JPII students returned to campus on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, while following the big-three mitigation protocols: wearing a mask, physical distancing and washing hands. Additionally, our leadership team firmly believes in the effectiveness of daily in-person health checks conducted by our teams here at the school before students walk into the building.
The extra few minutes spent outside each morning permits us to briefly connect with parents/guardians, greet students as they walk across the parking lot from a distance, and start each day as a broader community of learners.
Both cross country and volleyball seasons have been in full swing for our athletes. Baseball, fastpitch, and track teams are chomping at the bit as their seasons are literally just weeks from starting. Our FBLA competitions in February have set school records with all 23 JPII students progressing to the “state-level” phase in the spring. As we continue in-person learning, our jazz band and performing arts classes are progressing as Phase II and successful mitigation give us hope for the future.
Finally, the number of new student admissions applications is off the chart as of today. We are making plans to adjust for the high enrollment demand for school year 2021-2022. Yes, this is another new record that reflects the need for a high-quality, south sound Catholic high school experience…and JPII is ready to provide that advantage to students who are ready to contribute, learn, lead and succeed. Click to see our application process.
This week, Governor Inslee issued new restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Also, Thurston County Health published new guidelines for schools.* Though we are returning to @HOME education beginning Monday, there are still implications for our JPII community, and I would like to ask each of you to consider your response carefully.
Among other restrictions, which are in place through December 14, the proclamation prohibits:
- indoor gatherings with people outside your immediate household.
- outdoor gatherings that include more than 5 individuals from outside your household.
- all indoor athletic activities, contests and games.
The proclamation further states that outdoor athletic activities must be limited to intra-team practices only, with facial coverings required for all coaches, volunteers and athletes at all times.
The Archdiocese of Seattle Office for Catholic Schools, as well as WIAA, have published guidance supporting the Governor’s proclamation and providing additional information for schools and athletic programs. WIAA has also provided guidance for a revised timeline of seasons.
The few activities that are still allowed on campus as we return to @Home education – including outdoor sports practice, outdoor community service projects and activities like the drop off/pick up of educational supplies – now have additional requirements. Under the new restrictions, if you elect to participate in prohibited gatherings or activities as described above, you are to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus or participating in practices or JPII activities.
I know how challenging these restrictions are, coming right before the holidays, but in these challenges there also lies an opportunity: to answer God’s call to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I want to thank everyone in our community for the incredible efforts and sacrifices you have already made to live up to this call. I see daily the care our students and families have for one another, and it is humbling. As we head home for the holiday season, be encouraged! As a community we are strong and we will continue to move forward together.
* Thurston County Health School Communication Plan
After carefully watching the rising COVID cases trend upward, Thurston County Health recommends a return to distance learning for all schools until January 2021. JPII returns to distance learning on Nov. 23, 2020. CLICK TO READ A LETTER FROM MRS. ALLIN.
Today we received communication from the Thurston County Health Officer, Dr. Abdelmalek, concerning the upward trend of COVID-19 transmission rates. CLICK TO READ THE FULL MESSAGE.
Thurston County COVID numbers continue to rise and we are keeping in close contact with county health officials. CLICK TO READ THE FULL MESSAGE.
Thurston County Health Department has published a flowchart that gives us guidance for directing students and families during our morning health checks. Read more to understand what we do if students have a symptom. CLICK TO READ THE FULL MESSAGE.
Our administration and staff prepared three distinct educational models to respond to directives related to COVID-19. These models are described in the 2020-2021 Educational Plan which outlines JPII’s response to educating students during the pandemic. CLICK TO READ THE FULL MESSAGE.