After five long months away, the St. Paul's community officially returned to campus last week to start the 2020-2021 academic year. Even with a range of new distancing procedures in place to keep students and staff safe, St. Paul's has been buzzing with excitement. Students are enjoying getting acquainted with their new teachers, and it's wonderful to have students collaborating and learning together in the classroom again.
Matt Ronan, second grade teacher, shared what he missed most while we were gone. "I missed the everyday, direct connections with students and families. Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy Mondays singing in chapel, Fridays at the church together, the smiling faces coming in the door, and fun springtime activities that we all love. However, I never felt that we lost our special connection as a class, a grade, or as a school community. Doing things differently was and is a challenge, but we’re still all part of the Spartan family."
Similar to the students, Mr. Ronan was excited for our return to campus. "Ahh, to be back together at last! Our routines have changed, but I love all the fresh air, learning and eating outside, and getting to know all the new second graders. Like every year, it’s taken a few days to get settled, but it is wonderful to be back with students in person and online."
We have made a range of adjustments across the school to prioritize the health and wellness of students and staff, including:
- We installed an air filtration system to safely lower the microbial and viral load in the air and on surfaces. Read more about Synexis here.
- We begin each day with chapel, but students now participate in their individual classrooms. On Fridays, we host virtual all school chapel that is live-streamed to the classrooms and the larger community.
- All students in grades K-8 will have an individual iPad. This 1:1 technology expansion allows us to avoid shared devices and helps students learn skills and build familiarity with our core digital tools.
- We are moving learning outdoors when and where possible! Teachers are making great use of our picnic tables, playgrounds, and the upper field throughout the school day. Not only does this allow for expanded outdoor play, it's a great opportunity for students to stretch out and enjoy the fresh air while learning.
We are so proud of this community for displaying flexibility, determination, and care for others during the challenges of the past several months. Being apart for an extended period of time has shown how important the St. Paul's mission and values are to our community members. Ultimately, we can't wait to see how our students and faculty continue to grow and adapt together throughout the school year.