2020-21 Academic Year » Return to School » FAQs

FAQs

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions we have received regarding St. Louis School's re-opening plan. Check back often as this page will be updated as we continue on this journey together. If you have a question that is not listed below, please send it to Mrs. Dyke (adyke@stlouisschool.org) Chances are, you are not the only family with that question, and we will do our best to address it as soon as possible.
2020-21 Enrollment
"Blue" and "White" days are noted on the school calendar up until Christmas break. The color of the day indicates which group of students is expected to attend school for in-person instruction on that day; students on the team color not listed will attend virtually that day. For example, September 8 is a "White" day. Students on the White team will attend in-person while students on the Blue team will attend virtually. Students enrolled 5 days in-person or on a fixed 2- or 3-day schedule are not placed on a Blue or White team and should plan to attend in-person on their respective days.
(Note: To simply view the Hybrid Schedule alone on the school calendar, make sure only the "Hybrid Schedule" box is checked under the calendar grid.)
A $150 per family COVID fee will be assessed to all families to assist with the extra digital software, computer hardware and technology upgrades to enable distance learning as well as additional health and safety tools necessary to meet CDC requirements for a safe return to the school building. Fees are payable in August or can be added to FACTS monthly tuition bill.
Student placement decisions have been made to adhere to CDC guidelines (maximum of 18 desks spaced 6 feet apart in each classroom). We are unable to make changes to student placements for in-person instruction. If you would like to change your child's placement from in-person to all virtual, please contact Mrs. Dyke, adyke@stlouisschool.org.
An Enrollment Form for each student currently registered at St. Louis Catholic School for the 2020-21 school year must be received by July 28, 2020. The link to the Enrollment Form was sent to current families via Constant Contact. If you are a prospective family visiting our site, please contact registrar@stlouisschool.org for information about the admissions process. At this time, enrollment is being held at current numbers until all registered school families have been placed.
Students will have the option of attending in-person instruction 5 days a week, a hybrid model with 2 or 3 days in-person instruction with the remaining days completed virtually, or full virtual instruction. Priority will be given to children of essential workers for the 5-day in-person instruction. A virtual instructional model for those students considered at risk or vulnerable due to the COVID-19 virus or whose families feel more comfortable at home will be offered through Zoom video conferencing and a specialized schedule to allow for more synchronous instruction.
Please send a letter of your intention to the principal (adyke@stlouisschool.org).
No, we are unable to hold your spot for the following academic year. You would need to re-apply for 2021-22 admissions in November.
No, the tuition at St. Louis School covers our operating expenses including the safety and sanitizing measures to maintain the facility in new ways during this COVID-19 period as well as the technology equipment necessary to offer hybrid and virtual instruction options. Approximately 85-90% of annual tuition is directed toward employee salaries leaving the remaining operating and school improvements to be covered by student services like EDC as well as the PTO and our Annual Fund. Should your family experience an extreme financial hardship due to this pandemic crisis, please let Fr. O’Hare and Mrs. Dyke know so we can meet with you.
A separate enrollment form is required for each student. Families may fill it out identically for each child, or may opt for a different instructional model for each child based upon their home/work schedules and the child's learning needs.
A separate re-opening plan for St. Louis Preschool will be shared with preschool families.
Orientation Week
Students (not parents) will attend orientation only on the designated day for their group (see below). These small group orientations throughout the week of August 31 will allow for a better opportunity for students to get to know some of the early procedures and process changes as well as allow us time to work through some potential glitches with the new drop off and pick up procedures. 
  • Monday, Aug. 31, 9-11:30am -- 5 Days In-person Students
  • Tuesday, Sept. 1, 9-11:30am -- 2 or 3 Days fixed In-Person Students
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2, 9-11:30am -- All Virtual Only Students
  • Thursday, Sept. 3, 9-11:30am -- Blue Team
  • Friday, Sept. 4, 9-11:30am -- White Team
Orientation sessions will take place in-person, including for our virtual-only students so that they may meet their teachers and pick up their devices and books. The small groups will insure we are following CDC guidelines regarding capacity and density.
Yes, all students are expected to wear their regular uniform (not PE) to orientation. Students must also wear a mask. 
Virtual-only students should bring a backpack to carry home their device and books. All students must bring a mask to wear. It is recommended that students bring a disposable water bottle as the water fountains will not be available for drinking.
Orientation for parents of new 1st-8th grade students will be held via Zoom on Sunday, August 23rd. Orientation for parents of Kindergarteners will be held via Zoom on Monday, August 24th. The link and time will be sent to these families directly.
Regular full instruction begins Tuesday, Sept. 8 which is a "White" day for in-person instruction. Students on the White team, 5-day in-person students, and students on a fixed Tuesday schedule will attend in-person while all other students will attend virtually. The school day is 8am-3:10pm. EDC will be available. Please see the school calendar for dates of the "Blue" and "White" days.
Virtual Learning
Virtual students days will follow the general school footprint of 8:45am-3:00pm with breaks throughout the day. Families wanted synchronous instruction—it is not an easy task for K-8. Currently, the intention is to set the schedule that the beginning of each content area would provide synchronous direct instruction for approximately 20 minutes. Students will then be able to take a “break” to do independent work.
Students at home will participate with their classmates in the building via Zoom. A link will be provided for the class for the entire day that students will drop in and out of for appropriate content instruction—there is a “coffee break feature” that can be utilized by students so as not to be on camera or online while completing independent work. Classroom teachers will be teaching in real time. Classes will not be recorded.
Financially, we cannot hire a separate set of teachers for virtual instruction. Classes will be taught by grade level teachers who will be working together and partnering on pacing and planning. Students who learn virtually or remotely will be taught in real time with students in-person. There will be additional “co-teachers” to assist the classroom teacher. These instructional assistants or other St. Louis instructional staff will provide some small group meetings with students to expand or reinforce instruction. Small groups will happen 2-3 times per week.
This will depend upon the class schedule and lessons each day. Approximately 3-4 hours in total interspersed with breaks is anticipated.
Breaks can be time on their own or time to do some independent work—teachers will share details and post suggestions similar to the Spring 2020.
There will be PE and recess breaks. Specials teachers will be asked to provide projects/activities/lessons for virtual students to do during Specials time and/or break time. The PE teacher will provide weekly challenges for virtual students similar to Spring 2020.
Health, Safety and Mental Health
Daily health screenings will be required for all faculty, staff and students prior to arrival through the use of SchoolPass, the school’s new online security, safety and paperless platform which integrates with PowerSchool, our SIS portal, to maintain the confidentiality of student and staff information. Students, staff and visitors will utilize the SchoolPass app to complete the COVID-19 related screening process prior to entering the building. Anyone who does not meet the health standards set in the screening is asked to call the school and speak to the nurse for follow-up before coming to school. The nurse will provide guidance on whether attendance is possible.
All COVID-19 related illnesses will be reported to our local health department. St. Louis School will follow their guidance on quarantines, readmission, and sanitization requirements. Contact information for the Fairfax County Health Department: (703)246-2441 or health@fairfaxcounty.gov; Gloria Addo-Ayensu, MD.
Faculty, staff, and students will be asked to wear masks while in the building, walking in the hallways, while using the restrooms, or when appropriate social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. Face shields will be provided by the school as an option for additional use in the classroom setting. Students will provide their own masks to wear. As we understand students need to be comfortable with their mask, we ask that each family send in two additional cloth face masks for their child to be left in the classroom in case one becomes soiled or lost. All masks should be a solid color, no logos or designs, and in the surgical mask style per CDC guidance. Neck gators and masks with valves are not acceptable. Masks for children will not be worn during mealtimes or nap time. Extra disposable masks will be provided and stored in the classroom and the clinic if a student needs a replacement or if a student is observed displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
If a staff member or St. Louis School family travels outside of the DC metro region, St. Louis School will enforce the Virginia Department of Health’s guideline for self-isolation for 14 days before being allowed to return to school. St. Louis School reserves the right to impose its own quarantine guidelines based upon CDC guidelines and current restrictions set by surrounding states (i.e. Maryland and Washington, D.C.). Families will be asked to provide travel plans to the school office so we can partner with them to ensure the safe return to the school building.
St. Louis Parish has hired 2 janitors to have on site during the school day for enhanced cleaning and sanitizing. In addition, we will continue our contract with PMM cleaning company for nightly janitorial services. St. Louis School will follow the guidelines from the CDC on how to clean and disinfect various surfaces. PMM’s cleaning routines ensure that the school is clean from many different viruses and other germs, to keep our students, visitors and staff healthy. Their well-trained maintenance crew uses a systematized cleaning and disinfection routine, with the use of OSHA-approved sanitizing equipment, cleaning materials and disinfection products. 
Water fountains are not for drinking. Fountains will be used to re-fill student water bottles only. St. Louis School is exploring the funding to add water bottle filler stations. Students will only use the bathrooms in their designated hallway.
Students will be socially distanced 6 feet in the classroom. Classrooms will be redesigned with social distancing in mind. Learning centers will be smaller areas with specific materials designated for independent play and learning. The barriers between these centers will be various forms of classroom furniture.
Yes, all students enrolled at St.Louis Catholic School, in-person or virtually for the 2020-21 school year, must submit the appropriate health forms and immunization records to the school nurse (nurse@stlouisschool.org).
Meals
No hot lunch will be served at this time. Students will be responsible for bringing their own brown bag lunch daily. Milk and pre-packaged snacks will be available for purchase.
Students will eat in their classroom, or the cafeteria, or the gym, or outside (weather permitting).
The CDC recommends to reduce/minimize the amount of back and forth of items between home and school wherever possible. Brown bag lunches with all disposables meets that recommendation and is highly encouraged. However, students who wish to bring lunch in a cloth or fabric lunch box that is insulated will be allowed. Please make sure your child's name is clearly marked on any lunch box (or anything else they bring to school). Any items left at the end of the day will be thrown out. We will not be keeping lost and found items during the pandemic.
Volunteers & Visitors
To limit exposure, no parents, volunteers or non-staff will be permitted in the building unless prior arrangements have been made with the school office. We ask that families utilize SchoolPass, the new app, to notify the office of any late drop offs due to tardiness or need for early pick up. This will help minimize the number of visits to our school office.
No parent may walk their child into the building in the morning or pick up their child at the end of the day from the school office unless prior authorization has been granted by school administration or the school nurse.
Uniforms
Students who are participating in the online virtual program must dress in either the uniform polo shirt, the jumper and blouse or the PE shirt (if it is a PE day for their class) and follow St. Louis School's grooming policies outlined in the school handbook in order to maintain the learning environment virtually. Those students who do not adhere to this policy will meet with the school administration and be issued consequences.
All masks should be a solid color, no logos or designs, and in the surgical mask style per CDC guidance. Neck gators and masks with valves are not acceptable. Please be sure to include your child's first initial and last name on all masks. There will be no Lost & Found this year; unidentified masks left at school at the end of the day will be discarded.
Lanyards are not safe for children. They pose a possible safety hazard for choking and or strangulation particularly if students wear them outside. Students will have a safe place to keep their mask at school. We ask that each family send in two additional cloth face masks for their child to be left in the classroom in case one becomes soiled or lost.
For the 2020-21 school year, we are grandfathering the light blue PE shirts. The light blue shirts will be allowed this year in addition to the CYO and new grey shirts. 
Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities have been suspended at this time due to COVID-19. 
CYO is a parish sanctioned organization and will follow guidance provided by the diocese with regard to CYO sports and events.
We are expecting to be able to continue with band and the Garwood-Whaley program on a limited basis. Band Director, Mrs. Findlay is devising a rotational schedule with small group instruction. More details to come soon.