• Return to School Plan

    The OLVCS faculty and administration is working hard to create a comprehensive plan to enable OLVCS students to return to safe in-person instruction in August.  Below are postings from the administration regarding the current status of the plan.  Questions regarding OLVCS's Return to School Plan should be directed to Mr. Terry Stec at stect@olvcs.org.

  • Bussing

    Posted by Kathy Peters on 7/8/2020

    As posted in Ennouncements:

    Good afternoon,

    I was contacted by the State College Area School District's transportation office today and they are seeking information from our families as they plan their bussing schedule and routes for the upcoming school year. Obviously, this year is going to be more complicated than most. The transportation director is requesting that families who wish to "opt out" of bussing for the school year notify OLV by July 30th. This only pertains to families who would be transported by State College School District busses. If you do opt out and your circumstances change during the year and bussing becomes necessary, that request for change can be accommodated. 


    Please contact me no later than July 30 if you plan to opt out of bussing with the State College School District this year. 
     
    Watch your inbox next week for a back to school update.

    Terry Stec
    State College Police Dept (Ret) SRO

    School Resource/Security Officer 
    Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
    814-238-1592 ext 323
    814-574-4771
    stect@olvcs.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Update From Mr. Stec

    Posted by Kathy Peters on 7/1/2020

    As posted on Ennouncements:

    Dear Families,

    I want to thank everyone for their continued patience and support as we diligently work to prepare for a safe return to school. I apologize for the length of this email. I know there is a lot of anxiety surrounding this process and I want to provide as much information as possible. While this is an ongoing process and our plans are not yet finalized, our committees have made substantial progress and we will have a solid plan in place to allow for a safe return to school.

    As of today, July 1, 2020 Our Lady of Victory Catholic School is planning for a return to a full school day Monday-Friday beginning in Mid to Late August. The first day of school is set for 18 August (please refer to the calendar that is posted on the website). ASAP will be offered beginning on 25 August.

    Below are the recommendations that were released on Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics on their return to school guidelines:

    The American Academy of Pediatrics urged schools to strive for in-person classes when students return to school in the fall.  


    The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released guidance to help schools and public health officials decide on the best way to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. The academy noted that schools provide children with developmental tools that extend beyond education, including nutrition, emotional support, and physical therapies. The group said students need to be physically in schools to best obtain these necessary developmental programs.

    "The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020," the academy wrote. 

    "Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation," it added. "This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families."

    The organization acknowledged that children rarely suffer severe symptoms of the coronavirus and have not been found to be significant spreaders of the disease, unlike how they are with influenza. The academy noted that there needs to be more research on the topic but said there is evidence that it is "not the case" that children widely spread the virus. 

    The group also urged schools to pursue an educational plan that works to "mitigate, not eliminate," the spread of the virus. They advised schools to maintain 6 feet of social distance between adult members of the staff but allow 3 feet of distance between students as long as face coverings are worn( supports our modified masking policy). 

    "Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home," the group wrote.

    While there is no substitute for in-person education, we realize that there are a few students and families who may be in a high risk category and these families may not yet be ready for a return to 'in-person education'. To meet the needs of all of our students and families OLV will be offering a Tuition based, remote learning program for the 2020-2021 school year. We hope to provide families with a viable and rigorous option should your family situation and circumstances dictate an at home environment for your child. Please know that if you choose remote instruction for your student, a physical space/desk will be held in the classroom should you decide at some point during the year that you are comfortable with them returning to a brick and mortar environment. If you choose to start the year via in-person instruction and during the year your family situation changes (i.e. a student or family member being diagnosed with an illness that puts them in a high risk category, long term absence due to illness, surgery, or other family emergency) you can request administration approval to switch to the online platform until your situation improves and you feel comfortable returning to in-person instruction. Your child's seat in the classroom will be held for them. In the event of a state mandated shutdown, the entire school will migrate to the remote platform. More details about the online platform will be provided over the next few weeks as the 'On Line Education Committee' puts the finishing touches on the plan. The plan will be reviewed by the new administrator before implementation.

    As I mentioned in a previous email, schools were mandated to provide a reopening plan to the State and in our case the Diocese as well, to be submitted for approval. Schools were given a fair amount of latitude to develop plans that fit their unique needs and situations. It was recommended that they follow state, local, PDE, and CDC guidelines as closely as possible. Our committee of faculty, staff, parents, and medical professionals has drafted what we feel is a well balanced plan that provides for the physical safety of students and staff as well as their mental well being, all while providing a welcoming and nurturing  educational  environment. One of our main goals was to provide a safe environment while at the same time making the school day as "normal' as possible. We think that we accomplished this goal. The plan has been submitted to the diocese for review and when approved will be posted to the school's website. The diocese will post all school plans on the same day to keep things consistent across the diocese. Once posted, and although it will be titled a final plan, it will in fact be a 'working document' subject to changes throughout the year as new information comes along or as old information changes. Below are some of the highlights of the document.

    • Daily Temperature screening for students and staff upon entering the school. Parents will also be asked to check their child's temperature prior to leaving for school in the morning. The details of the temperature guidelines will be included in the final plan.

    • Possibly moving the nurses office to a larger area and designating a room as an 'isolation room' for a student or staff member who may experience covid or other flu like symptoms during the day. The student or staff member can safely remain in the room with  supervision but away from others until they are able to go home.

    • Father Dadey approved the purchase of 2 Halosil disinfecting fogging machines to be used in the school and church. These machines are used by hospitals and educational institutions worldwide. They are nontoxic and use hydrogen peroxide to kill 99.9 % of known viruses and bacteria to include Covid and Influenza. They can disinfect the entire school in 2 hours. It will take less than an hour to disinfect the church. While Covid is the virus on everyone's mind, we will still have the same 'bugs' in the school we have every year. This machine is very effective in combating these also. If a student becomes ill ( i.e.stomach bug) in a classroom during the day, that room can be cleaned and cleared of students for 10 minutes while the machine safely disinfects it. Students can then return to a disinfected room.

    • Cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day of the desks, door handles and other frequently touched objects

    • Regular hand washing and sanitizing

    • Continued education and frequent reminders to  students, staff and families on best practices to stay healthy 

    • Keeping symptomatic (not just possible covid, but other viruses with similar symptoms such as sore throat, fever, etc) students and staff home when not feeling well. This should always be best practice even absent a pandemic. 

    • The Diocese is in the process of creating a policy with input from school committees to address the issues of exposures and return to school after an exposure, quarantine protocol and an educational travel policy. It will be a Diocesan wide policy. I will keep families posted on the progress.

    • Have classrooms set up to adhere to social distancing recommendations as closely as possible

    • Repurpose classrooms that get little use during the day to a more frequently used room.  This will provide the scheduling flexibility to manage the class size of some of the larger classes.

    • Require students to bring a face mask to school that will be worn in situations where social distancing will be difficult or a contamination or transmission would be more likely (i.e. standing in lunch line, small close group or individual instruction, class change, etc) As it stands now, we will not be mandating a 'mask all day all of the time'  policy. Teachers will utilize their training and best judgement to determine situations where a mask may be needed. 

    • Signage placed throughout the school reminding students and staff of proper hygiene techniques and preventative measures.

    • This committee will assist Chris Meckley, our director of food services with developing a safe and viable lunch plan.

    • The  ASAP plan is also being finalized and will follow this plan closely.

    • The committee has been in contact with the State College School District Transportation Office and we will work collaboratively with them as they work on their bussing plan. Look for an email from me in a few weeks about bussing and parent drop off and pickup. As soon as I receive more information from the transportation office I will be in touch.

    • Mandatory parent and student informational sessions will be held prior to the start of the school year.

    Our committees will strive to provide timely communications and updates. These are uncharted waters that we are navigating and information seems to change on a daily basis. Please contact me with any concerns. 

    Thank you,

    Terry


    Terry Stec
    State College Police Dept (Ret) SRO
    School Resource/Security Officer 
    Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
    814-238-1592 ext 323
    814-574-4771
    stect@olvcs.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Message from Fr. Dadey

    Posted by Kathy Peters on 6/29/2020

    As posted on E-nnouncements to all OLVCS Families:

    Hello Everyone,

    As we continue onward to September, and with Samatha's resignation, there are questions concerning what is going to happen in September.  Let me assure that

    1.  We are reopening on time r according to Diocesan Guidelines as of now.

    2.  We are planning for 5 days of school throughout the week.

    3.  The diocese and myself are working on replacing Sam.  It is a bit slow right now as we continue looking for the right fit.  So please be patient.

    4.  We will have all safety measures in place for a healthy and safe environment for all students and teachers and staff.

    5.  Please be patient as we continue walking this uncharted ground.  But know that everything is under control.
     
    God bless and take care
     
    Fr. Dadey
    Comments (-1)
  • Return to School Plan

    Posted by Kathy Peters on 6/18/2020

    As posted on E-nnouncements:

     

    Dear Families,

    I apologize for the second email in a week, but we need to continue moving ahead with the development of our 'Return to School Plan.' As was mentioned in the prior return to school update, the Committee is working diligently to develop and submit to the State and the Diocese our 'Return to School Plan'. A crucial part of finalizing and implementing our in-person learning plan is to gauge as accurately as possible the number of families who will send their students back to school to an in-person educational setting. Not only is an approximate number needed before we submit our report for review, the numbers are critical for budgeting, ordering and classroom configuration purposes. While the plan is not yet finalized, the details included in the previous update will be incorporated into the plan. Once completed and approved, the plan will be posted on the school website.

    Please read the following question and respond only if applicable.

    Knowing that OLVCS will be implementing a comprehensive 'Return to School' safety plan that balances both the physical safety of students and staff as well as the mental well being of all involved, while maintaining a loving and welcoming environment that is as close to a normal school day as possible, would you still choose NOT to send your child back to school for in person instruction even with a safety plan in place?

    Please respond only if you do NOT plan on sending your child back to school for in-person instruction.


    I do not need responses from those families planning on sending their children back to school.

    Terry Stec
    State College Police Dept (Ret) SRO
    School Resource/Security Officer
    Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
    814-238-1592 ext 323
    814-574-4771
    stect@olvcs.org

     

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Covid 19 Return To School Updates

    Posted by Kathy Peters on 6/16/2020

    As posted as an E-nnouncement to all OLVCS families:

    Dear Families,

    While some of the information in this email was included in a weekly update that went out to families last week, Father Dadey and I along with 'The Return to School Committee' wanted to provide families with some follow up information. Please read this email in its entirety.

    As most of you have probably heard by now, schools in Pennsylvania have been given the go ahead to resume in person learning for the 2020/21 school year. We have been mandated by the State to draft a ' Return to School Plan' and submit it to the state for approval prior to the start of the school year. Shortly after the decision was announced, a committee representing OLVCS was formed and began developing a plan for a safe return to school. The committee is chaired by me and consists of medical professionals, faculty and staff, and representatives from St. Johns in Bellefonte and St. Joes. Most committee members are parents of students who attend OLVCS and have a vested interest in our work. We are planning in conjunction with a Diocesen Task Force, and are taking into consideration State Health Dept, The Pennsylvania Department of Education and CDC guidelines. We feel very confident that a plan will be implemented that will provide a safe and nurturing learning environment with as few changes to the 'normal' school day as possible.

    While we are doing our best to maintain the 'norms' some changes are inevitable. And while most people fall on one side or the other of the pandemic argument ( i.e " Too much was made of the virus" or " We need to do more") society is coming back online and in-person education in some form is most likely going to happen. We need to be prepared without over reacting and have a solid plan in place that instills confidence in our families knowing that we are truly looking out for the best interest of everyone involved.

    We will be working diligently over the next several weeks to finalize a plan that prioritizes the safety of students and staff while still providing a top notch Catholic Education. We will keep families updated on our progress. Please periodically check your email and the school's website for updates.While the plan is not yet finalized or 'set in stone' listed below are some but not all of the components that will most likely be incorporated into the plan. While it may be difficult to envision some of the adaptations that MAY take place, any changes will be implemented with safety in mind while also maintaining a welcoming and positive learning environment.

    • Daily Temperature screening for students and staff upon entering the school

    • Father Dadey approved the purchase of 2 Halosil disinfecting fogging machines to be used in the school and church. These machines are used by hospitals and educational institutions worldwide. They are nontoxic and use hydrogen peroxide to kill 99.9 % of known viruses and bacteria to include Covid and Influenza. They can disinfect the entire school in 2 hours. It will take less than an hour to disinfect the church.

    • Daily cleaning and disinfecting of desks, door handles and other frequently touched objects

    • Regular hand washing and sanitizing

    • Continuing education of students, staff and families on best practices to stay healthy

    • Keeping symptomatic (not just possible covid, but other viruses with similar symptoms such as sore throat, fever, etc) students and staff home when not feeling well. This should always be best practice even absent a pandemic.

    • Have classrooms set up to adhere to social distancing recommendations as closely as possible

    • Repurpose classrooms that get little use during the day to a more frequently used room. This will provide the scheduling flexibility to reduce the class size of some of the larger classes.

    • Require students to bring a face mask to school that can be used in situations where social distancing will be difficult or a contamination would be more likely (i.e. standing in lunch line, small close group or individual instruction, class change, etc)

    • Signage placed throughout the school reminding students and staff of proper hygiene techniques and preventative measures.

    • This committee will assist Chris Meckley, our director of food services with developing a safe and viable lunch plan.

    • An ASAP plan is also being finalized. It will incorporate many of the items listed here.

    • An online learning platform will be developed and ready to implement in the event it is needed.

    • The committee has been in contact with the State College School District Transportation Office and we will work collaboratively with them as they work on their bussing plan.

    • Mandatory parent and student informational sessions will be held prior to the start of the school year


    While I typically don't like to over burden families with emails, due to these unprecedented times, a few more emails than usual may be necessary.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and continued support of OLVCS!


    Terry

    Terry Stec
    State College Police Dept (Ret) SRO
    School Resource/Security Officer
    Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
    814-238-1592 ext 323
    814-574-4771
    stect@olvcs.org

    Comments (-1)