Academics

COVID-19

Recent Communication

The following communication was sent on Friday, February 25, 2022.

Dear Parents and Students,
 
Throughout this pandemic, we have done our best to implement and follow health and safety measures that reasonably mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Our policies are in alignment with Baltimore City’s and Maryland’s health departments, and we continue to evaluate these policies as variables change.
 
With the significant decline in COVID positivity rates and the lifting of the mask mandate in Baltimore City, we have decided to go mask optional starting on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. This applies to all individuals regardless of vaccination status. Our policies regarding exposures and positive cases will remain the same. If an individual is exposed to COVID-19, a well-fitting mask must be worn for 10 days regardless of vaccination status. Masks must also be worn on any Mount Saint Joseph bus or anywhere or at any time we designate masks to be worn. Please visit the COVID-19 webpage for a full list of policies.
 
It is likely that we will have a number of students who choose to keep their masks on. We ask that all students be respectful of their Mount brothers and keep in mind that some students may have higher health risks themselves, they could be trying to protect a loved one who is more susceptible to sickness, or they may simply want to wait longer before taking their masks off. Whatever the reason, we expect all members of our community to treat each other with Xaverian compassion whether they are wearing a mask or not.
 
We will continue to review our COVID-19 policies and procedures and will stay connected to the Baltimore City Health Department, the Maryland Department of Health, and the CDC for any new developments that could change our policies.
 
Please continue to keep everyone in the Mount Saint Joseph community in your prayers.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mrs. Pam Bezirdjian, RN, MPH
School Nurse
 
Mr. Francisco M. Espinosa, Jr.
Principal
 
Mr. George E. Andrews, Jr.
President


Updated Plans for 2021-2022

Class Schedule and Format
  • Classes will be held 5 days a week, following our regular 4-day rotational schedule. Days of class are assigned and listed on the school calendar webpage
  • Students are expected to attend class in person unless they are under quarantine. If there are students who have a special concern about attending class in person, please contact Mr. Espinosa.
  • Absent students who are not under quarantine are not allowed to attend classes virtually. Classwork will be made up according to the guidelines set by each teacher.
  • Teachers will be teaching classes in person unless there are medical circumstances that require virtual instruction.
Safety Guidelines
  • Masks are required for anyone on Mount Saint Joseph's campus. 
  • While it is recommended, a COVID vaccination will not be required for students to attend Mount Saint Joseph.
Dining and Extracurriculars
  • We are working with our cafeteria staff to bring back hot food service for both breakfast and lunch.
  • A regular schedule of activities is being planned for extracurriculars and athletics.

Exposure and Testing Protocols

List of 11 items.

  • Exposure to COVID-19

    Adults, children and teens 12-17 years, that are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and booster or have had COVID within the past 90 days, are not required to quarantine upon exposure.  You are UP-TO-DATE if you have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna and have received 1 booster.  
     
    If you are a close contact and unvaccinated, or it’s been 5 months or longer since your last vaccination and you haven’t received a booster, you should quarantine for 5 days, get a test, and can return to school on day 6 with a negative test and no symptoms.  You need to mask for 6-10 days upon return to school.
     
    Those close contacts who are boosted, or who had their second vaccination with the last 5 months, or who had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 90 days, are okay to stay in school and mask for 10 days.  You still need to get a COVID test on day 5.  If the test on day 5 is positive, or you start to feel ill before day 5, please follow our policy for testing positive for COVID.  
  • Positive COVID-19 Test

    Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may return to campus when it has been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared AND no fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND improvement of symptoms. This is our current policy and we are keeping it the same. If anyone who tests positive returns to school sooner than 10 days, it poses a higher risk for our community. If you do not have symptoms and you test positive, your isolation date begins on the day of testing, which is considered Day 0.
     
    While the CDC has changed the isolation period to 5 days, the CDC clearly states, “If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to quarantine for 10 days.” The cafeteria is the place where students are unable to wear a mask because they are eating. On that same CDC webpage, individuals who are under isolation are instructed to avoid places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants (or cafeterias). 
  • Testing at Mount Saint Joseph

    Mount Saint Joseph has worked to be able to provide COVID-19 testing to students who have been exposed, whose symptoms begin while on campus, or who are participating in athletics. Parents who would like their sons tested at Mount Saint Joseph must complete the COVID Testing Consent Form prior to testing. Testing for students who have been exposed must be scheduled online using MSJ’s COVID Test Scheduler. 
  • Notifying the School of Symptoms or Exposure

    Who should get tested for current infection:

    • Anyone having symptoms of COVID-19 
    • Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.  Classroom close contact is defined as less than 3 feet for a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.
    • Those who are up-to-date with their vaccines and boosted should get tested 5 days following a known exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19.  They should mask for 10 days. 
    • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure, as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
    Weekdays
    Please keep your son home if he is displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and notify the Attendance Office. To return to campus we require symptoms resolved and a negative COVID test. We accept home rapid tests but the test must be done the morning your son returns with a picture of the test with the date and time sent to the school nurse, nurse@msjnet.edu, and Mr. Ryan Luckman, rluckman@msjnet.edu

    Weekend
    Please notify us if your son has tested positive for COVID-19 by calling 443-310-5857.  The message will be relayed to the appropriate people and the school nurse or someone from the administration will follow up with you. 

    Testing
    COVID-19 testing is available in the Health Room with Mrs. Bezirdjian and the Training Room with Dr. Siebens by appointment and with parent consent.  Consent forms and appointments are required.  There are separate forms for each person.


    Reporting A Positive At-Home Tests
    If your son receives a positive result from an at-home test, please report the result to covidlink.maryland.gov/selfreport.
  • Communication Procedure for Someone Who Tests Positive for COVID-19

    Due to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in our school community, we have altered our practice for communicating positive cases.  We have created a COVID Tracker that you can access at any time. It will be updated each school day with the numbers of positive cases that have been reported to us. While you can access this link through this email, it will also be posted on Portals under School Links and Files. 
     
    We will continue to trace and notify the close contacts when we are able to identify who may have been exposed to COVID-19 on campus. It is our hope that this COVID Tracker will reduce the amount of emails to your inbox but still keep you informed of the number of cases affecting our community.
  • Procedure for Someone Who Reports COVID-19 Symptoms While in School

    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 60 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, individuals who are deemed exposed to COVID-19 while on campus will be placed in an isolated area while awaiting pickup. Again, parents or guardians should pick up their son within 60 minutes of receiving the phone call.  If parents/guardians are 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

    Classroom: Less than 3 feet of another student diagnosed with COVID-19 for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, regardless of proper mask use

    Non-classroom setting: Within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period
  • 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.
  • Out-of-State Travel

    COVID testing after travel is not required.  However, we encourage parents to have their students tested prior to returning to school to reduce the likelihood of having COVID-positive folks returning to school.  This is all voluntary.  The school has home rapid tests available for pickup on a first-come basis.
  • 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. 

    UNVACCINATED STUDENTS
    Unvaccinated students must self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel. They may return to school on day 6 if no symptoms are present and there is proof of two negative COVID tests. We require a copy of the negative COVID test received for his return to the U.S. and a negative COVID test done the morning your son is returning to school. Home rapid tests are allowed with an email sending a picture of the test and date and time.

    VACCINATED STUDENTS
    Vaccinated students may return to school if no symptoms are present and there is proof of two negative COVID tests. We require a copy of the negative COVID test received for the return to U.S. and a negative COVID test done the morning your son is returning to school. Home rapid tests are allowed with an email sending a picture of the test and date and time.

Mount Saint Joseph High School

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