CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION

St. John’s is actively monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and will update this page regularly to share announcements and information about our preparations and responses. The safety and well-being of everyone in the SJC community is our highest priority.

At this time, we are NOT abiding by the decision of Montgomery County Public Schools. St. John’s will be making the decision to remain open or to close internally.

We ask that anyone from our community who is in contact with someone known to have the coronavirus or who is diagnosed with it themselves please report this to the school administration immediately.

DISTANCE LEARNING WILL CONTINUE THROUGH APRIL 3; NO CLASSES APRIL 6-8; EASTER BREAK APRIL 9-19

On March 16, St. John’s enacted the distance learning plan outlined in our Continuity of Teaching and Learning protocol. Classes will meet in order based on an A day, regular schedule, and students must be “present.” 

On March 19, based on the latest information from the federal government and the CDC's guidelines, St. John's announced that distance learning will continue through Friday, April 3. As the school has not used any snow days, online classes will not meet April 6-8, and Easter break will be observed from April 9-19. All in-person events and all on-campus activities at the school are postponed or canceled through April 19.
 

Announcements

List of 8 items.

  • A Message from the President - March 19

    Dear Parents,
     
    As we near the conclusion of the first week of distance learning, I hope you and all those in your family are in good health. Please know that Mr. Themistos and I continue to keep you and the community in our daily prayers.
     
    Each day, the administration reviews the information provided to us by the federal and local governments, so we can adapt to the changing policies and regulations. If anyone has a question or concern, please do not hesitate to contact us.
     
    Based on the latest information from the federal government and the CDC guidelines, SJC will continue with online learning through Friday, April 3. Since we have not utilized our snow days, online classes will not meet April 6-8 and then we will observe our Easter break from April 9-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you with any changes. 
     
    In contrast to the current challenges we face, I would like to offer some positive news. Last Saturday was freshman registration, and we are pleased to inform you that we exceeded our goal for freshman enrollment. I want to thank the admissions team for all their hard work throughout the course of the year and the freshman teachers who made the eighth-grade shadow experience so engaging.
     
    Mr. Themistos and I are grateful for your support and prayers as we continue to keep your children fully engaged with their coursework and assignments using the distance learning platform.
     
    Live Jesus in our hearts.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Jeffrey Mancabelli
  • A Message from the Principal - March 19

    Dear Parents and Students,
     
    As we continue our distance learning program, I offer you my positive thoughts and prayers for your health and well-being. Below are some suggestions and reminders for the next week.   
    Note: Teachers are available via email during school days. Once again, we will be following an A day schedule each day. Please contact faculty and administrators with any needs. 

    Here are some thoughts to help you create structure during your days. 
     
    For students:
    • Find a few comfortable places where you can do your work.
    • Remember that your class periods will involve a combination of in-person and virtual meetings.
    • Take breaks when you can! Go outside, disconnect from your screens and try to engage in something that has nothing to do with schoolwork. (This includes disconnecting from the steady stream of current events a few times a day.)
    • Maximize your extra time – you are not commuting to and from school. You are not going to be in homeroom or lunch for a while – take advantage of this time! Catch up on sleep, have meaningful interactions with your parents and/or siblings and find time to do something that makes you happy.
    • Find a schedule that works for you that also adheres to your school day schedule. 
    • Fill your time with something you like (that doesn’t involve Netflix or Hulu). Pick up a book, practice your instrument, start or continue to exercise or think of something charitable you can do from your home.
    • Please try to restrict social gatherings. Although you might miss your friends, this is not the time to plan in-person get-togethers.
     
    Please be aware that during this time, the school campus is closed for use. Our athletic fields and facilities are also closed. Please contact me with any direct questions or needs at cthemistos@stjohnschs.org.

    Reminder for rising juniors and sophomores: Do not forget that course registration is in process. If you have difficulty accessing Canvas, please be patient – many students around the world are using it.
      
    Live Jesus in our hearts!
    Mr. Themistos 
  • A Message from the President - March 12

    Dear St. John’s Community,
     
    The well-being of our faculty, staff and especially our students is always our number one priority. Although we currently have no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our efforts to plan and prepare our campus community in response to this global crisis continue to evolve as new information and updated public health guidance are made available.
     
    Due to the uncertain impact of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of our students and the entire school community, St. John’s has made the following decisions.
     
    Friday, March 13 - 1:10 pm Dismissal
     
    We will operate on an abbreviated schedule for students to attend classes and receive the materials they need to begin a two-week period of online learning. March 13 will also be the last day of extracurricular activities through at least March 27. As you will see below, we are enacting our continuity of teaching and learning protocol, beginning Monday, March 16.
     
    March 16-27 - Virtual Learning
     
    On Monday, March 16, St. John’s will enact the distance learning plan outlined in our Continuity of Teaching and Learning protocol. Classes will meet in order based on an A day, regular schedule, and students must be “present.” 

    Classes will not necessarily meet the same way each day, and teachers may choose to guide their classes differently as time progresses. Students should refer to their course Canvas pages, where teachers will communicate their plans directly.
     
    Please note the third quarter will still end Tuesday, March 17. Final grades will be posted on PowerSchool on Tuesday, March 24.
     
    Distance learning will continue through at least Friday, March 27, and we will reassess and communicate with families on a weekly basis. All in-person events and all on-campus activities at the school are also postponed or canceled through March 27.  

    We have created a web page with resources and information about our response to this developing situation. Please check this page regularly for updates and more information.

    Distance learning may present a few challenges for some students, and therefore we ask for your cooperation to ensure that instruction and learning continue at the highest level while our campus is closed. Please emphasize with your students that this period prior to Easter break is not a vacation; it is an online continuation of their regular schoolwork. I am very proud of the work our faculty has done to prepare for this new learning environment, and our 1:1 Educational Technology Program has also made St. John’s uniquely well-prepared and equipped to provide exceptional virtual instruction.
     
    Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we work through this challenge together. 
     
    Sincerely,
    Jeffrey Mancabelli
  • Athletic and Extracurricular Events Suspended Beginning March 14

    Beginning March 14, all athletic and extracurricular events will be suspended indefinitely. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.
  • A Message from the Principal - March 10

    Dear SJC Community,
     
    As we continue to prepare for a possible interruption to our normal school activity, I wanted to share our process and protocols with you. First, please review our continuity of teaching and learning protocol
     
    All students should bring home all materials every night so they will be prepared in the event of an abrupt school closing. Make sure your student’s devices are charged and in good working order and they can access all apps, textbooks and other resources. In the event school is not in session, any technology troubleshooting questions should be emailed to technology@stjohnschs.org
     
    If school is closed for one to three days, teachers will post work that can be completed at each student’s individual pace. Schoolwork will be posted by 8:00 am for the day’s classes. Teachers will give instructions as to when assignments are due. No work will be posted for the first day out of school. This day is designed to allow teachers to prepare for the coming day’s assignments. 
     
    If St. John’s will be closed for more than three days, we will convene structured distance-learning days. Classes will meet in order based on an A day, regular schedule, and students must be “present.” Some classes will meet “live” using a video chat platform, and in other cases, teachers may choose to post work that will be due at the end of the 40-minute class period rather than conduct class live and online. Teachers may use a variety of media to capture course content, and students must be prepared to engage in assessments using Canvas, Nearpod, EdPuzzle or other online assessment tools in addition to writing assessments. 
     
    Classes will not necessarily meet every day in the same way. Teachers will drive the learning and access to course material, so they may choose to guide their classes differently as time progresses. A teacher may host several online meetings per week during his/her class period and disseminate work to be completed on other days. Teachers will communicate their plans directly through course Canvas pages. 
     
    Please also be mindful of the following:
     
    • If students are sick or unable to attend class or submit work, please email the teacher directly. 
    • All normal resources will be available to students. Students may contact teachers, academic support, counselors or the administration by email for support or questions.    
    • We are also asking that anyone from our community who is in contact with someone known to have the coronavirus or who is diagnosed with it themselves please report this to the school administration immediately. 
    • If students plan to travel internationally during spring break, please notify the school administration. 
    • Students are encouraged to continue to complete their required Christian service hours, so long as their safety and the respective placements allow. The number of hours submitted on the log sheet, due by April 27, is the number that will be recorded on student transcripts. The minimum hours requirement for this year will be waved due to the public health circumstances.
    • At this time, we are NOT abiding by the decision of Montgomery County Public Schools. St. John’s will be making the decision to remain open or to close internally. 
     
    While a school closure presents a challenging situation, we are confident these protocols will ensure our students’ continued educational growth.
     
    I appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to prepare for this difficult situation. 
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Christopher Themistos
    Principal
  • Continuity of Teaching and Learning Protocol - March 10

    This plan will be put in place in the event that St. John’s College High School is forced to close in the event of weather-related, health-related or other disruptive measures to unforeseen circumstances for a period of time. The objective is for the school to continue to provide an effective education for students within 24 hours of an emergency in both the short and long term. This plan will outline how the school will communicate with students and families, the technology that may be used and how students can be supported at home. Teachers will prepare lesson plans that utilize the technology available to continue facilitating instruction to their classes.  
     
    Alerts and Notifications: 
     
    The school will use its email system, SchoolMessenger text message system, Canvas and/or social media to communicate with families.
     
    The Learning Experience:
     
    It is understood that distance learning cannot replicate the experience that students have within the confines of St. John’s. We encourage continued social interactions and physical activity while away from school and will, whenever possible, help to assist those interactions and activities. 
     
    Distance Learning Plan:
     
    In the event that school is closed for a period of time, the first day of closure will be allocated to teachers to prepare for online learning. Students should test their devices, apps and online access systems and work on any outstanding assignments. Students must ensure that their devices are charged and can remain connected. Questions regarding technology troubleshooting should be directed to technology@stjohnschs.org with the subject line “technology troubleshooting.”
     
    Teachers will use Canvas to collect student work. Methods used will be dependent on the length of time that school is not in session. If school is closed for one to three days, teachers will post assignments for classwork by 8:00 a.m. and provide instructions about when the assignments will be due. 

    If school is closed for more than three days, the following protocols will be put in place:
     
    Students are asked to: 

    • Identify a comfortable, quiet space with an internet connection where you can work effectively and successfully
    • Complete assignments with integrity and academic honesty, doing your best work
    • Follow the regular schedule based on an A day
    • Promptly join online sessions, which will most likely take place during some or all of the day
    • Collaborate, when asked, with students and faculty online
    • Complete readings, video lectures, interactive activities and other homework that may be assigned

    Additional Points
     
    • Students are encouraged to be proactive in reaching out to teachers when they have questions, cannot meet a deadline or assignments are unclear
    • Counselors are always available via email to support students with academic, social or emotional needs
      
    Recommendations for Parents
     
    • Set a schedule with your child at home
    • Ensure they keep to a routine
    • Make time for opportunities to disconnect from schoolwork
    • Encourage physical activity and social engagement
    • Monitor communications from teachers
    • Remain mindful of your child’s feelings of stress and/or anxiety
    • Please contact the St. John’s administration with any questions or concerns
  • Student Service Hours Update - March 10

    Students are encouraged to continue to complete their required Christian service hours, so long as their safety and the respective placements allow. The number of hours submitted on the log sheet, due by April 27, is the number that will be recorded on student transcripts. The minimum hours requirement for this year will be waved due to the public health circumstances.
  • A Message from the Principal - Feb. 28

    Dear SJC Community,
     
    I would like to take this opportunity to communicate with you about our preparation concerning the possible spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to this area. Although the risk to the general public is currently low across the entire United States, and there are zero reported cases of COVID-19 in the DMV, it is important to be prepared, because the health and safety of everyone within our community is our top priority.
     
    For the past several weeks, we have been monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local government outlets for the most up-to-date information, instructions and guidelines. We encourage all of our families to make use of these resources as well.  
     
    We will be examining and modifying certain school activities and processes to mitigate the spread of contagious illnesses and working with the Athletic Department and teams to do the same. Our faculty are developing instructional plans that would go into effect in the unlikely event of school closure for an extended period of time. The combination of our talented and creative faculty and the technology resources provided by St. John’s will allow us to continue teaching and learning in the face of such a disruption.  
     
    Lastly, please keep your child home if they are sick, help them practice habits that will limit the spread of illness and be in contact with the school with any concerns or needs. 
     
    As this situation continues to evolve, we will be in close communication with our families.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Christopher Themistos
    Principal

Technology Troubleshooting

Questions regarding technology troubleshooting should be directed to technology@stjohnschs.org with the subject line “technology troubleshooting.”

Canceled or Postponed Events

New dates for postponed events will be shared in the weeks to come.

  • Start-up Experience - March 15-16 - Postponed
  • Gallery Night - March 18 - Postponed
  • Sophomore Seminar - March 23-24 - Canceled
  • Sophomore Parent Meeting on Drugs and Alcohol - March 23 - Canceled
  • Annual College Fair - March 24 -  Canceled
  • Mothers' Club Meeting - April 1 - Canceled
  • Junior Retreat - April 2 - Canceled
  • Freshman Mission Mass - April 7 - Postponed
  • New York Alumni Reception - April 21 - Postponed
  • Spring Musical - April 23-25 - Canceled
  • Theatre Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - April 24 - Postponed until 2021
  • Kairos Retreat - April 28-May 1 - Postponed

School-Sponsored Travel

All school-sponsored travel will be canceled beginning Monday, March 16. This includes all athletic, academic, extracurricular and Christian service trips.

Out of an abundance of caution, St. John's has already canceled a number of upcoming international trips. In addition, several other upcoming trips have been canceled, including:

  • Crew Team Training Trip to Georgia
  • New Balance Indoor Nationals
  • USA Hockey Nationals
  • Spring Break Service Trip to Mississippi
  • Performing Arts Trip to New Orleans
  • Baseball Training Trip to Nevada
  • Performing Arts Trip to Williamsburg