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!
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.
Lauren Lek, Ed.D.
Head of School
Assistant Head of School
Dear Parents and Students,
Next week, we will be preparing for a much-needed and well deserved Easter Break at the conclusion of a successful three and a half weeks of virtual learning at OLP! We are incredibly proud that we were able to continue educating our students with zero downtime in this transition to online learning. At OLP we are committed to ensuring that our students are provided with not only academic excellence to ensure success, but also a community that supports them spiritually and socially.
During this time of the coronavirus, as the number of cases in San Diego and across California, the nation and world have continued to increase, we have heard each morning in our OLP community prayer how many are suffering more closely from the touchpoint of the virus. Through our faith, we hold each prayer intention up and remember the health of one another during these unknown times, especially our first responders, military, health care professionals and essential workers.
Counselors and faculty have provided for students and families a continual layer of routine and support even in a virtual environment. As we look forward to this much-needed break, it is also with an eye on the future that we reach out today. Those relationships with OLP will continue to be there for all of us in these uncertain times. As many know, this past weekend, here in San Diego, the shelter-at-home guidelines have been extended indefinitely. Our fellow neighboring unified school districts have also extended their online learning deadlines with no date of return.
Furthermore, just yesterday, Tony Thurmond, the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a letter to all Superintendents stating, “Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.”
In light of this determination, we announce to all of you today that OLP is poised to maintain our online learning program, with no specified date of return to campus, for the remainder of the academic school year. OLP is simultaneously ready to reopen the physical campus and return to normal school operations within just 48 hours notice, should we find that the tide has changed and public health officials believe that it is safe to do so.
As we move forward this year, we will remain focused on how we can best partner with our students and parents through a strategic planning approach to effectively serve our families in a virtual environment spiritually, socially and academically. We have some really exciting ideas coming that we cannot wait to share with you, from car parades to yearbook pick up on Circle Drive at the end of May, weekly club activities, virtual community service opportunities, and even a virtual Community Day celebration–the sky’s the limit for an OLP Pilot!
Rest assured that the Class of 2020 will experience face-to-face graduation on North Terrace as soon as the group gathering restrictions are lifted for San Diego County. This may be as early as the end of June, or we may need to wait until the holiday vacations surrounding Thanksgiving or Christmas of 2020. In the coming weeks we will remain in dialogue with students and parents from the Class of 2020 to evaluate a plan A, and plan B or plan C scenario. We are currently moving forward with a virtual Baccalaureate Mass on May 21 in the OLP Chapel and a virtual Graduation on May 22 at the regularly scheduled times. Our technology team is focused on identifying the best resources for this approach. We are building our plans as we speak and we look forward to your partnership to help us get there!
This is new and will take all of our ingenuity to help look through this with hope and innovation.
On Monday, April 6 at 2:15 pm we will host a Senior Class discussion forum with school leaders to share ideas and brainstorm others. Following Easter Break, we will host our next Coffee with Counselors to keep the lines of dialogue open with our parent community.
We recognize that none of this will look the same as we all anticipated, and this new reality is paired naturally with disappointment. Rest assured that with time to plan, we will have the runway to put amazing things in place to allow for special memories together.
As I was closing up my office and grabbing supplies for home, I took the new devotional book That All May Be One. It has been a source of tremendous guidance for me in these times. Today, I find a reflection from Jane DeLisle, CSJ, titled “Kaleidoscope of the LIttle Design” particularly poignant:
“Generation after generation
A shift of reality and circumstance
New beauty, new grace in response to the Mission
The amazing Little Design adapts
Alert to the next place for Love’s revelation
The cry for unity and reconciliation
A kaleidoscope turns
New patterns emerge
Nothing is lost.”
As we close out the OLP 2020 school year virtually, it will look different for this generation, but it will be special because we will celebrate it together! It will be filled with love and community and unity. I know that it is hard for our Seniors and our students who see what they do not have, but as an OLP community, we will look to the new patterns to emerge and create a different kaleidoscope of memories that will be special for all of us in this time. Ones we will never forget!
When able, we will celebrate once again at Villa Montemar, but until then, we will meet in our OLP Zoom Rooms.
I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning at 8:00 am for Morning Announcements! Join your daughter as we come together as one community.
Lauren Lek, Ed.D.
Head of School
Hello Parents and Students,
As we previously communicated, effective immediately, the campus is closed to all students and visitors. There will be a limited number of Leadership Team and vital staff on campus next week to ensure the effective transition to virtual work and learning.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, all classes will be moved to online digital learning with the hopeful expectation to return to campus Monday, April 20, 2020. Additionally, in alignment with San Diego Unified School District Athletics, effective immediately, all athletics practices and games have been canceled. In an attempt to address the growing number of questions, on the COVID-19 page of our website an additional FAQ link has been added.
For training purposes on Tuesday, March 17, students have been broken into small groups based on grade level and alphabetical split. These small groups will provide all students an introduction to the technology tools and what students can expect from their new online learning environment. These new Remote Homerooms, led by members of the OLP Leadership Team, will be shared via each student’s Blackbaud account on Monday, March 16.
Go to your Blackbaud account on Monday to access your new Remote Homeroom and your Google Meet session link, which will be used for Tuesday’s course.
In advance of Tuesday, students should bookmark on their device and test Google Meet. Again, the meeting link for Tuesday will be provided in the new “Remote Homeroom” accessible via Blackbaud.
Reach out to Registrar, Nelson Kim, at [email protected] if you don’t see a new Remote Homeroom in your Blackbaud account by 3:00 pm Monday, March 16, 2020.
- The schedule for students on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 is as follows:
10:00 am Session 1 For all Juniors and Seniors
- 11:00 am Session 2 For all Freshmen and Sophomores
For the upcoming week for Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 20, classes will meet on the following schedule. Only Block G academic classes will meet on rotation 2 days,Block G study halls will not meet while we are learning remotely.
- Wednesday, March 18 (ABC)
- Thursday, March 19 (DEFG)
- Friday, March 20 (ABC)
*Note: Blocks B, C, E,and F will be held at consistent times each day (there will not be a rotation of blocks)
8:00 – 8:15 am: Morning Message to Entire Community (link sent via school email)
8:15 – 9:00 am: Block A/D Synchronous Learning Online
9:00 – 9:45 am: Break and independent work time
9:45 – 10:30 am: Block B/E Synchronous Learning Online
10:30 – 11:00 am: Break and independent work time
11:00 – 11:45 am: Block C/F Synchronous Learning Online
11:45 am – 12:30pm: Break/Lunch
12:30 – 1:00 pm: Block G Synchronous (Rotation 2 Days only)
To all of our students and families, know that yesterday we ended the afternoon as a faculty and staff in prayer for each and every one of you. We know that this is such a trying experience, most especially for our girls. School is the place that you come to find your community, your activities, experience your passions, and engage in the things you love. We know that this is hard, and we are working to find new ways to create this virtually.
Yesterday afternoon as we were talking about whether or not the girls should wear uniforms online, there was a hilarious moment we wanted to share with you. Ms. Nagem suddenly spoke up and said, “Absolutely not. These girls have enough going on. I say no. Tell them to dress appropriately and let that be the end of it. Ms. Nagem says no to uniforms!” The room suddenly erupted in thunderous applause.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and we will see you virtually on Tuesday!
Dr. Lek and Mrs. Hooper
Today we met as faculty and staff to review our plans for the deployment of virtual learning and continuity of operations. As of early this morning, it became clear that the safety of our students, faculty, staff and greater OLP community necessitated a move to online learning and remote operations in the wake of growing concerns around the rapid spread of COVID-19 in San Diego County.
Effective immediately, the campus is closed to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, all classes will be moved to online digital learning with the hopeful expectation to return to campus Monday, April 20, 2020. You will shortly receive a separate communication regarding the academic schedule and expectations for virtual learning.
Additionally, in alignment with San Diego Unified School District Athletics, effective immediately and all athletics practices and games have been canceled.
We will continue to update parents and students via email, the Weekly Bulletin, and the OLP website. During this time of transition, you can anticipate an increase in the frequency of communication from us.
We will be using Google Meet as our primary tool for all class meetings and morning announcements from myself and Mrs. Hooper. This tool is already available through each student’s Google Suite provided by OLP and our students are familiar with it. Blackbaud will continue to be used for assignments and grading. Zoom will be used for parent virtual meetings with faculty and counselor meetings.
We recognize that we will encounter challenges along this journey, and we are ready to meet them together, as we make this switch to temporary online learning.
At OLP, we know that community is an essential part of what creates our special and unique culture. We have carefully prepared for ways to ensure that faculty, administration, staff, and counselors can still create community. It will look different. Our world today looks different. This global pandemic is forcing us to see many things through new eyes. It’s okay. We will get through this!
You chose OLP for the journey and we will walk alongside you and your daughter at this critical juncture. Our primary goal at this time is the continuity of her learning and stability. Creating routines she can count on. Ensuring she has the proper tools to access the content. This weekend, do your own home inventory of your internet access, headphones, and the ability to video conference. The students were recently sent a survey regarding their virtual learning capabilities and needs, and we have a comprehensive team ready to support successful online learning.
Our team also spent time discussing the social and emotional impact these changes could have on our girls and their learning. Counselors and Assistant Principals are here to support as well through virtual check-ins. All parent/student meetings can be scheduled via email.
As I searched for something to cling to in history to help guide us through this, I was reminded of a writing from Father Medaille and our earliest Sisters in 1650. Just shortly after the founding of our Sisters’ order in France, Father Medaille wrote what is now titled the “Eucharistic Letter” about how he envisioned the future existence of the Sisters of St. Joseph: “Our cherished Association is to be a body without a body, and if I dare say it, a congregation without a congregation, and perhaps in time, a religious order without being a religious order.” I was called to remember this as we look around and see the temporary closing of schools, ours included.
I tell you this, just as Father Medaille provided assurance all those many years ago, OLP even in a different form, will continue, for it is the relationships between faculty, staff, students, parents, alumnae and the community that is created which makes us so special. We will be a body without a body. A school not gathered on a physical campus for a time, but a school that will still empower young women in an innovative learning environment that honors the individual while fostering community and develops faith-filled leaders “dedicated to the love of God and the dear neighbor without distinction.”
We are ready, and we will journey through this together. We were brought here for this time!
May God bless you, your families and keep you safe. We pray for your health and your safety.
Dr. Lauren Lek
Head of School
We understand that families are all experiencing a heightened sense of trepidation regarding the news surrounding COVID-19. These are certainly unprecedented times. Things are changing rapidly so we will continue to provide you with timely information based on local, state, and national guidance. We are here to journey with you as your partner in the education of your daughters. At OLP we often talk about how privileged we feel to be blessed to spend our days with your precious girls. It is in that spirit that we share with you our response to the most recent updates from health officials regarding the rapid spread here in San Diego to COVID-19.
Early this morning we received from Dr. Paul Gothold, the San Diego County Superintendent of Schools, the most recent set of guidance from the California public health officials. It was released late last night and then aired early this morning on the news. In his email he states, “I fully realize many of us are being pressured to close down schools. At this point, we still don’t have any information from the health department that public safety has been compromised. The guidance from local public health, and from the California Department of Public Health and California Department Education, continues to be that closing schools is premature.”
Late last night, California public health officials released new guidance including large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings such as concerts, conferences, professional, college, and school sporting events.
The paramount focus of our school is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, the community, and the continuation of learning. In light of this new recommendation to quell the spread of COVID-19, along with recommendations from the CDC and the San Diego County Office of Education, OLP is looking to postpone large scale gatherings in order to increase social distancing.
All schoolwide and large scale gatherings through the start of Easter Break have been either canceled, postponed, or modified. We will make every effort to reschedule as many events as possible in an effort to honor the tremendous work of faculty, staff, and students. See below for a list of events and their current status. Check the OLP website regularly for ongoing updates.
We appreciate that you may have questions about events after this date. We are continuing to evaluate the situation day to day and will keep you updated on events beyond Easter Break. We will make every effort to give our community as much advance notice of event changes as possible.
How You Can Help
If you are interested in supporting the OLP community during this time, there are areas in which you can help. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Submit Words of Encouragement: During this difficult time, we welcome your words of encouragement for faculty, staff and students. It's an easy way to let our community know you're thinking of us and doesn't cost a thing! Submit your "notes of love" here.
- Alumnae Submit Videos for Class of 2020: OLP alumna Cara McMahon '95 is looking for alumnae to create supportive video messages to share with the Class of 2020! Submit your video in the Dropbox folder by Tuesday, May 12. The video should be short, include your name and graduation year, and then you should finish one of the following statements in a few words (For you, I wish... For you, I hope... For you, I pray...).
- Parents in Prayer: Join Parents in Prayer in their virtual meeting. All are welcome to join us in prayer on Tuesdays at 7:45 am by logging in to our Zoom Conference line here, with meeting ID: 143 973 554 - Contact Kirstin Kuhn with any questions [email protected]
- AmazonSmile: You can support OLP easily while shopping online. When you make OLP your designated charitable organization with AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to OLP. Visit https://smile.amazon.com/ to get started!
- Support Boundless: Grounded by our commitment to serve our students in an innovative learning environment, operations to support Boundless: The Campaign for OLP, will continue. To see the opportunities still available, please visit: https://www.aolp.org/namingopportunities/. Thank you to our many incredible donors who continue to support this important project.
- Support the Carondelet Annual Fund: Our Carondelet Annual Fund provides the flexibility to respond to new initiatives and meet emerging needs throughout the year, which is needed now more than ever.
- Submit Your Prayer Intentions: Every morning, all of our faculty, staff, and 750 students gather virtually for morning announcements and prayer. Please use this quick and anonymous form to share your intentions so we may pray alongside you: https://forms.gle/1z2vD1RoBHtXQ3FL6
- G Block Masses for April--Canceled
- Coffee With Counselors, April 1--Canceled
- Dance National Competitions, April 3--Canceled
- Dance Showcase, April 3--Postponed
- OLP/Saints Art Show, April 3--Canceled
- Tijuana Service Immersion, April 4--Canceled
- Clubs for a Cause, April 7--Canceled
- Stations of the Cross, April 8--Canceled
- Spring Theatrical Production (Annie), April 30-May 2--Postponed
- G Block Masses for May--Canceled
- Spring Welcome Night, May 6--Virtual
- Spring Pops Concert, May 8--Canceled
- Academic Assembly & Evening of Excellence, May 13--Virtual
- Spring Sports Recognition Night, May 14--Canceled
- Senior Grad Night, May 15--Canceled
- Senior Farewell Assembly, May 18--Virtual
- Baccalaureate Mass, May 21--Virtual, followed by an in-person gathering when permitted
- Graduation, May 22--Virtual, followed by an in-person gathering when permitted
- Dance/Cheer Tryouts, May 26-29--Virtual
- All Parent Group Meetings (Parents in Prayer, Pilot Parents)--Virtual
- Spring Season Sports Regular Season--Canceled
Our Executive Leadership Team is meeting frequently to stay informed and update our plans as needed.
At OLP, we prioritize the health and wellness of our community. We are working in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education and local health officials to monitor the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates as soon as they become available.
We have been assured by public health officials that closing our school is unwarranted at this time and could create unintended consequences that would hurt their efforts to protect our community. We will remain in close conversation with the Diocese of San Diego, the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Unified School District along with public health officials throughout the duration of this threat and comply with all of their guidance. We will notify you immediately if this guidance changes.
The following are important reminders that we have implemented on our campus posted by the CDC and reinforced by the San Diego County Office of Education in their March 9, 2020 communication to all schools:
- Send students, teachers, and staff who present with fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms home immediately. Separate them from others until they go home. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly pass.
- Be sure to get the flu vaccine if you haven't.
- Stay home if sick.
- Remain at home until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines; Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing; Use “respiratory etiquette.”
- Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. See CDC’s Cover Your Cough page for multilingual posters and flyers, posted at the bottom of the webpage.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Encourage hand washing by students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and the provision of adequate supplies.
- OLP is continuing to do all cleaning commensurate with procedures outlined by CDC guidance. We thank all faculty and staff for their support for frequent cleaning in classrooms and their work stations through the use of disinfectant wipes when a new person uses a desk or area.
For additional information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s dedicated website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Frequently Asked Questions
- OLP COVID-19 FAQ
- COVID-19 Resources for Parents
- Distance Learning
- August 2020 Reopening Plan
- Athletics Updates
Important Links Regarding Coronavirus and the San Diego County Office of Education or Other Agencies
- San Diego County Office of Education - COVID-19 Resources
- San Diego County Office of Public Health and Coronavirus
- San Diego County Coronavirus Local Statistics, updated daily
- San Diego Unified School District - Coronavirus Information Page
- CDC Information for Schools on COVID-19
- CIF Coronavirus Advisory