St. Michael's High School

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COVID-19 Info

Letter From Interim President Leslie Kilmer and Principal Sam Govea

Dear St. Michael’s Families,

We would like to welcome you to the beginning of school and let you know how excited and pleased we are to have your children with us as we begin this school year. Our staff has been working fervently to ensure that you and your children experience a smooth start to the school year in our virtual environment. Even though we are teaching in a virtual environment, we continue to embody St. John Baptist De La Salle’s spirit as we begin and end each day with prayer and “Remember to live Jesus in our Hearts.”
 
We have worked closely with our IT consultants, the Leadership Team, and our Academic Team to evaluate what worked well in the Spring when the school was forced to teach in a virtual environment and what opportunities we had to improve upon. Three main areas of improvement surfaced: the need for better hardware, a single digital platform, and teacher professional development. I am very pleased to inform you that we have addressed all areas as follows:
  • We purchased 34 new dynamic Google Chrome devices and 34 Chromecasts with cameras and microphones for teacher use
    • We decided to use Google Classroom as our single digital platform
    • Teachers are on campus and providing instruction from their classrooms
    • Teachers are using Zoom as a means of interacting with their students and presenting content, and we are in the process of purchasing Zoom Educational licenses for each teacher. The advantages to using Zoom Educational Accounts are:
      • More administrative settings will be available, which will allow teachers to be more dynamic in their classrooms
      • Teachers can set up Break Out Rooms so teachers can differentiate their instruction and work with specific students in smaller settings
      • Students will have more opportunities to collaborate with one another
      • Capability for teachers to record parts of their lessons as needed
      • Improved audio and video settings to improve the quality of the instructional delivery
    • Teachers have all had professional development on Google Classroom and the use of their new devices. Ongoing professional development is continuing throughout the first trimester. The sessions are designed to support the teachers with delivering highly effective lessons in a virtual environment.  Some of these sessions include:
      • Demonstration of Virtual Lessons
      • Classroom Management – Online
      • Active Engagement in an Online Classroom
      • Google Classroom Forms
      • Differentiation in an Online Classroom
      • Intervention in an Online Classroom
      • Accountability in an Online Classroom
    • We conducted a Network Stress Test where every teacher got on their Chromebook and joined a school-wide Zoom call with one another. This test allowed us to assess our network capabilities and troubleshoot any issues. Our network handled the traffic well. We are however, upgrading our network to include new fiber that will improve our bandwidth for more reliable performance on our end.
    • We distributed devices for students in need 
    • To increase capability over time, we are upgrading our bandwidth significantly
    • Training has been and will continue to be offered on our platforms and new platforms to increase teachers’ capability in delivering instruction
    • We will continue to introduce new platforms/software and add capability to the teachers
COVID Response Plan:
  • We have developed a plan that encompasses how we will address a positive COVID-19 result in our school. The plan was developed with the guidance of the CDC and input from our legal counsel. Click here to view the plan posted on our website.
  • Upon entering the school building, staff and faculty are having their temperatures taken, wearing masks, and social distancing.
  • Additional signage has been purchased and placed throughout the building to address the social distancing requirements and COVID safety requirements and recommendations.
  • SMHS Campus is closed to all outside visitors to ensure the safety of our staff and students.
  • We have met regularly throughout the summer with custodial and maintenance staff to develop a plan that will ensure our facilities are properly sanitized to ensure the safety of our students and staff. 
COVID Expenditures: The school has experienced a significant increase in expenses due to COVID-19. The Business Office and the President are tracking all COVID-19 related expenses. Some of these expenses include:
  • COVID Tuition assistance has been provided to families with COVID hardships
  • Safety Equipment: 
    • 4 Sanitizing Machines and Disinfectant
    • Personal Safety Items: Hand sanitizer, wipes, gloves, facemasks, faceshields
    • Digital Thermometers
    • Acrylic Safety Partitions
    • Bottle Stations (THANK YOU to the Parents’ Club for their contributions!)
    • COVID Posters and Signage
  • Chromebook and Chromecast devices purchased for each teacher
  • Zoom Educational Licenses for each teacher
  • Additional licensing for teacher devices
  • Additional expense for IT Consulting with Crumbacher Business Systems
  • Increase in our monthly Century Link costs due to the fiber upgrade
  • Increase in our monthly contracts for facility maintenance to have adequate personnel available for proper sanitization of the school building.
 Athletics:
  • The NMAA has reworked the Fall Sports Schedules as follows:
    • Volleyball, Cross Country, Fall Golf, and Spirit are still scheduled to begin on October 5, 2020
    • Basketball and Swimming will begin January 4, 2021
    • Soccer will begin February 15, 2021
    • Football will begin February 22, 2021
    • Baseball, Softball, Track, Tennis, Golf, and Wrestling will begin April 5, 2021
 
We cannot wait to have your children’s energy and smiles back on campus as we transition into our hybrid model on September 28, 2020. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety and health of all of our staff and students.
 
Respectfully,

Leslie Romero Kilmer, Interim President                                                                      
Sam Govea, Principal