806 F Street, PO Box 26
Rupert, Idaho 83350
March 5, 2020
Dear St. Nicholas Catholic School Families,
During what is probably a challenging and confusing time for us all, we are reaching out to provide a status update on new developments related to coronavirus and share some additional details about the actions we are taking and planning to protect our school community.
The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our priority. While the total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. remains relatively small, experts expect this number to grow as testing increases and more individuals seek care. Currently, the key recommendations from public health agencies to prevent the spread of coronavirus are regular, thorough, handwashing and that symptomatic individuals remain home rather than going to work or school. We echo this recommendation and ask that students with any signs of respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms be kept home.
We are in contact with our local public health officials to stay updated on the situation and take actions as needed. Our custodial staff continues to focus on regularly cleaning surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, and desks. Disposable wipes are available throughout our school and we strongly encourage their use.
Our school staff continues to discuss how student learning can continue should our school be closed temporarily. We are developing strategies for providing age-appropriate, remote lessons to students, taking accessibility into consideration, as well as tools for staying connected as a community should it become necessary. We will communicate more details around what this will look like as it becomes necessary.
Many of you have questions and concerns regarding school and community travel. Currently, there is no change as to the status of any school trips that have been planned. Because of Spring Break coming up soon, we understand that there is additional anxiety around travel that families have planned for this time of year. At this time, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
has recommended against nonessential travel to South Korea, Italy, Iran and China, but there are no other restrictions or recommendations against other international or domestic travel. We will all continue to monitor the situation for additional travel updates. If you or your child/children are experiencing respiratory or flu-like symptoms now and/or following travel, please do not come to school.
Finally, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the psychological impact of this situation. The organized worldwide response to coronavirus has been robust and generally encouraging. However, it has also been a challenge for students (and really our entire community) to process. This New York Times article (search “https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-kids-talk) gives some good strategies on how to talk to children about coronavirus without raising the anxiety of anyone involved.
We have already seen the patience, support, and resilience in our community as we tackle these challenges. You are our greatest resource. Should our school need to close or if the situation changes quickly, we will notify you directly via our emergency email/text system: https://stnicholasrupertid.beehively.com/ (See page 18 of the Family Handbook to sign up if you are not already a member.). If the situation remains stable, we will continue to update our school family regularly.
Wes Remaley, Principal and the St. Nicholas Catholic School Staff
P.S. For regular updates go to the following sources:
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov .
Centers for Disease Control, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, www.usccb.org.
Mission Statement: The purpose of St. Nicholas Catholic School is to aid families in bringing their children closer to Christ
by providing the children with an excellent integrated religious, academic, and social education in order that they may
develop a Christian attitude, a solid work ethic and respect for themselves and their community.