St. John School will use this webpage as a central hub for information and announcements related to coronavirus and its implications for our school community.
April 15, 2020
Dear St. John Families,
At the end of last week, Governor Parsons ordered that all public and charter schools remain closed through the remainder of the academic year in a continuing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. For local schools, this decision follows the recommendations from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) along with local health departments and in collaboration with local government officials. As a result, St. John School will follow this order and close its campus for the remainder of the school year. In regards to this announcement, I am providing further details below:
- Campus Closure: Our campus will be closed for the remainder of the school year. We will continue to follow our academic calendar and provide the best academic program for families through this time. We will provide more information regarding picking up any necessary belongings from the school building in the coming weeks.
- E-Learning: St. John continues to be a leader in regards to e-learning. Our teachers continue to provide meaningful assignments that ensure crucial grade level content is covered and understood. As a result, our students will complete their year with grade level appropriate transcripts for the year with only one notable exception. With national, state and local schools cancelling on-campus learning for the remainder of the year, St. John along with other schools will not have the opportunity to take the end of year Achievement Tests. Therefore, transcripts will not include Iowa Assessment results for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Calendar and Events: We are announcing that all end of year events are cancelled at this time. Our staff is looking at available contingency plans for certain specific events such as end of year middle school trips and graduation. We will have follow up information available in the coming weeks.
- K-8 – Tuition levels continue to be unchanged and Center Care will be refunded at 100%. Our teachers are providing a level of education unmatched by other schools. Please continue to regularly communicate and encourage your child’s teacher. I am so grateful for our community and the effort that ensures student success.
- EC Tuition
- We will be providing a 75% EC Tuition and 100% Centered Care refund for April 27– May 20.
- Our EC teachers will continue to provide age-appropriate content, activities and personal touchpoints as well as share student progress reports. Various special events will also unfold – teachers are planning a fabulous Mom’s Day celebration, creating an Awards Ceremony to celebrate each child’s unique gifts and bringing closure to the year with a special EC Chapel. It is so important that we finish strong together!
- We appreciate those families who have already chosen to continue supporting St. John School and staff by paying their full tuition amount during this closure. If you have the ability to make this or any extra contribution, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Refund Information:
- The 75% EC Tuition and 100% Centered Care refunds for April 6 – May 20 will be processed as one total refund through FACTS this week and will be applied to the upcoming payment(s). Families will receive notification directly from FACTS about the payment change following the refund processing.
- For families who already paid the full balance for the 2019-2020 school year, we are accumulating the total refund amount and will be issuing checks to the individual listed as the primary financial contact in FACTS the week of April 20, 2020.
- Communication: All updates can be found through email and at https://www.stjls.org/covid19.
As a reminder, if you would like to support our staff who have been impacted by a loss of income, you may donate towards our Employee Assistance Fund through our Christ in Action ministry at www.stjls.org/donate.
Arriving at the decision to keep our campus closed for the remainder of the academic year was certainly very difficult. We miss the daily interactions that attending school provides. However, along with all schools throughout the state, St. John must move forward to ensure we do our part to mitigate the spread of this virus. We remain grateful for your continued patience, flexibility, and grace throughout this situation.
Finally, I am reassured by the words found in Deut. 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” May you also find comfort in knowing that God’s love and presence surrounds us through every situation. Be safe and healthy!
April 10, 2020
Dear St. John Families,
Our leadership team is convening to discuss the next steps following the governor’s announcement regarding school closures. There are a variety of considerations to be taken by our administration team. You will receive an official notice from the school next week.
Blessings on your Holy Week observance and Easter celebration,
April 1, 2020
Dear St. John Families,
The situation surrounding COVID-19 and our nation’s response continues to evolve. As we continue to look to the guidance of local, state and federal leaders regarding the specific recommendations and data for our region, we are aligning ourselves with the stay-at-home order issued by St. Louis County officials and extending the closure of our campus. We believe this measure can help mitigate the spread of this virus and support the safety of our students, families, and staff. I have included several details regarding this decision below:
- Campus Closure: Our campus will be closed through Friday, April 24. We continue to seek counsel from local and state officials regarding the reopening of our school campus. Should there be a change in the executive order that would allow us to open our campus sooner, we will certainly take action. We are eager to get back to school as soon as possible! We will continue to keep you up-to-date regarding any changes in the status of our closure through regular communication tools and the web address listed below.
- Events: While our campus is closed, events remain cancelled. We are not cancelling events and activities beyond the recommended campus closure at this time.
- K-8 –Tuition levels will remain unchanged and Center Care will be refunded at 100%. We expect students to remain on pace in their grade level curriculum during the campus closure. As a Personalized Learning Academy, we are clearly equipped to provide excellent academics during this time. Our teachers are doing an outstanding job ensuring students are ready for the next level.
- EC Tuition
- We will be providing a 75% EC Tuition and 100% Centered Care refund for April 6 – April 24. We will continue to reevaluate the amount refunded with any further extension of the campus closure.
- Our EC teachers will continue to provide age-appropriate content, activities and personal touchpoints with students throughout this closure. It is important that we keep our sense of community strong. I am encouraged by the work and efforts of our EC staff to connect with students thus far.
- We appreciate those families who have already chosen to continue supporting St. John School and staff by paying their full tuition amount during this initial closure. If you have the ability to make this contribution, please contact email@example.com .
- Refund Information:
- The 50% EC Tuition and 100% Centered Care refunds for March 23 – April 3 processed through FACTS yesterday and were applied to the upcoming April payment. Families should have received notification directly through FACTS about the payment change following the refund processing.
- The second refund will be applied through FACTS to your next available scheduled payment after April 6.
- For families who already paid the full balance for the 2019-2020 school year, we are accumulating the total refund amount from the two time periods and will be issuing checks to the individual listed as the primary financial contact in FACTS no later than April 20, 2020.
- Communication: St. John School will continue to share updates via email, as well as on this page.
As a private organization, we remain faced with doing what is financially prudent for our families while also ensuring St. John remains functional for ministry beyond this crisis. Some of our staff are significantly impacted by a loss of income. Please know that our organization is doing whatever we can to support them. One such measure is our previously mentioned Employee Assistance Fund through our Christ in Action ministry. If you are in a position to support our staff, you can make a contribution at www.stjls.org/donate.
Finally, Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Keep praying and may your family continue to sense God’s presence and strength.
March 25, 2020
Our community has certainly been in my prayers over the past week. Each day continues to look different for many of us as the situation in our country continues to evolve. One thing we’re learning is that it is not prudent to plan too far ahead because the situation keeps changing. Taking Jesus’ counsel to focus on the challenges and opportunities of today (Matthew 6:34), we’re focused on how to make the most of the present moment. Not to worry, we also pledge to keep you informed as we do make decisions for our future. Until then, here are a few highlights:
- Campus Closure: As previously announced, St. John School campus will be closed through Friday, April 3. While many public school districts are announcing campus closures into late April and beyond, we are in no rush to follow suit; the situation is changing frequently each day. We are continuing to look to the guidance of local, state, and federal leaders and weigh the specific data for our region. We know you still need some advanced notice, so we will release more information about the next phase of our learning plan by Wednesday, April 1.
- Online Learning: Our school is head and shoulders above other schools in how quickly we’ve made the transition to online-learning this week. I am impressed by our teachers’ preparedness and delivery at the start of this process. The connection points and the learning for students have been encouraging! My kids are doing great with it! It is a reminder of the benefits of our distinctive personalized learning approach and our outstanding EC-8 program at St. John. This gives us quality options few other schools possess.
- Communication: In addition to my email correspondence, any updates and decisions surrounding COVID-19 for St. John School will also be posted on this page.
In closing, I am reminded that God is in control and He is with us through this situation. Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; and when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Keep praying and stay safe and healthy!
March 20, 2020
This week has brought about continued information and action regarding our nation’s response to COVID-19. For St. John School, we will be providing distance learning through Friday, April 3. As we prepare for the next 2 weeks, I’d like to share further details regarding our plan while families / students are off campus:
E-Learning: Teachers have been preparing for distance learning opportunities for students across all grade levels. Teachers will be reaching out to their families / students by end of day, Saturday, March 21, with further details regarding procedures, schedules, and learning opportunities. Here are a few details to note:
- While this will be a change in instruction, the work is designed to keep moving students forward on their academic journey. We will ensure students are ready for their next level.
- Teachers will have daily schedules, assignments, and connection points / links available for students / families by 9:00am each day.
- EC teachers will also have learning opportunities / activities prepared for your child to complete at-home, including videos from the classroom, and the opportunity to visit with their teacher and friends online.
- Teachers will be utilizing a variety of tools to provide learning materials and age / class appropriate content. As an example, teachers will leverage Seesaw, Canvas and Google Docs to deliver and house assignments. Zoom will be the tool teachers use for “live” touch points.
- K-8: We are not anticipating changes in K-8 tuition levels. Our teachers will be working harder than ever to transition to e-learning and helping our students keep pace while not able to physically attend school. I am confident that as a Personalized Learning Academy, we are better equipped for the task than almost every other school in our region. Our students will be ready for the next level with content mastery and appropriate transcripts.
- EC: Early Childhood Education is comprised of many learning opportunities – hands-on learning and social-emotional growth to name a few and we recognize that these aspects will be challenging to deliver via e-learning, therefore, we will offer a 50% reduction in tuition for this initial two-week period for EC Families. Families who would like to continue supporting St. John School and staff by continuing to pay full tuition can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Teachers will continue to provide age appropriate content, activities and touch points to foster educational learning and to continue building relationships with their students and families. We will be reevaluating this decision with any extension of the campus closure.
- Centered Care: Payments for Before / After Care will be fully refunded during this two-week period.
Communication: As we continue to make decisions surrounding COVID-19, St. John School will continue to share updates with parents via email, as well as post the same announcements on this page. If you have specific needs or questions regarding our response to COVID-19, please email email@example.com. More than one staff member will be checking this email and should be able to respond shortly. Otherwise, teachers and administration are available via their regular emails.
As a private organization, we are faced with doing what is financially prudent for our families while also ensuring St. John remains functional for ministry beyond this crisis. Some of our staff will be significantly impacted by a loss of income. Please know we are doing whatever we can to support them. One such measure is a new Employee Assistance Fund through our Christ In Action ministry. If you are in a position to support our staff, you can make a contribution at www.stjls.org/donate.
While students are learning off campus, as a Personalized Learning Academy, we will continue to provide an outstanding academic experience. As I have been working with teachers, I am encouraged by their preparedness and ability to continue meeting the needs of students. We know you will grow in confidence of our school’s distinctive approach through these few weeks.
Finally, I am reminded of Hebrews 4:16 where we are encouraged “to approach the throne of God so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.” With diligence, grace, and most importantly the faithfulness of our Savior, we will get through this season.
March 16, 2020
Last night St Louis County and City Schools along with the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced schools would be closed through Friday, April 3 to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. St. John will also be closing its campus to students in EC – Grade 8 during this time period. This decision comes at the advice of local health officials and also our Lutheran School District Leadership. With the campus closed, please be advised that all athletic events and extracurricular activities will be cancelled during this time. I am including further details below:
- Campus Closure: St. John School campus will be closed to students through Friday, April 3. We will continue to receive counsel from the local and state health department regarding re-opening our campus. We will keep you up to date via regular communication tools regarding the status of our campus, especially if a longer closure is deemed necessary.
- E-learning: As increased efforts have been taken to protect communities throughout the past few weeks, we have been discussing and planning the possibility to provide e-learning activities. While we recognize that e-learning can never take the place of the classroom experience, as a Personalized Learning Academy we are better positioned than other schools to provide activities that help move students forward in their academic journey. We will be releasing more information regarding remote learning on Friday of this week.
- Field trips and events: As stated above, field trips and all extracurricular events are cancelled while our campus is closed to students. We will continue to seek counsel from the CDC and local health departments regarding any events that are scheduled after students return. We will keep you updated on these events.
- School Calendar: Due to our ability to implement e-learning, we are currently not expecting this closure to affect the length of our school year. With that said, we will need to assess student progress in the coming weeks.
- Tuition: While students will be out of school, our staff will continue to teach your kids! St. John will continue to deliver excellent education through this challenge. However, we will continue to deliberate the best way to accommodate learning for EC families. We also recognize this is a topic that will require further attention in the coming weeks/months.
We know the decision to close our physical campus will have a large impact on families, however, we recognize the importance of prioritizing the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. We see this as a moment of challenge but also an opportunity to demonstrate the distinct advantages of an education at St. John School.
Finally, Isaiah 41:10 reminds us: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Keep praying and may you sense God’s comfort, help, strength, and grip on you and your family.