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COVID-19 Updates

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UPDATE: March 27, 2020

Dear Parents and Students:

Sacred Heart Academy will not reopen on April 2 as originally scheduled. Online instruction will continue for students.  As soon as we hear from Governor Cuomo and the NY State Department of Education about a reopening date, we will let you know. 

In the meantime, have a healthy and safe weekend. Thank you for your faithfulness and dedication during these difficult days.  Let us continue to pray for one another and our world.

Sincerely,

Kristin Lynch Graham, President
Jean Amore, Principal

UPDATE: March 17, 2020
 
Dear Parents and Students:
 
Please be advised that Sacred Heart Academy will follow the Executive Order of Governor Cuomo on school openings. This means that School will be closed until Wednesday, April 1st instead of Monday, March 30th as previously communicated. At that time, the state will reassess whether to extend the school closure further. All changes will be communicated as we learn them.
 
Now that we have moved to a virtual learning format, we will make every effort to keep our community connected. Below is an outline of how SHA will stay in communication with you during this time:
 
Daily Communication
Campus minister, Mrs. Veronica Ticas, will post morning prayers each day in the portals. Social worker, Mrs. Beth Kennedy, will also post reflections. Of course, students and teachers will be in daily communication via Google classroom.
 
Weekly Communication
A regularly scheduled E-mail update will be sent every Tuesday. This will include any updates for the coming week.
 
We will use our social media channels for lighter announcements, good news, and messages and stories of how you are managing through this time.
 
If you have things you would like to share, please E-mail Ms. Meghan Von Elm at mvonelm@sacredheartacademyli.org.
 
Emergency Communication
Any unexpected changes will be communicated in real-time using Email, voicemail and text messaging via AP Notify.
 
Staying Connected
 
Teaching and Learning
We thank our students and our teachers for their cooperation in continuing instruction through online learning. Please continue to refer to previously sent guidelines.
 
If you have any questions or challenges, please post them in your teacher’s Google classroom or be in direct touch with your teacher via E-mail.
 
Guidance
School Counselors are available by E-mail. Phone appointments can be made during school hours (8 a.m.-3 p.m.). Mrs. Kathleen O’Neill, director of college placement, will continue to conduct scheduled Junior parent conferences by phone. She will be in touch with details.
 
Social Worker
We recognize that these unprecedented times are stressful for everybody, particularly students. Our full-time social worker, Mrs. Beth Kennedy, will be available to students through E-mail and through Google Hangouts, a one-on-one chat room. Students who wish to make an appointment for Google Hangouts may do so by emailing Mrs. Kennedy at ekennedy@sacredheartacademyli.org. Students can also visit her daily Mindful Moments posts at Google Classes. Access code is 4oso2vu.
 
Upcoming Events
 
Cancellations
College Fair (3/26/20)
Speech & Debate Tournament (3/28/20)
Habitat Build (3/28/20)
Mother Daughter Dance (4/22/20)*
*Given that tickets sales have not started, students have not begun to solicit auction items, and the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury was willing to transfer our deposit to 2021, we have made the proactive decision to cancel this much beloved event for this year. We do this with much sadness as it is one of the highlights of the year.
 
Currently, the Junior Dinner Dance scheduled for Friday, April 3rd has been postponed until Friday, May 8, 2020 at the Floral Terrace. We will continue to update you in the event this changes.
 
We will update you on plans for the Ring Ceremony scheduled for April 3, 2020 as they become clearer. The weekly update scheduled for Tuesdays will communicate future changes.
 
We are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayer. Continue to stay healthy.
 
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
 
Sincerely,
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D., Principal
UPDATE: Sunday, March 15, 2020
 
Dear Parents and Students:
 
Based on the new directives of Nassau County, Sacred Heart Academy will extend its online learning plans through March 27th. Please click here for online learning details.
 
On Monday, March 16th, the Academy building will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. for any student who needs to go to her locker for books and other materials.
 
Gratefully, there are still no known COVID-19 cases within the community as of today.
 
Thank you again for your cooperation and support. We continue to pray for you and your families and ask for your prayers as well as we work together for the safety of each other.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D., Principal
UPDATE: Friday, March 13, 2020
 

Dear Parents and Students:

 

To create a safe and calm environment that supports good learning in these unprecedented and anxious times, Sacred Heart Academy will move to an online learning model for the week of March 16-20. Please click here for details. 

 

On Monday, March 16th, the Academy building will be open from 8am-2pm for any student who needs to go to her locker for books and other materials.  

 

Sacred Heart Academy has confirmed that there are no known COVID-19 cases within the community as of today.  The student for whom we were concerned last night does not have COVID-19.  We have and will continue to follow up on any information that may pose a risk to the SHA community. 

 

We thank you for your cooperation and support. Let us hold one another in our hearts and pray for the wisdom to make good decisions. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Kristin Lynch Graham, President

Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D., Principal 
 
UPDATE: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Given new information, Sacred Heart Academy will not open Friday, March 13, 2020. We have been alerted about an unconfirmed COVID-19 case relating to a student. Until we know more, we have made the decision to not open school Friday. We will provide you with updates as they become available.
UPDATE:Thursday, March 12, 2020
 
Dear Sacred Heart Academy Community:
 
Once again, we are writing with another update on COVID-19. Every day brings us more information to consider and evaluate. As this situation is changing rapidly, we are communicating any known decisions at this time.
 
As of this correspondence, School will re-open tomorrow, Friday, March 13th. It will be a dress down day. Students, faculty and staff are invited to wear sweats, comfortable clothes, and fun socks. As planned, students are encouraged to bring new socks to donate to the INN in Hempstead.
 
Currently, Sacred Heart Academy plans to maintain regular school and after-school activities unless otherwise notified. Any updates will be communicated through the Emergency Notification System that was used to communicate today’s closing.
 
Teachers are prepared to move to an online learning platform in order to continue instruction and learning in the event of any necessary future disruptions.
 
The Nassau Suffolk Catholic High School Athletics Association (NSCHSAA) has made the unanimous decision to suspend contests including games, scrimmages, and meets until March 30, 2020. However, spring tryouts and practices are at the discretion of individual schools. As such, SHA will hold tryouts and practices on the days school is in session. SHA will follow the NSCHSAA League’s decisions regarding contests. Any athletics activities held in outside facilities are subject to the decisions of the venue. Please reference the general Athletics page on the portal for updated tryout and practice information.
 
We continue to encourage students and staff who are not well to stay at home. Please be advised that New York State requirements for attendance remain in place. Attendance policies are outlined in the Handbook on pages 9-12. Please review the COVID protocols for reporting requirements.
 
While Sacred Heart Academy has suspended requirements for perfect attendance for the remainder of this year, the NYS attendance requirements remain in place. The practice of requiring cumulative make-up exams due to absence is suspended.
 
The following changes have been made for March 13-20, 2020:

The Sound of Music performances scheduled for Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th are cancelled. Information will be put on the website and social media outlets to alert any outside guests who planned to attend. Ticket costs will be refunded. Tickets for March 13 and March 14 can be presented to the Main Office for refund requests.
 
The Junior College Application Process program scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th will take place virtually. Please watch for an Email with details on how to participate.
 
The Senior trip to Disney World scheduled for March 18-20 is cancelled.

The Dinner Dance scheduled for Friday, March 20th will take place in a new virtual format.

The Admissions Shadow program for prospective students has been suspended until further notice.

The Community Service hours requirement has been suspended for this year. Completed hours will be counted as of March 13th. Service requirements for National Honor Society (NH) will be communicated separately. Students are asked to bring completed forms to Mrs. Sullivan. Hours will be officially recorded and can be used for external needs such as scholarship opportunities.
 
These are very difficult decisions. We particularly appreciate the disappointment for students who will not be able to complete all the play performances after months of hard work, and the seniors who will not have a chance to experience the trip with their class. As school leaders, our responsibility is to make decisions that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff.
 
We promise to share any updates, and ask for your continued prayers as we discern and decide on the next right thing for Sacred Heart Academy. May the wisdom and love of our God inspire us now and as we move into uncertain days.
 
Sincerely,
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D, Principal

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

To the Sacred Heart Academy Community,

We want to continue to update you regarding the COVID-19 situation:

As of Wednesday, March 11, 2020, no Sacred Heart Academy student or employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

To the best of our knowledge, no Sacred Heart Academy student or employee has been tested for COVID-19.

We continue to monitor this situation regularly and will notify the community if we become aware that anyone has undergone testing and/or tested positive for COVID-19.

We have received some concerns through our Anonymous Alerts system. They have all been investigated, and we are confident that Sacred Heart Academy can maintain routine protocols.

We have enhanced routine disinfecting practices and are coaching the community on practicing social distancing.

We are encouraging students and staff who are sick to stay home and seek the appropriate medical attention. A reminder: students are not permitted to be in school with a fever at any time.

We have revised our perfect attendance policy as discussed in a previous communication.

We have developed the following protocols to assist with reporting and school closings. Please click here to review.

We hope this information is helpful to you. We thank you for your continued cooperation as we navigate this challenge together.

Kristin Lynch Graham, President
Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D, Principal 

SENIOR TRIP UPDATE: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
 
Dear Families:
 
We want to share with you some information on the upcoming Senior trip to Walt Disney World scheduled for March 18-20, 2020. As you can appreciate, the COVID-19 situation is creating a rapidly changing environment. We have been working hard to collect and share accurate information with you.
 
The trip is scheduled to take place as planned. As of today (3/10/20), the CDC guidelines for travel support the trip going forward. This is a rapidly evolving situation. SHA is monitoring the situation closely and is in regular communication with our travel partner. We all need to be prepared to make changes based on new information.
 
We will send immediate communications if that should change. We plan to send another scheduled communication on Friday (3/13/20) with any new information.
 
What we know
166 students are scheduled and have pre-paid to travel on the trip.
 
20 faculty chaperones, two night chaperones, and three professional members from our travel partner, PatCon Associates, are also travelling.
 
PatCon Associates is a reputable professional tour operator that has been in business since 1959 and has been a partner to SHA for over 30 years.
 
JetBlue is operating planes to Orlando, Florida.. The SHA group will occupy close to 99% of the 200 person aircraft on which they are travelling to and from Orlando.
 
Walt Disney World is operating all parks and resorts as usual and continues to implement preventive measures, including increased attention to sanitation.  
 
The SHA group is in a self-contained building, All Star Resort, during their time at Disney.
 
What happens if the trip arrives in Florida and Walt Disney World closes during the visit?
In the unlikely event that Walt Disney World closes, alternate destinations and decisions would be made based on availability.
 
What happens if students arrive in Florida by plane and flights shut down during their time in Florida?
Academy buses will be provided for return travel at no additional cost.
 
What are SHA’s plans if a student or chaperone becomes ill on the trip?
We will follow the policy used to guide all SHA trips. Medical personnel would assess and advise on plans. Based on the severity of the condition, students would travel home either with a chaperone or independently with airline staff. If medical personnel deem it necessary for a parent to be asked to meet the student, parents would be advised accordingly. The best way to reduce the risk of having your daughter become ill on the trip is not to send her if she has any symptoms prior to departure.
 
Am I expected to come and get my daughter if she becomes ill?
See above. Not necessarily. Medical personnel would advise on the need for a parent to meet a student.
 
Will SHA provide hand sanitizers?
SHA has ordered individual hand sanitizers. We are awaiting their arrival. The date keeps getting pushed back based on demand. If available, we will certainly offer them to all travelers. We encourage families to send students with hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes.
 
If I do not want my daughter to travel on this trip, what am I expected to do?
Ultimately, parents need to make the decision that is best for their family in light of this changing and unprecedented situation. If your daughter is not planning to travel on the trip, please provide written information to Mr. Jim Conway via Email atjconway@sacredheartacademyli.org. This information should be shared as soon as you make the decision not to travel. The sooner you share your plans, the sooner we can adjust on our end. 
 
What does the $1475 cost cover?
The trip is designed based on package pricing, which means the price includes all aspects of the trip (airfare, hotels, meals, park admissions, chaperones, ground transportation, transfer fees, tips and gratuities and tee shirts).  
 
Consistent with general tour and travel policies and terms and conditions, no financial adjustments or commitments can be made 30 days prior to trip departure.
 
Given this unprecedented situation, after the trip takes place, SHA and PATCON Associates will make every effort to obtain some reimbursement for families who decide to cancel the trip.
 
This is a rapidly changing situation. Like you, we are doing our very best to keep up with accurate information and make well informed decisions that support the health and wellness of the entire community. We certainly hope that this great event can move forward in healthy and safe ways. We promise to communicate with you any changes in real time. A scheduled update will be sent on Friday (3/13/20). 
 
We cannot stress enough the importance of not travelling if you are sick or show symptoms of becoming sick. We know that this is a highlight for the Senior Class, and how much they want this experience. However, we ask your cooperation in making good decisions in light of the safety of the larger group.
 
Thank you again for your patience and understanding.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D, Principal
UPDATE: Monday, March 9, 2020
 
Dear Families, Faculty, & Staff, 
 
We want to share with you some updates on preparedness planning regarding COVID-19.
 
The Decision to Close School if Necessary
 
If Sacred Heart needs to close for any period of time due to a change in circumstances that elevates the risk to our community, we will do so in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health. This could happen either by our bringing something to their attention or their bringing something to our attention. It is indeed a two-way dialogue, and one that includes other schools on Long Island and throughout New York.
 
In speaking with the Commissioner of Health for Nassau County, we were offered a telephone number for any questions regarding the virus: 516-227 9570.
 
We are using the following website for guidance and information:
 
If School is to close, you will notified via text, email and voicemail though our emergency messaging system.
 
Preparing for Remote Learning
The teachers and administration have been working on specific contingency plans to minimize disruption to learning in the unlikely scenario that we move to online/remote learning. Specific instructions will come from individual classroom teachers. Many have begun trials in order to be work out details in advance. 
 
Community Events
All community events and group gatherings, including athletic events, will be evaluated with relevant and timely information. Updates will be communicated with as much advanced notice as possible. We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
 
Attendance
We cannot emphasis enough the importance of staying home when sick. Even the spread of non-COVID-19 illnesses such as the seasonal flu will cause additional stress and confusion at this time.
 
Perfect Attendance
Sacred Heart Academy presents a perfect attendance award at graduation each year. At the recommendation of the CDC, we are revising the criteria for the perfect attendance award. Any student who has perfect attendance as of Monday, March 9, 2020, will maintain their perfect attendance for this year. Any absences after this date will not be counted against their perfect attendance record.
 
Whether or not the award will be reinstated next year, is still under review.
 
Food Service
CulinArt, SHA’s food service provider, gives us every confidence that their routine and enhanced sanitary practices provide continued excellent and healthy food service to our students and faculty.
 
Student Support
We empathize with the varying degrees of stress and anxiety that global situations like this can bring. The unknown and the preparedness itself can be stress producing. As always, SHA's full-time social worker, Mrs. Beth Kennedy, is available to assist students. Please encourage your daughters to reach out to her, the nurse or any member of the faculty or staff for needed help and support.   
 
Thank you for your cooperation and support as we navigate together the health and safety challenges of COVID-19.
 
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D, Principal 
SENIOR TRIP UPDATE: Thursday, March 5, 2020
 
Dear Sacred Heart Academy Parents,
 
We want to communicate to you that Sacred Heart Academy is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus and any impact it may have on our school activities, including the trip to Disney World on March 18-21, 2020. To date, the CDC, U.S Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advise “there is no recommendation for any limitations on travel within the United States.”  
 
We and other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre who are planning trips to Disney World this month agreed that if Disney World and its hotels are open, and if the airlines are flying to Florida, the Disney trip will take place as scheduled. Of course, we will continue to follow the advice and directives from the national healthcare agencies regarding the virus and any further precautions. 
 
As parents, you reserve the right to make a discretionary decision regarding your daughter’s participation. Please note, however, that the $1,475 cost can not be refunded if the trip takes place as planned. The Disney World trip is a wonderful senior experience. We are hopeful that the Class of 2020 will have the same great time as our students have in the past.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D., Principal
UPDATE: Thursday, March 5, 2020
 
Dear Sacred Heart Academy Parents and Guardians:
 
As you are aware, the situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus is rapidly evolving. Like all schools throughout the country, Sacred Heart Academy has been monitoring the situation and will follow the lead of local, state, and federal agencies – such as the New York State Department of Education, the New York Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control for the latest information on this virus.
 
While there are no plans to close Sacred Heart Academy at this time, we want to assure you that our faculty and administration are prepared to move to an online learning format in the unlikely event of a school closing. 
 
This plan includes the transition of all lessons to Google Classroom, allowing faculty and students to connect for class via the internet if necessary. Our Ed Tech coaches have been providing assistance to our faculty this school year to complete the setup of Google Classroom and to test the platform. Attendance will be taken for each class each day via Google classroom. To be marked present, a student will be expected to post something in each subject area’s Google classroom.  
 
This is new territory for all of us - both teachers and students. As with all new things, there are likely to be challenges, but we are confident that we have an effective plan that will be employed. We have worked hard over the past year to employ technology to support excellent teaching and learning and are prepared to utilize it in these circumstances if needed.
 
We thank you for your continued cooperation, and will provide you with updates on more specific implementation directions if needed.   
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D., Principal
UPDATE: Monday, March 2, 2020
 
Dear Sacred Heart Academy Community,
 
We want to continue to update you on the precautions Sacred Heart Academy is taking to maintain a healthy environment for the community as we navigate through the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. 
 
Over the weekend, the Facilities team continued to hand-wipe and sanitize the following items:
  • Door knobs, handles and push bars
  • Elevator buttons and panels
  • Stairwell handrails
  • Light switches
  • Telephones and handsets
  • Vending machines
  • Refrigerator door handles
  • Desks and table tops 
  • Chairs
  • Lavatory partitions
 
We will be starting the Electrostatic application of the HDQ-C disinfectant. By using an electrostatic applicator the disinfecting process becomes more effective as it allows the disinfectant solution to electrostatically attach to areas hard to reach while also covering the flat surfaces. Additionally, it significantly reduces the amount of time needed to address the entire Academy building and the Corde and Joseph houses. 
 
We have also purchased additional free-standing stations with hand sanitizing gel. They are scheduled to arrive later this week and will be placed strategically throughout the building. 
 
Our medical office is on high alert for students who demonstrate any symptoms associated with the virus. We continue to receive information from the state and local officials on best practices, and are grateful to the medical experts who offer us generous professional advice. 
 
This Friday (3/6/2020), when there are no classes, the facilities team will use the opportunity to fumigate the building by opening windows and increasing use of sanitizers and disinfectants. 
 
Cooperation and good sense are always the best allies in these situations. We are grateful to the community for continuing to share both. Please stay in touch with the medical office with any concerns. 
 
We are doing everything we can to be sure our community is safe and healthy. Please continue to pray for all those affected by the virus as well as those who are working hard to keep us all safe and healthy. 
 
Gratefully, 
Kristin Lynch Graham 
S. Jean Amore, CSJ, Ed.D.
UPDATE: Friday, February 28, 2020
 
Dear Parents/Guardians,
 
Sacred Heart Academy has been closely monitoring the concerns related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We are taking every precaution to keep the community safe and wanted to share with you some information.
 
The way for all communities and organizations to minimize risk is to be aware, knowledgeable, and prepared. Fortunately, this seems to be happening in a widespread, concerted manner. 
 
What do we know?
Health authorities continue to carefully monitor the virus and provide routine updates on necessary precautions. Given that there are limited cases of the virus in the United States, there is no need at this time to cancel school or social events, and there is no need for students or staff to wear masks, for example. As this is still an evolving global situation, we will continue to update you when information is pertinent and could impact the Sacred Heart community.
 
Prevention
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including the flu:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you haven't done it already, get a Flu shot. The influenza vaccine is still effective during this Flu Season.
 
Symptoms
Information to date suggests that COVID-19 causes mild to moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. COVID-19 is only transmissible from a positive patient and the current case definition from the CDC has healthcare providers monitoring only those individuals whom have traveled from mainland China within 14 days OR have had close contact with a confirmed positive patient. Please advise the Sacred Heart medical office by calling (516) 483-7383 ext. 246 if you or any member of your household visits one of the countries designated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a contagion area. Currently only the CDC has the ability to test for COVID-19.  
 
How Sacred Heart Academy is Taking Precautions
The Administration receives regular updates from both the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) regarding the coronavirus and subsequent viruses. We are also receiving professional advice from board members in the medical field. Classrooms and other areas of the school building are being cleaned and sanitized thoroughly and regularly. The administrative team is reviewing precautions, best practices and plans for various scenarios however remote they may be at this point.
 
Bear in Mind
All student health and personal information is confidential and may only be shared in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Thus, we will not answer questions about specific children.
 
Resources with additional Information
 
Again, we want to assure you that we are in regular contact with local health officials and are following professional guidance on all health and safety matters. The safety and wellbeing of our School community is always the top priority. We will provide future updates as needed. 
 
Thank you for your continued trust and support. 
 
Kristin Lynch Graham
President
 
S. Jean Amore, CSJ
Principal