June 11, 2020
Dear Lancer Families,
The health and safety of our Lancer community is our first priority. All decisions regarding Fall 2020 will be made on behalf of the common good as well as the individual Lancer. We will follow the guidance of health care professionals, respect the global educational milieu in which we operate, and meet the specific needs of our Salpointe community as we fulfill our mission.
We know that you have questions and concerns about Salpointe Catholic’s plans for the 2020-21 school year and this letter is an attempt to respond to those needs. We also recognize that allowing students to participate in any group activity at this time of global pandemic involves a health risk: we will do everything in our power to minimize that risk.
A decision about precisely how we’ll start the year will be announced on or before July 1, but we’d like to give you information regarding some of the options we are exploring and some of the steps we are taking to ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.
What are the different scenarios being considered for starting school?
While Salpointe continues to explore other non-traditional educational content delivery options, the above scenarios are the most promising in terms of enforcing health and safety protocols, mitigating logistical and financial challenges, and successfully providing a signature Salpointe education for our students.
Will Salpointe implement new and increased cleaning protocols for the campus? Yes. Teachers will spray all desktops with sanitizer in between each class period, then classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned every day with hospital grade, virucidal disinfectant as well as electrostatic technology. Bathrooms, doorknobs, water bottle dispensers, public areas, etc. will be sanitized multiple times each day.
Will students, faculty, staff and visitors be required to wear masks on campus? Yes. Everyone on campus will be required to wear face masks or shields at all times.
Will families be required to sign a release or waiver to come back to school?
On the advice of legal counsel, Salpointe is considering asking every family to sign a waiver recognizing the health risks and possible consequences of sending their students to school and releasing the school from litigation related to COVID-19.
Will students, faculty, staff and visitor temperatures be monitored?
Yes. Students will have their temperatures taken each day with no contact thermometers at campus entry points. Faculty and staff temperatures will be monitored as well. Visitors will have their temperatures taken as they enter the campus.
What happens if a student or faculty/staff member tests positive for COVID? Please let Salpointe’s nurse, Traci Torres (firstname.lastname@example.org), know if your student tests positive. In the event of a positive test, the student or faculty/staff member will be asked to remain at home under a physician’s care for the duration of the infection and to quarantine for 14 days. Salpointe will maintain the confidentiality of the infirm, but will share as appropriate with our community the possibility of infectivity. We will work with the Pima County Health Department and healthcare professionals to mitigate the spread by contact tracing to the extent possible.
Will students be seated six feet apart?
Social distancing will be maximized as much as possible in classrooms. During lunch, where donning masks is not an option, students will be seated at least six feet apart.
How will lunch be served?
Lunch will be served “grab & go” style to minimize lines and student interaction. There may be three lunch periods with students assigned to eat in either Foundation Hall or Alumni Hall, enabling Salpointe to create areas where social distancing is possible.
What are the plans for passing periods?
We are considering extended and/or staggered passing periods to decrease congestion in the hallways.
What other health and safety initiatives are being encouraged?
Salpointe has installed hand sanitizing stations in the hallways and will have hand sanitizer available in every classroom. All of Salpointe’s main doors in hallways, bathrooms, etc. are handicap accessible and students will be asked to “elbow” the automatic openers rather than use door handles. Common area doors that are not handicap accessible will be propped open to minimize the need to touch door surfaces.
What are the plans for resuming athletic activities?
Beginning June 15, groups of 10 or fewer student athletes will be permitted to participate in strength and conditioning sessions and heat acclimatization activities. Social distancing will be enforced. Masks will be required. No one will be allowed to use the weight room or to share equipment. Students must bring at least one gallon of water to practice. Here is Salpointe’s very detailed "Return to Play" protocol.
Will Salpointe provide a tuition discount if the school must provide distance learning due to the pandemic spread?
Unfortunately, Salpointe cannot provide a discount. Tuition is the sole source of teacher and staff compensation. Our employees will be working more than full time to provide legitimate, worthwhile educational content.
Please know that Salpointe is ready to help families whose financial situation has changed due to the pandemic. Please contact Theresa Lehrling as soon as possible at email@example.com if you need assistance.
What about Mass and Kairos?
We will offer daily morning Mass in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel. We will follow the Diocesan protocols: a limited number of participants, masks, and Holy Communion distributed at the end of Mass.
Using the guidelines of the Diocese of Tucson, Campus Ministry has designed multiple scenarios for students to fully participate in all-school Masses. Masks, social distancing and the distribution of Holy Communion after Mass are essential. These scenarios are fluid and will change as the Diocese moves through various recovery phases.
Kairos is a transformative Salpointe experience and we hope to ensure that this year’s retreatants continue to participate in this long-standing tradition. Every effort will be made to offer Kairos to the class of 2021 in the fall and 2022 in the spring. Our ability to offer Kairos will depend on the protocols set up by Triangle Y, the Mountain View Bus Co. and, ultimately, our community.
How will Salpointe fulfill our Carmelite charism of prayer, service and community?
Salpointe is a Carmelite community that daily lives its charism of prayer, service and community. Whether we are in the classroom or in distance learning, Salpointe will continue to offer opportunities to pray, to be of service and to be a community.
Kay Sullivan Keith Gibalski Jen Harris
President Principal Director of Advancement