Academics

COVID-19

Recent Communication

This most recent communication was sent on March 12, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
Thank you for your responses to our new academic model survey. This allowed us to plan for those who will commit to a 4-day in-person option, and we are ready to offer this option to different classes in phases over the next month.
 
ACADEMIC MODEL EXPANSION TO INCLUDE A 4-DAY IN-PERSON OPTION
  • Seniors – Monday, March 22
  • Freshmen – Monday, April 12
  • Sophomores and Juniors – Monday, April 19
We will continue to follow safety practices to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, including temperature and health screenings, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing. Given the size of some classrooms and the need to social distance, there is the possibility that some 4-day in-person students may be directed to an overflow location to attend certain classes. Teachers and administration are going to do our best to rotate students in the overflow location so time in that location is limited. The exact number of classes that will need to utilize an overflow location cannot be determined until we know who is committed to coming to campus 4 days a week.  
 
In order for us to be prepared for the number of students who will be coming to campus, we need parents to complete a form to commit to an academic model for the remainder of the school year. We will be sending this form out separately from this communication. The senior form will be sent today, and the freshman, sophomore, and junior forms will be sent out on March 24.
 
Please continue to pray for our school community as we expand our academic model and welcome more students to campus.
 
Sincerely,
 
The Mount Saint Joseph Administration
 

Exposure and Testing Protocols

List of 11 items.

  • Notifying the School of Symptoms or Exposure

    Weekdays
    If your son is displaying any COVID-like symptoms or had close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative of 15 minutes over a 24- hour period) with a person with laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID infection, please keep your son at home and notify Mrs. Baker in the Attendance Office at ebaker@msjnet.edu.  She will then notify the school nurse who will follow up with you if needed.

    *If your son has symptoms as listed on the COVID Decision Aid and no known COVID exposure, he must submit a negative COVID PCR test result or a doctor’s note with an alternative diagnosis to the nurse to be admitted back to school.

    Weekend
    If your son tested positive for COVID, is displaying any COVID-like symptoms (see COVID Decision Aid), or had close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative of 15 minutes over a 24- hour period) with a person with laboratory-confirmed or presumed COVID infection, please call 443-310-5857.  The message will be relayed to the appropriate people and the school nurse will follow up with you if needed.
  • Out-of-State Travel

    Mount Saint Joseph will follow the Governor’s Order as of 3/12/2021. Travel is still discouraged. Quarantine requirements and other restrictions for domestic travel have been lifted. A Maryland Department of Health Advisory will remain in place continuing to encourage Marylanders to get tested upon return.
  • International Travel

    Parents need to notify in writing the Dean of Students, Mr. Luckman (rluckman@msjnet.edu), and the School Nurse, Mrs. Bezirdjian (pbezirdjian@msjnet.edu), if their son will be traveling internationally along with the return date to Maryland. 
    Any student who has traveled internationally must get PCR tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If you don’t get tested, you must stay home for 10 days after travel.
  • Procedure for Someone Who Tests Positive for COVID-19

    If Mount Saint Joseph is notified of a community member who tests positive for COVID-19, all parents, students, faculty, and staff will be notified via email as soon as possible. Close contacts of the community member and their parents will also receive a second email notification. Due to HIPPA regulations, the identity of the positive individual will be kept confidential. The school nurse will inform the local health department of the positive test and will follow the health department’s recommendations for establishing quarantines or sending other communications. The COVID-19 Decision Aid will also be used to decide who should quarantine.
  • Procedure for Someone With Symptoms

    When we receive word that a student, faculty, or staff member has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19, Mount Saint Joseph will notify the Baltimore City Health Department.
     
    If the student is on campus, he will be immediately sent to the nurse, who will bring him to an isolated area in the Health Room for evaluation. The School Nurse will call the student’s parent or guardian.  Students must be picked up from school within 30 minutes of receipt of the call.  If a parent or guardian is not reachable within the first two tries, the student’s emergency contact will be called.  The CDC Decision Aid will be followed for what this student should do and who should be contacted.

    Any faculty or staff member who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately leave campus and notify the school. If the faculty or staff member does not feel safe driving with the symptoms, he or she should report to the nurse for evaluation and isolation. The CDC Decision Aid guide will be followed for what this person should do and who should be contacted.
     
    As determined by the Health Department, exposed individuals will remain in their classroom while parents or guardians are notified to pick them up (again, within 30 minutes of receiving the phone call).  If unreachable, emergency contacts will be called.
     
    The school will be in touch with the individual and families whose students have had close or prolonged contact, as determined by the Baltimore City Health Department’s contact tracing, with further instructions and information. 
  • Definition of Close Contact

    From the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools:

    Close contact relates to exposure to individuals with COVID-19 and is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period, regardless of whether face coverings are being worn.
  • Definition of Isolation

    From the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools:

    Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it is safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).
  • Definition of Quarantine

    From the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools:

    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
  • Exposure Protocols for Non-Vaccinated Individuals

    We are now following a 10-day quarantine protocol. The protocol is as follows:

    After 6 days in quarantine, students are required to take a COVID PCR test. The COVID test can’t be done any earlier than day 7 of quarantine. If the results are negative, the student may return on day 11 from the start of his quarantine. The student or guardian must email the negative PCR test results to our school nurse (pbezirdjian@msjnet.edu) or bring in the appropriate paperwork. Please bring the appropriate paperwork to the Nurse's Office after you have been screened prior to school starting. If you return on day 11, you must closely monitor for symptoms until day 14.

    If you choose not to get a PCR test, you must quarantine for 14 days.

    Mount Saint Joseph is in consultation with the Baltimore City Health Department for each reported COVID case and exposure. The decisions made about close contacts and quarantine times come directly from the Baltimore City Health Department.
  • Exposure Protocols for Non-Vaccinated Individuals Who Have Tested Positive for COVID Within the Last 90 Days

    Individuals who have a confirmed COVID positive finding within 90 days from the date of the exposure to the positive or presumptive positive individual are not required to quarantine or test unless they have symptoms.  The nurse must have a copy of the COVID positive test result on file. 
  • Exposure to a Positive or Symptomatic/Presumptive Positive Person for Vaccinated Individuals (Post 14 Days But Less Than 90 Days)

    Vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine or test unless they have symptoms.

On-Campus Safety Policies

List of 11 items.

  • Masks

    All faculty, staff, visitors, and students must wear an approved mask from the moment they enter our campus until they leave for the day. Masks should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. It is preferred that you have one mask for each day of the week you are on campus and that they be washed after each time it is used.
    • Plastic face shields may be worn in conjunction with, but not in lieu of, a mask.
    • Students should wear an MSJ mask or a solid color mask.
    • Writing, letters, symbols, and/or markings of any kind on masks are prohibited.
    • Gaiters are not permitted because they do not align with the CDC guidelines.
    • If a student is wearing a mask or face covering that is not permitted, he will be given an appropriate mask by a faculty or staff member. He will receive a warning and be asked to get an appropriate mask prior to returning to school.
    • If a student refuses to wear a mask, he will be asked to leave campus and will be suspended from school that day. He may incur further days based on recommendations of the Director of Students. If suspended for the day, the student will receive a zero on all assignments and not be allowed to make them up.
    • If a student pulls down his mask or unhooks the mask from his ear, he will be reminded about the health and safety of himself, his classmates, his family and his teacher. If the student is seen doing this multiple times, it is at the discretion of the faculty or staff member to bring the student to the attention of the Director of Students, which may result in a verbal warning, JUG, or suspension, depending on the severity and consistency of the issue(s).
  • Screening Process

    Students with any COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and engage in distance learning. Parents are expected to screen their sons for COVID-19 symptoms every day before they come to school. 

    To aid in this screening and to track and communicate symptoms, Mount Saint Joseph has purchased the AUXS Safety App. This app is free for parents and students to download, and the symptom screening is required to be completed before students enter campus. A secondary screening, including temperature checks, will occur on campus each day prior to the student's first class of the day.

    Faculty will also be required to have their temperature taken each day.
  • Classroom Cleaning Procedure

    After each class, teachers will spray each desk with disinfectant. When students enter the room, students will wipe down their desks with paper towels and then use hand sanitizer to clean their hands. Cleaning materials and hand sanitizer will be provided by Mount Saint Joseph.

    The cleaning solution is alcohol-based and is similar to hand sanitizer, but in a liquid form instead of a gel. Gloves are not required to use it, however, gloves will be provided if students choose to use them. Students may also bring their own gloves to school.

    Daily sanitizing efforts will also be made by a contracted cleaning company.
  • Physical Distancing

    Desks will be physically distanced in classrooms, with a goal of at least six feet apart where possible.
  • Handwashing

    Every person on Mount Saint Joseph’s campus is encouraged to wash his or her hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering any room. Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom. Students are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer as well.
  • Cafeteria

    Food service will begin on Monday, October 5, with 100% electronic purchases. No cash will be accepted. Students who wish to purchase lunch will do so through an online ordering system. A link will be sent out when available. The electronic system is tied to the student's First Financial Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) Account. If a student needs an FFFCU account, visit www.firstfinancial.org/onlineapp and choose CHC/MSJ Campus Card Student Application. Lunch orders should be made the day before. Students who purchase lunch should come through the Cafeteria with their student ID to pick up their pre-packaged meal. There will be very limited grab-and-go items for students who forget their lunch and need to purchase, however, they must have an open and active FFFCU account and their card must be present to pay. Weather permitting, students will also be able to eat lunch outside.
  • Lockers

    Since lockers are high-touch areas, no lockers will be used while we are implementing the hybrid model.
  • Increased Air Flow and Filters

    Each building has specific plans to increase outside airflow, including drawing air from the outside into cooling units and opening windows when possible. MERV 13 filters will be installed in air conditioning units that cool rooms without the ability for increased outside airflow.
  • Buses

    Bus services will run with safety procedures at a modified capacity. Students will need to show successful completion of the AUXS app and must have their temperatures taken upon entering the bus. Windows will be open when possible to increase airflow. Because students will not be riding all 5 days, discounts on the bus fee will be given.
  • One-Way Hallways

    One-way hallways will be implemented where necessary. Administrators will be monitoring hallways to enforce direction and physical distancing.
  • Water Stations

    Water fountains will be turned off. However, bottle fillers are available, and students are encouraged to bring water bottles.

Procedures and Learning Days

List of 6 items.

  • Arrival Procedures

    ARRIVAL PROCEDURES (UPDATED)
    Students will have their temperatures taken immediately as they enter campus at one of four temperature checkpoints. Each grade has a designated checkpoint, and students should show their email displaying their green notification screen from the AUXS app. Please refer to the list below or the temperature checkpoint map to see where each grade should report and where to enter campus.
    • Seniors - enter campus via Frederick Avenue and park or get dropped off at the Senior Lot. The temperature checkpoint is outside the Admissions Office.
    • Juniors - enter campus via Yale Avenue and park or get dropped off in the Smith Center Lot. The temperature checkpoint is at the entrance to the Smith Center.
    • Sophomores - enter campus via Yale Avenue and get dropped off on the lower road, under the bridge. The temperature checkpoint is at the back entrance of Saint Joseph Hall.
    • Freshmen - enter campus via Frederick Avenue and get dropped off at the circle. The temperature checkpoint is at the Knott Fine Arts Center.
    • Carpools - please follow the driver to his health screening location or where the son(s) of the driver are dropped-off. Example: a junior is riding in a car driven by a sophomore parent; the sophomore and junior will be dropped off at the lower road and go to the entrance at the back of Saint Joseph Hall for their health screening. 
  • Distance Learning Days

    Students must attend each class during the day via Zoom.
  • In-School Learning Days

    • Class schedules will rotate weekly. View the schedule for the month of October.
    • Students who must remain home will be video-conferenced in with their cohort.
    • Safety procedures will be strictly enforced for the good of everyone in our community.
  • Flex Days

    Flex Days are typically distance learning days, but may be used for in-person learning if there is a special schedule or holiday during the week.
  • Community Days

    Some Fridays are reserved for community, social, and spiritual events that are essential to the life of a Mount Saint Joseph student. This could include in-person faith formation and extracurricular opportunities as well as specific grade-level programming. The school calendar will detail all of these events.
  • DePaul Program

    The DePaul Program staff is working on the plan for DePaul students and will send out more information at a later date.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What should students bring to campus each day?

    • 2 masks (back-up mask in a Ziploc bag) 
    • Hand sanitizer bottle, up to 8 oz. (Bottle must be clear and manufactured by the company.  
    • Headphones or earbuds (fully charged) 
    • iPad (fully charged)
    • Charging cable for iPad
    • Gloves (optional) 
  • Q.
    Why are students of each cohort required to begin each class all together?

    • To foster fellowship and build community through shared prayer and reflection and to provide the opportunity to see teachers and classmates frequently, which can help counteract social isolation.
    • To maintain a regular daily schedule and provide structure for each school day.
    • To provide teachers a daily opportunity for facetime to provide, clarify, or reinforce instructions with students in each cohort.
    • To provide flexibility from day to day in the flow of instruction, allowing for adjustments when connecting daily lesson plans across the course of a week and a curricular unit. 
  • Q.
    Why are students of each Cohort not necessarily required to stay in class for its full duration?

    • To maximize effective differentiation of instruction in a model that seeks to appropriately balance student engagement and promote deep learning, which occurs best when students have the opportunity to engage with teachers, engage with the content, and engage with each other.
    • To enhance the effectiveness of teacher-guided practice & application of concepts to a smaller class size. Working with one Cohort at a time makes it easier for a teacher to provide individualized or small group attention when needing only to include a significantly smaller number of students attending class via Zoom (i.e., those students in the same Cohort opting for distance learning). 
    • To provide structure and opportunity for students’ meaningful engagement in the student-to-content and student-to-student spheres of learning & skills development synchronously during the school day, when they can be required to work individually and/or with other students in virtual break-out rooms after being dismissed following an initial check-in with the teacher.
    • To reduce the total amount of screen time spent in video-conference mode every other day and over the course a week.
    • Within the flexibility that this model provides, teachers can exercise the option to keep a whole class together for its full duration when the instructional design of a lesson(s) within a curricular unit warrant.
  • Q. What is the dress code for students who are attending Zoom sessions?

    Students should be dressed following the MSJ dress code, which is an MSJ polo or shirt and tie for the first quarter.
  • Q. Can I change my academic model after I commit to one?

    Once parents complete the Academic Model Commitment Form, changes will be limited to extreme circumstances.
  • Q. What time can a student arrive on campus, and how long can he stay?

    Campus will be open every weekday from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The Cafeteria will be open during these times. The Library will be open from 7-5 Monday through Thursday and from 7-4 on Fridays.
  • Q. What happens if someone tests positive?

    If Mount Saint Joseph is notified of a community member who tests positive for COVID-19, all parents, students, faculty, and staff will be notified via email as soon as possible. Close contacts of the community member and their parents will also receive a second email notification. Due to HIPPA regulations, the identity of the positive individual will be kept confidential. The school nurse will inform the local health department of the positive test and will follow the health department’s recommendations for establishing quarantines or sending other communications. The COVID Symptoms Decision Aid will also be used to decide who should quarantine.
  • Q. How will classes like PE and music work in person?

    Music and PE teachers understand the safety policies and procedures we have in place and are working on plans to teach these classes in a responsible manner.
  • Q. Will interscholastic sports happen?

    Shortened seasons will take place for all sports. 

Mount Saint Joseph High School

Mount Saint Joseph is a Catholic, college preparatory school for young men sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers.