We are anxious to see everyone and meet all our new students and families. It has been much too quiet in the classrooms, hallways and playground these past five months! While this is a unique year and will be unlike any other fall semester, I feel we have been given a unique opportunity to live out our St. James mission. Even though we will continue to face uncertainty and change over the next couple of months, I know we are all blessed to be part of this loving community and will weather this storm together.
As everyone is aware, Dallas County recently issued a mandate-restricting private and public schools from offering in-person instruction until after Labor Day. Even though St. James, as a religious school, is exempt from this mandate, the Board of Trustees and Administration believe that the safety of our students, families and staff must be our priority. Therefore, we have elected to follow the recommendation of the Dallas County Health Department, and will adjust the school calendar as follows:
- Tuesday, September 1 through Friday, September 4: Virtual online instruction will begin for all programs (Primary, Toddler, and Mother’s Day Out) through our new Seesaw platform. The focus during this week will be to provide your student and family with information on the daily routines of the classroom, introduce the new COVID procedures, and give you the opportunity to get to know your teachers and classroom.
- Tuesday, September 8: In-person instruction will begin for all programs (Primary, Toddler, and Mother’s Day Out).
- Friday, June 4: The 2020 – 2021 school year will be extended by one week. The new last day of school will be Friday, June 4.
We are disappointed that we will not be able to greet your student and family in-person during August as planned, but support the need to keep everyone in our community safe.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to work through the many considerations that affect our St. James experience. We know that the uncertainty and constantly changing information is making it difficult for your family to make any concrete plans. Please know that both the Administrative Team and Board of Trustees work diligently to evaluate each new consideration to determine the optimal outcome for our St. James community.
I am also pleased to share with you the St. James COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan. This plan was developed by the St. James Task Force based on recommendations from the Texas Education Agency, Texas Health and Human Services, the Dallas County Health Department and the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools. It reflects the current best practices and is designed to evolve as health conditions change and new information emerges.
Ensuring the safety of your child, your family, and our staff will require an ongoing partnership with you and your family. The success of our proposed plan in keeping St. James open and in-person instruction available requires a strong commitment of cooperation between the school and your family. The day-to-day school experience and the overall St. James community will be different this year. However, the entire St. James team is ready to support your family and ensure that your child has the most nurturing, loving experience. As always, your child’s comfort and safety is our top priority.
Please read the COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in its entirety. We want to ensure that everyone is familiar with the plan and protocols; and, that all of us are ready to do our part in keeping our school community safe. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available and as the start of school approaches. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the school office at 214-348-1349 if you have additional questions.
The teachers and staff at St. James are very eager to see everyone virtually on September 1st. We have missed all the young voices and laughter and we are ready to be together again. You remain in my thoughts and my daily prayers.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.