Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

 

List of 11 items.

  • June 18 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Campus Reopening Update

    We are thankful for the collective community effort that contributed to the success of remote learning in spring 2020. Of the parents who responded to our survey, 94% were satisfied to very satisfied with their daughter’s experience of remote learning. Thank you for supporting your daughters and St. Agnes Academy. Thank you for offering us grace and lifting us in prayer. Perhaps you guided your daughter’s education in ways you hadn’t previously imagined, and we are grateful for your involvement! 
     
    What will school be like in August? It's the question we know is on everyone’s mind. While there are many unknowns still, we have already begun to shape our vision for the school year. Our hope is to have all students on campus; however, we know that this may not be possible. We strive to remain flexible and to communicate plans as they develop. We do need each family to let us know whether or not there are factors that will likely prevent your daughter(s) from returning to campus in August 2020, should a return to in-person classes be allowed under all relevant public health and governmental policies and recommendations. Please complete this short form by June 26. You may submit the form more than once if you have more than one daughter at St. Agnes. 
     
    Task Forces 
    St. Agnes Academy has formed two groups to collect and synthesize information and make recommendations to the administration. These groups are comprised of administrators, faculty, and staff members with specific expertise and knowledge. They are collaborating with public health experts and other educators, and utilizing guidelines from the State and TEA to form plans for the 2020-2021 school year. 
    • The Campus Reopening Task Force focuses on the logistics of reopening campus in a way that mitigates risks to the health of community members.
    • The Academic and Mission Continuity Task Force focuses on the vibrancy of the student programs.
    The administration is also in the process of selecting a consultant that specializes in designing and implementing infection prevention processes to guide our efforts to keep students and faculty safe while they are on campus. 
     
    Commitments 
    • We are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience that reflects our mission and our call to develop each student in the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community, and preaching. 
    • The health and safety of our community is our focus during this planning process.
    • We will continue to provide timely updates to the community about our plans. 
    Returning to School: Three Modes 
    Our administration and task forces are working to create a school calendar and daily schedules that will allow for flexibility in the way in which we deliver the mission. At this time, we do not anticipate major changes to our published dates for the beginning of the school year, the end of the school year, and scheduled breaks, but these plans are subject to change. We do anticipate looking to three different “Modes” for school in 2020-2021 and plan to build in the capability to switch quickly from one Mode to another, if community health conditions require. 
     
    Mode A: All Students, Faculty and Staff
    In Mode A, we welcome all students, faculty, and staff to campus. Specific health precautions may be in place in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements and could include: 
    • Adults attest to being symptom-free before visiting campus 
    • Health screenings for students as they enter campus 
    • Wearing masks that cover the mouth and nose, except when eating and drinking 
    • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures 
    • Procedures for moving through hallways and stairwells 
    • Reducing or eliminating shared materials and high-touch surfaces 
    • Redesigning large community gatherings like assemblies and all-school Masses 
    • Volunteers and visitors welcomed back on campus, as conditions allow.
    Mode B: Blended Learning 
    Think of Mode B as the “dimmer switch” that slides between Mode A, with 100% of our community on campus, and Mode C, with 0% of our community on campus. In Mode B, a portion of our community will be on campus while others stay home for reasons that may include: 
    • Limits to the number of people allowed on campus at one time 
    • Students, faculty, and staff in quarantine or isolation for reasons associated with COVID-19 
    • Students, faculty, and staff uncomfortable with retuning to campus due to personal risk factors 
    Mode B is characterized by blended learning, in which some students are in the physical classroom and others are learning at home, utilizing mostly asynchronous or self-paced activities planned by each student’s teachers. Most students will have some days in the classroom and some days learning at home each week. Teachers will work to use precious face-to-face time with students wisely, engaging students in labs, discussions, one-on-one work, debates, and various learning and community-building activities. Students learning from home will have clear expectations for their work, with an emphasis on authentic engagement in meaningful and relevant college-prep academics. Completing the survey listed above will help us plan accordingly for a Mode B Blended Learning plan. 
     
    Mode C: Campus Closed, Remote Learning 
    We anticipate periods during the 2020-2021 school year when campus must be closed, following public health recommendations, due to spikes in COVID-19 cases in our area. We can promptly switch into remote teaching and learning, including both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. In the spring of 2020, we quickly developed and implemented a plan for remote learning. We are reflecting on lessons learned and plan for many improvements to remote learning in the coming school year. 
     
    In the description of the three modes above, we emphasize the delivery of our academic program; however, the delivery of our extracurricular programs, our activities as a community of faith, and our counseling programs will also be adapted for each mode. We are committed to caring for and developing the whole student. 
     
    While the details of our plans may change and evolve as conditions in our community change, our commitment to St. Agnes families is unwavering. Thank you for partnering with St. Agnes Academy to educate your daughter(s). As our task forces continue to develop and finalize plans for the fall, we will continue to provide timely updates to the community. 
  • April 24 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    Last week, we outlined our plans for moving forward with end-of-year events, specifically senior events like graduation. Senior students and parents were asked to participate in a survey, which allowed for us to make plans based on their preferences and input. After reviewing the survey results, and continuing to allow city and state social-distancing restrictions guide our planning process, we shared updates with seniors and senior families. We also wanted to share some of the updates with the rest of the SAA community, here are a few highlights:
     
    Last Day for Seniors
    • Seniors’ last day will still be Friday, May 8. On that Friday, seniors are invited to take part in a car parade on campus! Seniors can decorate their cars with messages, college decisions, etc. This will give seniors the opportunity to participate in the uniform decorating tradition and wear their designs to the parade. There will be a photo station where girls can jump out to take a selfie in their skirts. There will also be a pickup station for senior goodie bags, which will include caps and gowns, tassels, t-shirts, and a few special gifts from SAA! Parade time and more details to come.
    Graduation and Madonna Day
    • It was clear in the survey results that senior students and parents want an in-person ceremony, even if that means postponing until summer. We hear you – we have made the decision to plan for various days and deliver an in-person Madonna Day & Graduation ceremony on either May 23, June 27 or August 1.
    • We have selected these two additional dates to make certain that should social-distancing restrictions prohibit us from gathering on the originally scheduled date, we are prepared to postpone. Additionally, should social-distancing restrictions allow for us to gather sooner we will be prepared to do so. The graduation ceremony will include elements of Madonna Day and be held in Meyer Hall. We will be required to follow whatever social-distancing recommendations are in place for the city at that time.
    • On Friday, May 22, senior families will receive a special presentation which will include the announcement of our valedictorian, salutatorian, the recipients of the traditional four senior awards, and a listing of our graduates.
    We want to thank all of our students and families for the patience and support you have showed during this challenging time. As we continue to finalize details for the remaining weeks, we will be sure to bring you more information as it is available.
  • April 17 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    As we wrap up week four of remote learning, we find ourselves deep into this new “normal” and thinking about what is to come. Today, we heard from Governor Abbott addressing the new guidelines for social distancing and answering the question of how we will proceed for the remainder of the school year. In alignment with the state’s mandate, we will be extending remote learning through the end of the semester.
     
    Closing out the school year with remote learning means many upcoming events will need to be reimagined or rescheduled, access to campus facilities may remain limited, and general end-of-year operations will look different. We are meeting regularly to make plans for the coming weeks and will bring you more information as soon as it is available. For now, here are some of the most recent updates:
    • Celebrate SAA will be presented virtually throughout the week of April 27. Each day, we will feature a collection of photos and videos highlighting various events and moments from the year. More details to come.
    • Academic Awards will shift to a virtual format. A link will be sent on Wednesday, April 29.
    • We know that students will need to clean out lockers or may have left books and personal belongings on campus and will need to enter our buildings soon. We are discussing our options for navigating this safely and efficiently. An update will be sent as soon as plans are final.
    • Decisions regarding dates and registration for any summer classes or summer camps will be made at a later date.
    We understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on our seniors; this is not how they imagined their senior year, nor is it how we desired they spend their last semester at SAA. We are thinking about our seniors in each planning meeting, email thread, and group text which we participate in. We have a Graduation and Madonna Day committee and a Senior Leadership committee that have been meeting regularly to discuss how SAA can move forward honoring our seniors given the circumstances.
     
    Madonna Day will be May 22 and graduation will be May 23. Whether we can be together or not, we are committed to marking the originally scheduled dates as special days for the class of 2020. Senior students have been asked to participate in a survey, giving them an opportunity to voice their preferences and opinions on graduation and Madonna Day celebrations. Senior parents will also receive a graduation and Madonna Day survey via email this afternoon. The format and specifics of these days will be determined after survey results are reviewed and with consideration of any “Stay Home, Stay Safe” guideline updates issued by local authorities.
     
    Senior students and families can expect a separate email soon addressing details on Seniors’ Last Day celebration in Maya Senior Send Off event on August 1, and other initiatives honoring our seniors.
     
    While we recognize that social distancing restrictions may still prevent us from holding the commencement ceremony and other celebratory events on the proposed dates, we are optimistically moving forward with the planning process. We will bring you updates and more information as soon as we have more and thank you all for your patience during this time.
  • April 3 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    Given the recent mandate from national and local officials to extend social distancing practices through the end of April, we are following recommendations to keep our campus closed and extend remote learning through at least May 3. Should we need to extend remote learning further, we will update you as soon as a decision is made.
     
    Please know, we have been notified that a Strake Jesuit student has tested positive for COVID-19. We were told, “he is currently quarantining at home, displaying only mild symptoms, and is in good spirits.” While this student was not attending classes on the SAA campus, our communities are close, and our students gather together often. The CDC states that the incubation period for the virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to range from 2-14 days. Based on this, if someone was exposed to or contracted the virus from this student, that person would have likely shown symptoms on or before Thursday, March 26.
     
    At this time, we have no confirmed cases in our community. Still, out of an abundance of caution, please continue to monitor your health and follow the CDC and local health authority guidelines. Over the next 30 days, we anticipate that we may hear of more reported positive cases in individuals close to or within the St. Agnes community. We are hopeful that keeping our campus closed and extending remote learning through May 3, will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community.
     
    This extension also covers any events originally scheduled in the coming weeks, through May 3. This means, senior prom has been canceled. This was a difficult decision to make, as we know the senior girls have been looking forward to this all year. Ms. Whalen informed our seniors via video message this week and has already received so many positive and understanding responses. We are so blessed to be a part of such a spirited and resilient community.
     
    We are continuing to make contingency plans for other upcoming events that we are hoping to postpone or deliver virtually instead of cancel.
    • Academic Awards and the Art Expo, originally scheduled for April 27, will now move to a virtual format. Students and parents will receive more information regarding these two events soon.
    • The Junior Class Ring Ceremony, originally scheduled for May 21 will now take place in the fall. (Fun fact: When Sister Jane was an SAA student, it was tradition that juniors received their class rings at the start of their senior year. Looks like we will be following our original tradition this year.)
    • We are doing our best to ensure that our seniors are celebrated in a way they deserve. No decisions have been made yet on graduation, but we hope to share information soon.
    We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and support during this time as we all continue to work towards adjusting to this new normal. We pray that our families, faculty, staff and friends remain healthy and continue to find the blessings that come with these challenges. We miss you all and love seeing all of our #tigersfromtheirdens, keep posting and sharing your pictures and videos with us!
  • March 27 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    We have completed our first week of remote learning and we are extremely proud of our students, parents, teachers and staff for adapting so quickly. While we know this week may have been challenging, our students are already settling into new routines. Students are communicating with their teachers, attending classes via Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and productively engaging in course content online. Our Academy women are proving their strength and resiliency. 
     
    We miss seeing our students each day and hope that they are making the best of this time at home. We have certainly heard that our students and teachers are getting creative and having fun with at-home work stations, online workouts, and social hours. Check out some of the photos and videos we've received on social media. We even have a group of alumnae that started a Facebook Live VTV Lockdown broadcast every day at 10:30. They are talking all things St. Agnes and even hosting special guests. Tune in if you can, it is a fun morning break.
     
    Our academic administrative team members have been meeting regularly with teachers to ensure they have the tools and support they need to deliver quality instruction to students, manage grading, and troubleshoot any issues or concerns that may arise. Our faculty and staff are working together beautifully and doing an exceptional job shifting plans while staying dedicated to preserving our values and mission. We are fortunate to have such a strong, caring, and committed group of individuals focused on delivering exceptional academics and enriching programming, like Virtual Viva Veritas, to keep our community in high spirits. We hope that this situation resolves itself quickly and in the meantime, we will continue to reimagine community engagement and focus on keeping our students, families, faculty, and staff safe.
     
    As we move into our second week of remote learning, we encourage our entire community to begin the week with a moment of prayer and reflection. On Monday, March 30, at noon we invite you to pause−where ever you may be, whatever your religion or beliefs−and pray for your family, your community, your city, your region, your country, and the world, as we all struggle to respond to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sister Jane will be leading our community in prayer on St. Agnes' Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to tune in at 12 p.m. to join her. For more spiritual inspiration, consider reading a brief reflection on the fifth Sunday of Lent by our Director of Campus Ministry.
  • March 20 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    It was brought to our attention today that there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 within the St. Thomas Catholic High School community. We learned that an individual who had direct exposure to the affected person attended the track meet on Thursday, March 12 at the East Campus Athletics Complex. Both the affected and exposed individuals are self-quarantining at home.
     
    At this time, we have no confirmed cases in our community. However, out of an abundance of caution, we advise anyone who may have been at the track meet on Thursday, March 12 to monitor their health, follow the CDC guidelines for "people who have had close contact," and contact their primary care physician if they develop symptoms. 
     
    While this news may be unsettling, we have been anticipating that someone in or close to the St. Agnes community would test positive for COVID-19 in the coming days or weeks. We are prepared to keep our students, families, faculty, and staff safe and make modifications to the rest of the semester if needed. 
     
    We have already announced that we will keep our campus closed and extend remote learning through April 10. Of course, we may need to adjust this and will keep you informed.
     
    As we prepare for our first week of remote learning and begin adapting to a new normal, we would like to outline what the next few weeks may look like for our community. It will not, of course, be the same as being in class, but we are confident that your daughters will still be getting an excellent education. 
     
    Please click here to view a video message from our Principal and Head of School addressing remote learning expectations, schedules, and staying engaged.
     
    Expectations
    • Beginning March 23, classroom instruction will be conducted online through April 13. Students will receive information from teachers through email and mySAA on March 23.
    • Should online instruction need to continue beyond April 13, we are prepared and will send information regarding an extension on or before April 6.
    • We will continue to follow the day and block cycle, beginning with Day 8 on March 23. Teachers will be hosting live class discussions or office hours online during their scheduled class time. Students will have several opportunities to virtually attend classes to participate in discussions and ask questions if needed.
    • Students should expect about three hours of work in each course, per week. Teachers will be focusing on the most essential content during this time. Parents should expect to see their daughters engaged in course work on a daily basis.
    • Students will begin each day with an email from our Dean of Students which will include the daily block schedule and daily prayer. Students should establish daily routines and leave room for plenty of breaks and outdoor time. If students and parents need help setting up a schedule, consider this SAA Remote Learning Schedule as an example.
    • Students should have received an email outlining daily expectations and details regarding grades and contingencies from Carleen Raymond, Academic Dean. Click here to read her message to your daughters.

    Staying in Touch
    • Students should be checking email and logging in to mySAA daily to stay in contact with their teachers.
    • As we begin remote learning next week, students and parents may have questions and concerns about how to maintain their emotional and social well-being while away from school. Our wellness counselors are available and we encourage our families to contact them for support.
    • While we know this will certainly be a challenge, we want to encourage our students and parents to share with us how you are adjusting and staying engaged. We want to connect with our families, see your creativity, the things that are bringing each of you joy, and how you are exploring the world in new ways. Post pictures of your “new normal,” tag St. Agnes, and use the hashtag #tigersfromtheirdens.

    Grading and Assessments
    • Many teachers planned to use spring break to finish and submit quarter 3 grades. Given the current circumstances, we have asked that teachers shift their focus to the preparation of online learning and have, therefore, moved the due date for quarter 3 grades to Tuesday, March 31. Report cards will be available online as soon as all grades have been submitted.

    Events
    • All on-campus, school-sponsored, connected or funded events that include external visitors or requiring large gatherings of more than 10 people are canceled through April 13. Decisions about events taking place after April 13 will be made as those dates approach.
    • The SAA annual gala will continue…online! The gala team knows St. Agnes relies on the support generated at the gala and has jumped into action. Stay tuned for more details on Virtual Viva Veritas.
    • All athletic practices, games, tournaments, and events will be canceled until further notice. Our coaches are working hard to ensure that when the St. Agnes campus reopens, our teams are set up in the best way possible to continue our seasons. During the closure, coaches will stay connected with their athletes and provide opportunities for student-athletes to stay in shape while at home.

    Prayer and Reflection
    • While the world is focused on the physical well-being of individuals, our St. Agnes community continues attending to our spiritual well-being.
    • While Masses in the Archdiocese are suspended, consider reading the Sunday readings as a family. Here is a brief reflection by our Director of Campus Ministry, with some questions for this Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
    • During this time of uncertainty and angst, we encourage each of you to spend some time in prayer; whether reading scripture, praying the rosary, meditation, or reading through some of the spiritual resources we have provided on our information page. We hope you engage in whatever way you find most meaningful.
    Thank you to each of our families, faculty and staff for keeping yourselves safe at home. Please know, we are your partners through this, and we will get through this together.
     
    Relying on our pillar of prayer, we join with our Houston community, and pray together:
     
    Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Prayer in the Time of Coronavirus
    Comfort us, O Lord, for we like your disciples on the storm-tossed seas,
    Unsettled by what lies ahead.
    We turn to You, our Healer and Guide,
    to still our hearts in our time of need and hear our prayer:
    Heal those who are sick with the coronavirus and protect the elderly and most vulnerable. Give strength to all who tend to our health and wisdom to researchers who work toward a cure.
    Open our eyes and hearts, as you did during Hurricane Harvey, that we may look beyond our immediate needs to care for others who need help.
    Through the Holy Spirit, guide our leaders to make wise decisions for the welfare of all the people they serve.
    Grant eternal rest to those who have died from the virus.
    May Mary, Our Mother, who has heard our pleas in the storms of our lives, intercede to her Son, that we may find healing and a prompt end to this illness.
    Mary, Stay of the Sea, pray for us.
    Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, heal us.
  • March 17 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    Yesterday, we learned that our city is taking advanced, necessary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many school districts have announced closures through the week of April 10. We have also made the decision to keep our campus closed and extend remote learning for our students through April 13. Of course, given how rapidly evolving this situation has become, we may need to adjust this and will keep you informed.
     
    As we prepare for our first week of remote learning and begin adapting to a new normal, we would like to outline what the next few weeks may look like for our community. Please check Tiger Tracks this week for an update from our Principal and Head of School.
  • March 12 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    Given the recent pandemic declaration from the World Health Organization and disaster declaration issue for Harris County, St. Agnes Academy has decided to close campus for a two-week period following spring break and implement remote learning, effective Monday, March 23, for our students. With our students and families returning from travel across the globe and college students returning from campus closures, our best opportunity to limit the spread of COVID-19 is to begin the two-week closure on March 23. This allows us to practice social distancing for a 14-day period following spring break.
     
    At this time, there are no known confirmed cases of COVID-19 at St. Agnes Academy; however, we must still do our part to contain the spread of COVID-19, not only within our community and on our campus, but also among those individuals with whom we may come into contact outside of our doors. As Dominicans, it is important to us to protect the most vulnerable in society.
     
    To allow our families, faculty, and staff the time to address professional and personal matters in response to this decision, we are taking the following actions:
     
    Classes
    • Beginning March 23, classroom instruction will be conducted online through April 3. Students will receive information from teachers through email and mySAA on March 23.
    • Should online instruction need to continue beyond April 3, we are prepared and will send information regarding an extension on or before March 30.
    • We acknowledge that this school closure and online learning may be a significant disruption to your family’s current homelife. Teachers are prepared to be flexible with students and will be using a variety of learning methods to keep students engaged over the next few weeks.  
    • We will continue to follow the day and block cycle, beginning with Day 8 on March 23. Teachers will be hosting live class discussions or office hours online during their scheduled class time. Students will have several opportunities to virtually attend classes to participate in discussions and ask questions if needed.
    • Students should expect about three hours of work in each course, per week. Teachers will be focusing on the most essential content during this time. Parents should expect to see their daughters engaged in course work on a daily basis.
    • College and wellness counselors are available to support our students during this remote learning period. Students may schedule online meetings with their counselors at any time.
    • It is important to note this remote learning plan is not to replicate a daily school experience; however, communicating this extended closure in advance has given our faculty the opportunity to plan more meaningful instruction for our students and maintain learning in core subjects.
    Travel
    • Effective immediately, all school-sponsored domestic and international travel for students, faculty, and staff is canceled. At this time, this includes all school-sponsored travel through April 10. Decisions about travel taking place following April 10 will be made as those dates approach.  
    • Canceled travel includes service trips to Guatemala and Eagle Pass and the choir tour to Chicago.
    • In alignment with previous guidance and CDC guidelines, any faculty, students, staff, or visitors currently abroad and arriving from CDC Level 2 or Level 3 countries, or traveling by cruise are prohibited from coming to campus, even if symptom-free, for 14 days; you must self-isolate in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC. Please note that the CDC has issued a Global Outbreak Notice, recommending individuals traveling to any destination to take special precaution including social distancing for 14 days.
    Events and Athletics Restrictions
    • Effective immediately, all on-campus, school-sponsored, connected or funded events that include external visitors or requiring large gatherings of more than 50 people will also be canceled through April 10. Decisions about events taking place following April 10 will be made as those dates approach.
    • These events include sophomore conferences, athletics banquet, student assembly with guest speaker, parent/teacher conferences, and admissions events. Rescheduling decisions will be made at a later date.
    • The SAA annual gala will continue…online! Because of circumstances beyond our control, hugging, shaking hands, and being with 500+ close friends is not in the cards right now. The gala team knows St. Agnes relies on the support generated at the gala and has jumped into action. We’ll be ready to bring you Viva Veritas – virtual style. Stay tuned for more details.
    • All athletic practices, games, tournaments, and events will be canceled until further notice.
    Facilities and Accessibility
    • Faculty (including college and wellness counselors) will be working remotely and available to students and parents during this time.
    • Staff may work from home to the extent they are able to perform their functions remotely. SAA campus will remain open to faculty and staff as they need access.
    • Our campus will continue using aggressive sanitation protocols; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, making hand sanitizer available throughout campus, and limiting external visitors.
    Resources
    • For all of us, this situation raises much uncertainty and we appreciate your patience as we navigate this new and complex landscape together. We have included some resources that our families may find helpful during this time on our coronavirus webpage.
    We understand that these precautionary measures may be inconvenient and disappointing, but we hope that you will support our decisions, as they were made after extensive conversations, guided at all times by our commitment to protecting our students, families, faculty, and staff. We hope through the challenges we are also able to find blessings - the gift of extra time with family, an opportunity to learn, or appreciation for our health.
     
    Please know, we are your partners through this and are working tirelessly to ensure we keep our community safe and calm. We want to thank and acknowledge our faculty and staff who have handled this situation calmly. Their efficient and organized planning will result in a remote learning program full of robust and meaningful instruction.
     
    If you or a family member has been affected by COVID-19 and need support, we encourage you to contact Anna Sklut, Director of Campus Ministry. 
  • March 11 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, the number of cases has increased domestically, and the Houston community is certainly being impacted. Many Houston schools are taking precautions to prevent and curb potential exposure and we are collaborating with our peers at area private schools to ensure we have the most up-to-date information. It is important that we take steps as individuals and as a community to limit the spread of the coronavirus. So far, in addition to the basic previously stated actions, we have taken the following precautionary measures:
    • Asking all individuals feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of flu or cold to stay home.
    • Requiring any students traveling to CDC Level 2 or Level 3 threat regions to self-isolate for two weeks upon return before returning to campus.
    • Limiting on-campus visitors and requiring visitors to self-report if they have traveled to or been in contact with anyone who has traveled to a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 threat region.
    • Canceled our school-sponsored spring break trip to Germany and Austria.
    • Looking at the possibility of canceling athletic events and other upcoming school-sponsored trips and mass-gathering events. We will make decisions as we approach those dates.
    While some of these decisions may be disappointing, they are in the best interest of our community and are the right steps to take in protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, faculty, and staff.
     
    As of now, we intend to resume classroom instruction on Monday, March 23, after spring break. Of course, this situation is fluid and could change at any moment. Please know:
    • Our Crisis Team continues to meet regularly, and we are prepared to move forward with remote learning for our students if needed.
    • We are asking that our students, faculty, and staff be prepared for this possibility and take home any necessary working and learning materials including laptops, books, binders, calculators, etc. every evening. Our students and faculty already utilize mySAA for classroom work, which in combination with other shared technology, is an ideal platform for delivering and participating in online learning.
    • We will communicate any changes to our community if needed.
    We continue to look to the local government, CDC, and/or Health Department, as well as our neighboring schools for information and recommendations regarding school closure. We hope to remain open after spring break and pray that our families, faculty, and staff stay healthy and safe.
     
  • March 5 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    With Spring Break around the corner, we know that many of our families will likely be traveling abroad, and while traveling always carries a number of potential risks, we ask families to take extra precaution during this time. Prior to your travels, be sure to check updated travel restrictions, travel advisories or any other recommendations being offered for your destination.
     
    Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing protective measures for any of our students, families, faculty or staff traveling abroad. Anyone returning from CDC Level 2 and 3 travel advisory locations for coronavirus will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus. We trust our families to be honest regarding travel history to help prevent exposure to our community. Accommodations for student absences, make-up assignments, or remote learning alternatives will be handled on a case-by-case basis by our Dean of Students.
     
    At this time, there is no plan to cancel any of our upcoming school-sponsored trips, as all the destinations are outside of restricted or at-risk regions. However, this situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to monitor any recommendations from the CDC or health departments regarding travel restrictions and will communicate any changes if they become necessary. We understand that parents may choose not to have their daughter(s) participate in upcoming school-sponsored trips, and we support parents in making the best decisions for their families.  
     
    While domestic travel is not a current concern, we still ask that our students, families, faculty, and staff practice thorough healthy hygiene while traveling over the break. Following basic recommendations outlined below will help prevent the spread of any illness or viral infections. As always and especially during this time, we also ask parents to keep their children home if they are sick, showing symptoms of cold or flu, and do not allow them to return to school until they are symptom free for 24 hours. We also encourage students and parents to be in contact with our school nurse should you have any questions or concerns.
     
    St. Agnes Academy is actively working to respond to changing conditions surrounding the coronavirus and following all official government authority and health officials’ recommendations. We have begun developing contingency plans with detailed measures to support our community, should we become impacted. For now, we are:
    • Asking families to keep their children home if they are sick
    • Encouraging frequent handwashing, for 20 seconds or more and asking individuals to avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
    • Adding sanitizing stations throughout campus
    • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently throughout campus
    • Practicing enhanced food-preparation and food-serving safety in our dining hall
    • Meeting with department heads to prepare remote learning methods
    • Monitoring and utilizing resources such as: CDC Coronavirus information pageCDC Coronavirus travel information page, and National Institutes of Health Coronavirus information page
    We take the health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff seriously. We will share weekly updates with our community in Tiger Tracks, or sooner if available, and communicate changes to any of our procedures if they become necessary.
     
    Despite the uncertainties we are facing, we hope you all enjoy a safe, healthy and relaxing break.
  • February 28 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

    As you are aware, health officials and government authorities have advised educational institutions to prepare for the potential impact of the COVID-19 virus in the United States. Please know, St. Agnes Academy is preparing to respond with detailed measures to support our community. Should transmission occur in the Houston area, we are prepared to protect our families and will provide a detailed plan of action for an extended closure if necessary. While there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Houston or Harris County, we are assessing all possible risks and ensuring that we take actions to meet the possible future needs of our students.

    While we prepare for this quickly evolving situation, we ask that families keep in mind that it is still cold and flu season and we encourage everyone to follow guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control and take precaution by following some basic practices:
    • Get your flu shot, it is not too late.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Stay home when sick. Keeping a sick child at home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows the child an opportunity to rest and recover. (Please remember, SAA’s policy is a student must be without fever for 24 hours before returning to school.)
    • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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