Opening School Plan

St. Catherine's plans to begin the 2020-2021 school year with in-person teaching and learning five days a week, as is currently allowed by Governor Northam's Phase III guidance.

Click on the image below to review the Updated Opening School Plan dated August 17, 2020. 

School Community Expectations

To maintain a safe and healthy campus environment we ask the full cooperation and support of every person in our School family — students, parents, faculty, and staff — to actively follow all health and safety practices on a daily basis, especially wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and maintaining physical distancing. This commitment is integral to protect one another and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. By coming to campus, each person/family affirms that daily self-screening guidelines have been conducted and that she/he/they will refrain from coming to campus when symptomatic or if exposed to positive or presumptive COVID-19 cases.

Start of School Dates for 2020-2021

Lower School 
Aug. 25: Early Learners - Grade 4

Middle School 
Sept. 1: First day for Grades 5-6 only (no school for grades 7-8)
Sept. 2: First day for Grades 7-8 only (no school for grades 5-6)
Sept. 3: Grades 5-8 in school

Upper School 
Aug. 31: Grades 9 and 12 first day of school, students report at 9 a.m.
Sept. 1: Grades 10 and 11 first day of school, students report at 10 a.m.
Sept. 2: All Upper School students report to school by 7:55 a.m.
Full School Calendar 

Ways that we are preparing the campus

Our Community Pledge

Daily Reminders

Self-screen at home every morning for COVID-19 related symptoms

Related symptoms may include the onset of new and unexplained symptoms such as: 
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fever of 100 F or greater
  • sore throat
  • muscle pain
  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • sudden loss of taste or smell
  • exposed to someone who is presumptive
  • positive or has tested positive for COVID-19

Wear a mask and bring a spare

Masks are required on campus. Students, faculty and staff should wear a clean mask daily and bring a clean spare mask as well. 

Pack a lunch; no food deliveries

As a reminder, the Dining Hall and Café 2010 are being used for classrooms. Each student needs to bring her lunch from home. There will not be access to microwaves or refrigerators. Snacking during class is not permitted. 

No food may be delivered from parents, delivery services or restaurants. If a child forgets their lunch, the school nurses will have nutritious options for her. 

Bring a water bottle

Every girl should bring a reusable water bottle from home. Water bottle refilling stations will be available on campus; water fountains are disabled to prevent the spread of infection. Don’t forget to label your water bottle with your student’s name. 

Only carry essentials in backpacks

Since lockers are not available this year, students should bring only essential items and leave the rest at home.

Our Learning Models

Statement from Virginia Association of Independent Schools

July 29, 2020

Dear VAIS School Communities,

All 95 schools within the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) have gathered over the past months to understand the policies and procedures needed to welcome students, families, and employees back to campus and  to ensure a rewarding and uplifting academic year. Since March 16th, VAIS has engaged in over 225 Zoom hours of education, resource-gathering, and collaboration around issues of health, safety, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Mutual support and cooperation have been especially helpful as schools plan the way forward during these challenging and unprecedented times. The foremost consideration has been the welfare and safety of the over 8,000 employees and 30,000 children within VAIS.

VAIS acknowledges that the COVID pandemic will affect our school communities for some time. Following Governor Ralph Northam’s Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools, each school is implementing  protocols  to mitigate inherent risk. Strategies include the modification of class sizes, reappropriation of space, and scheduling adjustments -- all of which have required enormous intellectual and financial investments while honoring the culture of each school community. Our schools are building upon the nimbleness and proficiency with which they moved to virtual instruction this spring to plan for a successful return to campus this fall and the possible need to deliver virtual instruction to some or all students, if and when necessary.

As Virginians work together to limit the spread of the virus, we acknowledge our individual and collective responsibility to mitigate risk. All members of our school communities must lead by example, embrace accountability, implement best practices, and make personal sacrifices for the  welfare of students, employees, and families. Both on and off campus, wearing face coverings, conscientious physical distancing, and limiting group interactions are necessary steps to increase the chances that we may continue to offer the meaningful, in-person educational experiences for which our VAIS schools are known. There has never been a more critical time for partnership and cooperation. I’m counting on you.

With gratitude,

Betsy Hunroe
Executive Director, VAIS

Opening School Task Force and Special Committees

Established in April, our Opening School Task Force continues to collaborate with national, regional, and local organizations, including educational leaders, medical professionals, health departments, and government agencies to develop processes and plans.  

The Team has been working diligently to conduct research, analyze information, and present options that have enabled us to make key decisions and preparations for a safe return to campus. They are closely monitoring all of the appropriate sources of information, and, as requested by the Governor, to follow all health and safety guidelines to the greatest extent possible. 
Jenn Vermillion, Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning, Task Force Co-chair
Dr. Pontus Hiort, Academic Leadership Chair, Task Force Co-chair
Dr. Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff, Head of School (through 7/31/20)
Lila Lohr, Interim Head of School 2020-2021 (beginning 8/1/20)
Sue Baldwin, Assistant Head of School and Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
Dr. Annie Kapetanis, Director of Lower School
Tonya Walker, Director of Middle School 
Frances Doyle '85, Interim Director of Middle School
Dr. Lara Wulff, Director of Upper School
Peter Pastore, CFO/COO, Logistics/Operations Committee Chair
Stacia Schoeffler, Middle/Upper School Nurse, Health/Safety Committee Co-chair
Elizabeth Blanton '97, Lower School Nurse, Health/Safety Committee Co-chair
Jennifer Cullinan, Director of Admissions, Chair of Community Engagement Committee
Anna Hatfield, Project Manager for the Head of School
Scott Meyerhoffer, Director of Security
Carroll Keiger '72, Director of Residents and Special Events
Lea McCormick, Director of Human Resources
Lori Fuller, Director of Finance
Theodora Miller, Director of Marketing and Communications
Bill Stovall, Director of Transportation
Lin Bottoms, Facilities Manager
Corey Lewis, Housekeeping Manager