COVID-19 School Return Information

Dear Ritter Families,

I never thought I’d never say “unprecedented times” so much in one school year. However, it holds true. These are unprecedented times and I’m as confident as ever that our mission of faith development, academic excellence, and leadership stand tall, no matter the storm. In fact, we’re built for this. Ritter students past and present have been learning about, preparing for, and shaping our communities with all its glory and all its ills. We are looking forward to the indelible mark the class of 2021 will make on this world.

We are also looking forward to welcoming our class of 2024 and seeing again the beautiful faces of our classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023.

To that end, we are planning to return on Monday, August 10th on a staggered in person schedule with the ultimate goal of full in-person classes after Labor day. Please see the attached schedule for a detailed explanation of this plan.

We are also working with the maintenance and custodial staff of the Archdiocese for sanitation measures. Further details about this and the overall plan will be released intermittently, including but not limited to, E-Learning schedule, academic calendar, health and safety measures, new student & returning student orientation, lunch plans, and athletic contact over the summer, etc.

We want to know all the questions you have. In the coming weeks, we will create a format to address your questions and concerns. If you have the question, someone else probably does too. So, please participate. More to come.

As recent times have shown us, we’ll have to be flexible as the circumstances around us change. We may be required to make further adjustments as we learn more. Here’s the thing, we’ll get through this together. That’s what family does. Remember, we are lions - strong, resilient, fierce and courageous. We are Ritter Strong!

I pray that your summer is going well and love you all.
Return to School 2020/21 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following FAQs are based on questions received from parents who participated in the on-line questionnaire that was released following the announcement about the Return to School plan for 2020/21. Our goal is to ensure we are addressing all questions and keeping the lines of communication open about the work we are doing to prepare for the new school year. This will be an on-going process and we will continue to provide updates as we learn more and will continue to ask for your input. We remain strong in our mission of Faith Development, Academic Excellence and Leadership and appreciate your support.

Why do we have a staggered approach? Our staggered approach will allow us to be flexible, to prepare for larger numbers of students in the building, and ramp-up (all in person) or down (all virtual) based on the status of COVID-19 or in the event of a second wave.

Will classes be smaller? How will students practice social distancing in the classrooms? Yes, classes will be smaller. To accommodate social distance of six feet apart, only 15 desks can fit in each classroom. Therefore, all classes have been designed to be no larger than 15 students per class.

How many students will be in each classroom? No more than 15 except for gym classes because the gymnasium has more room to spread out.

Will students change classes and how will that work? Yes. Students will change classes. While in the building, students will walk to the right on each side of the hallway and hallways will have dividers in the middle with openings for entry to each class to practice social distancing in the hallways.

Which classes will be taken on the “in seat” days? During the staggered schedule, each class will meet each day rather virtual or in person. Once everyone returns to the building, we will move to our traditional block schedule of four classes per day (A days and B days).

Will students be allowed extra time for tutoring? Yes. Fridays will be reserved for assessments as well as an opportunity to provide extra help. However, teachers will be available to students for questions and help after school Monday - Thursday.
Will there be a tuition discount? No. Tuition for Cardinal Ritter College Prep is approximately $8,900 per year. Many families are already receiving a discount in the form of a scholarship or tuition assistance. Teaching, learning, and instruction will continue uninterrupted, so no additional discount applies.

If I want to make a payment, will I have to come into the main office? No. All payments can be made online. We will also install a drop box in the foyer for payments.

How often will the building be cleaned? The building has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Once school starts, the night custodial crew will thoroughly clean and sanitize each night. During the school day, the bathrooms and high touch points such as knobs and doors will be cleaned hourly.

What about the air circulation? Our system has been set up to exchange air with outside air every 15 minutes. This frequency can also be increased as deemed necessary.

Will the desks be cleaned after each class? Yes. Each desk will be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down between classes.

Will everyone open and close doors? No. We will keep doors to high traffic areas open and ask that only teachers open and close classroom doors.

Will hand sanitizer be available throughout the building? Yes. Each classroom has a hand sanitizer station. Hand sanitizer stations are also positioned throughout the hallways and in each office area.

Will student’s temperatures be taken prior to entering the building? Yes. We will take student’s temperatures before they enter the building and ask them the Covid 19 pre-screening questions. We will also ask parents to keep their scholars at home if they have any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, etc.

What happens if a student has a temperature? The student will be sent home and required to take a COVID-19 test before returning to school. If positive, we will notify the student body and follow the guidelines of quarantining for the student.

Will everyone be tested for COVID-19? No. Tests will only be requested for those with symptoms.

Will students have to wear face masks? Yes. All students will be required to wear a mask.
Will the school provide face masks or will students need to bring their own? Students will be asked to purchase their own face masks and wear them everyday. Any student who forgets to bring his/her mask will be given a mask. We encourage parents to stock up on masks.

Will students have to wear gloves? No, only masks. We will ask students to practice good handwashing and have sanitizer throughout the building.

Will faculty and staff have to wear masks and do temperature checks before entering the building? Yes.

Will ALL individuals who enter the building be asked to wear a mask? Yes.

What are we doing about lunch? We will offer a hot and cold lunch option every day. Students may also bring their own lunch. Lunch will be pre-packaged and served in both classrooms and the cafeteria based on social distancing requirements. Based on social distancing requirements, the cafeteria can accommodate 70 students at a time and each classroom can accommodate 15 students. Some students will have the option to eat in the cafeteria, while others will eat in the classroom. We will rotate the classroom and cafeteria options for each grade level.

Will students be allowed to bring backpacks to prevent the need from going to lockers all day? Yes. Students will be allowed to bring backpacks into the classrooms this year.

What is the plan for athletics? Athletics is on a phased approach. It began this summer with social distancing, temperature checks, etc. The final phase is playing sports with a fan base. Currently, the athletic phases are monitored by SSM and Mercy Hospital professionals. We have dedicated staff from St. Louis University medical staff present every day for athletic compliance.

If students play sports, will parents be allowed to attend? See MSHSAA COVID-19 Guidelines.
Will students be required to wear a uniform? Yes.

Will incoming students have their Chromebooks before the start of school? Yes. Chromebooks should arrive by the end of July.

Will distance learning replace snow days? Yes.

What safety measures has the school planned for the upcoming school year in the event of a second wave? In the event of a second wave, we will follow local health and CDC guidelines. If students are unable to physically attend school, we will transition to our existing E-Learning schedule.