Jesuit Coronavirus News Archive
Jan 28 - March 12, 2020


Read the most current update

Previous Updates

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 1:00 pm

Students, Parents and Friends,

If we were to assign a theme to this update, it would best be described as, “Longing for community, familiarity, and faith.” As we move forward, it is essential that we continue to find ways to maintain our connections to each other and remember that Jesuit High School is more than just a school, it is a community of people who care for one another.  

Familiarity and Faith: For starters, we need to find a way to re-engage with our morning prayer and our afternoon Examen. These are familiar elements of daily life at Jesuit and they are fundamental to our Catholic, Jesuit mission. Our Campus Ministry Team is working on ways to host these prayers for all to find comfort in, especially our students, teachers, and staff. Currently, morning prayer is posted to our Jesuit Sacramento Instagram and Facebook stories. We will be sharing more on the Examen and additional prayers soon. 

Community: Many of our teachers have been using video conferencing platforms for office hours or lectures. Our students have shared with us that these sessions have been important, both to their academic needs and to satisfy their desire to connect with one another. The faculty and administrators have also been using video conferencing for remote meetings, and our sessions have been fruitful and informative; but more than that, we realize our appreciation for and reliance on our colleagues and friends. We miss one another and just hearing each other’s voices and seeing each other’s faces has been a source of consolation.This must be true for us all.

To better understand how we can serve our shared desire for community, familiarity and faith, we would like to do a formal “check-in” with students and parents so that we can learn more about your experience and better serve you. You will be sent an email tonight inviting you to take a short Student Check-In Survey or Parent Check-In Survey so we can better understand what is working well in the remote learning environment and what we can improve upon. The possibility of an extended experience of remote learning means we need to examine our current practices and make the necessary adjustments that will serve to enrich our hearts and our minds. 

p.s. Lastly, I want to wish Fr. McGarry, S.J., President of Jesuit High School, a happy birthday! —Principal Wood

Continuity of Learning—Digital Learning Days

We will be using the feedback from Students and Parents to consider changes to our Digital Learning Day protocol. It is important we consider how we might update our protocol to account for the possibility of remote learning spanning multiple weeks or more. We are also encouraging teachers to incorporate more check-in time with students in the form of office hours, live collaboration sessions, group discussions, assignment clarification, context setting, fellowship, etc. These are not meant to be mandatory sessions, but rather opportunities for teachers and students to gather.  Many classes are already doing this, but we believe community building is an essential aspect of academic success, so we want to ensure that students experience this in all of their classes. 

Christian Service Online

Given the current need for social distancing, many people are experiencing isolation in new, deeper ways. For people who were already isolated, this social distancing can be especially painful.

To respond to this reality, we will be inviting our students to engage in an optional service opportunity by writing a letter to a client or resident (or multiple clients or residents) at one of several non-profit agencies and programs. Read more about this opportunity here

Parents, look here for more the most recent information on Christian Service requirements for all four grade levels. 

Counseling Office Hours

The Counseling Department is here to support students and families during this transitional learning time. Beginning Monday, March 30, we will host virtual office hours for students through Zoom.  Given the fluid schedule and differing needs of students’ time, each counselor will hold two sessions each week. If any student has a conflict with his counselor’s posted time, send the counselor an email and he/she will coordinate a time to connect.  Zoom links will be posted in the Counseling Google Classrooms. More information from Counseling will be communicated in our regularly scheduled Counseling Newsletter on March 25.

  • Monday 11:00 – 11:45 am with Mr. Seibert
  • Tuesday 11:00 – 11:45 am with Ms. Nowag (Rasmussen)
  • Wednesday 9:00 – 9:45 am with All Counselors
  • Wednesday 11:00 – 11:45 am with Mrs. Harger
  • Thursday 11:00 – 11:45 am with Ms. Van Liefde and Mrs. Smith
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

The College Board has sent out preliminary plans for how they are planning to offer AP Exams online for this year. Our Academic Team and AP teachers have been meeting to discuss how to best prepare our students for these exams that may now have a new format and new testing dates. No decisions have been made, but we hope to communicate specific guidance and updates soon. The College Board is waiting until April 3 to make an announcement about test dates and other details, so we hope to know more then. 

“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Our next update will be no later than Friday, March 27.

St. Ignatius of Loyola — Pray for us.

Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J., President and Dr. Michael Wood, Principal

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 4:00 pm

Parents, Students and Friends,

You continue to be in our prayers as we all navigate these uncertain times. It is our hope that Jesuit High School can be a source of stability, calm and faith, now more than ever. The purpose of this message, in addition to the regular updates and reminders, is to be a resource for students and families who may be experiencing isolation, confusion, and anxiety as the world around them changes rapidly. 

We greatly miss seeing you, our community, especially the students and teachers each day. The campus is quiet and still, a stark reminder of this unprecedented situation. And yet, perhaps, we can use this time for deeper reflection where we turn the quiet into solitude and use the stillness to examine what is truly important. Maybe the constant noise and rapid pace that is no longer filling our every moment leaves some room for peace and calm. “Teach me to listen, O Lord.” Let us learn to listen more intently and be reminded that our God is found in all things, even in the silence. Ours is a God who is always with us. 

Please take some time to review the updates below.

Mental Health and Wellness

Please see this message from Kasey Cardinale, Jesuit’s Wellness Counselor, that was sent to students this week. Self-care will be one of the most important components in working through this confusing and stressful time. Taking care of yourself is physical, relational, emotional, psychological and spiritual. 

Dear Students,
Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.

May we lean into the good stuff that remains.

—To Write Love on Her Arms

Read the entire Wellness Wednesday message

Physical Wellness

The Jesuit Sports Performance Team invites you to embrace this school closure as an opportunity for growth. Physical well being is not something to be taken for granted, and so we will continue to reference the current research and employ standard practices to provide the very best health advice. Our team has updated the website’s Performance and Training page with Tips to Train from Home from Jay Nacionales, Jesuit sports performance coordinator.


We are planning to continue our remote learning until at least April 8, 2020. We do not yet know an exact date for our return to campus. I know we all want more specific guidance on the timing of our return, but we need to first understand the guidance from the public health authorities to schools, which has not yet been given.

We anticipate the campus remaining closed through at least the end of Easter vacation, April 19th. Easter vacation/spring break is scheduled for April 9th through April 17th. No online instruction will take place during the vacation period.  

Continuity of Learning—Digital Learning Days

We are proud of how well our students and teachers have adapted to remote learning. Our shared comfort with our educational technology tools and our planning for the possibility of remote learning have allowed this process to be successful. It has been a reminder of the blessings in our school community. Our gratitude to Jesuit’s Technology Department for their incredible efforts to support teachers and staff during this time.

In our communication for next week, we will invite you to participate in a survey so that we can “check in” with students and parents regarding their remote-learning experience. 


If students cannot complete work due to a power outage or internet disruption, JHS will require a phone call from a parent to the Attendance Line 916-480-2135 with an explanation. If the “absence” is excused by parent communication, teachers will accept late work without penalty.


The best method of communication between families and the school at this time is through email. All employees have been asked to check emails during regular work hours. With some staff members working from home, not all phones will be staffed consistently and a response may be delayed. Here is a link to our Staff Directory. We will also be sharing updates, thoughts, prayers, tips, and a little humor, too, across our social media. Please stay in touch and engage with us there also.

Access to Campus

In general, students and parents are not permitted on campus during the school closure. If you have a unique circumstance and you need to come to campus, please email Michael Wood or Fadia Desmond, who can evaluate your needs and set up a time to come to campus if possible.

Our next update will be no later than Tuesday, March 24. 

St. Ignatius of Loyola — Pray for us.

Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J., President and Dr. Michael Wood, Principal

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 4:30 pm

Jesuit Sacramento continues to implement any and all measures recommended by regional leaders to protect the health and safety of our students, our staff, and our community.

As of Tuesday, March 17 at 4:30 p.m. the Jesuit Sacramento campus is closed to all faculty, staff, and students.  ONLINE LEARNING CONTINUES as scheduled Monday, March 16 – Friday, March 27.

Jesuit staff and faculty are following the Mayor of Sacramento and Sacramento County Supervisors’ directive and have transitioned to working from home.

This public health emergency is a fluid situation. Facts and circumstances may change quickly, and we will continue to regularly post updates to our website and on social media. Prayers to all for health and safety. God Bless 

Monday, March 16, 2020, 3:00 pm

Parents, Students and Friends,

Jesuit Sacramento to continue online learning through March 27.

Our sincerest gratitude for your patience, flexibility, and cooperation during these uncertain times. Let us continue to support and trust one another so that we can find ways to build community when it is needed most. As we continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and consider how to best respond as a school, we would like to communicate these latest updates.

Remote Learning:

Jesuit will extend its use of Digital Learning Days for remote learning through March 27. If we need to extend the use of remote learning further, we will communicate this information no later than next Tuesday, March 24. The campus will be closed to students starting on Wednesday, March 18, until further notice. 

Daily Attendance:

If students cannot complete work due to a power outage or internet disruption, JHS will require a phone call to the Attendance Line 916.480.2135 from a parent who must provide an explanation. If the “absence” is excused by parent communication, teachers will accept late work without penalty.

Co-Curricular Activities:

All Jesuit High School co-curricular activities have been suspended until further notice. Each team, club, or program has already received specific information. If you have questions about your son’s co-curricular activities, please send a message directly to the coach or moderator. 

Christian Service:

The fourth-quarter service requirement is waived. Any student who passed Christian Service at the 3rd Quarter passes for the year. A student who was behind in-service hours will have until the end of the Fall 2020 semester to complete the 2019-2020 service requirement. If, in the ongoing development of the global health situation, this policy needs reconsideration, we will continue to work with students and families in finding safe, healthy solutions. We do not want Christian Service to be a source of stress for any family. For our families scheduled for an Immersion with the Christian Service Office, please click here for additional information.

2020 Jesuit Auction:

In light of current circumstances, the 48th Annual Jesuit Auction Meet Me in Madrid, originally scheduled on campus March 28, has transitioned to a virtual, online format. More information to come.

Jesuit Faculty and Staff:

Members of the faculty and staff have been given the option to work from home for the next two weeks as we continue to monitor the situation. We understand that we all have competing demands and every employee’s situation is unique. We want to allow for greater flexibility so that everyone is free to make the best decisions for their circumstances. Our commitment to support our students and families will not waiver. Students may contact their teachers following their DLD guidelines.


The best method of communication between families and the school at this time is through email. All employees have been asked to check emails during regular work hours. With some staff members working from home, not all phones will be staffed consistently and a response may be delayed. Here is a link to our Staff Directory.

Next Update:

Our next update will be sent no later than Thursday, March 19.

Let us rely on the help and the strength of God, who is with us every step of the way.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either of us directly.

Peace and Blessings to you all,

Michael Wood ’99

Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J.

Friday, March 13, 2020, 1:00 pm

Dear parents, students, faculty, and staff:

We want to reassure our Jesuit High School Sacramento community that Jesuit leadership is meeting continually and monitoring the very fluid situation of COVID-19 in our area and how it affects our campus.

Since our last communication with you, we have continued to evaluate and plan. Next week, Monday, March 16 – Thursday, March 19, we will operate on a modified schedule to put into practice our Digital Learning Days (DLD) protocol that was shared with you yesterday. Friday, March 20 will remain as a school holiday as originally scheduled.

Here are a few details:

  • Campus will remain open; however, all students will not report to classes.
  • Students will conduct their learning online using the DLD guidelines Monday – Thursday.
  • Monday is available for faculty and staff on-campus for training, preparation, and academic department collaboration as well as logistical and technology needs.
  • Faculty and staff have the option to come to campus or work from home.
  • The school library and cafeteria will be closed.
  • All after-school student activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis following the Governor’s mandate of a maximum capacity of 250 and social distancing.

Additionally, please find attached our updated Jesuit Sacramento Operating Status outlining the proactive measures we are taking to ensure the health and safety of our school community.

Taking our learning online for the short week will prepare our students and faculty to feel comfortable in executing online learning should that become necessary during an extended campus closure.

The absence of students on campus will also allow Jesuit Sacramento to clean and restock all classrooms and provide more time for dialogue with state and county health officials as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis.

Many thanks for your patience and flexibility. Please expect to hear from us often with updates throughout the week. We will provide an update on future week’s modifications no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

We pray for our community members to remain healthy and well during this pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Together in Faith,

Michael Wood ‘99

Fr. John P. McGarry, S.J.

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 2:30 pm

Dear parents, students, faculty and staff:

Since late January, Jesuit High School Sacramento has sent several communications to our community as we respond to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The health and safety of our students, parents, faculty, and staff have always been our top priority, and this is a rapidly-evolving situation that we continue to monitor on an hour-by-hour basis.

Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected across the globe. Fortunately, as of this writing, Jesuit Sacramento has no known cases of the coronavirus on our campus.

Our leadership and our Emergency Response Team are following the guidance from the California Department of Public Health, who has not advised that we close the campus. As with all of our previous communications, we intend to remain transparent and provide our families as much information as possible

Included in this communication, you will find a summary of the California Department of Public Health Guidelines we are using to make decisions and our Current Campus Operating Status.

Additionally, as we stated in a previous message regarding our response to the COVID-19 situation, Jesuit Sacramento has a plan for remote learning in place. The protocol for Digital Learning Days (DLD) is also included below, so all are prepared and informed should the school need to close the campus.

We are keeping all those affected in our prayers and appreciate our families’ patience and understanding as we navigate this very fluid situation. If conditions change that affect Jesuit Sacramento, we will provide additional updates immediately.

As always, please contact Principal Michael Wood directly if you have any questions.


Michael Wood ’99, Principal and Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J.,  President

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Parents, Faculty, Staff and Friends,

On Saturday, March 7, Elk Grove Unified School District announced plans to close all of its schools for the week of March 9-13. Their action comes due to circumstances unique to their schools and their community. The closure was not ordered by health officials.

Jesuit High School Sacramento and the public school district our campus is within boards of  – San Juan Unified schools - remain open at this time. All student events will continue as scheduled. There are no known confirmed cases of coronavirus among any Jesuit Sacramento or San Juan Unified students, staff or family members at this time. We continue to monitor the situation carefully in partnership with local health officials and remain committed to taking any recommended actions that will protect the health and safety of students, staff and community members, including school closure if necessary.

Be assured that school leadership is in constant contact with health officials and local area school districts as well as the Diocese of Sacramento.  We will follow the advice and recommendations of the Sacramento County Department of Public Health, and keep you informed as this situation progresses.

We have been proactive in keeping our families informed and will continue to do so. Please visit our Health and Safety Updates webpage. You may also view partner organizations correspondence mentioned in this update here:

Prayers for those impacted and gratitude for those working to respond,

Michael Wood ‘99, Principal and Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J.,  President

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Yesterday Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency in California in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Additionally, Sacramento County and several of the counties adjacent to us have all declared local emergencies to access more resources, necessary tools, and mutual aid. These declarations do not have any immediate or direct impact on schools.

As Jesuit High School Sacramento has students from many areas across the region, we want to assure you that at this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19 in our school or the neighboring public school district, San Juan Unified.

At Jesuit Sacramento, our focus is on education, prevention, and preparedness.  I want to share with you updates on these plans and how we are preparing to respond in the event of a school closure.

Status Quo and Additional Precautions

At this time, there are no recommendations from public health officials for cancellation of classes or public events. With this guidance, school and all school activities will continue as scheduled.

This guidance also applies to our students’ co-curricular, athletic, and service activities that take place at other facilities. Each site and organization where our students volunteer is responsible for determining whether continued activity at their locations is safe. For example, the senior care facilities where our students volunteer are canceling their outside volunteers in light of the greater risk to the elderly patients in their care. Families may, of course, decide where they want their children to go depending on their comfort level regardless of whether or not the site is open.

Jesuit Sacramento has been taking and will continue to take additional precautions for germ prevention in classrooms and across campus including nightly environmental cleaning, additional access to hand and surface sanitizers and wipes, tissues, hand-washing stations and reminders to all faculty, staff and students about good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of colds, flu and other respiratory diseases.   

Continuity of Learning

Jesuit High School is prepared to respond in the event of school closure and a prolonged interruption to our typical in-person instruction. We have a plan to ensure the continuity of learning; classroom teachers are prepared to continue covering course material remotely using Google Classroom and other tools available to teachers and students. A protocol called Digital Learning Days (DLD) has been designed to provide guidance for teachers and students so that learning can continue.

General Reminders

Common sense precautions we have previously shared are still recommended and continue to be our best defense against this novel coronavirus. It is important to us to provide you with updated information and resources. We remind you to be sure and get your facts from official sources, which include the following:

While it is important for all of us — at home and at school — to take steps to be prepared, I also want to reassure you that we are working with our partners in public health and education to monitor the situation, and there is no cause for panic. If you wish to learn more about how you and your family can begin thinking about personal contingency plans, the CDC provides resources for household action plans.

We will continue to keep you informed and post updates and links to official sources on the Health and Safety Updates page of our website. You can find this page in Quicklinks and the Press Room. 

If you have questions about these topics, please contact me directly.

We thank you for your cooperation and support.


Michael Wood ‘99

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Jesuit High School Sacramento is continuing to closely monitor the coronavirus (now named COVID-19) situation.

Jesuit Sacramento is in communication with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) office in Sacramento and the California Department of Education (CDE) and is working with adjacent school districts to establish protocols for schools in the event that coronavirus does spread in Sacramento. More information will be shared as this plan develops. 

In the meantime, current information about the coronavirus is available on the CDC and Sacramento County Public Health.

With spring break and possible family vacations approaching, you should also be aware that the disease has spread to other countries and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new travel warnings with increased concern for South Korea, Japan, and Italy. Travel warnings for mainland China have not changed. Additional details about these travel warnings can be found on the CDC travel page

As a reminder, if your child is sick, please keep him home from school. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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 cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional. 
  • Get vaccinated every year.

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides better protection from infectious diseases.

While it is important for all of us — at home and at school — to take steps to be prepared, I also want to reassure you that the current threat to our school and adjoining school districts is low and there is no cause for panic. We will be providing additional general illness precautions on campus and be maintaining excellent disease transmission prevention practices.

Jesuit Sacramento will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. If you have questions about these topics, please contact me directly.

We thank you for your cooperation and support. 


Michael Wood ‘99


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cold and Flu Season Information and Tips

Dear Jesuit High School Parent/Guardian,

Cold and Flu Season is upon us. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that influenza, or “The Flu,” activity levels have increased over the past several weeks. As a reminder, please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. Symptoms of influenza can vary, but generally include a high fever, headache, chills, body aches, sore throat, and cough. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent influenza is as follows: 

Tips to Prevent the Flu:

  • Get vaccinated every year 
  • Avoid close contact with sick people 
  • Frequent handwashing with soap 
  • Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional. 

See more prevention tips here from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The 2019-2020 Flu Season has been complicated by recent reports of a novel coronavirus. Although there have been reported cases of novel coronavirus globally, to date, there have been no reported coronavirus cases in Sacramento County or Northern California. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the risk of local transmission is low. 

We remind all families that regular precautions for illness should be taken and a yearly flu vaccine is still the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications.

We thank you for your cooperation and support.