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COVID-19 UPDATES & RESOURCES


News from Saint Mary's School

Interested in Saint Mary's School for your daughter?
Our admission team is eager to speak with you and introduce you to Saint Mary's! Schedule an in-person visit or contact us for a virtual information session. Learn more here or contact admission@sms.edu

Summer Hours, 2021 
Saint Mary's summer hours will begin on Tuesday, June 1, and end on Friday, August 13. Official office hours for administrative offices for the summer will be:
  • Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

On Monday, August 16, 2021, all employees will return to campus for an in-person work environment.

The 2021-2022 academic year
Saint Mary’s School has spent several months preparing for the re-opening of campus for our students, faculty, and staff for the 2021-2022 academic year. After a successful graduation weekend for the Class of 2021, we are confident in our team and in our community in helping us have another successful year. We will continue to rely on experts in the public heath, infectious diseases, epidemiology, and environmental health fields, as well as the latest best practices and our experience in managing and planning for continuous operations. We will also prepare contingency plans and commit to staying on top of the ever-evolving global pandemic situation. Anticipating that the spread of COVID-19 infections will continue to significantly diminish, that vaccination efforts will prove effective in preventing serious or deadly illness, and that restrictions for public gatherings and prevailing public health guidelines for physical distancing will be eased, Saint Mary’s is preparing for a fully in-person fall 2021 semester. To learn more about the re-opening plan for Saint Mary's, click here.
 

Last academic year, 2020-2021
Classes began on August 24, with a two-week period of virtual learning. On-campus classes began September 8. Beginning December 1, following the Thanksgiving break, the school returned to a virtual learning model from December 1-18 prior to the Christmas break. Students and faculty engaged in virtual classes from January 5-8, and returned to on-campus classes January 11, with in-person learning scheduled through the end of the school year. We held an on-campus, in-person Commencement on Sunday, May 23, 2021, and the semester ended successfully on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Daily Health Screening
All Saint Mary's students and employees engaged in daily health screening via the Ascend COVID-19 screening app each morning before coming to or moving about campus throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. The results of the screening either granted permission to move about campus or placed a person in the COVID-19 protocol process. Starting on May 28, 2021, Saint Mary’s suspended use of the Ascend app for the summer months and will re-evaluate its use for the 2021-2022 fall semester. Should an alternate plan be needed, Saint Mary’s will have contingency plans ready to be in place immediately to ensure robust checks and safety procedures.
 
COVID-19 testing information
During the 2020-2021 academic year, when a student or employee needed to be tested for COVID-19, they were asked to become virtual until a negative test was presented and uploaded to the system. All students and employees were expected to report their symptoms and temperature daily to the ASCEND screening app. This monitoring system was essential in our tracking illnesses on campus. If any issues arose, individuals contacted the Binder Health Center at nurses@sms.edu. As of May 28, 2021, the Ascend screening app was discontinued. However, moving forward throughout the summer, we will again ask community members to report their need for a COVID-19 test and to go virtual until a negative test is presented and to follow previous protocols.
 

Important Information about COVID-19 PCR testing:

  • A COVID-19 PCR/Molecular test is required.
  • Antigen tests (rapid tests) and antibody tests will not clear a student for return.
  • If your daughter tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, no additional testing is required.
  • All test results (either negative COVID-19 PCR test or positive COVID-19 test within 90 days) must be submitted through Magnus and approved by Saint Mary's Binder Health Center staff.
  • Those who are traveling away from home should test upon your return home and submit a negative result before returning to campus.

How to submit COVID-19 PCR test to Magnus:

  • Access your Magnus account through the SMS parent portal using your Veracross credentials or access Magnus directly at mymagnus.com.
  • Forgot your Veracross password? Go to: https://accounts.veracross.com/sms/portals/accounts/forgot_password
  • Photo: Take a picture of the form and upload the .jpg directly to Magnus online or use the app. It's as easy as uploading a photo to Facebook!
  • Scan: Scan the document to your computer as a PDF and upload it directly to Magnus.

Covid Testing Resources in Wake County (as of January 2021)

Here is the link to drive-thru Covid-19 testing in Wake County. https://covid19.wakegov.com/testing/

The Swinburne Parking deck on Kidd Road in Raleigh offers:

  • Drive-through PCR testing
  • No appointments necessary
  • No questions asked, no ID required
  • Quick and easy
  • Free
  • Turn-around time is generally 12-24 hours
  • Open 7 days a week. 7am-7pm
  • Check out the website for more information on this and other locations https://covid19.wakegov.com/testing/

Rapid testing is key to fighting this pandemic! This is a great resource!

COVID-19 vaccinations
Many, if not most, Saint Mary's faculty and staff are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Saint Mary's offered its own vaccination clinic for employees, in partnership with Hayes Barton Pharmacy, March 4, 2021, in Bacon Gym with a follow up clinic held April 9, 2021, for the second dose of the Moderna vaccine for those who received their first dose at Saint Mary's. With vaccinations now widely available to those age 12 and older, many, if not the majority, of students are also in the process of receiving vaccines or are fully vaccinated.
 

In preparation for the new academic year (2021-2022), Saint Mary’s in-person, on-campus learning plan assumes all faculty and staff who intend to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will have been vaccinated, and that most students will have been able to receive the vaccine before the fall semester begins. While the vaccine is not mandatory, we strongly encourage all Saints to consider getting the vaccination.

Campus Visitors
For the health and safety of our school community, visitors to campus are being limited. Visitors must have a scheduled appointment and complete the school's campus access screening form 24 hours in advance of arriving on campus. In keeping with Saint Mary's health protocols, visitors must wear a mask/face covering and maintain social distancing while on our campus.
 
Summer Camps & Guest Groups
For the health and safety of our school community and in keeping with Saint Mary's health protocols, summer camp attendees must wear masks for indoor or in-classroom activities. Masks are not required for outdoor activities or in the Bacon Gymnasium (while doors are open and fans are in motion). Visitors who are part of guest groups should also check with their group's health and safety protocols, which may require additional health and safety protocols. If none exist, defer to Saint Mary's health and safety protocols. For questions regarding mask policies or health and safety questions for summer camps, contact Mary Brown Taylor '08 at 919-424-4029 or email her at mbtaylor@sms.edu. For guest group inquiries, contact Kirsten Monroe at 919-424-4028 or email her at kwmonroe@sms.edu.
 

Administrative offices:
Faculty and other employees essential to school operations are working on campus in compliance with campus health and safety protocols. Some administrative staff continue to work from home to minimize potential COVID-19 exposures on campus. Here is a link to our online faculty/staff directory to assist you in contacting our faculty and staff. The campus community are required to wear masks inside buildings and to adhere to social distancing. Outside, masks may be removed.

With the health and safety of our community our first priority, Saint Mary's continues to closely monitor COVID-19 developments and make plans in accordance with guidance provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).  

Coronavirus illustration CDC

HELPFUL LINKS

North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary | This is an evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.