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December 18, 2020

Letter to Parents Regarding Post-Christmas-Break Return to School

Dear Catholic Elementary School Parents:

Merry Christmas! We are grateful that the birthday of our King is upon us, and even as your students prepare to put down books and join you in celebration of Jesus’ birth, we are working hard behind the scenes to have things in place for our return after break. In this letter, I wanted to take a moment to let you know now about our plans for a safe return to campus in the new year.

Post-Christmas-Break Questionnaire

We will again require all families of on-campus learners to complete a post-Christmas break questionnaire prior to returning to school. We know that our post-Thanksgiving questionnaire was strict in that it required families who had traveled out of state, been in large gatherings, or been around someone with Covid to temporarily be remote learners. The good news is that asking those questions resulted in an on-campus community with a rate of Covid-19 far below the general population.

We are all responsible for assuring the safety of our schools for students and staff. The requirement of completing this questionnaire is not a political statement, but one of demonstrating concern and respect for each other. I am not here to judge, in any way, how your family will celebrate during Christmas break. I am humbled and honored that our schools have remained open during a global pandemic, and by accurately filling out this questionnaire, God willing, we will continue to do so.

To understand what will be asked of you, please see the final version of the questionnaire: Questionnaire Jan 5 2021. The final version of this questionnaire will be sent to you from School Speak through your school account on January 3rd, so you will have the convenience of completing it electronically.

Antigen Testing Program

Over the past three weeks, we conducted a pilot Covid-19 antigen testing program for five schools in the Sacramento area. In partnership with Jesuit High School, testing vendor Urgent Care Now, and the County of Sacramento, we ran well over 1,000 tests for middle school students and school employees at those schools. Testing reduces the risk of on-campus transmission and helps us in our work with county health officers; thanks to this pilot program, at least one school that otherwise would have had to quarantine is still on campus.

We will expand the testing program for our return from break. Participating schools will test students two weeks in a row. On Sunday, January 3rd, and Monday, January 4, we will offer testing at a number of locations for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students and employees of participating schools, and then repeat the test one week later. If your school has chosen to participate in the program, your principal will email you soon with information on testing times and location.

May you and yours enjoy a blissful and peaceful Christmas, celebrating the gifts this year has brought, and looking forward to those that 2021 has in store.

We look forward to seeing you on campus in the new year.


Lincoln Snyder
Superintendent and Executive Director of Schools
The Diocese of Sacramento

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