Although the liturgical celebration of the feast day has been moved to Sunday, January 6 is the traditional Feast of the Epiphany and the twelfth day of Christmas. The Magi, learned wise men from the East, follow the light to the stable; Jesus, the light of the world, is revealed as the Son of God. People around the world celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany in many different ways: Three Kings Day, La Befana, Women’s Christmas, to name just a few, acknowledging that God has sent his Son to be with us, a true gift of joy and hope.
Speaking of gifts, Girl Scout Troop 44091 shared their time and talent over the past few weeks. The girls made lunches of love that were very much appreciated by neighbors who are food and shelter-deprived. They also received an “Inspired by STEAM” award for “The Inventor’s Story,” a film they made!
The community, at large, also shared their generosity with those in need. Through the Parish Giving Tree program sixty-plus bags, filled with socks, blankets, gloves, hats, towels and over $1,450 in gift cards, were donated to Noel House, St. Martin de Porres and the Broadview Thomson K-8 Food Program. St. Vincent de Paul delivered many bags of food from the pantry which you filled at Thanksgiving! Thank you!
The Fulcrum Foundation, which helps support Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Seattle, has been blessed by many generous donors. Founded in 2002, the Fulcrum Foundation leverages financial assistance to support and strengthen Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle primarily through tuition assistance grants, school partnership grants, and grants for transformational leaders. The deadline for tuition assistance grants is tomorrow. Apply for tuition assistance through FACTS Management.
As we head into the new year, let’s give each other the gift of health and in-person learning. With the increase in COVID infections, it is imperative that we follow mitigation strategies; encourage your children to wear their masks correctly and pack several so children can choose to switch masks after lunch or PE. Remind students to wash their hands/use hand sanitizer often. This will also help prevent the spread of other illnesses, like the flu. Do remember, if your student is ill, keep them at home and submit an attendance form to let us know. Regarding safety, do read the Inclement Weather Reminder post, which explains school communication when inclement weather is in the forecast.
We continue to closely monitor all information from Public Health officials and are aware of exposures that occurred over the winter break or from activities in which there is close contact—especially when students have not been wearing masks. And while we are still only 4 days back from break, the school is unaware of any exposure in the building. The COVID protocols of masking, airflow through the building, and physical distancing continue to be working in the classrooms.
We did learn late today Public Health Seattle & King County is adopting the recommendations recently published by the CDC for isolation and quarantine in K-12 school settings. St. John School will follow these recommendations and implement them immediately. We are told there are more details coming soon. This is what was shared today. I encourage you to keep reading and familiarize yourself with the new guidelines.
Students, teachers, and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 need to quarantine for at least 5 days after their last close contact if they are in any one of the following groups:
- Ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
- They received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
- They are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.
Students, teachers, and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they are in any one of the following groups:
- Ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
- Ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
Isolation All people with COVID-19 (with or without symptoms) need to isolate for at least 5 days.
For students, teachers, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms:
- Isolate for at least 5 days. Day 0 is the day of the positive COVID-19 test and day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for the positive test.
- If they continue to have no symptoms, they can end isolation after at least 5 days, but must continue to wear a mask for an additional 5 days. This applies to anyone with COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status.
- If they develop symptoms after testing positive, the 5-day isolation period should start over. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms.
For students teachers and staff who have COVID-19 and have or had symptoms:
- They can end isolation after 5 days if they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved. Day 0 is the day of the positive COVID-19 test and day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for the positive test.
- If the person meets these criteria, they can return to school after 5 days of isolation, but must continue to wear a mask for an additional 5 days. This applies to anyone with COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status.
- If they continue to have a fever or other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, they should wait to end isolation until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.
We will share additional information when we receive it. On a different note, it is lovely to have the children back in the building. Together We Can go forward with hope and optimism,