April 3, 2020
Coronavirus Information Update – Parents & Students– Thursday, April 3, 2020
Dear SFP Parents and Guardians:
As we face increasing stress, loss, and concern during these last days of Lent, we encourage you to turn to our faith and join us for Prayer Broadcast this Saturday, April 4th at 4:30 p.m. Unfortunately, we cannot access the school chapel this weekend to offer a virtual Mass, but please click on the school’s website www.sfponline.org or the SFP Instagram or Facebook links below as we remember those we have lost this week and pray for strength.
Also listed are other ways for you and your student to stay connected spiritually during these sacred and difficult days.
Pray with Prep
Each Wednesday, Campus Ministry offers a special message and prayer for the Prep community. View these messages of hope via SFP Instagram, https://instagram.com/stfrancisprep?igshid=glzhvhztctkz
or SFP Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/St.FrancisPreparatory.
April 8-Pray the Stations of the Cross with our Campus Ministry Team
April 15-Message from Bro. James McVeigh, OSF & Anthony Pace, Student Council President
Holy Week Resources
If you are looking to connect with virtual celebrations of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, consider using these links:
Live Stream for Services at Holy Family with Fr Ralph: https://m.facebook.com/holyfamilyfm/
Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens
Masses can be viewed live on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s cable channel, NET-TV, or online on the diocese’s website, dioceseofbrooklyn.org/masses.
The Sunday schedule, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., includes the broadcast of seven Masses celebrated in the following languages: English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Creole and Italian. The weekday schedule, between 8 a.m. and noon includes seven Masses celebrated in English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Creole and Italian. NET-TV can be seen in the New York City area on Spectrum (Channel 97), Optimum (Channel 30), and FIOS (Channel 48).
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Every night from 7:30 – 8:30pm, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will be live-streaming adoration, music, preaching, and prayer on Facebook.
Catholic TV offers regular coverage of Pope Francis and will cover the Holy Week celebrations from Rome. http://www.catholictv.org/shows/papal-programming
Please continue sending any special prayer intentions to firstname.lastname@example.org They will be remembered each day by our Campus Ministry team and included in upcoming school liturgies.
Coronavirus Information Update – Parents & Students– Wednesday, April 1, 2020
I hope you are safe and well!
Our tentative date of return is April 20th. After consulting with the Administration, Department Chairpersons, and Faculty we have determined a School Calendar that brings us up to April 20th. You will notice that teachers have the option of assigning work during the Easter vacation but there will be no instruction. This is similar to a regular vacation period when a teacher would assign a longer term project. This will serve to keep the students engaged and give both teachers and students a much needed break.
Updated School Calendar
- Saturday, April 4: Off Day – No assignments posted or due
- Sunday, April 5: Palm Sunday - No assignments posted or due
- Monday, April 6: Distance Learning Resumes
- Tuesday, April 7: Distance Learning Continues
- Wednesday, April 8: Distance Learning Continues; School-wide Prayer service- time TBA
- Thursday, April 9: Holy Thursday - No assignments posted or due
- Friday, April 10: Good Friday - No assignments posted or due
- Saturday, April 11: Holy Saturday - No assignments posted or due
- Easter Sunday: No assignments posted or due
- Monday, April 13: No assignments posted or due
- Tuesday, April 14: Distance Learning Resumes
- Wednesday, April 15: Distance Learning Continues
- Thursday, April 16: Distance Learning Continues
- Friday, Aprils 17: Distance Learning Continues
- Saturday, April 18: Off Day - No assignments posted or due
- Sunday, April 19: Off Day - No assignments posted or due
- Monday, April 20: Tentative Back to School!!!
Note: Fr. Ralph will be celebrating Palm Sunday Mass in our Chapel at 4:30pm on Saturday, April 4th. This will be broadcast on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Looking forward to seeing you at Mass!
Remember, while we practice social distancing our faith brings us together! Check the website for the Holy Week schedule from Campus Ministry.
Stay well & God Bless!
Coronavirus Information Update – Parents & Students– Tuesday, March 31, 2020
I pray that your family is in good health and that if you are experiencing illness that the good Lord carries you back to the road of good health.
As we conclude the 3rd Quarter and begin the 4th Quarter, remember to remain focused. I know this is different and for some of you a much more difficult way to learn and complete work. Now is the time to stick with it, work hard, and use all the resources available to you. When teachers informed us that some students were not handing in assignments, our Administration and Guidance Counselors did a great job of checking in with each and every student who may have owed work. They talked with many students and parents and left numerous messages and emails. We will continue with that model moving forward. I informed teachers to set deadlines for students to help them stay focused.
We continue to monitor news and timelines from our Mayor, Governor, and President regarding this crisis and a possible return to school. With that in mind, keep the following in mind:
Parents and Guardians need to e-mail email@example.com as they would communicate on a regular school day if a student is ill, if there is a death in family, etc. We need to keep our daily attendance active and keep a record of any issue that could prevent a student from doing work on specific day(s).
Students are encouraged to use our Faculty “Office Hours” posted on the school home page to communicate live with a teacher.
The 3rd Quarter Report Card will be sent to the Parents email address by Friday, April 3rd.
Father Ralph will celebrate the Palm Sunday Mass from our school Chapel on Saturday, April 4th at 4:30pm on Instagram or Facebook Live. Hope to see many of you there!
- The Administration has cancelled all school trips for the summer
- Report Cards will be emailed on Friday.
- Parent-Teacher conferences have been cancelled. Parents can contact teachers via email should they have a question or concern about a grade.
- Senior Prom remains scheduled for Friday, May 29th.
- Graduation Liturgy remains scheduled for Friday, June 5th.
- Graduation remains scheduled for Saturday, June 6th.
Continue to stay safe, practice social distancing, if you are sick stay home, avoid social gatherings, and always practice good hygiene. And always Pray!
Coronavirus Information Update – Wednesday, March 25, 2020
End of 3rd Quarter Update:
I hope all are doing well!
As we approach the end of the 3rd quarter, the vast majority of our students are doing well. The combination of grades collected by our last day of classes on March 12th and the ones submitted via distance learning; will determine the final 3rd Quarter grade. If a student does not complete an assignment, and there have been very few, the teacher will contact the student and submit their name to the Assistant Principal who will then contact the parent or guardian. We will continue to manage our attendance in this manner and which helps us with accountability, to process students who have health concerns or who are experiencing technology problems. Remember, if a student is ill and cannot do work, a parent or guardian must contact our Attendance Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to report the absence.
It is important that all students complete their work as assigned. If there is a technical problem, discuss that with your teacher and they will get you the necessary assistance. I also know that this method of learning is different and new for many of our students, especially our Freshmen. Some of you may become frustrated or stressed by the work, technology, or certain deadlines. You are not alone! My best advice is to keep working hard and communicate with your teachers and guidance counselors about any problems you are experiencing. We are here to help but we cannot help you manage a problem if we don’t know what the problem is. I have informed our faculty of this concern. With that in mind, set up the following schedule for the end of the quarter:
- No assignments will be due or posted Friday, March 27, Saturday, March 28, Sunday, March 29, Monday, March 30.
- Distance learning will begin for the 4th quarter on Tuesday, March 31.
- For those who have been ill or experienced technology problems, teachers will accept work up to Sunday, March 29.
These four days will allow teachers to accurately develop their grades for the 3rd quarter and allow students to work on long term assignments. In both cases it provides everyone with a break to get some much needed rest and exercise.
Let us continue to do our best during this most difficult time. I know the Prep spirit will help us endure.
Continue to do well academically, follow the guidelines to remain healthy, and continue to pray that God will provide us with the strength necessary to overcome this adversity.
St. Francis Pray for Us!
Coronavirus Information Update – Sunday, March 22, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
The new reality of your children, our students, learning at home is a new challenge for us all.
It is important for us to recognize and acknowledge that half of learning is academics, while the other half of learning is out of the classroom; it is on the athletic fields, in club meetings, at play practice, on the stage for band practice, studying in the library and hanging out in the cafeteria with their peers. The normal navigation of the school building, routines of going to lockers, and the boundaries of each school day are missing. All of this and more add to the students’ learning; that cannot be duplicated while at home. We are aware of that.
SFP teachers are expanding their classroom and offices to the students through technology, which is great. Additionally, the guidance counselors and experience group teachers are reaching out to the students to reinforce that support is available. This connection for students to express their current concerns, as they would do when they are in the building, with their counselors and experience group teachers is essential to their mental health.
The school nurse and attendance staff are working together to coordinate responding to parents if students are ill or have other reasons affecting their inability to "attend" to their academic work on any specific day while at home.
Many other staff members are also working behind the scenes from their homes assisting the students and faculty.
Remote learning, for the whole child, has its limits. We need to remember that this is temporary. We will be back together in the school building; we will resume all that is being missed now. Those experiences are essential to our children's learning: their identity as young adults, their interactions in person with one another, the values of faith, compassion, courtesy, and the ability to laugh together.
We also recognize not every household is the same and does not have the same set-up for an optimal experience for this distance learning model.
Here are some tips to help your child (or children) set up a space to get good work completed. Just winging it does not work. As we all know, setting up a space does help when doing a task.
- Have each child set up a space as his or her own. For some that may be a table, or portion of a table. For others, it may be a humble space on a rug or chair. Having some formal "set up" for this learning space will enable your child to "go there" as a routine each day.
- Have break time set up: time to eat, have a "free," relax in between learning time. Take such time to get outside to do some solitary activity and exercise.
- Require your child to get up each morning at a reasonable early time to begin the "school day" at home.
- Monitor their social media even more closely. Our children know how to get lost in social media, in playing on game devices, etc. Although these activities in limits do have an important role in their day, with the loss of "school day boundaries," the urge to stay on those activities for endless time poses a real concern. Perhaps engage them to play a board game, talk about family memories, watch a movie together.
We know that many of you also have your college kids returning unexpectedly. Sharing the household space and transforming space for on-line learning for all ages is another layer of challenges in the home.
Please know we, the SFP administration, are available for you, the parents and guardians, for any consultation during this time. We understand the added stress of balancing this global health crisis, managing your own jobs, and providing attention and hope to both your children and other relatives. We know this is difficult. Please know you are not alone. We are here to support, listen to, and share with you.
The members of SFP Administration: Administration@sfponline.org
Br. Leonard Conway, President: Lconway@sfponline.org
Mr. Patrick McLaughlin, Principal: email@example.com
Dr. Joseph Castellano, Assistant Principal of Curriculum: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Gerilyn Coccia, Assistant Principal: Dean of Students, email@example.com
Mr. Christopher Mendolia, Assistant Principal of Faculty and Instruction: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Xenos Novoa, Assistant Principal: Dean of Students: email@example.com
Coronavirus Information Update – Friday, March 20, 2020
It has been a week! We all miss you but please understand… You will not be FORGOTTEN!
This was not in the script for your senior year, the Class of 2020! The story line was much brighter. Coronavirus (COVID-19) was not in your vocabulary when you returned to school for the start of your senior year on that sunny day in September. I could see the pride on your face as you walked into school wearing your SFP Senior polo. There was great happiness in the first assembly as you connected once again with classmates and then headed outside for the class photo for the yearbook. Finally, you were the leaders of the school, the role models, the wise ones. All of those good feelings seemed to have been hijacked by this virus, pathogen, and pandemic. You will never forget what this demon has done to your end of the year ceremonies and celebrations. It is not FAIR and you have every right to be angry and upset. It causes all of us to be anxious because that is what fear and uncertainty does, it causes anxiety. No hardship, no disease, no fear can stop us from having the strength to move on, and you and we will. We are now called upon to be the leaders that I know you are. We must come together as a Franciscan community, using the faith, values, and core beliefs from your family and at Prep.
A few weeks ago, I was meeting with a group of seniors talking about their four years at St. Francis. I asked them if they had any regrets. They didn’t have many but the one thing that came out loud and clear was, “I would have been more involved, I would have tried out for a sport, auditioned for the school play, joined a club, or danced on stage at International Night.” As I pressed them to give me a reason why they didn’t do all those things they finally admitted they were afraid to fail. Let us learn from this COVID-19 as it denies us the freedoms we are so used to: not being able to go to the movies, out to a restaurant, and gather with friends. Let us appreciate those minor little things that we took for granted, like gathering in the cafeteria, library, and hallways to meet friends before the first bell. Let COVID-19 teach us to be more respectful of each other, that we are all in this together regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. As you near the end of the senior year and begin to focus on the next four years of your journey, let your mindset be one of continued growth and learning from others, situations and yes, even the Coronavirus. Let us learn not to be afraid to fail because we do not know when we will have the chance to do something again.
My dear seniors, you all have tremendous potential for growth and success; you are resilient and smart (it’s cool to be smart), and you will land in a good place if you just keep the faith. COVID-19 has not robbed and cannot rob you of your potential, intelligence, drive, dedication, success, faith, and hope. Continue to be the good people you are; stay optimistic, keep up with your work, manage the college process, help others, and always pray.
You are not FORGOTTEN!
We cannot predict a timeline. I’m done predicting! Whenever it is, we will do appropriate celebrations for the end of the year for the Class of 2020 and your families. We continue to move to April 20th when God willing we will all be in school together again and making the necessary adjustments to the school calendar for the end of the year. Certainly, this is not something you could have predicted on September 6, 2019. Let hope replace disappointment, love replace anger, and stay strong in your faith. We will come out of this on the other side stronger, wiser, and better than ever. COVID-19 happened to us. It is up to us how we manage it.
Love you all!
Coronavirus Information Update – Monday, March 18th
|The building will be closed on March 19, 2020|
I continue to pray for all in our SFP community; students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, family, and friends. I pray for everyone’s health, safety, and well-being, and most of all, for the time when we can celebrate being in the building together again (And it will happen).
This crisis is difficult on all of us: for parents who need to pay bills and provide for their family; for students who need a different discipline in order to complete their work successfully; for teachers who must provide for their families at home and provide instruction for their SFP children in their classes. We are all coming together to do what we need to do for the greater good because we care about each other. We are all asked to do the right thing because we are discovering how connected we are to each other. We need to rise up to the next level of respect and care for each other and realize that we are more similar than different.
Read this carefully!!! No one is ALONE in the SFP community. We are all in crisis mode; it doesn’t matter what type of car your family owns, the price of your sneakers, the type of house or apartment you live in, or the latest technology you have. What matters is that we do what’s right for ourselves, our family, and our neighbors. We are here for every one of our students. No one is forgotten because of this interruption in our lives. In the information posted below, I have included names and contact information for our Campus Ministers and Guidance Counselors. They are working hard in their remote offices and are available to you for anything. During this time of uncertainty, communication is more important than ever. There is no “stupid” question.
As educators, the best part of our day is that time with our students in the classroom. You bring hope, resilience, energy, and enthusiasm. While at home, bring all of those qualities to your work and those around you. As I think about what lies before us, remember that it is not so much the problems that we are confronted with but rather our response to those problems. The Prayer of St. Francis best exemplifies and guides us through these difficult times:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
As we move on, stay positive, take one day at a time, get some exercise, read, talk with friends, do your homework, watch a movie, check in on neighbors, drop off supplies to the isolated, journal, laugh, and pray.
I pray for you, and I am sad that this has affected your school year. Know that we love you all (maybe we need to say that a little more often), want the best for you, and are here for you. We will come out of this on the other side a little stronger, wiser, and better than ever. No Pandemic is strong enough to keep the SFP community down for long!
We are here for you!
During this difficult time for our world, it is normal to feel more stress and anxiety. Please know we continue to remain here and available to you. We are working together as a St. Francis Prep community to continue to serve you and your families during this uncertain time. The St. Francis Prep community remains strong.
We invite you to reach out to Experience Group teachers, or anyone in our Guidance and Campus Ministry departments for any reason: if you are feeling overwhelmed or are worried about someone else, or just want to chat. The names of the department members and their e-mails are listed below for your convenience. We would be so happy to hear from you!
Fr. Ralph Edel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bro. James McVeigh, OSF, email@example.com
Ms. Marissa Ruotolo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Shawn Sempowich, email@example.com
Dr. Christian Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for List of Department members
Technology – Google Calendar
We have created a google calendar for faculty to coordinate office hours/extra help optional sessions for students to avail themselves of during this time of distance learning. These sessions will be conducted via google meets using email@example.com email addresses.These sessions are optional and will be carry no weight in any course grade at this time. As teachers add appointments, the calendar will reflect available times so please check it regularly. The calendar will be available in this email as well as on the SFP website. Please click this link to see available sessions:
Parents need to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org as they would communicate on a regular school day if a student is ill, if there is a death in family, etc. We need to keep our daily attendance active and keep record of any issue that could prevent a student from doing work on specific day(s).
Please keep the Medical Office abreast of any illnesses or health concerns. email@example.com
Coronavirus Information Update – Monday, March 16th
As you know, the Mayor yesterday announced that the Department of Education will close its schools starting today, March 16th, through April 20th. St. Francis Prep will follow the Mayor’s directive. This closure is unprecedented for the New York Public Schools and certainly for St. Francis Prep.
Our students and faculty are well equipped to manage a remote-distance learning format. As a result of our daily use of iPads and remote platforms such as Google Classroom, targeted instruction and assessment will continue without the face-to-face classroom environment. Nothing takes the place of being in a classroom together, but under these conditions our distance learning capacity will be used to effectively educate our students. I have every confidence in our teachers to deliver high-quality instruction using this format.
Although the doors of our school are not open, school is not closed for instruction, teaching, and learning. Through this difficult time, I am sure we will discover by way of creative lesson planning, improved ways to help educate our students. We will not lower the expectations we have for our students. We know our students want to learn, complete work, and have a successful completion to the school year. It is important that they develop a daily routine of doing school work and create a schedule just as they would if they were in school.
During this time of transition to distance learning, our teachers, department chairpersons, administrators, and guidance counselors remain available to students, parents, and guardians should anyone have a question or concern.
Please note that it is not mandatory that students come to school. This opportunity is only for students who feel that they need something from their locker. If a student is not feeling well or is sick, stay home.
I thank you for your cooperation and understanding throughout this very difficult time for all. I am very proud of our teachers, staff, students, and parents in the way we have supported and continue to support each other. Let us continue to pray for all afflicted by the virus, for families that are experiencing difficult times, and for the strength to manage all types of adversity.
Coronavirus Information Update – Friday, March 13th
As you know, students, faculty and staff were directed to remain home today and begin preparing for distance learning which will begin on Monday. This will give our maintenance team the valuable time and space to do a deep cleaning throughout the building Harvard Maintenance, the cleaning staff, began disinfecting all HIGH TOUCH SURFACES such as counters, tabletops, desks, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, and phones throughout this past week. That will continue today and over the weekend. Extensive work will take place in the cafeteria, locker rooms, labs and the gym. Hand sanitizers have been filled in all areas of the school. All cleaning guidelines are being followed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
As of today, there have been no cases, within in the SFP community, of Coronavirus reported to us. I urge everyone to continue to take the precautions as we outlined throughout this past week. The best advice going forward is to practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water as often as possible, and by covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. Stay in your home if you are sick with a respiratory illness and/or fever and contact your local healthcare provider.
Parent Letter - Coronavirus Information Update – Thursday, March 12th
We have monitored the developing situation related to the coronavirus from the very start. Our primary focus has been to remain prepared and calm. The faculty and staff are thoroughly prepared to provide instruction via our distance learning protocol.
At this time, we have no specific threat to close school. I recognize that these are uncharted waters and that there are many concerns about buses and spaces with other students. In an effort to better assess the spread of the virus, prevent community spread, flatten the infection curve, and give our maintenance team more opportunity to clean and disinfect all areas, school is closed tomorrow Friday, March 13, through Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The expected return to regularly scheduled classes will be Thursday, March 19, 2020. We are not closing school as a result of any positive cases or symptoms. But the spread infection played a major role in this decision.
Tomorrow will be treated as a day that teachers will use to prepare distance learning lessons for their students. No virtual classes will be held.
As a community, we continue to pray for all families affected by this illness.
Parent/Guardian Coronavirus Information Update – Tuesday, March 10th
St. Francis Prep continues to prioritize the developing situation related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Our primary focus is to remain “prepared, not panicked.”
Over the past two days, there have been many rumors spread throughout the school and on Social Media. That needs to stop! It is not only hurtful to whom the rumors are directed but also to the entire school community. It breeds fear, stress, and anxiety, none of which is helping the situation. It is best when people have a question or concern that they report that to the school administration or the medical office immediately. Every concern that has been brought to us has been thoroughly investigated. Each day we anticipate learning of new concerns. Be assured we will review and consult with any parent or student who is brought to our attention who may be associated with this virus. We appreciate the on-going cooperation of such families when we need to inquire about information we have heard. When there is a valid concern, parents have been cooperative and consulted with their own family doctor to confirm their child is healthy and not at risk. Please understand it is important for you to know if we ever have a confirmed case (Covid-19)we would report immediately to the Department of Health and follow their directives.
As I stated, as of now, there are no known cases of the Coronavirus within the SFP community.
I addressed the student body on Wednesday morning about this situation.
Yesterday, we received additional guidance from the New York State Education Department, indicating that if a confirmed case exists for a student or staff member, the school would close for 24 hours in order to provide time for deep cleaning and to determine if a longer closure is warranted. This guidance also reinforced that the Department of Health is the lead entity for making and enforcing closure and quarantine decisions. St. Francis Prep has been working to plan and prepare for a variety of situations, including continuity of instruction in the event of a closure. Closure will be a rapid response to mitigate an actual health threat and thus would likely occur without advanced notice. Therefore, we are asking students, faculty, and staff to be prepared for this scenario.
On Tuesday morning, I met with the faculty to fine-tune our distance learning protocols.
- To make sure students are successful, they must be prepared: bring the iPad home every night, and be sure to have a way to charge it. Be proactive: students need to be sure they have a way to access the internet and work. SFP Google accounts work on any device that can access the internet, so students have any number of ways to get the work they need.
- Teachers will be expected to have clear lines of communication with students. These can include email, posting on the class pages SFP website, and Google classroom. Students should confirm that they know how teachers will be reaching out to them and feel comfortable with these methods.
- Students will be expected to keep up with work as it is being shared by the teacher; just because we are not "in school" does not mean we are not class. Teachers will be conducting distancelearning, which will have both instructional pieces and assessment pieces.
- Teachers will share instructional material; this will not be something that students are required to log in at a particular time to watch. Teachers will be setting deadlines throughout the day, so students must be sure to check for work each morning when they wake up and again throughout the day.
- Teachers will be asking for assessments of learning. These could include, among other things, tests. Students must be sure to adhere to the guidelines and hand in the work as teachers ask. If students have any questions, reach out to the teacher sooner rather than later.
Talking to Children About the Coronavirus:
It is important to model calm behavior, keep an open line of communication, and help children attain a fact-based understandingof the situation in a developmentally appropriate manner. The following resources may be helpful for discussions with your children regarding the coronavirus and addressing any concerns they may express:
https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-kids-talk How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus - New York Times
St. Francis Prep will continue to share information with our community as it becomes available. There is a lot of information circulating related to the coronavirus, and I’d like to reiterate the importance of relying on credible sources of information such the Office of the Governor, the New York City Department of Health, the CDC, and NYS Health Department. Any information regarding school closures or adjustments to school programming will come from me and will immediately be posted on the website. The school administration, faculty, and staff will continue to provide the best possible instruction and safety for our school community.
Parent & Guardian Update Monday, March 9, 2020 Coronavirus Health Advisory and Update
I made this announcement to the student body at 9:25 this morning:
The school has been reviewing information from the CDC, NY Department of Health, and Governor’s and Mayor’s offices on a daily basis. They all have been indicating that there is fear, anxiety, and panic that people have been feeling. But there is also a reality.
We know the disease is mild in most people who get it. At least 80%, most likely more, won’t have an illness bad enough to warrant hospitalization. The immune systems of children and teenagers seem stronger than older adults and elderly.
So there is a difference between a healthy response or one that can be unhealthy. The purpose of this correspondence is to give you latest information on our school’s response.
At this time, there have been no cases of Coronavirus in our building or community. Due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and out of concern for our students, staff, and faculty members, St. Francis Prep is taking the following actions:
School Cleaning and Disinfecting
Last week, as a precautionary measure, Harvard Maintenance, the cleaning staff, began disinfecting all HIGH TOUCH SURFACES, such as counters, tabletops, desks, doorknobs, handrails, bathroom fixtures, toilets, and phones. Hand sanitizers have been filled around different areas of the school. We have placed a number of new hand sanitizers around the building. During the day, Harvard workers (maintenance) will also be sanitizing the building.
Possible School Closure
We are preparing guidelines should it become necessary for us to close the school at some point. You will receive detailed information from the school regarding expectations and standards for distance learning.
Health and Safety Precautions
The best advice going forward is to practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water as often as possible and by covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. Stay home if you are sick with a respiratory illness or fever. If you feel ill in school, REPORT TO THE MEDICAL OFFICE IMMEDIATELY. Remain home until you are free of fever and until you are symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
Notify the Nurse’s Office
A medical note is a requirement to return to the school.
In consideration of our SFP community, we will request that all SFP students refrain from unnecessary travel at this time. According to a letter distributed by the NYS Department of Health on March 5, 2020, "People most at risk are those who have traveled internationally in the past fourteen days or have been in close contact with an international traveler in the same time frame." If you travel, please be aware we will require your child to remain home until you contact your doctor to discuss your recent travels and any associated medical concerns. Additionally, we will require written documentation from the doctor regarding a student's eligibility to return to school. We ask this as we have the best interest of our community in mind. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurse, Mary Pappas (718) 423-8810 ext. 234.
If you are aware of any family member or friend you have been in contact with who may be ill with the virus, please notify the school nurse.
I remind you that no masks are allowed to be worn in the building.
Out of caution, because of the large crowd, International Night, originally scheduled for this Friday, has been postponed. I will meet with Mr. Ganci for scheduling a more appropriate date.
Please check the school website www.sfponline.org for any updates regarding the Coronavirus and cancellations or postponements of activities.
Patrick McLaughlin Principal St. Francis Preparatory School
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