Principal’s Page

JULY 21, 2021

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

The communication below was sent to all families with students in Archdiocesan Schools. Please read it. The school is presently working on policies and procedures tied to this information. I look forward to our virtual meetings to discuss them with you.

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Thank you for your partnership over the past year and a half and your commitment to providing your children with a Catholic education. Looking ahead, we want to share with you anticipated safety protocols and operational guidance for the upcoming academic year.

Protecting the health and safety of our students and school staff while providing them with an excellent, in-person academic experience remain our priorities. Based on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), consultation from our team of medical advisors, and our Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force, we plan a return to near-normal, pre-pandemic school operations while maintaining select safety protocols to ensure a healthy, in-person learning environment. While there remains the potential for some adjustments considering the growing prevalence of the delta variant and stalled vaccination rates, please note the following:

Returning to full pre-pandemic, near-normal operations

  • School Masses will resume.
  • There will no longer be cohorts; however, every classroom will maintain an assigned seating chart since any necessary quarantines will be limited to only the students in closest proximity to any COVID-positive student (i.e., fellow students seated in front, back, left or right).
  • All extracurricular activities, athletics, theater, music, clubs, field trips, etc., will resume.
  • Resuming before- and after-care programs.
  • Library and computer labs will reopen.
  • Wellness checks or staggered drop-off/pick-up schedules will no longer be required.
  • No masks will be required for fully vaccinated students, teachers or staff. Guidance regarding masks for unvaccinated individuals will be released by early August.

Safety protocols for the 2021-2022 school year

  • Students who are ill or are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms MUST stay home.
  • We will follow prevailing local health department guidelines concerning quarantines.
  • Classrooms and activities will be arranged to maintain 3 feet of physical distancing indoors whenever possible.
  • Schools will maintain daily cleaning procedures for desks and high traffic areas.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to sanitize hands upon arrival to the classroom and throughout the day as a good hygiene practice, and to use water bottles instead of drinking directly from water fountains.

Lastly, providing proof of vaccination will be extremely helpful for contact tracing purposes and to ensure that vaccinated students, if exposed, are not included in any quarantine requirements.

Any student without a COVID-19 vaccination card on file, who is determined to be a close contact, will immediately be quarantined until proof of vaccination is received. Your school’s leadership will provide more information about this in the coming weeks. Vaccination information will be kept confidential as with all other student records and medical history.

Again, we expect to have a final determination on the use of masks for unvaccinated individuals by early August. We will re-assess these guidelines, as necessary, during the academic year to ensure safe operations of our schools. For the sake of everyone’s health and our collective ability to fully overcome the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to encourage vaccinations for faculty, staff and students over the age of 12.

We wish you all a safe and restful summer, Office of Catholic Schools - Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force

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Sincerely,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal


JULY 14, 2021

Dear St. Celestine School Families,

I am awaiting more information from the Office of Catholic Schools regarding the safety protocols and practices we will be implementing for the next school year. Many parents have asked me what to expect.

On Friday, the CDC released updated guidance and recommendations for school reopening. Within this guidance, many decisions around health mitigations in schools are left to local districts and governments. Our next step is to await guidance from IDPH, ISBE, and Archdiocese of Chicago which will come soon, as they determine their alignment to the recommendations from the CDC.

While this sounds like an overwhelming process, please rest assured that the end result will be a set of policies and procedures that allow for a positive, safe, rigorous and enjoyable school year. I personally look at this year as one of growth and rebuilding. The St. Celestine School community has risen to every challenge and will continue to do so.

Although I don’t have a set of specific procedures yet, I am scheduling some virtual parent meetings, so that there is an avenue for communication. Parents are invited to attend whatever meeting best suits their schedule. I anticipate by those dates I will have a great deal more information for you. The meetings will be:

Thursday, July 29 at 6 pm Meeting ID - meet.google.com/eqw-ywmx-qtw Phone Numbers (US)+1 434-886-0180 PIN: 592 473 177#

Friday, July 30 at 6 pm Meeting ID - meet.google.com/bkq-njnq-mea Phone Numbers (US)+1 505-289-1512 PIN: 850 325 077#

Wednesday, August 4 at 6:30 pm Meeting ID - meet.google.com/zuc-dooz-fyj Phone Numbers (US)+1 516-654-7540 PIN: 348 399 805#

Friday, August 13 at 6:30 pm Meeting ID - meet.google.com/tpv-esmk-oqv Phone Numbers (US)+1 515-809-5277 PIN: 933 082 684#

I will also communicate information, policies and procedures via email as those are set. Please check your emails regularly. Please reach out to me at sklich@stcelestineschool.org with any questions you may have.

Organization Day is Tuesday, August 3 from 3 pm until 7 pm. It will either be located in the parking lot or in the gym, depending on COVID safety recommendations and the weather forecast. I look forward to seeing families there and catching up with you as we start the 2021/22 school year.

There are spaces available in grades. Please share school information with any friends and neighbors who may be interested in our school. We have a strong and healthy school community and welcome new families. Tours are available for interested families.

I am so very grateful for the opportunity to serve this community this coming school year. As we work together, there are plenty of opportunities for parents to volunteer for Parents Club, as Room Parents and on the Athletics Board. This volunteerism is part of who we are as evidenced by the help and support the Scouts, Parents Club, and School Board gave during this past 4th of July Parade through Elmwood Park. We are stronger together and I am grateful for you. Thank you, in advance, for your support as we work together this year.

With Gratitude and Prayers,

Sheila M. Klich - Principal


Click on the right sidebar of this page to see earlier Principal's Pages in PDF format for the Year 2021-2022.