Principal’s Letter

We had 380 families zoom in for the State of the School this week!  Thank you for attending, and thanks to all who made the presentation possible!  If you are a returning family you will have received your link to create an account with SchoolAdmin.  Check your email and prayerfully discern your Fair Share for next year.  Thank you so much, Jonna Skokan, Diane Crockett and Di Tran for the time you have spent building this new admissions and registration system.  You have practically earned a Computer Science degree with all those hours since last May!

Sunday, at the 10:30am Mass, we will mark the first day of Catholic Schools Week.  Please join the live-streamed Mass on our Parish FaceBook page.  Students from different grades will be lecturing, and Nico N.S., grade 8, will give a reflection.  Then we begin a week of celebrating “Faith. Excellence. Service.”  Clearly, this year’s events will be different, but our mission to celebrate Catholic Schools remains steadfast.  See the Catholic Schools Week post for the schedule.

We are blessed with and proud of our Catholic Schools.  So many of our Archdiocesan schools have opened their doors to on-campus learners.  Many of the high schools will begin opening in some fashion beginning next week.  Catholic Schools in Western Washington have been successful in re-opening schools since September.  Across 71 sites there have been minimal staff and student Covid-19 cases and only one outbreak.

The school is moving forward with our plans to re-open to middle school students.  We are expecting to welcome students the week of February 8.  Middle School families – expect to receive a communication from your child’s teachers this evening.  And please review our Re-Opening Plan document before emailing administration or teachers with questions.

With news of more schools opening and more contagious Covid strains arriving in the area, the risks are higher.  Our teachers are not yet vaccinated, so we MUST remain vigilant.  Hearing in the news about teachers around the country refusing to return to school, I am overwhelmed by the commitment I see here at St. John.  Your children are loved, and the teachers are making sacrifices by being here in the building.  They are nervous and concerned, yet they are here.  I know at least three colleagues have canceled their mid-winter break plans once we opened for in-person instruction.  Teachers know they are now on-campus, and travel, along with gathering with others outside their families, can jeopardize the cohorts.

As I have stated before, it is our collective effort that will keep us open.  I hear a lot of chatter about upcoming ski vacations, athletic trips, and vacations out-of-state.  I am concerned!  We must all observe all the guidelines:  If you find yourself in a large gathering, take extra precautions; if you travel outside the state, you must quarantine.  Though the CDC has issued new guidance on the number of days to quarantine following travel, the school will continue to use the standard set by our Governor and Public Health – Seattle & King County:  a 14-day quarantine after out-of-state travel.  Under special circumstances, a 10-day quarantine or a 7- day quarantine with a negative test may be considered.  Thank you, together we can…keep our school open.

I thank you again for all you do to support our community and the mission.  Your commitment to the Fair Share philosophy sets us apart from other schools.  We are St. John.  See you at virtual Mass on Sunday at 10:30am, and Happy Catholic Schools Week.

Enjoy the lovely photo of Mr. and Mrs. Olsen!


Bernadette O’Leary