2021-22 School Year at SMES (Aug 2021)
The SMES medical advisory team has met, and the following Processes and Protocols
will be in place to safely conduct school at St. Martin’s amid the current COVID-19 situation. School guidelines have been crafted using the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
’s (CDC) most recent suggested protocols. As always, the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority and we will be ready to adapt to changes in patterns of COVID-19 in our community and adjust our protocols as needed. Working together, we were able to have a remarkably successful school year last year, and we are prepared to do the same this year.
This summer, public health data has shown a resurgence of COVID-19 in all age groups, especially in those who are unvaccinated. And, according to the CDC, the leading variant (Delta) is more contagious and potentially more dangerous. In addition, there are outbreaks of other respiratory viruses in the community resulting in significant illness, especially in young children. Because we are a preschool- 8th-grade school and most of our students are not yet eligible to receive a vaccination, indoor masking will be mandatory at St. Martin’s (Beginners - 8th grade, faculty, staff and visitors) for the start of school. We have relaxed some of the protective measures that were previously in place, and we will continue to look for further opportunities to return the school environment to normal while keeping our children, faculty and staff safe.
Healthcare professionals and organizations, including CDC, AAP and the Georgia Department of Public Health, continue to emphasize that vaccination is the most powerful way to thwart the spread of COVID-19. This is based on strong evidence of safety and effectiveness in reducing infection, spread and more severe illness. We continue to encourage families to strongly consider vaccinating family members who are 12 and older, and we remain hopeful that the vaccine will soon become available for younger children. Of course, we also recognize that vaccination is a personal choice, and we respect each family’s personal decision.