About

St. Thomas COVID-19 Updates

St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School continues to monitor the global developments in the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak. Connecting with our families and keeping them informed are vitally important at this time. We will share updates as we have them on this page, as well as MyCommunity. We are grateful and appreciate your partnership as we work together for the health and safety of our students and school community. 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

List of 12 items.

  • HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS LEARNING ENOUGH AND IS READY FOR THE NEXT GRADE?

    St. Thomas takes a holistic approach on the education of children. Being “ready for the next grade” includes progress in all areas: socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually. The upcoming April 17 report card is standards based. It will indicate where a child falls in terms of grade level expectations. The parent of any child who has been at risk this year has already been in conversation with the administration.
  • HOW LONG WILL THE ST. THOMAS CAMPUS BE CLOSED?

    The School will continue to follow the local, state, and federal mandates regarding campus closures. For now the campus is closed up to and including May 1, 2020. In the meantime virtual instruction, based on best remote learning practices for various age groups, will continue.
  • HOW WILL ATTENDANCE BE TAKEN?

    Attendance will be taken by teachers at the end of each school day. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure the teacher has been contacted by 3:00pm each day, acknowledging receipt of the daily lesson plan template, in order for students to be considered present for the day.
  • HOW WILL MY CHILD BE ASSESSED?

    Like many of our local elementary private schools, St. Thomas has moved to a Pass/Fail grading system during the remote learning period.
  • HOW WILL TEACHERS COMMUNICATE THE DAILY LESSONS TO PARENTS?

    Parents will receive the daily template by email as close to 5 pm the day before. That template will have the schedule of daily lessons. It will include priority vs. recommended/optional lessons, with instructions, estimated time for completion, and materials and/or links to instructional virtual lessons, videos, and websites.
  • HOW WILL TEACHERS COMMUNICATE WITH CHILDREN?

    Teachers will use synchronous learning protocols using GOOGLE MEET or ZOOM. These will include:

    • Daily Morning Meeting and Lessons via Zoom or Google Meet. 
    Classes will be meeting at specific times each day. Times will be located on the daily lesson plan template, and teachers will share specific instructions on how to join their Morning Meeting or Virtual Lesson.
    • One-on-One Meetings and Small Group Meetings
      • These will be arranged by each teacher as needed and as time allows.
      • The Center for Excellence (CFE) will be in communication with classroom teachers to help identify students who may need additional support with new concepts or particular assignments. If a child is referred to the CFE by the classroom teacher, the CFE will reach out to the parent to schedule a one-on-one session with the child. These sessions are in support of the classwork currently being done and will not include additional assignments or activities.
  • HOW WILL THE SCHOOL MAINTAIN IMPORTANT COMMUNITY TRADITIONS AND VALUES?

    Links to virtual announcements, chapel, and flag are included on the daily template. 
    Plans for special events like graduation and learning showcases are presently in discussion. The School has every intention to celebrate the children of St. Thomas virtually, as well as in person, when normal activities on campus return. The St. Thomas  Instagram, Facebook, Feature Friday newsletter, and regular school updates are intended to keep parents in the know and in touch with the community.
  • HOW WILL THE SCHOOL MAKE UP FOR ANY SKILLS THAT MY CHILD MIGHT MISS AS A RESULT OF REMOTE LEARNING?

    St. Thomas prides itself on its excellent educational practices. The beginning of every year always includes assessments to determine where each child is in his/her development. The beginning of the 2020-21 school year will be no different. Teachers will recalibrate and make adjustments through differentiated instruction. In addition, the School is fortunate to have what many schools do not: a full time school counselor and a Center for Excellence that provides individualized and group support for social, emotional, and academic needs.
  • WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR ST. THOMAS? WHAT PLANS ARE BEING MADE FOR POSSIBLE EXTENDED CLOSURES?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made the future uncertain for everyone in every school in every state in every country. The administration and Board of Trustees are in active discussion regarding various scenarios. Whatever happens, St. Thomas will remain true to the mission of the school and make decisions that are best for the children and school community. St. Thomas will continue to do better every day in every way.
  • WHAT IS ST. THOMAS DOING TO HELP CURRENT FAMILIES IN NEED

    Many of our families are experiencing anxiety, worries, and economic uncertainty about this growing global pandemic. St. Thomas invites you to help those in need in our community by donating to our We Care Fund
  • WHAT SHOULD PARENTS KNOW ABOUT ELECTIVE FAMILY TRAVEL?

    We are also following CDC guidelines with respect to travel and we expect our families to do the same. Our families should avoid travel to CDC Warning Level 3 or Alert Level 2 locations, which can be viewed here.

    If you or someone in your family travels to those locations, you must report that information to us by emailing betterhealth@stepsmia.org. You must also follow the CDC recommendation of a 14-day self -quarantine after returning from a Warning 3 country. Our policy further requires that all people — including students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and visitors who have recently traveled to a country that is listed as Warning Level 3 or Alert Level 2, provide proof that they were in the United States and symptom-free for 14 days before coming to campus. Proof would be a letter from a physician, much like we require of our students, after an extended absence from school. 
  • WILL FEEDER SCHOOLS ACCEPT A PASS/FAIL GRADE?

    Yes. The administration has been in touch with the heads of the middle schools. They understand and respect the decision we have made. They will be flexible with the 5th grade admissions process.