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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.

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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

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