October 1, 2020
Dear St. Peter’s Family,
I write to assure you that the Restart Smart Committee met on Tuesday, September 29th to address concerns raised regarding in-person learning when Richland County is in red status.
While apprehension is understandable during these challenging times, they wanted to assure you that our administration put in place not only the required Ohio Department of Health mandates, but also the recommended best practices from the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. When maintaining 6 ft. of distance and wearing masks, the risk of viral spread is greatly reduced. Because of our small class size, our unique campus, and our diligent faculty and staff, these protocols have been working successfully, as witnessed during two walkthroughs of all buildings on campus by a health professional and additional members of the Restart Smart Committee.
While the recent outbreak at Richland Correctional Institute may raise flags causing our county to transition from orange to red status, if a student is in contact with anyone testing positive, Richland Public Health would contact the school as part of their contact tracing procedure. The communication that took place with them on September 30th indicated that there is no known exposure on our campus.
For this reason, the committee recommended that the best practice at this time is to continue in-person learning, as we do not meet the indicators stated in the published Restart Smart plan to warrant closing, which include:
- Possible COVID 19 cases on campus.
- Building temperatures or conditions that make compliance with safety measures difficult.
- Richland Public Health indicating that the quarantining of faculty and staff is necessary.
- High levels of absences due to illness on campus.
In an effort to be proactive, however, the family of any student employed within RCI’s system will be contacted by our school nurse and their level of risk will be assessed. Further, all families are able to transition to remote learning at any time should that best suit their needs or comfort level.
As we continue to move forward educating our students in the midst of a pandemic, we have a shared responsibility to one another. If your student is exhibiting any symptoms or is at risk of exposure, we ask that you please refrain from sending them to school. Additionally, if your student or a family member has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the school as soon as possible, so that we may begin working with RPH to handle any necessary contact tracing. By working together, we maintain a safe and healthy environment for our St. Peter’s community.
Providing in-person and remote learning during a pandemic is herculean, and we thank our faculty and staff for maintaining a safe learning environment for our students. Please join us in continuing to hold our school and parish in your prayers as we navigate these difficult and unprecedented times.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Very Rev. Gregory R. Hite, V.F.,
Montessori Director, Elementary Principal
Junior High/ High School Principal