March 26, 2020
Dear Holy Family parents and students,
We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz issued a Shelter in Place Order for the State of Minnesota from March 27 at 11:59 pm through April 10. With the previous requirement of gatherings 50 or less in place until mid-May and this new directive, we are moving forward with the following items.
NEW INFORMATION: Online School begins on Monday, March 30, and now extends until at least Monday, May 4, in accordance with today’s directive. Starting tomorrow, you and your student will receive more details from our faculty and staff on expectations, plans, and resources. By 8:00 am on Monday, March 30, students will receive information and directions for the week ahead.
We are tremendously grateful for the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff as they prepare for the launch of an extended online learning dynamic. Redesigning lesson plans and implementing an online approach rich in human connection is not a small task, yet, their commitment to seeing our students through this transition remains steadfast.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
NEW INFORMATION: Minnesota State High School League will honor the Governor’s executive order and suspend all spring sports until the state lifts distance learning measures. The league has not made a decision about the cancelation of the spring sports season. However, coaches have been notified of the MSHSL’s extension of the ban on any practices, training, etc. until at least May 4 when schools could potentially reopen.
We understand your disappointment as this is not what anyone planned or imagined, especially for our seniors. Discussions are underway to ensure we celebrate and acknowledge important rites of passage for our seniors. As more definitive plans (or as absolute as these times allow) develop for senior events and others, we will share more information. The continually changing COVID-19 landscapes make this work challenging, but not impossible.
Please know we are keeping you in our prayers and ask for your prayers in return. Please stay safe and take every precaution recommended by the State of Minnesota as all of us shoulder our responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We must echo the sentiment expressed by so many, “We will get through this together.” We will get through this together because of our deep faith in God, who guides our every step. We will get through this together as a caring and supportive family. We will get through this together and emerge as an even stronger community with new ideas and innovations in providing excellence in education for our students in mind, body, and spirit.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 8:00 a.m.
As we follow the recommendations of our state and national government, our campus is closed until further notice to all individuals with the exception of employees who have permission to access the building.
Monday, March 16, 2020 – 6:48 p.m.
Update from Assistant Principal Dols regarding tomorrow’s Student Assistance Day
First of all, great job, everyone!! Thank you for taking today’s practice experience seriously, working hard, and giving it your full attention. Most importantly, thank you for responding to the survey. The combined feedback from students and teachers will help us build on our strengths and make adjustments and corrections as needed.
We feel very good about today’s outcomes and confident in our preparation for a smooth and successful transition to online learning after the break. Our committed and talented teachers put in many additional hours in preparing today’s lessons. We are grateful for their flexibility and efforts, which allowed us to test our systems and software proactively.
The overwhelming majority of our students reported feeling prepared for online learning after today’s practice. We are in excellent shape to begin online classes on March 30. Closer to that date, we will send reminders and any necessary information to ensure a meaningful and academically strong extended online learning experience.
I want to reiterate the expectations for tomorrow’s limited Student Assistance Day. To minimize person-to-person contact, students should only attend Student Assistance Day if they have an appointment with a teacher to complete Quarter 3.
Finally, students may pick up any remaining necessary items from their lockers, but please make it a quick grab and go. We ask all students to enter and exit the building through the main entrance. The doors will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times. In true Holy Family spirit, today was a success because of your willingness to work together and take care of each other. We will continue to do so beyond the course of this virus because that is what we do every day.
Update on Sunday, March 15, 2020 – 2:00 p.m.
This morning Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-2 authorized the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, Holy Family administrators made plans for the continuation of learning, following the week of our scheduled spring break. While Governor Walz’s mandate was an order for public schools, we will be in compliance utilizing the following plan, as described below.
CONTINUATION OF LEARNING
Online Practice Day – Monday, March 16
To prepare as fully as possible for an online learning dynamic, Monday, March 16, remains a practice day for online learning. Students are to be at home on this day and will be expected to participate in a full day of online classes utilizing our regular schedule. It is essential that our students and families take this day very seriously as we prepare for the potential of a long-term dynamic.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Students will be sent a survey evaluating their practice day experiences by the end of the school day on Monday, March 16. Because we need time to evaluate this information for discussion with teachers on Tuesday morning, it is imperative that students respond to the survey by no later than 4 p.m.
NEW INFORMATION: Tuesday, March 17 – Student Assistance Day/End of the Quarter
School leadership made the decision to move Thursday’s end of quarter date to Tuesday, March 17. On that day, Holy Family will offer a Student Assistance Day for students who must make up Quarter 3 tests, quizzes, and/or presentations that cannot be accomplished from home. The hours of SAD are 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
- The building will be open on Tuesday until 5:00 p.m. to pick up any additional needed personal items or learning materials for the March 30-April 3 online learning dynamic. Students will not be allowed to congregate—only to pick up materials.
Teachers will communicate how they are wrapping up the quarter. This includes information regarding any scheduled assignments, projects, tests, and quizzes.
- We are allowing an exception to our uniform policy for the March 17 Student Assistance Day. Students may be out of uniform.
- There is no busing transportation available on Tuesday, March 17.
- If a student feels unwell, his or her parent should notify the school office, and the student should stay home.
While so much of our attention is focused inwardly on the needs of our school as we navigate these uncharted waters, let us not lose perspective of the ways we can support others beyond our campus. If you are coming to campus, please considering a non-perishable item to support local food shelves as they experience increased demand.
NEW INFORMATION: Extended Spring Break
Spring break will begin on Wednesday, March 18, for students and last until the original scheduled end on March 27. Teachers will be using the additional days to wrap up the third quarter and refine plans based on Monday’s experiences and feedback received. For those of you making the decision to travel during spring break, we ask that you carefully read the travel guidelines listed in the “How You Can Help” in last week’s email and an update in the section below.
Online Learning Week – March 30 – April 3
As a reminder, March 30 – April 3 is an extended online learning week. Please refer to last week’s email or our webpage, http://www.hfchs.org/coronavirus-updates/, for details on expectations.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
NEW INFORMATION: Effective immediately, all sports and activities are suspended until further notice, including, but not limited to training, practices, scrimmages, banquets, meetings, and contests.
Decisions regarding future events continue to evolve. We will communicate decisions as soon as they are definitive. Calendars will be updated accordingly.
Please see the information in the previous update for a list of ways our community can continue to help with the management of the spread of COVID-19. Please note: If a family member has tested positive or been exposed, contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are challenging times, and this is a significant response by our state to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This raises many questions that we cannot answer immediately, but we are committed to keeping you as informed and supported as possible. There is much more information to come.
As you prepare for the changes this will entail, please know that HFCHS is committed to providing a strong educational experience in the face of these drastic, but necessary measures. Together, we can ensure these next days and weeks will be productive as possible while we all curtail our activity in such a way that protects the health and well-being of each other, our families, and our community.
Stay healthy and continue to do all that you can to prevent the spread of germs.
We are keeping all our families in our prayers and ask for His blessing on our community as we enter into this new phase.
3/12/2020- Special Announcement Regarding Holy Family’s Plans Moving Forward
This email was sent to parents
Holy Family remains in solidarity with numerous government, business and educational institutions as we exercise vigilance and enact preventative measures with regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prioritization of the health and well-being of our community – both local and extended. As such, Holy Family continues to monitor information and recommendations from official and credible sources including the Minnesota Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
Additionally, our professional networks are both strong and extensive, and include the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the local public school district ISD 112, the greater metro area Catholic high schools, and the Lasallian/Christian Brothers secondary schools across the nation. The exchange of information has been constant and the dialogue has been rich and supportive…we are in this together.
While this email is lengthy, there are times where more communication is helpful. We appreciate your thorough attention to the following information. Students will be provided this information tomorrow during Convocation and, additionally, in their classrooms.
Online Practice Day – Monday, March 16
As shared in an earlier communication, Holy Family Catholic High School has been preparing for the possible extended closure of the school for some time, framing lessons and procedures to support the continuation of instruction in a non-traditional environment. Each teacher has designed meaningful course work and experiences that will be communicated online using mySchool and Office 365.
To prepare as fully as possible for an online learning dynamic, Monday, March 16, is scheduled as a practice day for online learning. Students are to be at home on this day and will be expected to participate in a full day of online classes in accordance with our regular schedule.
This exercise will allow both teachers and students to experience various methods for academic instruction that could be utilized during any future implementation of online learning. Therefore, students are asked to bring all their textbooks, notebooks, calculators, instruments, music, and other resources home with them tomorrow and before they leave for spring break.
When students return to school on Tuesday, March 17, teachers will solicit feedback in an effort to troubleshoot concerns and build upon strengths and successful practices. After school activities presently scheduled for Monday, March 16, will continue as planned.
Online Learning Week – March 30 – April 3
Our responsibility for the health and well-being of others extends beyond the walls of our high school to our greater community. As an additional preventative measure, we will hold online school the week following spring break— March 30 – April 3. Because online education is a very different learning experience, please follow these basic expectations and guidelines.
Basic guidelines and practices for extended online learning:
- Parents must call the Attendance Line (952) 443-4659 if a student is too ill to log in to classes on a given day. Mrs. Brenner will notify the appropriate teachers.
- Teachers, counselors, and learning specialists will continue to monitor student progress. Feel welcome to contact them by email if you need their help.
- Students are expected to log in to classes when they are scheduled and submit assignments by their deadlines as communicated by teachers.
- Teachers will email students before school on Monday, March 30, with the plan for the week, including expectations for meeting virtually.
Activities and Events
All before and after school activities including athletic practices are cancelled for the week of March 30 – April 3. As a precautionary measure, the senior retreat and school-sponsored spring break trips are also canceled. In general, measures aimed at controlling exposure are effective only if accompanied by social distancing. Please find safe ways to socialize and exercise without gathering in groups.
Mental Health and Well-Being
Of considerable concern is our awareness that people process challenges and change in different ways. These articles might be helpful as we care for each other physically, mentally, and emotionally:
From the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians: COVOID-19: The Path Through It
From the CDC: Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
As always, our school counselors are available for students as needed.
Due to the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19/coronavirus cases in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Hebda has determined it is prudent to dispense all Catholics in the territory of this Archdiocese from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, until further notice. If the faithful decide that congregating for Sunday Mass would constitute a risk to themselves or others, they have the freedom not to attend. Masses, however, will continue to be celebrated in our parishes as regularly scheduled at this time. Read the full announcement here: https://www.archspm.org/statement-regarding-dispensation-from-sunday-mass-obligation/
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has set-up a new landing page as a timely resource: https://www.archspm.org/guidance-regarding-the-coronavirus/
How you can help?
- Help Stop the Spread of Germs. As with any infectious illness, please try to avoid close contact with people who are sick, and follow all precautions: washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, stay home if sick, cover cough and sneezes, etc.
- Keep your student at home if he/she is not feeling well. We recognize that students may not want to stay home and miss school or activities, but this is especially important to minimize the spread of any illness, even before receiving a medical diagnosis.
- Consider Limiting Travel. We recognize families will engage with many people when traveling for either work or pleasure. With our spring break coming up, family travel could increase exponentially. It is important to recognize that travel during this outbreak could add risk for HFCHS students, families, and employees.
- Review Travel Guidelines. If you do travel, please review travel guidelines published by the CDC. Please pay special attention to CDC protocols for visiting countries in High Risk areas (this list is subject to change, so please check before and after your travel). If a student or anyone in the student’s household travels to a high-risk country, please notify Principal Brown immediately. It will be presumed that the student cannot return to campus until further directed, even in the absence of symptoms.
Preparing for this situation is new to everyone; your patience and flexibility are appreciated. Be assured we will continue to communicate updates as appropriate and available. In the words of the Most Reverend Archbishop Hebda, “Let us continue to pray for the sick and dying, for those caring for them (including priests and deacons), and for those working to minimize the impact of COVID-19.”