"We are Called"
As of 8/9/21
Dear Diocesan School Families,
By now I am sure you are aware of Governor Pritzker’s announcement on Wednesday afternoon that ALL PK-12 schools in the state are now mandated to require masks for all students, employees, and visitors while inside the building. While it is true that our schools are exempt from some state and federal regulations, this mandate does not fall into that category. Therefore, masks must be worn by everyone inside of our schools at least at the start of the 2021/2022 school year.
We understand that this adjustment will be met with mixed emotions and respect the individual’s right to their opinions. However, as I have shared with you several times since March 13, 2020, our main goal continues to be to have students in school and continuing with their education. Next week at our annual principals’ meeting, we will be discussing creative ways to implement “masks breaks” to provide some respite to the students throughout the day.
Other items to share:
According to the new CDC close contact definition, classroom students who were within 3 to 6 feet of the infected student are not treated as close contacts if both the infected student and exposed student were engaged in consistent and correct use of a well-fitting mask.
The CDC Test-to-Stay Strategy says if schools test close contacts on days one, three, five, and seven from the date of exposure then close contacts are permitted to remain in the classroom if the results are negative. (Saliva and swab tests qualify).
The CDC has also provided guidance on levels of transmission which should influence issues like the mask mandate as we move forward meaning that the mask mandate should only be as long as levels are high.
We understand that the past few weeks may feel like we are moving backwards and, in some ways, maybe we have; however, I have listed a few positive items below to remember:
At this time masks are not required outdoors, and extra-curricular activities are on schedule
A cohort approach is not necessary, and schedules can be adjusted to allow more socialization between students across all grade levels (reading buddies, faith families, etc)
Continuity of education because of less quarantine situations (as described above)
Lunch can return to the cafeteria at all schools
Students can attend Mass in person and as a school
Field trips, pep rallies, assemblies, field day, etc. can all be considered again
Respectfully and Prayerfully,
Superintendent of Schools
Diocese of Belleville
Welcome to St. Mary's Catholic School
St. Mary's Catholic School in Mt. Carmel Illinois, has been serving the Catholic community for over 100 years. It is a school that is rich in history and traditions. St. Mary's is accredited by the State of Illinois and the Diocese of Belleville. Currently, St. Mary's serves the Catholic parishes in Wabash County and the community of Mt. Carmel. We have approximately 140 students in grades Preschool–8 who come to us not only from our regional parishes but from the surrounding area as well
St. Mary's Catholic School provides and supports quality education in the tradition of the Catholic Church for all who seek it. The faith community is dedicated to the development of the whole person spiritually, academically, creatively, physically, emotionally, and socially – all through the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Our students live their faith each day through daily prayer, special liturgies, service projects. All students, Preschool through grade 8, receive religious instruction on a daily basis. The students, teachers, and staff all follow the Code of ethics and moral values that reminds us of how we should live our lives every day. Each year, a religious theme is selected to help students and faculty focus on a particular topic.
We hope that you will take some time to explore our website which provides information about our strong spiritual and academic programs, our social activities, volunteer opportunities, and sports program. But the only way to truly experience the spirit of our students, the dedication of our teachers, and the enthusiasm of our parents, is to visit our school in person. Hopefully, you will have a chance to do just that in the very near future and learn a little bit more about what St. Mary’s has to offer.
General Parent Letter Information:
Please make sure your child is coming to school prepared for outside recess. As long as the wind chill is above 20 degrees, the students will be going outside. Thanks for your cooperation.