Smart, Healthy, Holy:

A Home & School Partnership

H.O.P.E. Guidelines for Saint Theresa Catholic School  

August 2022

Saint Theresa Catholic School exists to form missionary disciples through the three pillars of FAMILY, FAITH, and FORMATION. Throughout the pandemic, the school has implemented strategies that prioritize the health and safety of the community allowing our students to be in-person for schooling even during times of high/substantial transmission of the virus. While no single action, or set of actions, will completely eliminate the risk of illness, the school will continue to strive to create the healthiest environment possible.

H – Health & Wellness of the Community

  1.  Students and their families, administration, teachers, staff, and those visiting our campus are seen as the community.

  2. Recognizing that students grow, develop, and succeed academically when they are healthy and consistently attending school, the school environment will be one that promotes health.

  3. Public health has as its focus the health and wellness of a group of people rather than individuals. Those practices identified by healthcare professionals with expertise in public/community health as being “best practices” and based on what is reasonable, practical, and feasible for our community, will be implemented with the goal of maintaining a healthy school environment.

O – Observation

  1. The school Health and Wellness Coordinator is the designated point of contact for Saint Theresa and can be reached at brons@stcs.us.

  2. The school Health and Wellness Coordinator will be responsible for tracking and monitoring illness patterns.

  3. Screening of staff, students, visitors, and others coming to the school campus may be instituted in accordance with current public health recommendations and based upon the prevalence of illness within the school community.

P – Prevention Strategies and Plans for Managing Illness

  1. Prevention Strategies

    • Practices that have been identified as being vitally important in controlling the spread of illness in general and respiratory illness, in particular, are: 

    • Hand and respiratory hygiene and limiting contact with those who are sick

    • More frequent and deliberate washing of hands among students, staff, and visitors

    • Good respiratory hygiene which includes covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately washing hands after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing

    • Masks are optional outside of compliance with recommended isolation/quarantine guidelines.

    • Continued routine maintenance of air systems, classrooms, restrooms, and common areas with approved EPA products

  2. Plans for Managing Illness

    • Any teacher, staff member, or student who becomes ill at school with any symptom associated with an infectious illness that is not known to be part of a chronic condition (i.e. asthma, allergies) will be separated from other staff/children and excluded from the school as soon as a parent, guardian, or designated person can pick them up.

    • Parents/guardians are expected to pick up an ill child within 30-45 minutes of notification.

    • Care of ill students and staff will be guided by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools Office, The Center for Disease Control (Guidance for Schools), The Arizona Department of Health Services, and County Health Departments.

    • Rapid (“at-home”) COVID test kits will be available to families based upon supply. The at-home tests will be accepted as verification that a person is/is not sick with COVID.

    • Local public health entities (Maricopa County Department of Public Health) are tasked with the investigation of infectious/communicable diseases to control their spread in the community. Mandatory reporting of individual COVID is no longer mandated. In accordance, except in the case of an outbreak, the school will not provide community notification of individual positive cases.

    • The school will continue to follow guidelines established by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health for isolation/ quarantine.

E – Expectations

How we respond in the face of challenges can define who we are as a  community. Aligning with the school-wide learning expectations the following are expected of all community members:

  1. Accountability

    • Parents should continue a daily screening for students.

    • Anyone displaying signs of illness should stay home.

    • Families/staff should self-report to the school Health and Wellness Coordinator if the student is COVID positive.

    • Community members are expected to follow the most current guidelines for isolation/quarantine.

  2. Respect

    • The confidentiality and privacy of all community members will be respected.

    • Community members are expected to treat one another respectfully when communicating.

  3. Mercy

    • All members of the community are expected to treat one another in a manner that is merciful, especially those who are sick or suffering.

    • The school will make efforts to assist students who are in isolation/ quarantine in completing school work.

  4. Spiritual

    • We will continue to pray for the sick and suffering of our community.