Health and Safety
The health and safety of Saint Raphael Academy students, faculty, staff, and their families are our most important priorities as we plan for the 2021-2022 school year. We all have a responsibility to help protect the health and safety of the entire community.
SRA has taken proactive steps to maintain a safe, healthy, and productive environment for all. These measures are based on currently available data and science, as well as recommendations from various local, state, and national sources.
While the Academy is taking many steps to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to members of our community, we cannot guarantee a COVID-19-free environment or eliminate the chance of infection and the health risks associated with it.
The health and safety measures put in place may change over time based on changing public health guidelines, the course of the pandemic, advances in scientific knowledge, and the administration’s assessment of what is required to protect our community. Flexibility and open communication will be key as we navigate the unknown challenges and future evolutions of the pandemic. The Academy will continue to monitor information from the Rhode Island Department of Health, the RI Department of Education, and the CDC.
Saint Raphael Academy is committed to making every individual’s experience here a worthwhile and enjoyable one. Saints students, faculty, and staff are making a difference. Thank you for all you’ve done – and continue to do – to keep Saints healthy and safe.
Social Distancing While on Campus
To properly support social distancing throughout campus, the following will be implemented:
- Social Distancing: Whenever possible, everyone will maintain a safe distance from others while on campus. Classroom furniture has been arranged to accommodate separation.
- One-Way Traffic Flow: Signage throughout campus will note hallways and stairwells that will now only allow one-way traffic.
- Classroom Locations: We will only utilize classrooms and meeting spaces that allow for social distancing.
- Lunch: SRA has temporarily suspended use of its two cafeterias. Lunch will be held in Alumni Hall, as the gym offers wide open space and some of the best air circulation on campus. 80 tables were purchased to allow two students per table with a 6-8’ space between. The food service provider has developed thorough plans for safe and effective service. Students are reminded to be mindful of the distancing when in line. Vending machines and microwaves will not be available for use as it is not possible to properly disinfect them between use.
- Maximum Capacity: Community Members should be mindful of ‘maximum capacity’ signage for various spaces on campus.
- Guests & Visitors: Guests and visitors (including parents) will not be permitted on campus until further notice. Parents picking their child up during the school day should wait in their car and call the office; your child will come to you. Once the school year is underway, we will reevaluate this policy for tours and shadow visits with the admissions office.
Health & Hygiene Protocols
In order to help mitigate the spread of the virus, the following has been implemented:
- Vaccinations: Vaccinations are highly encouraged and are available to anyone 12 years old and older at no cost.
- Pandemic Health Coordinator: SRA has hired a full-time nurse who also serves as the Pandemic Health Coordinator for screening/monitoring those on campus and the execution of COVID-19 protocols on campus.
- Exhibiting Signs of Illness? Stay Home: Students with flu-like symptoms must remain home. The daily health questionnaire that is completed each morning will help guide families as to when they should be staying home and/or seeing a doctor.
- Mandatory Face Masks Required: All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear a face mask while on campus. Masks must cover mouth and nose.
- High-Touch Areas: High-touch areas (such as restrooms, doorhandles, handrails, etc.) will be thoroughly sanitized throughout the day by our cleaning company. We have added two additional cleaning staff to support these efforts.
- Hand-held Misting Devices: Our cleaning company has several hand-held misting devices that apply long-lasting disinfectant to surfaces, desks, chairs, bathrooms, etc.
- Air Purifiers in Classrooms: Air purifiers have been purchased and installed in every classroom. They will run 24/7. When feasible, windows and doors will remain open to increase air circulation. · Hand-sanitizing Stations: Hand-sanitizer will be available in every classroom and throughout campus. Additionally, touchless hand-soap and towel dispensers have been installed in all bathrooms.
- Nurse’s Office Relocation: The Nurse’s Office has been relocated. The new location offers additional space, including isolation rooms if a student begins to feel ill while on campus an is waiting to be picked up by a parent.
- Mental Health & Wellness: The mental health and wellness of our students is paramount. Students should not hesitate to talk with a trusted teacher or guidance counselor for any academic, social, or health needs. Private appointments, drop-in style, socially-distanced gatherings, and virtual meetings are all options. (Note: The International Coordinator serves as the guidance counselor for all international students.
Athletics, Clubs & Extracurricular Activities
Athletics at SRA are governed by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL), so we will follow their guidance. We expect athletes, parents, and spectators to abide by the rules put in place to create the safest environment possible. If spectators are not allowed, the school will live-stream the competitions so that friends and family can still cheer on their favorite team. Currently, masks are not required for outdoor play. Club and extracurricular activity meetings will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Each club is encouraged to think creatively about ways to keep members active and involved.
Quarantine & Isolation
Community members will follow SRA and Rhode Island quarantine and isolation protocols. The school nurse will notify families if a student has had exposure to a person that tests positive.
Travel notices and advisories across all countries worldwide are changing daily. Please refer to the CDC website and check all travel advisories prior to any trip you may be taking and practice usual health precautions when traveling. Community members arriving in Rhode Island from another state or country must abide by the established rules in place as of the date of their arrival.
The administration talks with Dr. Thomas Murray, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease) at Yale School of Medicine, about reopening schools.