The OLF Preschool is a State-licensed childcare facility separate from our K-8 operations. Our Preschool reopened to students for in-person instruction on August 17th.
On September 14th, State and County public health officials approved Our Lady of Fatima School's plan to reopen our campus to students in Kindergarten and 1st through 6th Grades. Starting Monday, September 21st, our K-6 students have the choice of continue distance learning or returning to campus for in-person instruction.
We must limit our enrollment to comply with social distancing. The cap may vary by grade level, but there's still space to enroll in most classes.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that COVID-19 transmission rates among children are low, but increase from age 12 and older. Accordingly, State guidelines prohibit middle schools from seeking waivers for in-person instruction. OLF was therefore not allowed to include our 7th and 8th Graders in our waiver application.
For now, 7th and 8th Graders must continue with distance learning. Meanwhile, we are making every effort to give these students a choice to join us on campus as soon as possible.
On July 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his mandate that no school could reopen for in-person instruction until its county fell off the State’s COVID-19 “watch list” for at least 14 consecutive days. Shortly thereafter, the State repackaged its reopening plans as the Blueprint For A Safer Economy.
The Blueprint places each county in a color-coded tier: purple for Widespread risk of COVID-19 transmission; red for Substantial risk; orange for Moderate risk; or yellow for Minimal risk. Under current rules, no school in a purple-tier county can reopen for in-person instruction unless it serves K-6 students and receives a waiver from County and State public health agencies.
Once the school’s county has dropped to the red, orange or yellow tier for 14 consecutive days, it can then choose to reopen campus to all grades, including middle school and high school.
As long as Merced County remains in the purpler tier, OLF can reopen our campus to K-6 students only because we received a waiver to do so.
Under State guidelines, once a school is granted a waiver it will not be revoked because of its county's status on the Blueprint. That means that even if Merced County drops into a red or lower tier, but then moves back up to purple, OLF can stay open for in-person K-6 instruction.
However, there are two extreme scenarios when the State could again require us to close campus: (1) there is a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 among our staff and/or students; or (2) our entire state or county is again shut down under a shelter-in-place order.
In light of our reopening campus to most grades starting September 21st, OLF will be observing our previously announced Extended Winter Break. Students will be off school starting Thanksgiving Day and won't return until January 11, 2021.
Thanks to a generous donor, an Air Scrubber Advanced air purifying
system is being installed this summer on campus. This is part of our effort to ensure staff and student safety as we plan our return to in-person instruction.
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