Dear St. Margaret of Scotland Families,
Thank you for your patience as we have made decisions for our return to learning. In this time of growing COVID-19 infection, St. Margaret of Scotland is prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and their families. Our learning options will look very different this year but our commitment to your children and their excellent academic, spiritual, social and emotional growth is the same as it is for us each year.
To meet the varied needs of students, faculty and staff we will implement a Responsive Learning Model with an option for Virtual Learning at Home. St. Margaret of Scotland School has revised our start date and will now begin the learning year on Monday, August 24. Our intention is to work diligently over the next month to train and prepare teachers and upgrade technology for these learning paths. Additionally, after reviewing the logistics, facilities, staffing, physical distance requirements and financial feasibility, the 2020-2021 SMOS school year will start without an Aftercare program.
More than 90 administrators, parents, teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to develop this guide for the school year. Our mantra has been: Together, we are planning a safe, flexible, enriching return to learning for our children, teachers and staff. In the spirit of our patron St. Margaret, we asked: “How does this decision affect the most vulnerable in our community?”
We have been attentive to the protocols and regulations of the CDC and the St. Louis City Department of Health. We also listened to the feedback of the 309 parents and 55 faculty members who shared their experiences of the spring semester and hopes and concerns for fall. In June, 70% of parents strongly supported a full return to learning at school. We also heard from that survey that 25% of SMOS families and 30% of SMOS teachers live with someone who has an underlying health condition that puts them at a heightened risk of COVID-19 infection.
We must provide safe options for all the members of our learning community and their different needs. Due to current levels of COVID-19 in the St. Louis metro area, St. Margaret of Scotland School plans to begin in-school learning in the Hybrid In-School stage of our Responsive Learning model on Monday, August 24. We will continue with Hybrid In-School learning only as long as necessary. Our plan is to increase the number of students physically on campus, up to full capacity, as soon as it is safely possible.
More information about the learning options, plans and schedules can be found in the attached Fall Return to Learn Plan. A full detailed plan will be shared with our SMOS community on July 31. We realize that these plans, the new school start date and not having aftercare will create difficulty for some families. And we are aware that there are varying opinions regarding the reopening of schools. We have considered many options and recommendations and believe this is the appropriate decision for St. Margaret of Scotland at this time. We will continue to consult with public health officials, our Steering Committee and School Board, and will use their guidance to continue our preparations.
The SMOS school website will become the hub for all important information regarding updates, technology support, training videos, FAQs. Please take a moment to bookmark or save this page so you are able to reference it quickly. https://www.stmargaretstl.org/school/returntolearn/ If you have any questions after reviewing the attached document, please submit them by filling out this google form. Hybrid In-School Learning and an Option for Learning at Home Questions We will take submitted questions to create FAQs for our school website and later communications.
Thank you for your trust and support. St. Margaret of Scotland, pray for us!
Fr. Matthew O’Toole, Pastor
Mrs. Clare Young, Pricinpal
Ms. Christine Burke, Assistant Principal