Updates & Information

Re-Opening and COVID-19

UPDATE: JULY 24, 2020 – DISTANCE LEARNING SCHEDULE

After much professional development and collaboration, we are pleased to share our Distance Learning schedule for this upcoming school year.  Please see attached letter.

UPDATE: JULY 18, 2020 – Distance Learning

Dear St. Bernardine Family,

It is with mixed emotions that we inform you that schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will begin this 2020-2021 school year with distance learning. Please see the attached announcement from the Department of Catholic Schools. 

It is imperative to reiterate that last school year, we took one day off school in March to flip into a distance learning situation.  We did an AMAZING job.  Distance Learning during the Spring was considered crisis teaching in response to a pandemic, and therefore, distance learning in the Fall will look different.  Teachers are currently undergoing professional development to learn best practices in distance learning.  We will be much more prepared come August. 

  • Students will be fully engaged in both synchronous and asynchronous learning. There will be a minimum of 180 minutes per day instruction/interaction with teachers.
  • Distance Learning will be consistently structured between grade levels.
  • There will be opportunities for small group instruction throughout the week.
  • We are investigating ways to provide alternatives to screen time for parents who are concerned about the abundance of screen time for their children. 
  • Teachers will hold daily office hours to provide additional support for students.

We have a committee of teachers creating our school’s Distance Learning Plan. A formal plan will be shared next week.  Please be assured that we will be ready to open the doors of our school as soon as the restrictions are lifted (and will continue to offer a Distance Learning Program for all parents who opt for this program.)

St. Francis de Sales once said, “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

May God continue to bless us all. 

UPDATE: JULY 15, 2020 – Return to School Plans

Dear St. Bernardine Families,

We pray this information finds you healthy, safe, and happy.  This information is to clarify our return to school plans and update you with more information. 

We currently have three plans ready to implement. For both Plan A and Plan B, parents can select a Distance Learning-Only option for their child.  

Plan A: Fully on Campus

  • Health Screening upon arrival, including temperature check.
  • Possible staggered start time to allow ample time for health screenings.
  • Multiple points of entry and use of hand sanitizer upon entering building
  • Students and staff must wear a face covering. (Per this week’s guidelines, students will not have to wear a mask during P.E. or recess.)
  • Students will be seated six feet apart and will maintain physical distancing throughout campus. School buildings will have markings on the floor to promote distancing.
  • Students will be grouped into smaller cohorts and will remain with their cohorts for the school day.
  • We will reduce mixing of students to contain potential outbreaks and ensure contact tracing. Teachers will rotate classrooms, rather than students traveling to different rooms.
  • We will minimize sharing of supplies. Supplies will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
  • We will limit the number of students in the bathrooms.
  • Students will only enter the hallways for bathroom or office access.  Exterior pathways will be used for all other movement of students.
  • We are considering staggered dismissal times to allow for proper physical distancing.
  • We are considering a shortened school day to limit time of potential exposure.  The school day might end before lunch and students would return to Distance Learning in the afternoon.
  • There will be no whole school gatherings, such as assemblies or weekly school Mass attendance.
  • There is a possibility that we can have some outdoor classes, keeping in mind how hot it is at the beginning of the year.
  • At this time, we will have to suspend our School Families and Buddy Program due to restrictions on the mixing of cohorts.  There is a possibility that these programs can continue virtually.
  • Unfortunately there are no plans for Fall Sports at this time.
  • Day Care Program will continue to be offered for working parents.

A Distance Learning option will be available each day. 

Plan B: Hybrid Program

  • Students will be grouped according to last name (Blue Group and Gold Group)

At this point, we are looking at two possibilities:

Plan B – Option 1:

    • Blue Group will attend school on Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday.
    • Gold Group will attend Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday.
    • (We deviated from our last plan to allow for a consistent schedule.)

  • The above safety protocols and precautions apply while on campus.

While not on campus, Blue and Gold Groups will be engaging in synchronous or asynchronous distance learning.

  • Day Care Program will continue to be offered for working parents.

Plan B – Option 2:

  • Blue Group will attend school on Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • Gold Group will attend Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Distance Learning for all students on Fridays.
  • The above safety protocols and precautions apply while on campus.
  • While not on campus, Blue and Gold Groups will be engaging in synchronous or asynchronous distance learning.
  • Day Care Program will continue to be offered for working parents.

 

Plan C: Fully Distance Learning

Last school year, we took one day off school in March to flip into a distance learning situation.  We did an AMAZING job.  Distance Learning during the Spring was considered crisis teaching in response to a pandemic, and therefore, in the Fall, it will look different.  Teachers are currently undergoing professional development to learn best practices in distance learning, should they need those tools.  We will be much more prepared come August.  

  • Students will be fully engaged in both synchronous and asynchronous learning. There will be a minimum of 180 minutes per day instruction/interaction with teachers.
  • Distance Learning will be consistently structured between grade levels.
  • There will be opportunities for small group instruction throughout the week.
  • We are investigating ways to provide alternatives to screen time for parents who are concerned about the abundance of screen time for their children. 
  • Teachers will hold daily office hours to provide additional support for students.

Please remember that these plans are fluid, as guidelines are constantly changing.

What will determine the plan we choose?:

  • First and foremost, the Department of Catholic Schools will make the determination if we will reopen.  This decision is not in the hands of our school administration or pastor.
  • What are the guidelines of the Department of Public Health?  The CDC?
  • School enrollment – How many students can we safely fit into a classroom six feet apart?
  • How many parents will opt for distance learning in lieu of being on-campus?

A note about tuition:

  1. Tuition is substantially less than the actual cost to educate.
  2. There is an increased cost of operating due to health and safety requirements.
  3. Traditional fundraising that helps make up the gap between tuition and actual cost will be limited due to physical distancing and other public health orders.
  4. Our expenses have remained the same.
  5. Salaries, benefits, workers’ compensation, and pension premiums have increased as much as 6%.

Day Care:

We ask that our Day Care Program is only used for working parents, and not for playdates.  All above protocols and procedures will be in place for Day Care.  Students will be in a cohort, using different classrooms, and have the opportunity for outside play.  

 

What Can Parents Do?

  • Please encourage your child to practice wearing his/her mask.  
    • Our requirements will be that masks are appropriate for a Catholic School setting (i.e. nothing scary or inappropriate).  As of now, we will not be requiring uniform masks.
    • Some suggestions:
      • Have your child pick out his/her mask.
      • Practice wearing their mask for a half hour at a time to get used to it. 
  • For younger students, please practice opening their snacks, water bottles, and any containers they may use at school.  If students need teachers’ help to open items, their hands will be on parts that might go in your child’s mouth.

 

Volunteer Hours and Fundraising

We are looking at volunteer hour and fundraising requirements for the 2020-2021 school year and will adjust as necessary. For our students’ and staff safety, parent volunteers will not be allowed on campus at the beginning of the school year.  This will be revisited as the public health situation evolves.

 

PPE:

Our school has already spent almost $10,000 in PPE supplies:

  • Hand Sanitizer – 25 gallons
  • Disinfecting Wipes (Lysol) – 48 tubs
  • Alcohol Wipes – 50 tubs 
  • Thermometers – 7
  • Face Shields – 300
  • Disposable Face Masks – 350

 

In addition to these, the Department of Catholic Schools has secured No-Cost State Provided PPE through the California Offices of Emergency Services (Cal OES); however, there is no guarantee when we will actually receive these supplies:

  • N95 mask:                          1 per school
  • Cloth mask:                        2 per child (Grades K-and-higher)
  • Cloth mask:                        2 per Teacher and Adult Staff
  • Disposable mask:              2 per child (Grades K-and-higher)
  • Disposable mask               4 per Teacher and Adult Staff
  • Face shield:                       4 per Teacher
  • Thermometers:                  4 per school/2 per childcare
  • Hand sanitizer:                  12 gallons per school

 

We will continue to purchase more as needed to create as safe an environment as possible for both the students and the staff.

 

St. Bernardine of Siena Catholic School

6061 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367

(818) 340-2130

(818) 340-3417 (FAX)
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