Today, Gov. Baker ordered that all Massachusetts public and non-public schools remain closed until Monday, May 4, 2020. Consequently, SMPS/SFXP/JPII will continue with distance learning protocols. We hope to reopen on May 4, 2020, unless otherwise directed.
This information is not surprising and we intend to meet this extended new challenge. Administrators and teachers will keep in close contact with you to spell out additional adjustments and procedures.
Today, Gov. Baker ordered the closure of all schools in Massachusetts, public and private, through April 6. This additional closure time is not surprising, and we are planning accordingly.
Effective at the end of the school day today (3/13/2020), all classes and school activities are suspended, for a period of two weeks. During this time, no academic classes, co-curricular activities, or school events will occur. As of this writing, classes and activities will resume on Monday, March 30, should conditions warrant. This decision is consistent with the determination made by some school districts of the Cape and Islands area.
We take seriously our responsibility to keep students, staff members, and families safe and healthy, and also our broader duty to preserve public health. Fortunately, we are not aware of any diagnosed cases of COVID-19 involving school staff members, students, or school family members. Therefore, this response is proactive to assist in the preservation of public health and the containment of the virus.
Academic work will continue for students via digital tools such as Google Meet, Google Classroom, and other communication tools. Mrs. Hutchison, Mrs. Kelley, and Ms. Valentino are speaking with students today in order to explain the new procedures. The principals will communicate with you early next week after meeting with teachers. Students should expect digital/distance learning to resume on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Additionally, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has delayed the start of high school spring sports until March 30, at the earliest.
During the course of this moratorium, the school maintenance staff will perform a complete cleaning and disinfecting of all three school buildings, as has been the case during these past two weeks.
These measures are bewildering, challenging, disappointing, and concerning to students, families, and the school community. Teachers and administrators share these feelings, too. This situation is unprecedented, and we ask for your patience and understanding. I promise to send regular email communication to all families with updated information, adjustments, and news. I invite you to email or call me, Mrs. Hutchison, Mrs. Kelley, or Ms. Valentino, and we will clarify matters to the best of our ability.
On Wednesday, the Holy Father offered this prayer for Italy and all those affected by the pandemic:
O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
We look forward to the abatement of this current threat and return to the rich and robust school life we all enjoy.
Christopher W. Keavy