August 19, 2021
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
We hope you all have had a safe and enjoyable summer. The Nativity staff has been busy preparing for our return to school in 2021-2022. As you are aware, over the last several weeks the Delta variant has forced schools to re-evaluate their reopening plans. Nativity has taken a collaborative approach to forge a plan with the assistance and guidelines from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Ohio Department of Education, Cincinnati Public Schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health. We also consulted with the Task Force as well as parents from many occupational fields to help guide us in the development of this plan.
An important part of this plan is Nativity’s commitment to maintaining a strong, “Catholic Identity.” The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has developed four guiding principles that are essential to meet the specific needs of Catholic Schools:
Create, Protect, Prioritize, and Operate.
- CREATE a community centered around Christ that supports the social and emotional well-being of all members.
- PROTECT students, staff, and families within our school communities. Nativity will follow the health and safety guidelines outlined by the Ohio Department of Health and their local health departments.
- PRIORITIZE student learning to ensure all students are learning at grade level and are receiving rigorous instruction focused on essential skills that are necessary for future learning.
4. OPERATE efficiently, collaboratively, and responsibly. Nativity will be prepared to operate within the health and safety guidelines outlined by the Ohio Department of Health, their local health department, the Ohio Department of Education, and their specific community stakeholders.
Upon careful consideration and planning with the teachers/staff, Task Force, medical experts, Father Eric and myself, we will begin the school year with all students and staff participating in face to face instruction with the restrictions that are outlined in this plan. This decision is what we feel is best at this time but is subject to change as circumstances require.
It is our intent to provide the safest environment for our students and staff. We are committed, with your assistance, to do everything we can to protect them. If we follow the new policies and expectations as established by Nativity and the public health authorities, I am confident that our learning environment will be as safe as possible for all of our students, staff, and families.
The general overall guidelines of our return to school are listed below.
- All staff will be required to wear face coverings throughout the day.
- Students in grades K-8 are required to wear masks when they are entering and exiting the building. Students in grades K-8 will be required to wear their masks throughout the day. Mask breaks will be provided by the teachers throughout the day. Students will not be required to wear masks at recess. Please put your name on the mask, and lanyards are recommended.
- Students with underlying medical conditions or disabilities won’t be required to wear the mask. Proper medical documentation must be on file in the school office if a medical condition or disability prohibits a student from wearing a mask.
- Students should bring a water bottle to school each day. The drinking fountains will only be available as refill stations.
- Throughout the day students will move about the school, utilizing all areas of the building, including the specials rooms. We will establish at least 3 feet of distance between students and their desks.
- Students will be able to utilize lockers and a schedule made available to maintain social distancing.
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting will occur taking into consideration areas that have been used and at what times of the day.
- A morning Wellness Check will be required by the parent/guardian before sending their child to school. This will include a symptoms check. SchoolPass, a phone/device app, will be utilized to send your information to school. More details will be forthcoming about the Wellness Check App.
- Lunch will be in the cafeteria and barriers will be used. Students will sit with their homeroom classes and seating charts will be utilized for contact tracing.
- Teachers will be instructing their students on these general guidelines and how they pertain to school and their particular class.
It is important that we all remain flexible in this ever changing environment that we live in. Nativity will continue to monitor the latest data and guidelines that are being presented by our local health departments and the State of Ohio. We are prepared to adjust as needed. We will continue to reach out to our task force and staff for input and feedback, so we may adjust accordingly.
We appreciate your patience and support as we discover and implement new ways to teach and learn. As a community, we can solve our problems and make new initiatives that will not only make us better learners, but a faithful, empathetic group of people that can overcome any adversity that stands in our way. Please continue to pray for our students, staff and families as we venture into the new school year. Regular updates will be available on the Nativity website: www.nativity-cincinnati.org/updates
Grace and Peace,