Back-to-School Plan | 2020-2021

We invite you to view the 19-minute presentation by President Rick Davis '79 that explains what families can expect this fall if we implement our hybrid schedule.


Hybrid Schedule




Day In the Life of a Griffin
This 2.5-minute video shows you how our Griffins will move through their school day with the hybrid schedule. Every day is an "A Day" with students attending their classes in A-B-C-D order. Our hybrid schedule is subject to change in accordance with health and safety guidelines.


Frequently Asked Questions

HEALTH & SAFETY

Q: What are the screening questions that will be asked at the start of each day?

A: After taking a student’s temperature with a touchless thermometer, screening questions will be asked either directly or the respondent will review the questions on an adjacent poster and provide answers. The questions, recommended by a consortium of BJC, Mercy and SSM doctors, are:

* In the past 24 hours have you had…

  1. A fever over 100F?
  2. A new or worsening cough?
  3. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing?
  4. A new loss of taste or smell?
  5. A sore throat, runny nose or congestion other than from allergies?
  6. Diarrhea or vomiting?

* Have you been in close contact to someone with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks?

Note: A temperature at or exceeding 100F or an affirmative answer to any one of these questions will require the student to remain in an isolation room until he can be picked up by a parent/guardian. Parents will be contacted to obtain permission for a student with driving privileges to return home on his own.

It’s important for parents/guardians to perform an initial screening at home, prior to your son’s departure for school. And remember…if your son is sick, he should remain home.

Q: Is a student allowed to attend school if a person in his family is being tested?

A: Many people seek testing for various reasons. If a student is living in the same household with an individual who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (see list of health screening questions) or recently tested positive, the best course of action is to keep your son at home and contact your healthcare provider for additional instructions. Direct exposure to someone who is diagnosed or tested positive with COVID-19 will require quarantine for 14 full days prior to returning to school. Online learning is available if a student must remain home for any reason.

Q: Is a student allowed to attend school if a person in their family has tested positive?

A: If a student comes in close contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19, he should only return to school after being quarantined for 14 days after exposure and if he is symptom free.

Q: If a student tests positive, does this affect attendance of other students that were in a class with that student?

A: Based on the duration of exposure to others as well as specific direction from the St. Louis County Health Department, Vianney may initiate contact tracing to determine those individuals who may need to be quarantined (a full 14 days) prior to returning to school. It’s important that all students and school employees adhere to guidelines regarding proper distancing, wearing masks, and washing/sanitizing hands frequently in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our school community. 

Q: How long after a fever has ended before a student can attend school?

A: An individual may experience a fever for various reasons, completely unrelated to COVID-19. However, since a fever is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19, it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider for further instructions, which may include testing.


TECHNOLOGY

Q: The use of new technology was mentioned during the presentation. Are the boys going to be given Chromebooks for home use?

A: Students will have access to Chromebooks and laptops, depending on the specific class, as has been the school’s standard practice. Many students have access to computers (laptops or desktop computers) at home. For those who do not have access to technology for online learning, Vianney will loan Chromebooks to these students. It’s important to note that Vianney is not moving to “one-to-one” technology (i.e., issuing a device for each student) at this time. Schools employing this practice typically charge a separate technology fee, while Vianney chose to make an investment in technology at no additional cost to families. 

Q: Do we need to purchase a laptop for online learning?

A: The answer depends upon the availability of technology in a given home. Laptops are a great educational resource for students and, generally, a necessity when attending college. It’s recommended that a student utilize a laptop or device with similar functionality, rather than a tablet or smartphone when participating in classes. If you have questions about your son’s ability to participate fully in classes due to technology issues, please contact Assistant Principal of Academics Mrs. Kelly Slattery at kslattery@vianney.com.


TUITION

Q:  Will there be any reduction in tuition fees?

A: Tuition will remain at the annual, published amount. Whether on campus or online, a significant amount of time and effort is expended to plan, create, and execute lesson plans for Vianney’s entire curriculum. In fact, there is arguably more planning and coordination involved in on-line versus on-campus learning. Finally, the vast majority of school expenses do not decrease as a result of a hybrid schedule or online learning.

Q: Why did Vianney take well over $1 million in PPP loans when all the staff is fully paid by parents? This was a waste of our tax dollars, and not a single dollar of rebates was given to the parents.

A: The U.S. government offered Paycheck Protection Program loans to non-profit and for-profit religious and secular organizations shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19 in this country. Vianney applied for and received a loan, as did the majority of schools in the St. Louis area and across the country. PPP funds were earmarked for specific school-related expenses per the application guidelines. Separate from these expenses, Vianney took the initiative to make a significant investment in updated equipment, online classroom technology, increased campus-wide bandwidth, and the necessary professional development for faculty and staff,at no additional cost to our families. As a private secondary school, Vianney receives no tax dollars to fund operating and other expenses. 


ATHLETICS, CLUBS & EVENTS

Q: What is the expectation for students who do not drive, or do not have transportation mid-day, to be on campus for after-school activities on days they are not otherwise on campus? Inclusion is critical to consider.

A: Students participating in online learning from home are expected to be on campus to take part in sports or club activities at the end of the school day if required by the coach or moderator. 

Q: Is Vianney waiting for MSHSSA to provide additional direction on fall sports plans including attendance procedures?

A: The Missouri State High School Activities Association will provide direction pertaining to fall sports for all schools in our state. Additionally, Vianney obtains guidance on sports participation and attendance procedures from a Youth Sports Task Force consisting of physicians and healthcare professionals from BJC, Mercy, and SSM.

Q: Are there any traditional fall student-family programs that will be suspended or handled differently?

A: Guidelines pertaining to larger gatherings typically originate from state and local authorities. Vianney will constantly monitor changes in guidelines, adjust plans accordingly, and communicate them to you as soon as possible.

Q: What are plans for building community for the students?

A: At this time, faith formation and co-curricular activities are scheduled to proceed for the upcoming school year. Additionally, students have the option before and after school of socializing in designated, on-campus spaces that support proper distancing.


LUNCH

Q: Please provide more information about lunch. Will the cafeteria be operational, what precautions can be expected, or are students encouraged to bring food and drinks on the days on campus?

A: Griffins’ Café will not be open for student use. Rather, students will have lunch in their C-period classroom. Our cafeteria staff, taking appropriate safety measures, will prepare and provide a limited lunch menu for students who are participating in on-campus learning. Pre-ordered lunches will be delivered to classrooms. Students may also bring their lunch from home. Plastic water bottles may be brought to school but must be clear. We are currently finalizing the details for pre-ordered lunches and payment. Please look for a separate communication containing this information in the next few weeks.

Q: I’m assuming if they’re eating in their classrooms, this means seniors will not be allowed to leave campus for lunch...is that correct?  

A: Correct. Students have the option of bringing their lunch or pre-ordering from a limited menu. Lunches purchased from the school will be delivered to classrooms. For safety reasons, all students should remain on campus when attending class during on-campus learning days.


HYBRID SCHEDULE

Q: I know that Vianney only wants what’s best for everyone involved but with that said, I have reservations about splitting the students into groups and about not being there full time. I don’t understand why this needs to be? Other schools in the area are going back full time and I feel like the Vianney students should be able to also.

A: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vianney’s first priority is the safety and health of our entire school community, including loved ones at home. According to the student/parent survey, 75% of respondents are comfortable with returning to campus, as long as proper safety procedures are in place. Those safety procedures include: health screenings upon arrival, wearing masks, and adhering to proper social distancing. In order to meet these expectations, which are consistent with authoritative bodies and align with our school’s stated objective, we can accommodate only a portion of our school community on campus as this school year begins. Schools have different physical sizes, enrollment levels, etc. For example, schools with smaller enrollment or excess space capacity may be able to accommodate their entire student population while meeting proper safety guidelines. However, with respect to secondary schools, most plans typically range from a hybrid schedule to exclusive online learning, with few exceptions in our region.

Q: Can a student attend virtually on an on-campus day if needed?

A: Yes. The hybrid schedule allows for “live-streaming” all classes to students who, for various reasons, may need to remain home. While this option is available daily, we suggest that students attend classes in person rather than online during their scheduled, on-campus learning days. The only exception would be if, for any reason, a student feels sick, exhibits symptoms, or is in quarantine due to COVID-19.   

Q: Will my senior be in class virtually on MWF all day following the usual school schedule or will it be similar to the spring schedule where they were mostly working and learning independently?

A: Seniors and juniors will be participating in online learning from home on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while freshmen and sophomores participate online on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the upcoming school year, our online learning classes will follow the same schedule as our on-campus classes. If, for example, your son has a math class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:40 a.m. while on campus, he will attend that class online at the same time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while at home, participating in real time. There may be some independent work via assignments and online discussion groups (similar to a class conducted on campus), but the schedule will be more structured than it was with distance learning in the spring. 

Q: I was wondering why Vianney was not doing an A-Z method, dividing students by last name (A-N on one day and M-Z on the next).

A: Several options were considered regarding the most effective means of bringing students back to campus. The decision to return students by division (freshmen/sophomores and juniors/seniors) was based on our class schedules and the different needs of underclassmen versus upperclassmen. Underclassmen require more time to connect with their classmates, faculty, and staff, particularly as they join us from grade schools across the region. With respect to upperclassmen, there are juniors who have already qualified for senior-level courses and it is important that they participate in these classes together. 

Q: Is 2:10 pm the pickup time after school if my son does not need to participate in Griffin Assist? Also, if we are not able to pick up right when school lets out, what area of school should my son go to until we arrive to get him?

A: Correct. If your son is not planning to attend the optional Afternoon Griffin Assist, you can pick him up at 2:10 p.m. in front of the Commons or another location on campus of your choosing. We encourage all students to remain at a proper distance while awaiting pick up. If your son will not be picked up immediately after dismissal, he can go to a supervised area with seating at a proper distance available.

Q: How will attendance for the online days be handled? How will you ensure that students are attending and engaged in the online format?

A: Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each online class period. Since classes will be held at the same time each school day, whether on campus or online, a student should understand that his attendance and participation will be taken into consideration as teachers assess performance. Parents should reinforce the importance of attending classes, actively participating, and effectively managing school work and co-curricular activities.


ODDS & ENDS  

Q: When will students be advised about use of lockers, classroom assignment for lunch period, etc. - more information early helps everyone transition to new normal.

A: Unfortunately, lockers will not be used for the foreseeable future in order to minimize hallway traffic. Lunch will take place in the student’s C period classroom.

Q: Are the masks supposed to be a certain color? Will Vianney logo masks be available?

A: There is no requirement for mask color. However, similar to our dress code, masks with non-school logos, words, or statements are not permitted. Additionally, students should refrain from using makeshift masks (i.e., pulling up their shirt or using a bandanna). Masks should be worn properly upon arrival/departure from campus and throughout the school day. We encourage students to wash masks daily. Masks with the Vianney logo will be available for purchase through the Griffin Gear Store.

Q: Was wondering how parking passes were going work this year?

A: For safety and security reasons, it’s important to know who is parking on our campus, especially when school is in session. For this reason, we issue parking passes and charge a nominal fee that goes toward the upkeep and maintenance of our roads and lots. Since we’re moving to a hybrid schedule for the beginning this school year, the fee for our annual parking pass will be reduced by 50%, costing $25 for the 2020-2021 school year.

Q: Will the PowerPoint presentation of the Griffins Return to Campus plan be made available on the Vianney website for future reference?

A: Yes. The presentation is on the website.


ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
Please contact us at help@vianney.com if you have questions about the start of the 2020-2021 school year.