August 5, 2021 Update from Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi:
To the People of the Archdiocese of Mobile
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
As we prepare to begin a new academic year in our Catholic schools, all of us are aware that COVID-19 remains a serious health issue. I wish to thank all who serve in our Catholic schools for their outstanding efforts last year in providing both excellent education and safety for our students. I have great confidence in them again this year.
It was my hope that this school year would be much more normal than last year. That remains my hope. At the same time, we all know that COVID-19 numbers are once again on the increase. For this reason, we will begin classes with the requirement that all students in grades K-12, all school personnel, and all visitors will be required to wear masks while indoors at school.
The pandemic remains an ever-changing situation. Only recently I announced that masks would not be required for students in grades 7-12. As much as I do not wish to do this, I feel compelled to now alter this and require masks due to the changes in the situation and the new guidance from the CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health. I think that this is important for the health of our students, families, and teachers. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust the mask mandate when circumstances allow.
School principals will be in contact with families to share further information about COVID-19 precautions.
I am deeply grateful to the parents and families of our students who have been most cooperative and supportive of our efforts to provide our young people with education in a safe environment. I ask for your continued cooperation and prayers.
May God bless you all.
Sincerely in the Lord,
Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi
Archbishop of Mobile
St. Mary Catholic School, along with the Archdiocese of Mobile (as directed by the State of Alabama,) does not require mandatory vaccination against the novel COVID-19 Virus.
As of today, 89% of our faculty and staff are fully vaccinated.
The vaccine has now been approved to be administered to children and teenagers, 12 years and older. For our student body, this age range would mostly apply to our 7th and 8th-grade students, as well as 6th-grade students as the year progresses and they reach the acceptable age.
Again, as a school, we do not require anyone to get the vaccine and we do not require proof of vaccinations.
However, we STRONGLY recommend that any individual who is able to receive the vaccine given their age and medical guidance, take advantage of this protective measure.
With new variations of the virus spreading throughout the country, different symptoms appear in virtually every positive case. A temperature of 100.4 or higher is still considered a symptom of this virus. Therefore, faculty and staff members will continue to monitor temperatures during student drop-off and entry each day. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to school that day and must be fever-free for 24 hours before being allowed to return to school.
Daily cleaning and sanitation procedures are vital to halt the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the staff of St. Mary School will continue to use the following materials and equipment to ensure that our campus is sanitized and safe for students.
- Hand sanitizer will be readily available for students and staff members
- The cafeteria will be disinfected between lunch periods
- A designated sick room will be used to isolate students who show symptoms of COVID-19