"Do not be afraid..."

This statement (or a variation thereof) is made 365 times in Holy Scripture. Yes, we are faced with unprecedented times, yet we have a Savior who promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)  So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…” (Hebrews 13:6)


This school year provides us with a unique opportunity to take God at His word and rest confidently in his promises. We trust that the three basic truths that we proclaim at St. John’s, It’s all His, He saves, and His will is what’s best for us remain as true today as they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


We have not been in school in-person since March, and we have learned that virtual school is a subpar substitute for face to face school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in their July 23 update, states, “The harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, are well-known and significant.”  They go on to say, “Aside from a child’s home, no other setting has more influence on a child’s health and well-being than their school.  The in-person school environment does the following:

The American Academy of Pediatrics “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” 

https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/


As we are still 4 weeks from the start of the school year, plans are subject to change, and details will still need to be worked out.  Teachers return to school on August 17, and their input will be critical as we continue to develop procedures that will allow us to continue to provide high quality education to as many disciples as possible.


Thank you for your continued prayers as we rest on the promises of our loving Heavenly Father.  I look forward to an exciting year at St. John’s as we find new ways to Connect, Care, and Share Christ together.

St. John's School Reopening Plan

Based on our beliefs and values, we are moving forward with the following:

Overview:

  • St. John’s will continue to respond to COVID-19 and change the plan based on advice from the Washington Ozaukee Health Department and State and Federal agencies.
  • St. John’s will welcome students to campus for 5 day in-person instruction beginning on September 2.
  • St. John’s will be keeping students in grade level “cohorts” as much as possible. (Keeping students in grade-level cohorts and avoiding mixing will make it more likely that, should a case of COVID-19 arise, we could close one classroom for 14 days rather than having to close the entire school.)
  • St. John’s will be intentionally planning instruction and equipping students with the resources necessary to seamlessly shift to virtual instruction should the need arise.
  •  St. John’s will seek to work with families that, upon the advice of a physician, cannot send their children to school due to household family members having underlying health conditions that puts them at higher risk for serious illness from COVID. (Cancer, Chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher), Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, Sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes mellitus.) If you are a family that has a set of extreme circumstances that will not allow your children to be in school to learn, please contact Mr. Van Dellen (jvandellen@sjswb.org.)

Procedures to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19

1)      Back to School procedures will be revised
       a.      Registration night has been cancelled and will be conducted by mail
       b.      Orientation nights will be replaced by a recorded video presentation and will be shared via email
       c.       Home visits will be replaced by two “Tell the Teacher” days which will take place either in person (in a classroom following social distancing and                      masking mandates OR outside) or virtually.  Watch for more information on how to schedule a time.
2)      Daily protocols will be in place
        a.      Prior to arrival at school each day, employees and student families will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms including the following:
                      i.      Temperature check: if 100.4 or greater, stay home.
                     ii.      Symptom check: sore throat, new uncontrolled cough, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe headache. If symptomatic, stay home.
                    iii.      If someone you have been in close contact with (within 6 ft. for 15 minutes, hugged, or kissed) has COVID, stay home.
        b.      Homerooms will be equipped with a no touch thermometer to be able to screen students for fever
        c.       The Health Room will be set aside as an “isolation room” for symptomatic persons. The room will be thoroughly disinfected following each use.
3)      Symptomatic students and staff will be required to stay home
        a.      St. John’s will use the DPI’s “Protocol to Send Home for COVID-19 like Symptoms” in making determinations of when students or staff should be                       sent home. https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sspw/pdf/Protocol_to_send_home_COVID-19_like_symptoms.pdf
        b.      Individuals will be required to be symptom free for 24 hours before returning
        c.       Individuals who test positive may not return for 10 days plus 24 hours of being symptom free, and must have written clearance from their                             physician
        d.      Those living in the same household with a person who tests positive will not be allowed at school for 14 days following the identification of that                     person, and only with no symptoms shown
        e.       St. John’s will continue to consult with the Washington Ozaukee Health Department with regard to procedures in place
4)      Non-school personnel will be restricted from building
        a.      Parents needing to pick up or drop off during school day will use 6th Street entrance
        b.      Parents may call or ring at the door to be visually verified by office personnel
        c.       Student will be dismissed to parent
        d.      Volunteer led after school programs will be postponed indefinitely
5)      Face Coverings and Masks
        a.      All students and staff are required to bring a mask to school
        b.      Masks will be worn according to the provisions of the state mandate
        c.       St. John’s has acquired 500 cloth masks in case an individual needs a mask
6)      A modified drop off and pick up procedure will be in place
        a.      Students must be masked for arrival at school
        b.      The Southeast doors near the gym will open at 7:30. All students who are dropped off prior to 7:45 will enter the Southeast gym doors.
        c.       Students in grades 6-8 will report directly to their classroom. Students in grades K-5 will directed to a designated space by grade level in the gym                     and will be supervised by a teacher until 7:45, when they will be dismissed by grade level to their classroom
        d.      Beginning at 7:45, students in grades 5K-2nd will enter the Northeast school door near the ECC and report directly to their classroom
        e.       Beginning at 7:45, students in grades 3-5 will enter the Southeast doors near the gym and report directly to their classroom
7)      Outdoor spaces will be used as much as possible
        a.      Physical Education classes will take place outdoors as much as possible
        b.      Instruction will be encouraged to take place outside where appropriate - 12 “Easy Up” 10’x10’ tents have been procured for shade (more                                 donations would be welcomed!)
        c.       Lunch may be eaten outdoors where possible
        d.      Outdoor recess times will be staggered and cohorts will be rotated through separate spaces
8)      Social distancing within classrooms will be practiced
       a.      Each classroom has a minimum of 36 square feet per student in the classroom setting to allow social distancing
       b.      4th grade has been switched to a larger classroom to accommodate their class size
9)      Traffic in hallways will be limited
       a.      Music Classes will take place in the regular classrooms
       b.      In Middle school:
                      i.      One class to lockers at a time
                     ii.  Lockers assigned in a 6,7,8,6,7,8 pattern to assist in distancing
                   iii.      Teachers will move to classrooms rather than students moving
10)      Lunch processes will be modified
         a.      Lunches will be eaten in classrooms or outside
         b.      Desks/tables will be washed before and after
         c.       One way hallways will be used in distribution of food
11)      Enhanced cleaning practices are in place
         a.      EPA registered, hospital grade disinfectants are being used
         b.      More frequent cleaning of restrooms and public spaces are being scheduled
12)      Modifications will be made to Chapel
         a.      Students will sit with their own class – no Chapel Buddies or mixing of students
         b.      Only school personnel will be permitted to attend Chapel
         c.       Social distancing practices will be adhered to in the Sanctuary
         d.      Arrangements are being made to livestream Chapel when classes are presenting -
13)      Modifications will be made in the sharing of supplies
         a.      Shared items from school supply list will be the possession of the person who brings the item
         b.      Items (such as manipulatives) that must be shared must be thoroughly disinfected before used by another person

St. John's Athletic Update

I pray this message finds you all well and enjoying the summer in one way or another, centered around Christ and your families!

I am certainly looking forward to seeing you all when we head back to school this September.


First, than you to those who have reached out to ask questions about athletics and what it will look like this coming school year.  We have certainly been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. I am very excited for you all to see our newly renovated gym and gym floor. We are blessed!  Thank you to all of you who have contributed financially to the gym project.  We appreciate you and your generous gift.  If you have not yet been able to make a contribution and would like to, please let me know.


Secondly, after much discussion and meetings between the leaders of St. John’s and our Lutheran Lakeshore Conference, we have decided to postpone ALL athletic activity including practices and games through September 7, 2020.  This is in conjunction with the WIAA and their current decision on fall sports.  They are expected to make their final decision on that date.


At that time, I will meet with the leaders of St. John’s to make our final decision for fall sports and the remaining sports activities for the 2020-21 school year.  Please know that this decision will coincide with the procedures and protocols that we have set in place for coming back to school five days a week in the fall.  Constant and continual communication will take place between the leaders of St. John’s and myself.


Lastly, thank you for your understanding and patience in regards to athletics.  I know that this is not ideal, but we have to lean into one of our three truths, His Will is What’s Best for Us.  


If you have any questions, please reach out to me.


In His Service,


Ryan Young

Athletic Director


St. John's Elementary and Middle School

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