Parent Update: Monday, October 19


SAINT PETER'S PARISH & SCHOOL

October 19, 2020

Dear St. Peter’s Parents & Guardians,

Based on feedback today from parents, we wanted to provide some additional information to the campus community. Our goal is to be as transparent and factual as possible while following Federal HIPPA laws.

The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is a member of the high school/junior high staff. We ask that you keep this individual in your prayers for a quick and speedy recovery. Since Wednesday, the individual has not been in the school building but did not receive confirmation of a positive COVID-19 test until Friday night. The reason we chose to transition to remote learning today was out of an abundance of caution until we could receive further consultation today with Richland Public Health.

We have no reports of any student at St. Peter’s School who has tested positive with COVID-19, and the potential exposure to students from this case was minimal. As mentioned in our previous communication, St. Peter’s School will return to in-person instruction tomorrow (Tuesday, October 20).

We feel this is a result of our staff and students’ strict vigilance in adhering to the guidelines regarding facial coverings and social distancing. The CDC’s current guidance for community exposure states an “individual who had close contact under six (< 6 feet) for more than fifteen minutes (≥ 15 minutes)” should be quarantined.

Today, we have taken the time to provide additional cleaning and sanitizing in our school buildings.

This case was our first known exposure of COVID-19 on our campus, but may not be our last. This week in Richland County, public school districts have reported seven students and three staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. In all cases, they continued to keep their schools open. We could have chosen to hold in-person classes today, but without clear direction from Richland Public Health over the weekend, we wanted to err on the side of caution. Also, St. Peter’s School has the technology and the dedicated staff to make a seamless transition to remote learning.

We developed our Restart Smart plan to cover most scenarios, but we continue to learn as we go. Our decision to transition to remote learning over the weekend uncovered some opportunities to improve our plan and communication protocols. Today, the school leadership team met with the Education Commission and Strategic Planning Team members who developed the Restart Smart plan on how to improve our process.

We understand there was a great deal of anxiety among our school community with a lot of questions. Here is a reminder of our key policies.

  1. The school will maintain the privacy of any individual(s) who tests positive. Richland Public Health will notify families of students if quarantined is required for any students in our program.
  2. Please reinforce with your students that mask and social distancing requirements are in place for their protection and the people around them.
  3. If your child is not feeling well or shows any signs of COVID-19, please keep them at home.
  4. If a school day is designated for remote learning, students must participate in their classes using their school-issued iPad or other devices. The school will take attendance on all remote learning days.
  5. Please ensure your communication/contact preferences in Alma and Spartan Alerts are correct. If your settings appear to be correct, but you did not receive a notification, please contact Sam Chamberlin for Alma and Jason Crundwell for Spartan Alerts.
  6. If you have questions, please refer to our Restart Smart page for information, and if you have questions that are not covered there, please reach out to your building principal.

Finally, please refrain from speculation on social media. We know of several instances of information shared on social media that contained false and inaccurate information. Our community is a small one, so we are taking every step to keep any potential spread of the virus to a minimum. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Moreover, we want to do everything we can to make sure learning continues, and all our children continue to excel in their education.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. If you still have questions or would like to opt your child in our out of remote learning full-time, please contact your building principals.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Very Rev. Gregory R. Hite, V.F.,
Pastor/Local Superintendent

Ashley Rastorfer

Ashley Rastorfer
Montessori Director, Elementary Principal

Jonathan R. Cuttitta

Jonathan Cuttitta
Junior High/ High School Principal

Parent Alert: Confirmed COVID-19 Case


October 17, 2020

Dear St. Peter’s Family,

We have learned that an individual at St. Peter’s High School and Junior High has tested positive for COVID-19. We have contacted Richland Public Health and will be working with them to ensure all appropriate measures are being taken to identify anyone at risk due to close contact with the infected person. In order to allow time for consultation and contact tracing, St. Peter’s School, including high school, junior high, elementary, and Montessori will be CLOSED for in-person learning on Monday, October 19. All students should plan on learning remotely. If further measures are recommended by RPH, we will make you aware of them as soon as possible.

Should your child be identified as a close contact, you will be notified by Richland Public Health that your child will need to quarantine. Being identified as a close contact means that your child was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for 15 minutes or more, or had direct
physical contact, such as a hug or team huddle. If you are not notified by Richland Public Health, your child was not identified as a close contact and therefore does not need to quarantine.

During this time of increased community spread, we recommend that all families monitor their children for symptoms daily. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. These
symptoms may appear 2-14 days after an exposure. If you or a family member exhibits these symptoms, please contact your medical provider.

Richland Public Health encourages you and your family to follow The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Practice social distancing, leaving at least six feet between you and other people.
  • Wear a facial covering in public settings and at school.
  • Avoid large gatherings of people
  • Preventing the spread of this virus requires the vigilance of everyone at school, at home, and out in the community. As we learn more about COVID-19 the guidance changes accordingly. For current information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or richlandhealth.org.

There is nothing more important to St. Peter’s than the safety and health of our students, our staff, and our families. If you have any questions or additional concerns about this matter, please contact your building principal.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Ashley Rastorfer
Montessori Director, Elementary Principal


Jonathan R. Cuttitta
Junior High/ High School Principal

Principal for a Day


Congratulations to Miss Baker and Miss Zickefoose this week, who cashed in their hard-earned Spartan Bucks for the opportunity to shadow Mrs. Rastorfer as a Principal for a Day!  In addition to greeting students at the start of the day, these young ladies helped with morning announcements and other duties throughout the day!

Restart Smart: Level Purple Plan


Dear St. Peter’s Family,

According to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Richland County is currently on the watchlist to possibly shift to purple, the highest level of alert, this Thursday, October 8.  While our campus remains safe and there is no known COVID-19 exposure at this time, a purple designation, as stated in our Restart Smart Plan, requires a shift to full remote learning. According to Richland Public Health, this would take effect Friday at 6 p.m.

Should this occur, St. Peter’s School will follow the listed protocols, allowing for a smooth transition for our students and their families:

  • Students will attend school Friday following the announcement of the county’s shift from red to purple. They will be in session for the full, normal period and will gather materials and assignments to transition to remote learning the following week.
  • Students will begin the next week of school remotely and remain remote through Friday of that week.
  • If our county status changes from purple to red and our campus indicators as outlined in the Restart Smart Plan are not met, students will return to in-person learning the following Monday.
  • Elementary students should follow the schedule provided by their teacher. Junior High and High School students will follow their usual schedule, logging in by 7:45 a.m. and attending all classes virtually.
  • Attendance in virtual sessions will be taken and is required unless the school has been notified regarding your student’s absence.
  • Tutorials for remote learning software are available at https://sites.google.com/myspartans.org/parent-guardian-technology/home
  • If your student is having difficulty completing a classroom assignment virtually, please contact the assigning teacher or specialist.
  • If your student’s iPad is not functioning correctly, please contact our Director of Technology, Sam Chamberlin.

If you have any questions regarding these protocols, please contact your building principal.

We hope you will continue to pray with us for those impacted by this pandemic, for our community, and for our faculty and staff as they strive to provide the best academic experience for our students during these unprecedented times.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Very Rev. Gregory R. Hite, V.F., 
Pastor/Local Superintendent

Ashley Rastorfer

Ashley Rastorfer                                                     
Montessori Director, Elementary Principal         

Jonathan R. Cuttitta

Jonathan Cuttitta
Junior High/ High School Principal         

Restart Smart Update – 10/1/2020


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., 
Pastor/Local Superintendent

Ashley Rastorfer  
Montessori Director, Elementary Principal        

Jonathan Cuttitta
Junior High/ High School Principal