8/3/2020 – Communication from Mary McKeever
Over the summer, in compliance with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Department of Catholic Schools, a detailed plan was created for a safe return to school for our students, faculty and staff. However, due to recent changes with the COVID-19 situation, we must begin our year with Distance Learning.
While this is not the ideal way to begin our new school year, St. Philip’s School is prepared to deliver a quality Distance Learning program. It will balance the rigor of our academic curriculum with enrichment opportunities. Our Distance Learning program will reflect the faculty and staff’s commitment to the wellbeing of our students, and their dedication to meeting the needs of the whole child, something that is particularly important when our students cannot be together in- person.
And when we are able to return in-person, everything has been done to ensure the safety of all our community.
Meantime, our Marketing Team will be working on creating virtual tours of our wonderful school. We invite you to visit our website and join in these virtual tours, so that you can get a sense of all that St. Philip’s has to offer – Faith, Academics, Community and Enrichment.
Stay safe and God bless,
6/26/2020 – Communication from Mary McKeever
I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy. I also hope that you are able to enjoy some quality summer fun with your family and friends!
The last few months at school were challenging, as the situation with COVID-19 forced us to continue Distance Learning until the end of the school year. While our teachers did a wonderful job of teaching and instructing online, being away from friends and the usual routines of school was a challenge for everyone. Students and teachers missed out on seeing each other in-person during that time, and many of our usual fun traditions and celebrations had to be reimagined. But, thanks to the creativity of the faculty and parent community, St. Philip’s continued to provide lasting memories for our students with our virtual versions of special events such as Spirit Week, May Crowning, Sports Day, Graduation (for both K and 8th Grade) and Move-Up Day! We are proud of the collective efforts of everyone to rise to the challenge of these past few months in true Bruins style!
And now, our focus is on the safe and healthy return of our students and teachers to the building in August! While this is a complex task, with many factors to consider, it is also a time of excitement and creativity. Our Task Force, comprising faculty and parents, is hard at work behind the scenes! While we will have to make adjustments to some of our usual routines, our goal is to be able to bring our students back to their classroom learning environment, Monday through Friday, while following all necessary guidance to do so safely. And because these guidelines change on a fairly frequent basis, we are constantly working and reworking our steps. At the end of June, the Department of Public Health will issue the county guidelines, which will better inform us and allow us to finalize some more details of our plans to return to school.
For now, please know that everything is being done to make this a safe reality for our community. Updates will be shared with our faculty and parents regularly and in a timely manner, so that everyone can plan and prepare before August 19th, our first day back for students. Meantime, please continue to enjoy your summer and stay safe!
4/20/2020 – Communication from Mary McKeever
Good morning everyone,
I hope this email finds you well, and that you and your families had an enjoyable and restful Easter week. As we settle back into the routine of school again, I am writing to share the latest information we received from the Archdiocese.
The decision has been made that schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.
While this is a decision that we knew was very likely, the reality of this is still very difficult to take in. We all miss seeing each other, and being able to have our school days as we had planned.
However, please know that our teachers and I will continue to do everything we can to maintain quality instruction and learning during this next phase of Distance Learning. We are working on making whatever adjustments are needed to ensure the success of the Distance Learning model. I am grateful for your support and patience as we work together on implementing whatever changes are necessary to meet our students’ needs. I will send the weekly bulletin later this week, after I have met with teachers and the Archdiocese, with further information on this next phase of Distance Learning and any other important information.
Attached below is a letter to parents from Ms. Pam Lyons, the Superintendent. Please take a moment to read the letter (both English and Spanish versions are included).
Ms. Lyons has also created a video message for you; the link to that is included also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9DUvvoApps&feature=youtu.be
Again, thank you all for your support and understanding during this challenging time.
Here is some additional information on the Distance Learning model St. Philip’s School will be using for the remainder of the school year: St. Philip’s Distance Learning Model
3/10/2020 Tuesday – Communication from Mary McKeever
Good afternoon everyone,
This afternoon, principals joined for a Zoom meeting with the Superintendent of the Archdiocese. We were informed of the decision to close all schools in the Archdiocese.
I have attached all communication regarding this news; please read these carefully.
I understand that this will mean many challenges for scheduling and managing the care of your children. Please know that our teachers will be working diligently to make sure that the students’ learning continues, and that you are given as much support as possible with distance learning. Teachers have already started to put plans in place to support distance learning, and they will continue to do so for the duration of the closure.
I am sure you have many questions. I will do my best to answer those, and will keep you updated on a regular basis. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Many thanks for your understanding,
3/8/2020 Sunday- Communication from Mary McKeever
Good morning everyone,
I received communication from Ms. Pam Lyons, our Superintendent, regarding updates and advisories for schools during this time. I have included excerpts from the communication below.
Due to an updated advisory from the San Francisco Department of Public Health I am recommending that all large gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, are cancelled for the next two weeks. For our High Schools the California Interscholastic Federation has made a statement that can be found by clicking on this link: https://www.cifstate.org/sports-medicine/coronavirus
An ICA Cristo Rey staff member who worked one evening for five hours earlier in the week has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Per the San Francisco Health Department, this situation is considered very low-risk due to the factors considered for the spread of the disease (namely direct contact, proximity and duration with the source). However, erring on the side of caution, the Health Department has recommended that ICA close for 14 days. Counting Friday, March 6, 2020 as Day 1, ICA Cristo Rey will remain closed through Thursday, March 19, 2020. For those schools where ICA students work, due to the low risk there are no special instructions beyond those precautions that we have recommended for all of our schools.
We have 2 students from ICA who work 2/3 days a week at our school; they were last with us on Wednesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 5th. However, there are no special instructions for our school at this time, beyond what we are already doing. While I wish to keep you updated and informed as this situation changes, I also want to avoid creating panic among our school community. Please be assured that this situation is being monitored very carefully and all necessary precautions are being implemented. Our Superintendent has urged that while we need to remain vigilant, we must also maintain a calm environment for our students, so as to lessen their anxiety and concern.
I will, of course, keep you updated as I receive information and advice from the Archdiocese.
Take care everyone,
3/7/2020 Saturday – Communication from Mary McKeever
Good afternoon everyone,
I hope you are doing well and enjoying your weekend.
As you are aware, the COVID-19 situation remains top of the news reports, and we are all monitoring any updates carefully. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is in close contact with the Department of Public Health, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the SF Unified School District.
The Archdiocese has, in turn, been keeping the school administrators updated.
At this time, we have been asked to put together a plan for distance learning, in the event of school closures. Please note, no decision to close the schools in the Archdiocese has been made at this time. However, we will be addressing this, as a faculty, so that we are prepared in the event that this decision is made.
Also, we have been taking every step to make sure the students are given reminders about washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and not touching faces. While this is impossible to completely monitor, teachers and staff are doing everything they can to help students carry out these important hygiene practices. And classrooms and work areas are being kept clean and disinfected. Thank you all for sending in supplies of disinfectant wipes for daily use!
We are remaining vigilant, as is everyone, during this time of uncertainty and concern. Please be assured that the school administration, faculty and staff are looking out for the wellbeing of all our school community.
As of now, we are keeping to our regular schedule (with the exception of sports practices). If anything changes, you will be notified and plans will be put in place to address these changes.
Thank you for your support and understanding, everyone.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!