COVID-19 & Keeping Our Community Safe

As circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic evolve, we remain committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our school community while continuing to meet the high standards and rigor that are expected of a Mount St. Mary education. Our plans for the 2021-2022 school year have been carefully designed to adhere to the guidelines and best practice recommendations of the CDC, Arkansas departments of health and education, and diocesan Catholic Schools Office. We will continue monitoring public health updates and ordinances and are prepared to make alterations to our policies and procedures as conditions warrant those changes. As always, the health and safety of our school community is a top priority and will continue to drive our decision-making throughout the year.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to increasing cases of the highly contagious Delta variant in Arkansas, and at the recommendation of the CDC, we currently require all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear a face mask on campus, regardless of their vaccination status.

 

Important information and updates will be posted to this page in order to keep our school community informed. As always, we wish to convey our genuine gratitude to our Mount Family for its continued support and shared belief in the lifetime advantage of a Mount St. Mary education. Thank you, in particular, to the parents and guardians of our current students for entrusting us with your daughters during these extraordinary times.

Academic Scenarios

 

As of July 30, Mount St. Mary Academy will begin the 2021-2022 school year utilizing full in-person learning. We will not offer full virtual or hybrid learning options at this time. Please be mindful that current CDC guidelines do not require fully vaccinated students to quarantine if exposed to COVID. However, unvaccinated students will be required to quarantine from all school activities including classes, extracurricular activities and sports. Teachers will keep quarantined students up-to-date via Google Classroom.

 

Like last year, we are prepared to make quick, seamless transitions between our three available instructional models should changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting guidance from appropriate authorities necessitate it.

This scenario calls for all students, faculty and staff on campus each weekday and includes high-quality in-person instruction, support from our Guidance and Counseling Department, and activities that nurture the faith development and the spiritual growth of our school community. It will continue to include screening and sanitizing protocols as well as social distancing, when possible, and other necessary safety measures until the threat associated with the COVID-19 pandemic completely passes.

Should appropriate authorities impose social distancing requirements that limit the number of individuals that can be on campus, Mount St. Mary Academy may resume the hybrid learning model utilized during most of the 2020-2021 school year. This scenario includes a combination of high-quality instruction both in person and online. Half of the student body attends school in person while the other half of the student body attends classes virtually from home at the same time. In our hybrid learning model, the two groups alternate so that each receives two days of in-person instruction on campus each week. Additionally, one day per week will be used as a full virtual day for online lesson enrichment for all students while we sanitize and clean the campus. Support from our Guidance and Counseling Department as well as activities that nurture the faith development and the spiritual growth of our school community will be available on campus (as allowed) and virtually.

Should appropriate authorities restrict schools from gathering in person, we will close our campus and initiate full virtual learning. This scenario includes delivering high-quality, synchronous instruction online only. Support from our Guidance and Counseling Department as well as activities that nurture the faith development and the spiritual growth of our school community will be available via virtual means.

Campus Safety & Sanitation

 

The well-being of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority at Mount St. Mary Academy. Plans for the start of the 2021-2022 school year include continued protocols and alterations to our school operations that minimize health risks and help ensure safety.

  • All students, faculty, staff and visitors will wear face masks
  • Faculty have optional PPE including face shields and plexiglass barriers in their classrooms
  • Classroom seating arranged for social distancing when possible
  • Cafeteria and gym arranged for social distancing; classes will be split between both facilities during both lunch periods
  • Temperature checks and screening protocol will be performed on all students, faculty, staff and visitors before admittance to building
  • Hand sanitizer stations located at every classroom
  • No water fountain usage
  • Signage to encourage proper handwashing and hygiene
  • Classrooms cleaned multiple times daily with hospital grade disinfectant
  • Deep cleaning two times a week
  • bioPURE disinfection treatment
  • bioPURE spot treatment as needed
  • Students, faculty and staff who are sick are advised to stay home
  • Notify school immediately if a student, faculty or staff member tests positive
  • Upon notification of positive test result, MSM will call the ADH School Hotline for direction regarding risk of exposure, quarantine guidelines, etc. and will communicate to school community

Even with these safety measures in place, there is no way to completely remove the threat of infection on campus. However, our Mount Family can serve as valuable partners in helping us decrease this threat by getting themselves and their eligible family members vaccinated. Additionally, please remain diligent in practicing appropriate social distancing, wearing masks, washing your hands, staying home when you do not feel well and seeking medical guidance if you think you may have been exposed.