DMCS ENews August 12, 2021
School News for August 12, 2021
From the Principal's desk....
Can there really be just two short weeks before the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year? We are very busy getting everything ready to welcome you and your child back. We have many exciting things on the horizon with our new Believe and Read program, a capital campaign to build a new education center, and growing enrollment being just a few of them. I am confident that this year will be one filled with Hope and Joy.
We have exciting news to share. Amanda Rauenhorst will be taking on a part-time preschool teaching position with our 3 Day preschool students. This will fill out her schedule to create a full-time position with Divine Mercy. Amanda has many years of preschool teaching experience, and we look forward to seeing her share her gifts with our community in this way.
The landscape around the Covid-19 virus remains extremely difficult to navigate. We are encouraged by how well our summer programs have gone, with no cases reported, and know that our preschool students did very well last year without masks. Currently however, the CDC and the AAP are recommending masks for all people in school settings. With the numbers of infections increasing in Rice County, the fact that our students are not vaccinated, and not knowing enough about the Delta Variant and its effects on children, we are strongly encouraging our families to send their children to school in a mask. At this time in accordance with Archdiocesan guidance, we are not mandating masking. We encourage each family to decide what is best for them. We will work to make sure our school environment supports the individual choice of our families. Know this guidance could change at any time with more information or mandates from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. See our most up to date Covid-19 guidance attached to this email.
Back to school events have been scheduled and we are looking forward to seeing you! Make sure to get these dates on your calendar.
Welcome Back Picnic and Pool Party 5-8 PM August 20, 2021
Back to School Night 2-7 PM
August 26, 2021
Grade 1-5 School 1
August 30, 2021
Grade K and 1 School 1
September 1, 2021
Class lists, free and reduced lunch forms, and other items went out last week in our ENews. Please let us know if you are having any trouble accessing information. You can call the office at 334-7706 or email me at
Invest in a child, invest in the future….
DMCS TrafficFlow (Fall 2021).pdf
ROAD CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES...
Last Spring we dealt with road construction issues as they began replacing the bridge on 2nd Ave. It comes as no surprise that the project is behind schedule, and will still be in progress when school begins. Please see the attached map as a reminder of how the drop off and pick up lane works with the construction. Let us know if you have questions!
Covid-19 Updates 2021-2022
Last May, we closed out the school year optimistic about our ability to significantly modify COVID-19 health and safety policies for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. As we now move into full preparations for the new school year, we recognize that COVID-19 still poses risks for our community. At the same time, the circumstances are very different from last year. Divine Mercy Catholic School remains committed to providing an excellent education for our students in accordance with the mission of the Catholic Church. We believe students learn best in relationship with other students and their teacher, therefore, the best learning environment is in-person. It is our intention to remain in-person this year, but we ask for your understanding that this could change. The last 18 months have taught us all that change can happen quickly but that we, as a community, can adapt and adjust to do what is best for our students.
You may have read that the State of Minnesota no longer legally mandates specific COVID-19 mitigation strategies for schools. As we maintain vigilance, our school will still implement a health and safety plan to mitigate the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19. This plan has been directed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It is the guidance in place today. Any changes will be quickly communicated out to you. The complete plan is attached below, however, here are the highlights:
Students will be learning in-person. Online learning will need to be approved through administration and will only be granted for extreme circumstances. It will not be granted for vacations. DMCS regular sick day make-up work policies will apply again this year.
We ask parents to partner with us again this year by doing daily screenings at home before sending a student to school. A suggested daily screening is attached to the protocol below. You may also refer to the parent/ student handbook to access information on our protocols surrounding all illness. We ask all students and staff to stay at home if they are ill.
Vaccines and COVID Testing
: DMCS does not require the COVID vaccine. We will continue to inform our community of vaccine availability and advancements. Testing is also not required, however, our school nurse will be able to direct families to testing sites in the area.
If a student has a confirmed case of COVID, they will need to stay home for 10 days and no longer have symptoms before returning to school. MDH no longer requires schools to quarantine potentially exposed students or staff, however, we will notify the homeroom class of the positive case.
: Divine Mercy will continue to follow many mitigation measures to keep our students healthy. Please note that social distancing and class or assembly limits are no longer required.
Students will maintain class cohorts for lunch and recess times.
We will continue to evaluate the operational capacity of our ventilation systems and work to maintain adequate ventilation through the building.
We have a plan for daily cleaning and disinfecting, with protocols in place for areas that require sanitization.
Hand sanitizer will be available for easy access for student and staff handwashing.
We will teach and reinforce proper handwashing hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
We will follow Minnesota Rule 4605.7070 that requires any person in charge of any institution, school, childcare facility, or camp to report cases of COVID-19 to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) following procedures provided by MDH.
Students and employees are required to stay home when they are sick. Divine Mercy will promptly send children and employees home when they display symptoms of COVID-19 illness.
Parents will need to notify the office/nurse of a COVID diagnosis.
All visitors and vendors to school will follow all school-defined safety and personal hygiene procedures. Visits of volunteers, visitors, and vendors during the pandemic will be evaluated and kept to essential activities.
The State’s legal mandate requiring face coverings in public and nonpublic schools expired at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The Archdiocese does not require Catholic school students or employees to wear face coverings. At this time, the CDC has recommended the use of masks indoors for all individuals (regardless of vaccination status) in areas of “high” positivity rate (over 10%) or “substantial” positivity rate ( 8-10%). Divine Mercy Catholic School will keep up to date on local trends in our county and school community. Students and staff are encouraged to wear a facemask if they have not been vaccinated or if this helps them feel safer or more comfortable, but face masks are not required at this time. Know that this can change as mandated or required by the Diocese, State, or County.
At this time, all people are mandated to wear face coverings while in public transportation hubs and on all public transportation conveyances (airplanes, public buses, etc.), including school buses (both public and private).
We are excited to welcome our children back the classroom and grateful for your trust to educate with excellence and work through the challenges this year might bring. In conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, we will be monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic closely and will be promptly communicating any updates to this plan. Some lessons learned through last year are that things can change very quickly and there are many different thoughts and opinions about the best course of action. We know for sure that we will manage to work through whatever comes our way and we will do so in cooperation with parents; showing great love, concern, and acceptance of all in our community.
May the 2021-2022 school year be one of celebration and a spirit of unity.
PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS AND READINESS PLAN FOR DMCS 2021.pdf
Parents Actively Working in School
Please join us at
, 2021 for our Welcome Back Picnic. Hot dogs will be served at Shelter 1, by the ball fields and large playground, from
. All are welcome to join in fun for our
Faribault Aquatic Center
immediately following the picnic. Come meet other students and parents and celebrate the beginning of a new school year!
SCHOOL STORE NOW OPEN!
Calendar and Upcoming Events
Aug. 20 Welcome Picnic and Pool Party (5-8PM)
Aug. 23-26 Teacher Workshop
Aug. 26 Back to School Night Open House (2-7PM)
Aug. 30 School Begins Grades 1-5
Sept. 1 School Begins K and PreK
Sept. 6 Labor Day-No School
Sept. 12 Waffle Breakfast
Red Cross Blood Drive August 24th
Sponsored by Divine Mercy Catholic Church and Bethlehem Academy
Red Cross Blood Drive Flyer
Attached to this note:
Class Roster 2021-2022 updated 8-12.pdf
2021-2022 Student Supply List (1).pdf
Ginger Van Hecke
on Thursday, August 12 at 2:04PM