A private Episcopal school for primary through high school students in Houston, Texas

Bringing Back the Pack: The Plan to Reopen Campus



Focused: Months of focused planning will help us welcome our students back to campus in the fall

For the last several weeks, preparations have been in full swing for welcoming our Primary and Lower School students back to campus and kicking off the year with comprehensive distance learning for our Middle and Upper School students. We are devastated to share, especially at this late hour, that we must adjust our plans in response to updated guidelines and recommendations from health care experts, including our partners at Houston Methodist Hospital. We worked tirelessly over the weekend, hopeful there would be an intercession at an executive level; however, St. Francis can no longer wait to make a decision on the start of the 2020–21 school year. CLICK TO READ MORE

As we prepare to welcome our students back to campus, we are asking all families to let us know their preferred learning model by Tuesday, September 1, at 8:00 a.m.  (This request includes our Primary and Lower School families, as we realize circumstances may have changed since early August.)   

Please visit www.StFrancisHouston.org/Learning, to make your selection for your student(s). 

There will be a waiver to sign upon completing your selection and, once again, we recommend choosing the option that works for your child and family. Additionally, we know you may need to adjust your learning model at some point during the school year—you can switch between on-campus or comprehensive distance learning as needed at two-week intervals by e-mailing your student’s division head. 

FAQS

Questions? We’re Here for You!

We understand you will have questions as we navigate this school year together. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please direct your questions to HealthResponse@StFrancisHouston.org.

Questions sent to this e-mail address will be monitored and routed to the most appropriate team member, who will respond to you as quickly as possible.


 

RE-ENTRY PLANNING

A COMMUNITY CONNECTED

In February 2020, St. Francis began responding to the threat of a global COVID-19 pandemic, forming multiple task forces and teams that evaluated all aspects of operations—from health and safety to continuity of instruction. Every St. Francis employee plays a part in ensuring a safe St. Francis, and we pledge to continue learning, meeting, planning, and preparing for the 2020-21 school year.

We understand you will have questions as we navigate this together. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please direct your questions to HealthResponse@StFrancisHouston.org. Questions sent to this e-mail address will be monitored and routed to the most appropriate team member, who will respond to you as quickly as possible.

As we continue to plan and prepare for our students’ return, families can expect to attend Zoom meetings and hear more specifics from their divisions in early August.

ASSESSING RISK AND OUR APPROACH

Future planning and decisions depend on the spread of the virus and risk levels as determined by school, state, and local officials. Learning models would be enacted in response to these risks. In preparation, we are having daily conversations about conditions in Houston, operational measures on campus, and adjustments to schedules.

Being prepared will ensure we are able to make informed decisions while prioritizing the health and safety of our community

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

St. Francis identified two guiding principles to inform our decisions and define how we return to campus: 1) Health and Safety and 2) The St. Francis Experience. These guiding principles are grounded in our experience with distance learning this spring, feedback from our parent survey, our school’s mission, and the goals identified in our strategic plan.

Various health and safety icons
Being flexible will allow us to transition seamlessly, if needed, while maximizing live instruction for our students

FLEXIBLE LEARNING MODELS

As St. Francis prepares to resume classes on campus in August, having risk-segmented protocols in place will allow us to respond quickly to situations—first and foremost within the St. Francis community, and also in Houston and Harris County. Our task forces will continue to evaluate adjustments that may be needed based on grade level, classes, exposure, or changing risk levels.

STUDENTS SAFELY LEARN IN SCHOOL
All students have access to in-person instruction in accordance with public health requirements.

STUDENTS SAFELY LEARN IN SCHOOL AND AWAY FROM SCHOOL
Students groups have access to in-person instruction using staggered schedules and/or prioritizing certain grades, courses, and/or programs, in accordance with public health requirements. On-Site instruction is supplemented by Comprehensive Distance Learning.

AWAY FROM SCHOOL
All students are engaged in learning through Comprehensive Distance Learning. Instruction occurs remotely.

ONGOING CONSIDERATIONS

PARENTS: OUR PARTNERS IN SAFETY

Parents and families play a vital role in maintaining safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a child home if they are sick. We want to work with families to support their child’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home.

We understand that some families may have higher risk members in their households. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all do our part to adhere to state health recommendations and regulations to control transmission and potential future outbreaks. Moreover, there may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard.

We ask for your partnership in the following areas:

DIGITAL PLATFORMS

St. Francis will continue to use technology to improve the student experience. The following platforms will be available to our community:

SAFETY, FINANCIAL RESOURCES, AND COMMUNITY

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Understanding these common terms may be helpful as we navigate potential distance learning scenarios.