Return-to-Campus Frequently Asked Questions

Our highest priority in returning to campus is the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Our return to campus must come with the resolute commitment from all of us—students, parents, and employees—to be responsible to each other to ensure the safety of all. We will ask every member of the Holy Family community to practice research-based hygiene and adhere to our behavioral and health policies and protocols, especially self-screening and remaining at home when ill. While we understand that we cannot eliminate all risk to our community, we must all agree to practice newly adopted policies and protocols with the aim of reducing the risk of virus transmission and support our capacity to remain on campus. Be assured, we will be continually monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting as necessary.

In July, we shared our return to campus road map. Click on the button below to view it.

View the Return to Campus Road Map

Q&A on Opening Schools During COVID19 Pandemic

Please note, the information below is based on Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines as of August 12, 2020. Guidelines can and do change frequently (length of time for close contact, for example), and specific details of a concern/situation/positive result will be examined by MDH on a case by case basis as they arise. Holy Family protocol may also be adjusted in the below scenarios, as MDH and CDC update their guidelines.

**The term “close contact” is used several times in the answers below. Close contact is currently defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for 15 cumulative minutes within a 24 hour period.

General Guidelines

How can we maintain a healthy campus?


Creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment is essential and will require our community’s support and participation. We understand that a healthy campus includes the mental and emotional well-being of our students and employees. We will practice patience as we help our students adjust. We ask for your cooperation and commitment to these guidelines, as together, we maintain the safest possible experience for students, faculty, and staff. Weekly CANVAS sessions, lower than average counselor-to-student ratios, and our caring faculty and staff allow us to support our students proactively.  All of us can practice the 3 W’s:  1. Wear a mask. 2. Wash your hands. 3. Watch your distance.

Our Commitment:

  • Screening kiosks supervised by school staff will be used at each entrance. The spacing of six feet or more will be required of those waiting for screening.

  • Conveniently located and regularly maintained handwashing and sanitizing stations will include posted reminders.

  • Educate and encourage staff and students on correct respiratory etiquette

  • Require mask usage as directed in Executive Order 20-81.
  • Frequent cleaning and using COVID-19 sanitization best practices will be employed.

  • An administrator will ensure all individuals are following the rules and protocols.

  • See a complete list of safety measures listed in the question below

How can YOU help maintain a healthy campus?

Your Commitment:

  • Practice the 3 W’s: 1. Bring a washed two-ply face mask to school each day and wear as designated.  Gaiters and bandanas are not acceptable. 2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 30 seconds. When you are unable to access a handwashing facility, utilize hand sanitizer. 3. Watch your distance. (Maintain a distance of 6 feet between you and others whenever possible.)
  • At-home symptoms screenings are required each morning before heading to campus.  Anyone with symptoms must stay home. Follow the MDH decision tree.

  • Any person with COVID-19 related symptoms or who tests positive for the virus will be required to follow quarantine procedures. Follow the MDH decision tree.

  • Exercise good respiratory hygiene and etiquette.

  • Bring a washed face mask to school each day and wear it as designated.

  • Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands and refrain from shaking hands and touching others.

Are face masks required?

All individuals in the school building are required to wear a face-covering at all times. All students will be provided a two-ply facemask at the start of the school year. However, it is recommended that students have more than one mask so that they can be washed and rotated for maximum effectiveness. Students who carpool should wear facemasks while in the vehicle.

Guidelines for appropriate face masks are as follows: Two-ply, solid or patterned, and void of any writing other than the school’s HF/FIRE masks. Bandanas, scarves, single-ply neck gaiters, as well as masks with valves (per CDC guidelines) are not permissible.

Masks must fit each student appropriately, covering both the nose and the mouth. For students who wear glasses, please consider a mask with a bendable border at the top to better fit the bridge of one’s nose and prevent glasses from fogging.

Questions regarding face coverings should be directed to Assistant Principal for Student Life, Mr. Matt Thuli.

What safety measures will be implemented when the school opens?

These are the additional protocols students will experience as we re-open for on-campus learning.

  • A block schedule that reduces hallway interactions throughout the day by 50%
  • Additional teaching staff to even further reduce class sizes for appropriate distancing within the classroom
  • Spaced locker assignments and regulated minimal locker access; no congregating in locker bays
  • Supervision in hallways during passing time to ensure safe movement and travel patterns
  • Single-person assigned seating arrangements
  • Additional teaching staff to even further reduce class sizes for appropriate distancing within the classroom
  • Expanded cafeteria seating with outdoor tented space for lunch hours
  • Eliminate crowding in the cafe space (Chef Bob will still create delicious options!)
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards
  • Touchless faucets and paper towel dispensers in all bathrooms
  • 30 additional and 10 free-standing wall-mounted hand sanitizing dispensers throughout the building
  • One-way traffic patterns in hallways and stairwells indicated by directional arrows on floors
  • Reminder signage for #hfstayhealthy protocols
  • Screening kiosks at each designated entry point
  • Face masks and/or shields on all employees, students, and guests

When is someone required to quarantine?

Holy Family will follow the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines.

Scenario 1: A person tests positive for COVID-19:  Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and until they have no fever for at least 24 hours without medication as well as improvement of other symptoms.

Scenario 2: A person has symptoms. Stay home. Do not attend on-campus classes or activities for 10-days after first symptoms and not fever for 24 hours without medication as well as improvement of other symptoms or permission from a doctor to return to school.

Scenario 3: Exposure, No Symptoms: Anyone who has been in close contact** with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days. Notify school. Stay home, do not attend school or other activities on campus. Contact Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Melissa Livermore to move into the online learning model until it is cleared to return to in-person learning.

Do all students who interact with an HFCHS employee who tests positive need to quarantine at home?

Each situation will vary. The Minnesota and Carver County Departments of Health will work with Holy Family to determine whether any students were in close contact** with the teacher or staff member who tested positive. If so, families would be informed by MDH that their students should quarantine for 14 days.

When does someone have to be tested?

MDH’s website states that people who have symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested. Families may get recommendations from MDH for testing if their student was in close contact with someone who tested positive and their student is now showing symptoms. Still, testing has not been mandated to this point, and any costs for testing for students will be incurred by families.

Will parents be notified if there is a case of COVID-19 in the school or child's class?

Holy Family is committed to protecting the privacy of all students and staff members and equally committed to sharing necessary information to help our community stay healthy. It is critical that students, employees, and families not share emotionally-charged hearsay, speculations, or unconfirmed information. Resolving misguided reports will unnecessarily distract our administrators from the important work of evaluating health and safety situations.

If there is a case of COVID-19 identified, MDH and CCH will work with the school to be as clear as possible about the risk level of those who have come into contact with the person who tested positive and what is recommended for next steps. See this information from the MDH on contact tracing:

We do not intend to publish a running tally of cases. If there is a concern or need to know, the school and/or department of health will individually contact parents as soon as possible.

What will students experience when attending classes online?

Significant investments in classroom technology were made to create a synchronous (real-time) online learning model. Students will be able to engage in classroom discussions, see and hear their instructors and classmates, view the whiteboard or projected images, and ask questions as if they were sitting in the actual classroom (socially distanced from their classmates, of course!)

This option is available for students with concerns that require them to remain off-campus or for those students completing their quarantine days, assuming they are well enough to participate. All students learning from home must first receive pre-approval from Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Melissa Livermore.

How will Holy Family utilize hybrid or online learning models?

As many of us are hearing and seeing described by larger schools or districts, a “hybrid” learning model is an effort to give as many students as much time as possible in a school building to experience in-person learning while practicing safe distancing. To accommodate this plan, it may require relocating grade levels to different buildings, limiting older students to online learning, or staggering/alternating student attendance to ensure the student/staff population relative to building capacity supports distancing guidelines. These models favor having younger students in the building the most and significantly reducing on-campus in-person instruction for students as they reach older grades where they are deemed to be more independent. While numerous considerations are continuously informing and directing the plans for all schools and districts, public and private, the most prevalent factor for this type of “hybrid” model is, again, the student-to-building capacity ratio required to achieve recommendations for physical distancing.

Holy Family Catholic High School’s wide hallways and expansive building and campus, along with this year’s carefully planned enrollment and staffing additions, allow us to educate our students without the need to stagger/alternate attendance. While our enrollment is growing significantly this fall, our building is designed to accommodate 50% more students than we are accepting for enrollment. Thus, we are operating at 50% capacity for this year, hoping we could welcome new students next year or as soon as it is safe to do so.

Holy Family’s “hybrid” learning model is defined and operates differently than larger schools. Our hybrid learning scenario applies to the times throughout the year, where both in-person/on-campus and online/at-home learning happen simultaneously. When students or teachers who have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19 are isolating at home (per the requirements set forth by the school), the ability to continue their education synchronously and uninterruptedly with the rest of their peers in the classroom will be available through technological means. When these two teaching and learning methods are happening simultaneously – in-person and virtual/online – this is considered “hybrid” per Holy Family’s definition of the term.

Holy Family will enter into a fully virtual online learning platform for all students and teachers when directed to by local health officials.

Note: Teachers who are exposed but not symptomatic or who may need to care for a sick child at home may also enter a hybrid-teaching model. In a hybrid-teaching model, the students will be in the classroom supervised and managed by a substitute teacher with the Holy Family educator using online learning technology to instruct the class from home.