I write today for the fourth time within the past 7 days regarding adjustments at Saint Agnes School due to COVID-19. An unprecedented virus requires unprecedented communications! Please know that the spiritual and physical health of our students is of paramount importance to all of us at Saint Agnes, most especially given the vital duty we have to protect our greatest treasure, our children. We will continue to be proactive in our work to protect them, and to plan to educate them when they cannot be in school. That planning began in earnest last week here at Saint Agnes.
This morning at 10:00 AM, Governor Walz announced the closure all public and charter schools in Minnesota effective this Wednesday, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This news came on the heels of news from the Archdiocese that we would need to take a pause from school this week to plan for distance learning (an announcement set to be released to the public this afternoon).
With all this in mind and after consultation with the Archdiocese (and in cooperation with all Catholic Schools in Minnesota), Saint Agnes School has decided to close on Tuesday (3/17). In addition and due to our school calendar, we will remain closed until Monday, March 30th. All faculty and staff will report to school as normal from Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Faculty members will be working on plans for distance learning during these three days, in the event that we must stay closed beyond Spring Break. The main office will be open Tuesday (3/17) through Thursday (3/19), 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. School office hours after that and during Spring break remain undecided and will be communicated at a later date.
That means that we will be in session tomorrow, Monday (3/16). Students will be asked to take all necessary books and curricular materials home with them at the end of the day tomorrow, in preparation for a possible longer-term closing. We ask that students who are not fully healthy to remain at home, but if students are healthy, they should come to school and collect their materials on Monday. We will work to prepare students academically and spiritually in ways appropriate to their grade-level. See a video of Archbishop Hebda below:
Practices/rehearsals for all co-curricular activities, including the Musical, will be canceled during this school closure period. After-school care will be available as usual on Monday and parents are asked to pick up their children as soon as possible.
I am so grateful to work with such an extraordinarily generous and thoughtful group of families, faculty, and staff at Saint Agnes school! We will communicate more specifics as we work through our planning sessions this week.
I ask for your prayers for everybody in our community throughout the next two weeks. We must not allow ourselves to become frozen by fear, but to live in the confidence that God is Lord and submit ourselves to His Divine plan even amidst a coronavirus outbreak.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!