Community Resources

St. Catherine’s Montessori is continuously monitoring updates and directives about COVID-19. This is an ever-evolving situation, and we are committed to keeping you informed and providing resources as we navigate this situation together. The well-being of our school community remains a top priority, and we will keep you updated via email and this page.

 

Notices and Emails

 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear St. Catherine’s Community,Governor Abbott issued an executive order today that all Texas schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year. St. Catherine’s will continue our Learning from Home program through our last day of school, May 28, 2020.  

This decision brings mixed feelings for all of us. We are all ready to get back to “normal.” The announcement the governor provided us today allows us to make concrete plans about how to complete the school year. Going forward we will put our thoughts and energies toward hosting upcoming SCM events virtually.

All of our faculty and staff are doing well and continuing to work from home.  

We would like feedback on how Learning from Home is working for your family. We have spoken to many of you, and at the same time realize situations change as time goes on. Starting next week we will be sending out a survey and hosting small parent support group meetings to share ideas and hear your feedback.  

The health, safety, and well-being of our community are always our greatest concern. 
 
Blessings,

Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear Community,
 
Following communication received from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office this morning, St. Catherine’s is extending the closure of all school facilities and the cancellation of all extracurricular activities until Monday, May 4, 2020, as directed by the governor of Texas. Per CDC guidelines, all school events and gatherings remain canceled through at least May 9. Faculty and staff will return on May 1 to get the campus ready for the children’s return. It goes without saying that these plans are tentative and contingent upon the go-ahead from local, regional and federal authorities, and we will communicate updates as they become available.
 
We remain deeply committed to the ongoing effort to cease the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and stand with other Houston area schools as we journey through this uncharted territory. We ask that you join us in contributing to the common good by observing the measures suggested by health officials to stop the spread of the virus in our community.
We are continuing to support Learning from Home at St. Catherine’s and are grateful for the dedication and vigilant efforts of our guides, staff, and parents as together we endeavor to provide students with a consistent learning environment and as normal a routine as possible. We value your collaboration and feedback and encourage you to stay in communication with your guides as we go forward. I continue to be grateful for your support and your encouragement. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions or concerns.
 
As per our original school calendar, we will celebrate Holy Week by ending classes at noon on Thursday, April 9, and resume distance learning on Tuesday, April 14.
 
Know that our prayers are with you and your families, and we ask you to join in prayer for all who are sick, those who care for them, and those who are in distress at this time. It is vital to our community that we embrace the reality that we are all in this together, and that we will get through this together. May God bless all of you.
 
Blessings,

Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear Community, 
 
You are in my prayers every day. I hear stories of many of you oscillating through emotions and appreciating when a partner or friend is there to help at the most anxious moments, and then at another time realizing the roles are reversed. Thank goodness for those who can lift us up when we most need it and love us through our most vulnerable times. This community continues to show an ability to do just that, to let each other know “I’m here for you.” I feel blessed and honored to be part of such a group.
 
Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23, we step into our distance learning together. It is new for all of us. It is exciting and unsettling at the same time with uncertain expectations.  What we do know is that we will all get better at it as we go. The children are resilient with very creative minds, and I suspect they will take this remote learning to places we have not yet imagined.
 
The guides have been meeting and preparing for this distance learning since before Spring Break and have put together a general overview for each level in the attached “Learning from Home Handbook.” They will each be communicating with you later today about more specific aspects pertinent to your child’s individual class. This is a partnership that requires all of us to demonstrate grace and understanding for one another in this new arena. Together we will identify what works and what does not work, and move forward united. The guides have many ideas and are excited about the possibilities.
 
This week we will start slowly and begin to define the flow of the day. The students will undoubtedly enjoy re-connecting with their classmates and guides while simultaneously learning new grace and courtesy skills for social platforms. Our pace will be determined by student needs.
 
My heart is full to overflowing when I think of the gratitude that I feel to be surrounded by this amazing, loving community. I already see the multitude of ways you are reaching out to do good for others. I hear the gratitude expressed for those serving the sick, feeding the hungry, supporting those in compromised work situations, and honoring those keeping our city safe. You are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. You continuously recognize those in need of help and offer your support. I pray you feel fulfilled and blessed through your great acts of kindness.
 
In loving gratitude,
 
Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear Community,
 
I hope everyone has had an opportunity to be with family and has taken a bit of a breather to begin to adjust to brand new circumstances. Everything surrounding COVID-19 has evolved so rapidly that our minds are spinning with the uncertainties. What we do know is that we are doing everything to keep our families and ourselves healthy and safe. To support our mental health, we all need to appreciate that, in spite of all the turmoil, yesterday was the first day of spring, alive with new blossoms and butterflies.
 
“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in Nature….so the children may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates.” Maria Montessori – Secret of Childhood
 
St. Catherine’s faculty and staff have been preparing information for our remote learning program, which will begin Wednesday, March 25 and continue through at least April 13. As you know, St. Catherine’s campuses are closed March 23 through April 10, and the current plan is to re-open on Tuesday, April 14 after our planned Easter holiday. We will re-evaluate extending this date on April 6.
 
All employees will come together remotely on Monday, March 23, to practice using the online tools and to coordinate with their departments. A “Learning from Home Handbook” that we have created will be emailed to every family next week, and parents can expect communications from their guides to begin on Wednesday. Each guide will have daily contact with their classrooms in some form. Anticipating that there will be questions as we move ahead, we will hold a virtual community meeting for parents, faculty and staff on Friday, March 27 at 3:00 pm, to discuss how remote learning and communications are working and how we can best evolve together. You will receive additional details on how to join the meeting in the coming days.
 
Our goal is to stay in relationship and do our very best to provide our children with the most authentic Montessori education possible during this time. We all do better being in community, and St. Catherine’s wants to help ensure no one feels isolated. The situation we are in gives us an opportunity to strengthen our parent/guide/student connection as we work together, unified in purpose.
 
Our purpose at St. Catherine’s is to support the development of the whole person in preparation for life. The students have learned to adapt to different circumstances and will surely adapt to this new way of learning and of contributing to family life. Together we can continue to support children learning more about the things they have a curiosity for and giving them choice about what purposeful activity to spend their time doing.
 
Out of every crisis comes opportunity, and we encourage each person’s natural desire to make a contribution to the world. We have already seen many ways our families and the greater Houston community are reaching out to share information and support one another.
 
Although our building is closed, our students’ learning continues. And it remains our mission to help each child recognize their gifts and responsibilities. St. Catherine’s will continue to foster a culture of love and recognition of each person’s human dignity. We trust in the goodness of our community and know this school matters because of the relationships we faithfully build and maintain. Together we will find new ways to best nurture the relationships that make ours such a special community. You remain in our prayers daily.
 
Blessings,

Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,
 
St. Catherine’s Montessori will be closed and all extracurricular activities canceled through April 10, 2020, as required by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  We will re-evaluate extending this date on April 6.
 
Additionally, per CDC guidance, all school events and gatherings are canceled through at least May 9, 2020. Such gatherings include Mass, Sociables, Great Conversations, and PSO Spring Fling. You will receive more detailed communications about events in the coming days.
 
This is a challenging time with rapidly changing information, testing our flexibility and resilience. These difficult decisions impact our lives and businesses.  In our commitment to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, we continue to monitor and heed the advice of the CDC and local officials.  
 
Our building is closed, but our learning continues.  As we embark on implementing our at-home learning plan, you will receive communication from us next week.  
 
We are here to navigate this challenge together, in community. Thank you to all as we unify in our response to this pandemic and view it as an opportunity to be together in a different and responsible way.
 
Blessings, 
 
Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear Community,
 
This email is an update on St. Catherine's planning for the coming weeks.  
 
School Trips
 
All overnight school trips outside of Houston are cancelled through the end of March.  These include: Ms. Kristen’s Lower Elementary class trip to Forest Glen, the AC’s trip to Washington, DC, and the High School’s trip to Hawaii.  We realize our students have invested a significant amount of time researching and planning for these trips.  It was with much deliberation that we came to this difficult decision.  The health and well-being of our students and our community remain our top concern.  
 
Family Travel
 
The CDC has designated the United States as an ‘Alert Level 2’ country for COVID-19 and advises travelers to take the necessary precautions to avoid getting sick, and to monitor their health and practice social distancing upon return from travel.
 
As to international travel, all who travel to a country designated by the CDC as 'Warning Level 3' for COVID-19 must follow the CDC's recommendation to stay home for 14 days from the time you return from travel, monitor your health, and practice social distancing.  This, of course, includes remaining off campus for the 14-day quarantine period.  While the situation remains dynamic, as of this evening the CDC has placed China, South Korea, Iran, and most of Europe on Level 3 travel alerts for COVID-19. 
 
Additionally, we ask that families traveling on a cruise ship during Spring Break also follow the Level 3 recommendations and stay at home for 14 days from the time you return from travel.
 
Direct Exposure
 
In the event you or any member of your household has direct exposure to a person who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, please contact our Health Care Coordinator and Head of School. 
 
Return to School after Spring Break
 
At this point, St. Catherine’s is planning to be open for school on Monday, March 23 after Spring Break.  While we recognize there remains great uncertainty, we aim to continue our lives as best we can with as little disruption as possible.   If it becomes necessary to close the school we will notify you through email.  
 
All families, regardless of travel plans, are encouraged to take the necessary precautions to protect yourselves and others from illness. We appreciate your partnership in helping to keep our community healthy. 
 
Have a healthy and restful Spring Break!
 
Blessings, 

Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 

Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,

After thoughtful deliberation, we have decided that today, March 12, will be our last day at school with students prior to Spring Break. School will be closed for students on Friday, March 13, and will be a faculty and staff in-service day, so we can spend the day continuing our preparation for a potential prolonged school closure.  There will be no school, no childcare and no after-school activities, and the PSO AM Child Play Date scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled.

A prolonged closure has not yet been determined, and we are planning on being open after Spring Break on Monday, March 23.  If this changes, families will be notified by email. 

Fortunately, we do not have any active or presumptive cases of coronavirus; however, we are taking proactive steps to increase our readiness, should a change in status emerge.

SCHOOL TRIPS

We are continuing to evaluate our class trips. To guide our decision, we are monitoring recommendations and notifications from state and local authorities, health organizations, and the CDC.  If a change or cancellation to a trip is decided, parents will be notified by email.
 
 
Have a safe Spring Break!
 
Blessings,
 
Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to parents in Ms. Veronica Harth's Lower Elementary classroom
 
After much conversation with the administration and trying to make the best decision for all involved, we have decided to cancel our trip to Forest Glen. I know we were all looking forward to it, but we are trying to be proactive about everyone’s health, immediate and extended family.

Thank you for your help and understanding. We will be having regular school tomorrow.
 
Warmly,

Veronica
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 

Dear Community,

We take the health of our students, parents, faculty and staff seriously and while St. Catherine’s does not have any active or presumptive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking proactive steps to increase our readiness for meeting the challenges of COVID-19.  Our administrative team continues to meet regularly and refers to information and guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, local health organizations, Houston Area Independent Schools, the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston, and Texas Private Schools Association.

Please review the following updates regarding school operations during this emerging situation.

GRANDPARENTS AND SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY

As an extra precaution in consideration of the older adults in our community and for those grandparents who may intend to travel to Houston to share this special day with their grandchildren, we have made the decision to cancel the April 9th event, Grandparents and Special Friends Day.  At this time all other special events will continue as planned.  We will notify the community if additional changes or cancellations are needed.

SPRING BREAK TRAVEL

We are monitoring the evolution of COVID-19 and have made some decisions and have some action steps that we are asking our community to take this week.  With Spring Break next week, we know that many of our families will be traveling and we are asking that everyone take extra precaution during this time. 

  • Anyone returning from CDC Level 2 and 3 travel advisory locations for coronavirus are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school.
  • Anyone traveling on a cruise ship should monitor their health and limit their interactions with other people for 14 days after returning from their trip.
  • As always, and especially now, keep children home if they are sick and do not return to school until they are symptom free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine.

SCHOOL TRIPS

At this time, there is no plan to cancel any of our upcoming school-sponsored trips, however, this situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to monitor any recommendations from the CDC or health departments regarding travel restrictions and will communicate any changes if they become necessary.  We understand that parents may choose to have their child not participate in upcoming school-sponsored trips, and we support parents in making the best decisions for their families.  

SCHOOL CLOSURE AND DISTANCE LEARNING

At this time St. Catherine’s remains open; however, knowing that the situation continues to evolve, faculty is discussing options for distance learning in the event of a school closure.  Faculty have class lists and will be in touch with their individual groups about work that can be accomplished at home.  The guides will send details if and when the need arises.  We ask that students take home any materials, books, journals, current research projects or personal computers (high school students) as they leave for Spring Break.

STAYING INFORMED

We have developed a page on our website with information about coronavirus, which can be found under the “What’s New” tab.

Thank you for your continued partnership in caring for our community.

Blessings,

Susan Tracy
Head of School
 
 
Sent to all parents, faculty and staff
 
Dear SCM Community,
 
The purpose of this message is to provide information regarding St. Catherine’s response to the potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).  We are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the local health departments. We will monitor and adjust the plan as necessary based on our local and national health experts.
 
Here are recommendations from the CDC to protect you and your family’s general health:
  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the most effective method of germ control.
  • Hand sanitizers with 60% or higher alcohol content are the next best method when soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and promptly dispose of the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean your hands after blowing your nose or using a tissue. If tissue is not available, cough in the upper sleeve of your clothing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Consider frequently disinfecting commonly shared areas and items especially if a visitor or family member is ill.
  • Students (or adults) who are ill should not come to school until they are better.
  • At the first sign of illness, please contact your medical professional.

SCM Cleaning Protocol
  • We are continuing daily cleaning procedures and practices to minimize risk of exposure to any potential germs and viruses.
  • We will remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure safety and wellness. 

Field Trips
  • At this time, we have not canceled any scheduled student travel within the state of Texas or within the United States. 
  • We will closely monitor matters and communicate if there are any changes.

Spring Break Travel
  • We encourage families to closely monitor the CDC recommendations regarding travel and at-risk areas (local, national, and international).

The health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance to everyone at St. Catherine’s.  We will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate our response as more information becomes available. Please be sure ParentsWeb contains your most up-to-date contact information to help facilitate our efforts to keep you informed.
 
Blessings,
 
Susan Tracy
Head of School
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
St. Catherine's campuses (Timberside and Japhet) are closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, and will continue our Learning from Home program through our last day of school, May 28, 2020.
 
The St. Catherine's "Learning from Home Handbook” was emailed to every family on March 24; distance learning officially began Wednesday, March 25.
 
Updated April 17, 2020
 
 
 
 
At this time, all school sponsored trips have been canceled through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
 
Updated April 17, 2020
 
 
 
 
 

Per CDC guidance, in-person school events and gatherings are canceled through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Details about alternative plans for graduation and end-of-year celebrations are forthcoming.

Updated April 17, 2020
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 
 
School Closure
 
 
St. Catherine’s Montessori campuses are closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, and will continue our Learning from Home program through our last day of school, May 28, 2020.
 
 
 
Learning from
Home Handbook
 
 
During this school closure, our aim is to create a Montessori-based framework that serves our students while supporting parents as we all adapt to a different daily routine.
 
This handbook outlines how St. Catherine’s guides and administration will support our families throughout this period of Learning from Home.
 
 
 
Submit your Photos
 
 
Just because we are apart, doesn't mean we can't see each other! Please send us photos of you living, learning, working, and enjoying family time - to be added to our Together Apart photo gallery and shared in the Globe and on our Facebook page.  
 
Send photos and short video clips to globe@stcathmont.org and tag
St. Catherine's Montessori in your Facebook posts.