families.
- To welcome our students back to school as soon as possible—in person and online—to continue to support their intellectual and social development and their mental, physical, and spiritual health.
- To prepare a comprehensive, school-specific, and science-forward plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, using resources available through local and national networks and guided by the most current data and research on the Covid-19 virus.
St. Michael’s distance-learning approach is not designed or intended to replicate the school classroom and campus environment. The overarching goal of our distance learning plan is to provide for students, under any and all extraordinary circumstances that significantly limit or exclude access to campus (e.g., pandemic, power outages, flood, or other emergencies), seamless continuity of academic engagement and learning.
The plans created by our faculty demonstrate sensitivity to the current cause for an interim disruption to normal campus activities and the subsequent need to be at home. Given the complexities of coordinating our work online, in partnership with our students and families at home, we intend to provide a balanced, flexible, and engaging program to allow students every opportunity to work.
Over the summer, St. Michael’s implemented a number of changes and upgrades to the campus in order mitigate risk and keep our students, families, faculty and staff safe.
- Classroom reconfigurations to maximize social distancing
- Single desks were purchased to replace double desks
- Air purifiers and air conditioning units were added to the upper school to allow for proper air flow.
- Personal protective equipment was purchased in bulk to provide a mask and face shield to all students, faculty and staff.
- New handwashing stations were added at several locations on campus, and all classrooms were stocked with hand sanitizer to keep germs at bay.
- Internet capability was expanded, and additional software and tech devices were purchased to ensure connectivity with our students wherever they may be.
- An isolation room is being constructed in the nurse’s office to safely and comfortably separate symptomatic students until a parent/guardian arrives.
Health Assessment Charts
Important Updates for the Start of School (7/3/2020)
Update on Opening of School (7/10/2020)
2020-2021 Covid Management Plan Working Draft (7/19/2020)
Today’s Webinar Link (7/23/2020)
Online Start to the 2020-2021 Academic Year at St. Michael’s (7/26/2020)
Updates – Childcare Opportunity for SMS Families (8/1/2020)
2020-2021 Academic Year Begins Tomorrow, Monday, August 17 (8/16/2020)
Updates for the Week of August 17, 2020 (8/27/2020)
Planned Hybrid Start for Monday, September 14 (9/5/2020)
Hybrid Start, Monday, September 14 (9/12/2020)
EOY Update (3/30/20)
Class Trip Deposits (3/27/20)
COVID-19 Update (3/25/20)
COVID-19 Update (3/16/20)
Interim School Closure (3/15/20)
Distance Learning (3/13/20)
Coronavirus Update (3/11/20)
Upper School Trips (3/8/20)
Support Resources for Health and Well-Being
Physical Health-related Resources
Pima County COVID-19 Data Reports (Pima County Health Department)
COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Updates (Arizona Department of Health Services)
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Guidelines (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO) Updates (World Health Organization)
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Map (Johns Hopkins University)
Social and Emotional Health-related Resources
Podcast: Coronavirus Fact vs. Fiction (CNN Podcasts)
Manage Anxiety & Stress (For Parents and Their Children) (CDC)
Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
Mental Health during COVID-19 (National Institute of Mental Health)
Coronavirus: What Kids Can Do (Kids Health)
Tips for creating and maintaining healthy habits during COVID-19. (Medstar Health)
Podcast: Talking to Our Kids about COVID-19 (CNN Podcasts)