Returning to Campus

California Reopening Documents

The documents below are in alignment with the newly released (August 10, 2021) COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year. OLP is proud that our opening, as of September 1, 2020 through today, continues to be in alignment with San Diego County and California State guidance to ensure the highest safety is upheld for our students, faculty, staff, and the larger OLP community.

Roadmap for Reopening

School Guidance Checklist

COVID-19 Prevention Program

COVID-19 Decision Tree

Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy

Thank you to our two task forces (composed of OLP administration and faculty, parents, community members, business leaders, and public health experts) for looking at best practices across the nation and globally to identify how to return to a standard face-to-face environment while maintaining the safety of all students, faculty, and staff. We know that girls learn best when able to do with social interactions and with teacher and student collaboration.

Campus Readiness Task Force

  • Dr. Lauren Lek, Head of School, OLP
  • Toni Russo, Director of Facilities, OLP
  • Rivka Bent, Chief of Staff, Office of the Head of School, OLP
  • Paul Baribault, President & Chief Executive Officer at San Diego Zoo Global
  • Tony Evenson, Chief Financial Officer at Manpower
  • John Galvan, Director of Schools for the Office of Schools at the Diocese of San Diego
  • Dr. Edward Greene, Regional Medical Director at Sharp Rees-Stealy South Bay
  • Victoria Greene, RN, Director of Staff and Infection Prevention at Victoria Post Acute Care
  • Dr. Melissa Halter, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Student Wellness at the University of San Diego
  • Cheryl Kim ’94, Sr. Director, Flow Cytometry Core Facility La Jolla Institute for Immunology
  • Sonia Maciewjewski ‘06, Scientist in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Novax, INC.
  • Gary Matthews, Vice President Resource Management and Planning at University of California, San Diego 
  • Dr. Gregory Matwiyoff, Pulmonary Specialist and Critical Care Doctor, at Naval Medical Hospital, San Diego
  • Tyler Renner, Director of Community Outreach at Office of Councilmember Chris Ward
  • Sandro Romero, Director of Operations at CityWide Maintenance of San Diego

Instructional Task Force

  • Lauren Lek, Head of School
  • Jessica Hooper, Assistant Head of School
  • Dr. Angie Gascho, Instructional Practices and Technolgy Integration Director
  • Marlena Conroy, Assistant Principal, Director of Campus Life
  • Aaron Gonzalez, Assistant Principal, Director of Athletics
  • Emily Devereaux, Social Studies Department Chair
  • Alma Kim, World Languages Department Chair
  • Ryan Martin-Spencer, Theology Department Chair
  • Tim Paluso, STEM Department Chair
  • Jenny Rodriguez, Math Department Chair

Archived Updates

As we look ahead and begin to plan for the Spring semester, we are confronted with rising cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County and across the State of California. Governor Newsom’s Stay-At-Home order yesterday is just another reminder of the somber COVID-19 statistics we are faced with on a daily basis. COVID-19 is surging to its highest levels since the pandemic began. San Diego County has been placed in the most restrictive tier, the Purple Tier, along with 51 of 58 counties across California.

Based on all of the information that we have, we believe it is in the best interest of our community to continue the second semester in a Hybrid Learning Model, until such time as San Diego moves out of the Purple Tier. We are focused on a place of hope that we will be able to return to full-time, on-campus learning, as soon as it is safe to do so.

What we have seen over the past few months is that our Hybrid Learning Model, in conjunction with all other COVID-19 precautions, is working. Our restrictions and protocols are keeping our community safe and mitigating risks. To date, there have been zero cases of community spread on our campus and not a single member of our faculty or staff has tested positive for COVID-19. That is something to celebrate! 

Secondly, through our surveys and conversations with families, we know how much the OLP community values Wellness Wednesday and the day of flex learning. Furthermore, it is yet another layer of risk mitigation to break-up face-to-face attendance during the week. As such, we will preserve Wellness Wednesday through the second semester.

We have also noted that some OLP families have chosen to have their daughters remain virtual after Thanksgiving in anticipation of connecting with extended family members for the Christmas holidays. Others have chosen to act with an abundance of caution, having been with extended family during the Thanksgiving holiday. This recognition of our responsibility to one another as fellow community members is a living expression of our mission to care for “the dear neighbor.” We are grateful for all the steps our community is taking to ensure the safety of all during these times.

In October, OLP was selected as one of only three independent schools to be part of a pilot program with UCSD’s EXCITE Lab and Dr. Frederick Dow Wu, MD, Ph.D. to begin offering the nasal PCR COVID-19 tests on site to members of the faculty/staff on a bi-weekly basis. In an effort to continue our partnership with parents and students, OLP will now be offering the test on the OLP campus for any student who would like to be tested on Monday, January 4, 2021 following the Christmas break. The results would be available by the morning of Tuesday, January 5, ahead of the start of our annual Retreat Week. If you would like for your daughter to receive a test, please complete the medical authorization form, the online google student PCR authorization form, and submit payment ($30) online. We will assign a time for you to come through Circle Drive between 12:30 - 1:45 pm on Monday, January 4, 2021 to administer the nasal PCR COVID-19 test.

We are ready to be flexible and pivot as needed. While we will begin the second semester in Hybrid, we are poised and ready to welcome all of our young women back to campus as soon as it is safe to do so.

As COVID-19 cases increase in San Diego County, the County has moved to the state’s purple tier which is the most restrictive. This change does not impact our ability to continue with on-campus learning, current athletic programs, or any on-campus activities we are already running. Because OLP reopened our campus while the county was in the red tier, our school will be allowed to stay open.

As we see cases rise in our County, this does serve as a reminder of our need to remain vigilant in our COVID protocols at all times, especially outside of the OLP campus.

We are so proud of the hard work of our OLP employees to bring our girls back to campus. OLP students have also been doing a great job with their on campus vigilance to continue practices of wearing their mask at all times, staying home when symptomatic, and maintaining physical distance. Way to go, Pilots! Thanks for helping to keep our community healthy! 

Earlier in the school year, we spoke about the need for “communication” and “flexibility.”  In just the last month, we have had great opportunities to exercise both and we write to you today due to our commitment to practice prudence and thoughtfulness while remaining transparent. As you know, we have put detailed procedures and standards in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the OLP campus and among the community members. We have provided ongoing training and messaging for students, faculty, staff, and parents. We have utilized all on-site staff for supervision to provide reminders, training, and correction for our students.

However, we recognize that despite our best efforts the girls are struggling with maintaining the rules of physical distancing both on and off campus. As of this afternoon, we now have two confirmed, positive COVID-19 cases (these cases are not related to each other). In order to responsibly keep our community safe, we are going to utilize one of our “levers” to decrease the number of students on campus at any one time.

In preparation for this move, effective immediately, we are implementing a pause in our Face to Face learning model and moving to virtual distance learning (while maintaining the same class schedule). This will allow time for the community to separate, practice physical distancing, and reflect on the importance and privilege of our time together on the OLP campus. This pause will allow all of us to regroup, retrain students, and reinforce these core values to keep us all safe.

We are adapting to the needs of our time, with the priority of our community’s health and safety in mind.

Launch of the New Hybrid Schedule through the Remainder of the 1st Quarter

Starting on Thursday, September 17, 2020, we will begin the new Hybrid schedule.

Students will be divided into “Blue” and “Silver” cohorts based on an alpha split.

Last names A - J: “Blue”
Last names K - Z: “Silver”

Each group, Blue and Silver, will be on campus for a full rotation of classes (two days in a row), and then off campus on the other 3 days of the week.

By moving to this Hybrid model, and integrating a “Flex Day” on Wednesdays, we will allow for a 24 hour window between Blue and Silver cohort groupings shifting to on-campus.

As we are just beginning our contact tracing with the County Health, we are finding that the time frame is crucial to proper isolation and quarantine measures. We plan to maintain the Hybrid Schedule through the First Quarter, which ends on Friday, October 16, 2020.

  • Thursday, September 17 (ABCG) and Friday, September 18 (DEF)- Students with last names ending in “K - Z” (Silver) will be welcome to return to campus and receive instruction in person. Students with last names starting with “A - J” (Blue) will be learning virtually along with the students who are already assigned to virtual learning.
  • Monday, September 21 (ABCG) and Tuesday, September 22 (DEFG) - Students with last names ending in “A - J” (Blue) will be welcome to return to campus and receive instruction in person. Students with last names starting with “K - Z” (Silver) will be learning virtually along with the students who are already assigned to virtual learning.
  • We will also reintroduce a weekly Flex Day on Wednesdays. This day will be committed to providing students with time to complete their school work, participate in group work virtually, celebrate community events, engage in counseling meetings and workshops, participate in club meetings or school liturgies, and meet with teachers as needed.  Eventually, we will host optional, onsite activities on this Flex Day.

Overview of the Weekly Hybrid Learning Structure

Monday and Tuesday

  • Students with the last names alpha split A- J (Blue) will be on campus for in person instruction.
  • Students with the last names alpha split K - Z (Silver) will be engaged in remote learning.

Wednesday

  • Flex day with asynchronous learning taking place for students
    • Student campus life activities
    • Clubs will convene
    • Faith based activities will occur
    • Meetings and wellness sessions facilitated by counselors
    • Faculty office hours held

Thursday and Friday

  • Students with the last names alpha split K - Z (Silver) will be on campus for in person instruction.
  • Students with the last names alpha split A - J (Blue) will be engaged in remote learning.

We treasure our time together on campus as a community. Our hope is that we will ultimately be able to welcome all OLP students on campus again in the near future. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is always our priority. The challenge of this global pandemic is unprecedented, and yet, we have seen our community rise to the challenge, in so manys ways. While this situation is less than ideal, it is also temporary and it is but a moment in the four year experience of OLP students. This too shall pass, and we hope that on the other side we can celebrate the ways in which we came together as a community of faith to value and protect each other. Thank you for your partnership.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lauren Lek
Head of School

Mrs. Jessica Hooper
Assistant Head of School

We are excited to reach out to you with updates regarding our return to campus, and the shift to our Standard Face to Face schedule for all students, including those who remain in the Virtual Academy.

If you haven't already, please thoroughly review the OLP Roadmap to Reopening and the Student COVID training video that all grades watched in their class meetings to help prepare them for the reopening of campus.

The OLP team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we are ready to open on Tuesday, September 1 for face-to-face learning. We have followed all of the requirements and recommendations set forth by the CDC, California Department of Public Health, California Department of Education, and San Diego County Department of Education.

Ensuring that OLP is able to open our campus successfully while maintaining a healthy environment this next school year will require the commitment of every student, every parent, and every faculty and staff member. It requires us to commit to a pledge for safety that calls all of us to respect each individual.

We were so pleased with the COVID training we facilitated last week with all our students. They were engaged, present, and participatory. Our OLP students also asked great questions! Our hope is the below information will provide you with the answers to those same questions.

Below you will find the schedule as we return to campus and detailed information on the new protocols that we are implementing on our campus. This information is pertinent to those that will be choosing our Virtual Academy pathway (and now following the Standard Face to Face schedule), or those planning to return to campus Face to Face.

Dear OLP Parents and Guardians,

You may have heard the news that the County of San Diego was removed from the state’s COVID-19 watchlist as of Tuesday, August 18, 2020. While this is encouraging news that will help pave the way for us to reopen in just a few more weeks, there are also some important things to keep in mind. 

These numbers will need to stay within the acceptable range for at least 14 consecutive days before schools in San Diego County will be allowed to reopen without a waiver. 

Our process and procedure for reopening continue to be updated on an ongoing basis in our OLP Roadmap to Reopening. For the last several months, we have been adjusting reopening plans to ensure we do everything possible to maintain a healthy environment for our students and employees. Some of you might have even seen the spotlight video featuring OLP on KUSI news

At this juncture, should the numbers continue to stay below the State mandates for the required 14 days, then K-12 schools may reopen after the 15th day. OLP plans to use Monday, August 31 as an additional student and parent COVID procedure training day, virtual Mass for the entire community, and community club opportunities. If given the green light, we plan to return to campus in the Standard Face to Face Model of instruction on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

As is outlined in the OLP Roadmap to Reopening, our strategy is to employ all of our protocols such as symptom screening, staying home when sick, wearing face coverings at all times, maintaining physical distancing, hand washing, increasing cleaning and disinfection, and the inclusion of the plexiglass safety shields, just to name a few, to avoid any COVID-19 community spread. Should we find that there is an increase in COVID-19 cases in the OLP community, or on the advice of public health officials, we would at that point move to the Modified Face to Face Model. This would be a strategy to deploy if the existing protocols in place are not appropriately mitigating community spread.

Please note that those students who are opting to remain in a distance learning model, as part of the Virtual Academy, will transition to the Face to Face schedule. Students will maintain all their current teachers regardless if choosing the Virtual Academy or Face to Face. The teacher will account for the amount of time on screen, and modify the instruction accordingly. Through the acquisition of new Swivl technology, students participating in class virtually will be able to see a full 360-degree view of the classroom and hear all of the students participating. They will also be viewed on the TV in the classroom and heard over the speakers. Our goal is to provide an interactive learning environment for those face to face and virtual. You can read more about how Swivl and Zoom paired together allow for an interactive hybrid classroom: Swivl

In an effort to support all learners, a family can opt-in to the OLP Virtual Academy, or out of the Virtual Academy, at any time during the semester by emailing the Registrar, Nelson Kim, at [email protected]. We ask that you provide at least a week’s notice if changing your decision, for us to update our Blackbaud Student Information System, and be prepared to account for your daughter either Virtually or Face to Face. 

We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with local public health officials, the San Diego County Office of Education, and the Diocese of San Diego Office of Schools as we move forward. We will also continue to share updates as they become available. As a reminder, you can find the most current information on reopening plans on our OLP website. 

*Students without a G Block are dismissed at Lunch. North Terrace and the Holy Family Event Center available for those needing to stay for tutoring or late pick-up.

In July, the Governor put in place provisions to halt in-person schooling until 14 days after San Diego County has been removed from the Watchlist. At this juncture, and based on current numbers, we will be starting the year in a Distance Learning Model, but are prepared to return to campus within 48 hours and two school rotations of receiving the green light to open from the Governor.

We know this is not ideal for many families and we are hopeful that we can bring our girls back to campus for face to face learning soon.

Rest assured, we will return to campus as soon as state and county guidelines allow.

For at least the first week of school, we will be in a Distance Learning Model. The schedule will be:

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Our goal throughout this process has been to provide a safe, onsite face to face education. We believe that reopening our campus is in the best interest of our young women. We also recognize the need to find a pathway for reopening our campus safely with the health and wellbeing of our entire community in mind. Below is an executive summary of detailed information provided in the OLP Roadmap for Reopening. We encourage all parents, students, and community members to read the entire document. It will be updated on a bi-weekly basis as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. 

This afternoon, Governor Newsom provided stipulations for California schools in order to reopen in person.

Much of the announcement parallels the tremendous work that OLP has invested over the summer to prepare the school for reopening in person, face to face on the OLP grounds:

  • requiring students and employees to wear face masks at all times;

  • practicing six feet of physical distancing along with additional measures such as plexiglass screens;

  • symptom checks, hand washing stations, ensuring sanitization and cleaning protocols, and quarantine protocols;

  • rigorous distance learning program in place.

Newly presented today was that counties must be off the state’s Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days in order for schools to reopen in person. While the Academy of Our Lady of Peace has met and exceeded local and state guidelines and requirements for reopening safely, the number of cases in San Diego County has continued to increase and, hence, our county is currently included on the state’s Monitoring List.

The four pillars and three learning models outlined in our Roadmap to Reopening, allow us to remain flexible as new updates are shared. We encourage you to read the full details and the ways in which OLP is committed to reopening safely in our Roadmap to Reopening.

As we closely monitor the updates, in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education and our Diocesan Office of Schools, OLP will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students’ and employees’ safety and wellbeing.

In the event we are not permitted to reopen due to state guidelines outside of our control, and numbers in San Diego County do not decrease for 14 consecutive days, rest assured the OLP faculty is prepared to begin the school year with live distance learning, and then shift to face to face instruction on the OLP campus as soon as we are permitted.

We are still asking all families to make a choice for the semester for either an on-campus OLP learning plan or the OLP Virtual Academy no later than August 1. This form can be accessed through each family’s Blackbaud account.

Within the next week, we will send further updates related to the start of this school year. We are diligently in communication with the aforementioned agencies. As parents ourselves, we acknowledge and share the frustrating feelings of uncertainty that this news brings. We find hope in the demonstrated capacity of our OLP community.

Thank you for entrusting us with the education of your daughter and partnering with us while we prepare the way for our return to school.

Parents and guardians, we are in this together, and ready for the journey ahead!

God Bless,

Lauren Lek, Ed.D.
Head of School

Jessica Hooper
Assistant Head of School

We recognize that by now, many of you have learned of the updates that were shared yesterday from both Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts that they will begin the fall semester entirely online until further notice. This message was followed by an update from Governor Newsom that the increase in positive testing across the state, the impact of increased hospitalizations and limited ICU beds has resulted in rollbacks to California’s reopening plans.

We reach out to all of you today to assure you that we are still working toward an in-person educational experience for our OLP students. 

As we closely monitor the updates, in partnership with the County Office of Education and our Diocesan Office of Schools, OLP will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students’ and employees’ safety and wellbeing. As was previously shared with you on Friday, July 10, any plans are subject to change due to public health orders. The current  San Diego County Public Health Order still permits schools to physically reopen with the CDC, California Department of Public Health, and California Department of Education guidelines in place.  Should guidelines from these governing offices be adjusted, OLP will respond accordingly. 

We cannot predict what will happen, or what changes may come in the days or weeks ahead; we can only prepare for as many scenarios in our planning as possible. Every set of changes comes with an additional ripple effect of considerations that needs to be applied across our campus. The OLP Roadmap to Reopening details the variety of learning scenarios and schedules that may be implemented at any given time this school year. The OLP Mission serves as our point of reference and anchor. 

Our small size and site-based leadership allows us to be nimble and flexible at a time crucial for implementation. We also are making the necessary investments related to COVID requirements to ensure we are able to open in compliance with local, state and federal guidelines. 

As a team, we collectively have focused all of our efforts on the development of our reopening plans and will synthesize questions into a FAQ document that families can expect in our next biweekly update. In order to allow your family more time to discern this important decision, we are extending the deadline to choose an on-campus OLP learning experience or enrolling in the OLP Virtual Academy to August 1, 2020. 

Thank you for entrusting us with the education of your daughter and partnering with us as we redesign our OLP campus to meet her safety.