Staying Connected – May 21

Image of an open classroom door and lockers.

Parents, Students, and Friends,

As much of the school community continues the celebration of the Class of 2020, Jesuit High School Sacramento is also preparing to welcome the incoming Class of 2024 and making plans to open school in August. Our top priority when we look ahead are our students. As we all await additional and specific guidance from the state and the county, I want to share our approach to reopening. As always, safety is a main focus in our plans to bring students and teachers back to campus. 

One of our colleagues in Jesuit secondary education is Kent Hickey, the President at Seattle Preparatory School. He uses the phrase, “Find your post” as a reminder to leaders who are facing challenges. The phrase comes from soccer coaches who will often yell this to the goalie if they see the goalie moving out of position. They are meant to “find the post” of the goal as a point of orientation to ensure they are properly positioned. It is a phrase that reminds us not to stray, to keep the big picture in sight, to keep us from getting lost. 

As Jesuit plans to re-open in August, it is critical that we “find our post” so that we are steadfast, properly oriented, know where we are, and continue to put the safety, education and formation of your son first.  Here is how Jesuit plans to “find our post” as we reopen. 

Creating a culture: One of the most important elements of virus mitigation is individual behavior and decision making. Jesuit Sacramento’s plans will include a massive effort to teach, promote, and enforce proper hygiene for students, faculty, and staff immediately—even before we return—and then every day of the school year. Being Men and Women for Others in our return to school means being a person who protects others by stopping the spread. 

Jesuit has always sought to create a culture of safety. Fortunately, we have already been working diligently over the last few years to promote this on campus through increased education and practice drills for both faculty/staff and students. We will expand these efforts further upon our return with an emphasis on virus mitigation.

Readiness and Flexibility: Your son, our faculty and staff were able to adapt quickly to the initial school closure in March even with only days to prepare. Now that we have months to plan and be ready, there is no doubt that we can adapt to anything. Jesuit will have a plan in place for the entire student body to return to campus. We will also have parallel plans ready in case we need to create increased physical distancing or return to remote learning. Our plans will allow for seamless transitions and minimal disruption.

Keeping our eyes open: We will all be living with the virus when school reopens. With all that Jesuit has learned in this remote learning environment, we will be quite efficient in allowing students to continue engaging in all classes if they are required to stay home for any length of time as a result of exposure. Students and teachers will be able to continue their work from school or from home. 

Increased Student Support: Despite the disruption the situation has caused for many educational institutions, Jesuit is proud that it did not need to reduce staffing in any area of the school. In fact, we have been able to increase resources in this area. There is now an additional full-time counselor to further lower the caseloads and allow for more individualized attention for students. 

Remembering why we are here: Jesuit High School exists to form men of competence, conscience, and compassion for the Greater Glory of God. We give them a road map to success and prepare them to be agents of change in their lives following high school. Jesuit is more than just a school. We are a community of people who care for one another and will continue to do so for many years to come.  

Thank you for entrusting your son to us. We look forward to moving forward together on this journey and being back as one on campus in the fall.

God bless,

Dr. Michael Wood, Ed.D.