This year, back to school means back in school for most students in the Archdiocese of Seattle.
“We are returning to class in person,” said Dr. Bernadine Mahar, principal of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School (SMM) in Everett. “Masks will be worn indoors, always. We will continue with our enhanced cleaning schedule as well. The Office for Catholic Schools has been great about keeping the principals up to speed regarding changes to protocol and we will monitor and adjust if necessary.”
“Right now, it’s ‘in, all day, every day,’” Bernadine added.
At St. Luke School in Shoreline, students will also be returning to in-person learning. “Our safety protocols are in place and have been proven to be successful, as was evident last year when we had everyone back on campus,” said Rick Boyle, principal of St. Luke. “We will follow the King County Department of Health recommendations and remain masked.”
Last year, most schools brought students back to school in a virtual environment, with support from the Office for Catholic Schools and Fulcrum’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. By the end of the school year, many schools were using hybrid learning models or fully back in person.
“One thing that will be different is that we will be organizing our recesses by grade groupings instead of cohorts like last year,” Rick noted. “We still will follow hand-washing protocols whenever there are transitions. Another difference will be moving to a three-foot physical distance from the six-foot distancing.”
“I believe this school year will find the staff excited to be able to put all their energy to the kiddos in class. Offering the remote option last year was the right thing to do. However, it was a heavy lift for the staff. They are extra energized and enthused to put their God-given talent—the art/heart side of teaching—to work!” said Bernadine. “So a big welcome to all our new families and a big thank you to all of those who have stayed with SMM throughout these difficult times.”
“Even though the start of school is slightly different this year, our community is still the same!” Rick said. “We are caring, loving, supportive, and eager to engage in the many opportunities to live out our 21/22 school theme to build a world of joy!”