Principal’s Letter

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day in, day out, I witness ‘St. John community’ in action!  The engine that drives it is the thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity that we show to one another.  You show it every day!  You are stocking the St. Vincent De Paul pantry shelves with donations that will be passed to neighbors in need.  You are reaching out to fellow parents.  You are acknowledging the teachers and staff.  You show your support and outreach by following the safety protocols and doing your best to keep us all safe.

On behalf of St. John, I say a huge thank you to all of you ‘teaching assistants’ out there in remote learning land, and to parents of on-campus learners who wait patiently in the rain for health screening, to the School Commission members and Parent Association for their time and support, to Fr. Crispin, the hot lunch team, the school faculty and staff, the maintenance team, who take care of us, body and soul!

The school continues to receive news of negative test results from teachers, support staff, and students who may have been close contacts with our COVID-19 case last week.  I want to recognize the families who followed the protocols, tested, and communicated results with the school during the quarantine.  I also want to thank the school families who rallied to support those in need during this time.  In light of our first COVID-19 case on campus, you might be wondering about the steps taken by school administration to communicate with families, mitigate potential transmission, and prepare for a safe return to campus for our on-campus learners.

Last Thursday evening as we learned of a potential exposure, school administration followed the steps outlined in the Public Health Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit.  Once we compiled a complete list of close contacts, we contacted PHSKC to report the confirmed case.  Teachers and support staff were notified.  A “close-contact exposure letter” was sent electronically to all families in the cohort of the confirmed case.  The letter detailed specific steps to be taken by families, including quarantine, monitoring potential symptoms, and testing.  An automated phone call was also delivered to the cohort about potential exposure.  All first-grade students were asked to switch to the remote classroom on Friday, November 13, to allow for teachers and staff to be tested.  Having completed notification of first-grade families, we alerted all school families through NewsViews.  Meanwhile, the maintenance team completed a thorough cleaning of all spaces utilized by the students who may have been exposed.  Families in quarantine will be asked to review the return to school protocols and the school anticipates bringing back students and staff in the cohort affected on Monday, November 23.

Clearly, this holiday season will be different as we are asked to make travel and gathering sacrifices.  I trust we will all make decisions that benefit our families and the school community.  Though these holidays may be challenging, what remains the same is the reason for these celebrations – the opportunity to give thanks, to realize and be mindful that, in the midst of this chaos, we do have many blessings.  Let us keep that spirit alive.

The trimester ends on November 24.  Remind your children to turn in all work that is due.  Parents of students in grades 5-8, check PowerSchool with your children to ensure all assignments are completed by the deadlines.  Report cards will be sent home on December 3.

Parents of students in grade 8, if you are applying to Catholic high schools, check the high schools’ websites for virtual visits and application forms.

All parents, the Fulcrum Tuition Assistance program for the 2021-2022 school year is open now.  Learn more about K-12 tuition support on our Financial Aid information page.

Join us online for Thanksgiving Mass at 1pm on Tuesday, November 24.  Together, we will give thanks.


Bernadette O’Leary