The absolute #1 goal for the start of the 2020-21 school year is face-to-face instruction in our physical classrooms. What this looks like depends on many factors that are out of our control. However, we do know one thing for sure: school will start as scheduled one way or another.
Below are updates from Principal Conticchio on the school’s progress toward Return to JPII:
My apologies for the lengthy update … it’s been a while since I have had some really good news to share and I wanted to squeeze it all in at once.
We continue to follow all guidelines required for the safety of our community during this pandemic. However, things are slowly but surely opening back up. North Carolina K-5 schools are moving to Plan A. Middle schools and high schools should be right around the corner.
As restrictions are relaxed in our state we will follow suit on our JPII campus. Please keep in mind that there are many governing bodies that dictate a significant part of what we can and cannot do as a school. Also, keep in mind that as we relax restrictions in the school building we open to a little more risk of large groups (or even the whole school) being quarantined. Everyone has done a fantastic job reducing risk inside and outside of our school. If we continue to do all that is humanly possible to reduce our risk of exposure inside and outside of the school I believe we can continue to have a great deal of success keeping everyone healthy and keeping our school building and programs running without interruption.
Over the coming days, weeks, or months the NCDHHS will move to Plan A for High Schools. We then may have the option of going back to normal (sort of) in the building. Students could potentially change classes again, have socially distanced communal lunch, and so on. Social distancing everywhere but when stationary in classrooms will still be required. Masks will still be required at all times. Extraordinary sanitation measures will remain. Teachers and staff will remain socially distant from students.
When we move to these more relaxed restrictions we will create a short timeline in which we will be shutting down the remote option completely. Teachers will continue to make all the digital tools available (save live streaming) just in case we have to return to remote learning.
More good news … you may have noticed our athletic programs are back up and running. The athletic campus is bustling with football practices, volleyball practices, offseason baseball and basketball workouts, scheduled contests, as well as a couple of the St. Peter Catholic School teams working out. Our fine arts and other after school activities are cranking back up as well. Needless to say, I am absolutely elated to see our kids out there doing what they love to do!
Until today there were no spectators/guests allowed at contests and/or events. Our governing state athletic association NCISAA had relaxed restrictions such that two Senior parents/guardians could attend athletic contests. However, yesterday the Governor announced a transition to phase 3 and indicated that events would be allowed spectators at 30% seating capacity or 100 guests whichever is lower. It is my interpretation that the state administration’s order on relaxed restrictions supersedes the NCISAA.
All that said … starting on October 15th we will be allowing 100 spectators/guests to attend events (not practices and workouts) at the JPII Stadium and inside the JPII Gym. Masks will be required at all times. Six-foot social distancing between family units while in line or in the bleachers will be required at all times. We are still working out the logistics, ticket sales, distribution, etc. We will get all that information in your hands as quickly as possible. It seems likely that tickets/passes will be allotted by student-athlete such that a student athlete’s family may purchase two to four tickets/passes per event depending on the number of student-athletes on a team. As mentioned the logistics are still being worked out and we will provide more details as quickly as possible. Please be on the lookout for announcements from the Main Office.
Gates and doors will not be open to ticket holders until 15-20 minutes before game-time. Please note that there will be limited pre-packaged concessions if we can secure volunteers to work the stands. Links for volunteer sign-ups for gate (ticket/pass check and COVID screening) and concessions volunteers will be coming out soon.
Finally, each participating school will have their own restrictions. With limited numbers allowed to attend contests I suspect most schools are not going to allow visitors to have spectators. JPII will not be allowing visiting team spectators as we want to reserve our seats for JPII families.
Thanks to everyone for doing their part in keeping this thing going!
St. John Paul II … PRAY FOR US!!
Dear JPII Family,
After long deliberation and much prayer, we have made a decision to resume JPII athletics. This decision comes, in part, as a function of how well our school community and particularly our students have been doing with following protocols and procedures over the first couple of weeks. Thus far we have had no positive cases and have had only one student put under precautionary quarantine. That student had been exposed to an asymptomatic positive COVID-19 case on Saturday and has not been on campus since the exposure.
Just like everything else in 2020, JPII Athletics will look much different than it has in the past. Likewise, it will require a great commitment to the rules and policies set in place, as well as continued sacrifice, patience, and grace. It will also come at a great financial cost! Your support via JPII Athletic Boosters, advertising on the live streams, and JPII annual fundraisers are more critical than ever to balance the budget. Please help as you can!
Our decision to move forward with fall sports was made in the best interest of our students and the important role high school athletics plays in one’s formation and education. For many of our student-athletes graduating in 2021, this may be their last chance to play their sport competitively.
All that said, let me reiterate; this will require all of us to follow the policies, guidelines, and rules to the letter. I will not hesitate to exclude a player from a team if they are not following all the rules at school, at practice, at games, and activities outside the scope of school. I will also not hesitate to pull the plug on a particular athletic program for the season should many team members, coaches, or families not be capable of following strict guidelines. We all need to remember that the number one priority is to keep students in the school building for face-to-face learning. Athletics are a privilege we must all protect!
The NCISAA and the NFHS have put forth return-to-play guidelines. The scope of which covers “Universal Minimum Standards,” “Training/Practice Minimum Standards,” and “Competition Minimum Standards.” The NFHS has also created modified 2020 rules for each of the fall sports (all available via the NCISAA and NFHS websites). As well, the Youngs athletic trainers have worked with ECU Sports Medicine to create our local COVID-19 protocol.
In brief, the NCISAA Return-to-Play Universal Minimum Standards for all member schools include:
NCISAA Training/Practice Minimum Standards for all member schools include:
NCISAA Competition Minimum Standards for all member schools include:
Game-Day Communication – ADs will communicate with their opponent within 24 hours of competition to confirm conditions regarding roster screening of essential personnel e.g. sports med, coaches, student-athletes, manager and stats, video person, cheerleaders, security, officials etc.
Facility Set-up – Locker rooms will not be available to visiting teams
No spectators/admissions and no concessions (this is the budget-buster as we count on this income to offset nearly half of our $80K+ athletics budget!)
Cancellations – Schools may declare a scheduled event as “no contest” if virus related issues arise (be prepared for last-minute schedule changes!)
JPII-specific plan, policies and procedures:
COVID-19 restricted regular practices for men’s soccer, volleyball, and cross country can begin Tuesday, September 1 (depending on coach’s schedules and communication). Football can resume COVID-19 restricted workouts and heat acclimatization Tuesday, September 1 and can resume COVID-19 restricted regular practices on September 8. Off-season workouts for all other sports will continue to be suspended until further notice.
For practices directly after school, students will remain in their classroom until dismissal is over. Coaches will get student athletes from their classrooms and take them to their practice areas. For practices starting later, those students will need to leave campus and return when practice starts. If for any reason student-athletes are carpooling, they must wear a face-covering during transport. Parents and guardians picking up and dropping off student-athletes are asked to remain in their vehicles. Student-athletes will avoid gathering in large groups, will maintain social distancing at all times, and will wear face coverings when not actively participating in physical activity.
Student volunteers will get priority assignment for stats/team management, chain gang, video production, etc. Staff volunteers and then parent/guardian volunteers may fill assignments should they not be filled by students.
St. John Paul II … PRAY FOR US!!
Dear JPII Family,
We are quickly approaching one week into this temporary version of JPII. While it is certainly not ideal I believe our current system is working as well or better than anticipated. Thank you all for your support, patience, and cooperation! We also appreciate all the positive and constructive feedback we are getting via the surveys. The JPII staff will continue to tweak here and there as we learn how to adjust to this new system. Please keep the feedback coming! We will improve wherever we can.
I do want to remind everyone that what we are doing during the school day is only beneficial so long as we are all doing the right things outside of school to stay safe and healthy. We should look at ECU as a cautionary tale. As I understand it, students and staff were doing everything right and by the book during the school day. After the school day is where and when the whole thing collapsed.
Our politics on the matter are irrelevant … where there are cases people get sick or worse and things shut down … plain and simple facts. If we all continue to do everything in our power to wear a mask, keep social distance, wash hands, and avoid situations of exposure during and after school, I firmly believe we can continue to remain open for education. Unfortunately, if we do not, we can easily end up like ECU and other schools all over the country having to shut down due to rising numbers and sickness.
All that said, I am begging everyone receiving this email to consider the whole JPII family in our actions and/or in-actions. I would really like to keep us moving forward toward what we used to call normal and not backward toward remote learning. Please let’s wear our masks, wash our hands often, keep our social distance, and avoid situations with large numbers of people. As well as all the other common sense things that will keep us and our JPII family safe and healthy.
Please let’s not become complacent and let our guard down. We are going to need to stay vigilant in our resolve to keep our JPII family safe and healthy until we are finally out of this mess.
Above all else keep the prayers going! Let us continue to pray for the repose of those 800,000+ dearly departed souls around the world we have lost to this virus. Let us continue to pray for the health and safety of our JPII family and beyond. And let us continue to pray for grace, compassion, and empathy as we navigate these troubling times.
St. John Paul II … PRAY FOR US!
Dear JPII Families,
I have a quick athletics update for you today. Here is the athletics plan as it stands today August 8th. With the ever changing landscape we are currently experiencing, these plans are subject to change quickly and without much notice. Believe me I understand how frustrating it is for all of us meticulous planners but this is our current reality and we will do the best we can.
We will be continuing Fall sports summer workouts (2x a week only) under current restrictions until August 15. Winter and Spring sports workouts are currently in NCISAA blackout period and JPII will extend that blackout period until further notice. There will be a self-imposed JPII blackout period for all JPII athletics activities from August 16-30. During this time all focus will be on getting students back in the classrooms and this new school routine. After this period ends, athletics may (I say this with very cautious optimism) resume as follows:
Low Risk Sports (Cross Country, Girls Golf): Regular practice may resume August 31 and contests may resume September 8 (no spectators).
Moderate Risk Sports (Boys Soccer, Volleyball): Regular practice may resume August 31 and contests may resume September 14 (no spectators).
High Risk Sports (Football): Postponed until at least September 11. More information and guidance from the NCISAA, NCHSAA, and NCDHHS forthcoming.
As of right now there will be no spectators allowed at contests per the NCISAA. Coaches and athletes only will be allowed at practices which will be held in the evenings. Students will leave the school building and campus at 3:05 p.m. and will need to return for practice later in the evening. Under normal conditions students are not allowed to ride with other students without express written consent from parents of both students. Under these circumstances student carpooling is strongly discouraged.
Again, I understand that nothing about this crisis is convenient and I know how anxious we all are to get back out there on our beautiful fields and courts, but we are going to have to Return2JP2 with patience and prudence.
St. John Paul II … PRAY FOR US!!
Dear JPII Families,
As we are gearing up for the start of school on August 19 information coming from the school will also start to ramp up. Information and guidance are constantly changing please be sure to check communications from JPII via JupiterEd and the JPII website frequently.
We have put together a webpage with our re-opening plans, policies, procedures, and related forms. School administration has been working diligently to follow ever-changing NCDHHS requirements and recommendations to ensure maximum possible safety for all in our JPII family. The JPII re-opening plan can be found at jp2highschool.com/2020-2021-re-opening-plan. Please read through the plan thoroughly. Families will need to make a choice between in-person learning or remote learning by August 5th. You will find the opt-in digital form at the above link. You will also find a 14-day health self-screening form that must be turned in at the door on the first day of school before entry is permitted. Families should have already received a schedule with cohort or “pod” placement as well as drop off and pick up points for respective pods.
As well, please read through the Student-Parent handbook . There are some significant changes for the 2020-2021 academic year. Including uniform requirements, lunch service, and forms that must be filled out for start and/or return to school.
As always thank you all for your patience and support throughout this crisis!
St. John Paul II … PRAY FOR US!!
Dear JPII Family,
A brief update on the start of the 2020-21 academic year. It will start on time and face to face in the school building! For right now I am giving you a very brief overview of what that will look like. More details and instructions will follow in the days to come.
Under the governor’s designation of Plan B we have carefully revamped the schedule and logistics such that students will be divided into “pods” of 10-15 students. By doing so we can:
As mentioned, this has required a major scheduling change and in some cases class changes. New schedules will come out soon.
Plan B can quickly be converted to Plan A (very few restrictions) when things get better or heaven forbid back to Plan C (all remote learning) should things get worse.
This will not look like any other school year we’ve ever experienced. I pray we will never have to experience another like it! It will be difficult for all. As always we will all have to be patient, gracious, understanding, and continue to work diligently together. When we do so this school year will work out extremely well under the circumstances.
St. John Paul II … PRAY FOR US!!
I know we are all anxious about plans for the 2020-21 academic year. I am putting this update together with the hope that it gives you all confidence that we are working very hard on preparing and planning for 2020-21.
First, school will start as scheduled one way or another. The absolute #1 goal for the start of the 2020-21 school year is face-to-face instruction in our physical classrooms. Seeing the students and parents at the end of the school year for a few moments as you picked up belongings and dropped off school materials was one of many reminders over the last couple of months of just how much we miss being together as a family. What this looks like depends on many factors that are out of our control. However, we have developed and are fine-tuning plans for the three major possibilities.
As smaller schools, we have luxuries our brother and sister educators in larger systems do not have including the ability to pivot and adjust course quickly. While still difficult, it is much easier for us to stay in touch, support, and monitor each student and family for wellbeing, progress, and success.
Best Case We return to school in the building as scheduled. This seems most likely at the moment but again things are changing by the hour. Many adjustments are likely even in this best case. Some may include but are not limited to:
Intermediate Case We start the school year under “limited density” requirements.
Worst Case We start 2020-21 the way we finished last year: remotely. While this seems the least likely case at this time, we will still be prepared with a contingency plan for it.
Some other unanticipated case:
Once again it will take all of us working together collaboratively to realize those three goals above. I am absolutely confident that we can do this together.
St. John Paul II … Pray for us!!
John Paul II Catholic High School
Many of you have inquired about plans for athletics in 2020-21, specifically summer workouts and practices. First, it is our full intention to hold fall sports seasons this coming school year. As you well know there are many factors out of our control but we will do everything in our power to hold to that intention.
We are working closely with Youngs Physical Therapy and Sports Performance in this regard. As you know Youngs has taken very good care of our student athlete’s health and wellbeing over the past year. We have no doubt they will continue to do so in the midst of this difficult health crisis. That said, with Youngs guidance and guidelines put forth by the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA, of which we are a member), North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), and National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), an initial plan has been crafted and will be shared with coaches on Monday. Summer workouts will be allowed to commence on Tuesday, June 16 following very specific and strict policy. Coaches at their discretion will reach out to players with their team’s summer schedule (if any) and rules for summer workouts.
We are also continuing to work very hard on day-to-day school building plans: primary, secondary, and tertiary for next year. As such, we are making changes to the day-to-day activities, procedures, and housekeeping to mitigate health risks to every extend possible. This may require some schedule and class offering changes. Please be as patient and understanding as you can with these changes.
A few reminders:
Thanks again to the entire JPII Family for all your hard work, patience, and understanding through these very difficult times. I feel honored and blessed to serve as your principal.