COVID-19 Response

Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

This page provides official updates from Visitation Academy about the current status of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the school community. 

From the Head of School
July 20, 2020

 

Dear Members of the Viz Community,

 

I am writing to catch everyone up on what we have been doing this summer. Yes, we are continuing to work on our strategic planning process, but our obvious priority has been preparing for our August reopening. We are still on track to be back on campus August 20. To do that, however, we have been busy learning about the best ways to keep our community safe. Our Administrative Council, alongside our school nurse and facilities manager, have been tasked to work with and learn from a number of experts in the field – locally, nationally, and internationally – in order to get ready. Among those groups, we are relying most especially on the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, and the Independent Schools of St. Louis. We also have worked with multiple members of our own community to review and comment on our plans to reopen. All of these groups have been able to bring together the foremost experts in immunology and epidemiology and public health to provide guidelines to open schools.

 

While all of these organizations advocate for reopening schools, all of them also are fully aware of the necessary precautions we must take in order to make this a safe experience. This will not be an easy process and will require some significant modifications to the way things have been done in the past. There are few certainties moving ahead, and this will require all of us to be patient and understand that there will be inconveniences we will all have to bear. The best evidence today may change tomorrow based on the newest scientific evidence.

 

With these points in mind, we are sending you our current plans to reopen Visitation Academy on August 20. I have prepared a video that outlines some of the key scenarios and safety procedures we are prepared for this coming fall. The plan is presented as a compilation of frequently asked questions, with primary focus on health and safety issues. Our principals are working on detailed academic plans that will be sent out next week.

 

Please take the time to read through this document and get back to us with questions. We are planning to hold a discussion forum for Middle School on July 28 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Upper School on July 30 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., and Lower School on August 3 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. to review these policies. Look for virtual meeting details for these discussion forums this week. As always, let us know what you are thinking. We have done our best to prepare, but given the nature of this situation, we also need your thoughts and your feedback.

 

Also, please keep in mind that conditions continue to change. With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, there is a chance that additional guidelines and restrictions may be forthcoming from federal, state, and local authorities. We have been working on contingency plans. I appreciate your patience as we work through these trying times.

 

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and let me know how you are all doing.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

David

Links to helpful resources:

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

World Health Organization 

St. Louis County Department of Public Health