Parents » Reopening SB

Reopening SB

The 2020-2021 school year has begun and we are so happy to have our students back! Whether e-learning or in-person learning, we continue to send out information to parents as we have it. This page will be updated frequently as we email the latest updates to school families. We invite you to check back here to find them all in one convenient location.


We’re excited to announce our partnership with Trinity Christian College’s nursing program to help staff our Wellness Room this school year! Nursing students were here earlier today for an orientation, and will be available to assist with health-related student needs on Monday and Friday mornings (arrival-10am) and Thursday afternoons 12:30-dismissal) each week. We are so grateful to have their assistance this year!



While we cannot require students to be tested for COVID-19, we encourage families to take advantage of the City of Chicago’s free testing. Taking these additional measures helps keep our students and faculty healthy. If you do not live in the city of Chicago, here is a list of Illinois testing locations (one is in Burbank, on the scrolling list next to the map on the right side of the screen).



As we’ve already had several students picked up for appointments, we wanted to share our new procedure with you. First, please notify your child’s teacher and Mrs. Duffy by email, and include what time you will be picking up your child. When you arrive, go to the back door on Walden Parkway and ring the bell; office staff will bring the student and sign out sheet to back door; the parent will sign out the student at the door. Thank you!



Since parents cannot enter the building this year, we ask parents to send these types of forms in a clearly marked envelope with their children. This year, paper orders and checks for Scrip must be sent into school on Mondays in a student’s backpack/folder. They will be sent home the same way. 



As teachers and parents, we all have concerns about re-entry to school, but as a school community, we are confident that our outstanding teachers, along with the many safety precautions we are taking, will ensure our children’s safety. We ask that you please practice proper handwashing with your child(ren), have your child(ren) wear a mask properly for longer durations of time and model physical distancing with them so they have an idea of what to expect upon their return to school.

At St. Barnabas, we believe that we are all in this together and cannot do this alone. We are our brother’s keeper and we need to trust that each family will do their part to keep our staff and students healthy. We all need to be supporting and watching out for each other by following the safety guidelines even before school starts. For the sake of our school community, we ask all families to start to make their worlds smaller now so that by the time school begins, we are doing all we can to keep each other safe and healthy.



  • All individuals in school buildings (students, employees, visitors/volunteers, etc.) must wear masks at bucky mask poster
    all times unless they are younger than two years of age.
  • Families must either provide disposable or reusable masks for their child(ren)
  • Families utilizing reusable masks should purchase at least two masks, and masks should be washed by parents after every school day.
  • Masks must be 3-ply (3 layers). Sample acceptable mask options:
  • Masks with valves may not be used (from Revised Archdiocese of Chicago Reopening Plan, 8.22.20)
  • If students are utilizing disposable masks, masks should be discarded after every school day. Parents should send students with extra disposable masks in case they are damaged during the day.
  • “Gaiters” (pull-up face coverings) may be used as an alternative to masks, provided they have three layers of fabric and can remain over the mouth and nose at all times.
  • Student masks should not contain any writing and should not contain message or images that would distract from the educational environment of the school.

Masks may be removed only in special circumstances. These include:

  • When eating lunch, breakfast or snacks.
  • When engaged in outside activities or instruction in which six feet distance is achieved.
  • When removing masks, students and employees must remain socially distant by at least six feet.
  • When removed, masks should be stored in an individual paper bag (not plastic or cloth) that is labeled with the individual’s name. Individuals should wash/sanitize hands before putting their masks back on.

Mask Storage

Every student will be required to bring a supply of disposable brown paper lunch bags to use for storing their mask during lunch and recess. We have looked into a lanyard option, but have found this can still transmit germs from the outside of the mask to clothing, etc. We have been advised by medical professionals that breathable paper bags are the safest option.



Last week, we had a mechanical engineer perform an air quality assessment of each room in both of our school buildings. We received the assessment report this Wednesday and have reviewed the findings. Additionally, we have consulted with an electrician and our architect on site. In order to meet or exceed the recommendations captured in the report and ensure proper air quality, we will do the following:


  • Install an air purifier in each classroom
  • Install a split A/C system in the 8 west facing classrooms to address temperature for times when dust or noise is a factor due to construction.
  • Install and properly position two window fans in each classroom to aid in bringing the maximum amount of fresh air into the classroom
  • Reorient each ceiling fan in order to pull air upward
  • The overall recommendation is for fresh air. Therefore, windows will remain open in every room to the extent possible. As we address air quality, we will continue to encourage our teachers to bring students outdoors throughout the day as much as possible.


The Archdiocesan School Reopening Plan, informed by the CDC and IDPH, encourages schools to open windows, utilize fans and keep classroom doors open to increase fresh air flow throughout the classrooms and schools. In speaking with several of our parents, we realize that air quality is a concern. This week, we sought the partnership and guidance of a mechanical engineer in order to perform an air quality assessment on each classroom. Additionally, our building engineer is in conversation with a filtration expert who will provide additional guidance to our school. We will share more updates regarding ventilation and filtration as we
know them.


Our facilities team is also making great strides to ensure student and staff safety upon their return to the school LITTLE TABLETABLESbuildings. We wanted to share with you a few photos of our progress in classrooms. Photo #1 


shows markings around the “teacher zone” which is where non-cohort teachers (i.e. specials teachers) will remain to keep a 6+ foot distance when teaching. The blue tape in photo #2 shows where plexiglass will be placed in a junior high classroom, and the hand at the top shows how far off the table it will extend. Students will still remain 3+ feet apart at all times. The blue tape in photo #3 shows where plexiglass will go on a table in a kindergarten classroom to create a “plexiglass station”. To help cover additional safety measures including the plexiglass for desks and tables, a $30 safety supply fee will be placed o n tuition for each student.


Increased Time Outside

We will be making every effort to increase time spent outside, weather permitting, for students. While St. Barnabas Park (the playscape behind the preschool building) will remain closed for the time being, students will be able to get outside for activities and instruction. Whenever six feet of distance can be achieved, students will be able to remove their masks and place in a brown paper bag. Please see mask section for more information.


Lunch & Snack time 

  • Students will be distanced 6 feet from one another to allow for their mask to be removed during lunch and snack time.
  • Students must wash their hands or apply hand sanitizer before and after eating.
  • Students should bring a water bottle daily, as all drinking fountains will be disabled.
  • All students who bring a lunch from home are strongly encouraged to use a disposable bag. While we understand this is not as environmentally conscious as reusable bags, disposable bags usually take up less room, do not accumulate germs, and can be disposed of after lunch.
  • For logistical, staffing, and sanitization reasons, we will not be able to offer hot lunch meals at the start of the school year. We will reassess as we progress through the school year.
  • Our lunch procedures will be changing this year, and some students will be eating lunch in their classrooms. Therefore, we need to remain cognizant of the various allergies among our students. We will take proper precautions, including hand sanitizing before and after eating and disinfecting desks after lunch.
  • Given our shared desire to keep all our students safe, we strongly discourage bringing peanut, tree nut or nut butter products for lunch or snack. As always, we appreciate your support.

All parents, please remember this year it is IMPERATIVE that you send your child to school with everything they need for the day. As an added safety measure, parents/caregivers will not be permitted into the school buildings to drop off their children or to bring forgotten lunches, homework, book bags, etc.



We have 12:45pm dismissals every Wednesday, beginning September 16. This allows for cleaning and disinfecting and for teachers to have additional planning time with their grade level colleagues. Along with several of our area Archdiocesan schools, we feel this supports everyone's mental health as well. After Care is available on early dismissal Wednesdays from 1-5pm.



12:30pm All Full Day Preschool dismissed/A-F dismissed for grades K-8

12:38pm G-L dismissed for grades K-8

12:45pm M-Z dismissed for grades K-8

12:45pm Students dismissed to After Care 

In-person Families: Please note that After Care is available today from 1-5pm.

e-Learning Families: Please be note that class times will be different due to the shortened schedule; be sure you are following your WEDNESDAY schedule each Wednesday. 



As we’ve already had several students picked up for appointments, we wanted to share our new parent pick-up procedure with you. First, please notify your child’s teacher and Mrs. Duffy by email, and include what time you will be picking up your child. When you arrive, go to the back door on Walden Parkway and ring the bell; office staff will bring the student and sign out sheet to back door; the parent will sign out the student at the door. In the case of picking up an ill child, please also go to the Walden door and ring the bell; office staff will bring your child to you to sign out. Thank you!


Arrival Procedures (7:40-8:00am)

To accommodate temperature checks, symptom checks and hand sanitizer dispensation upon drop-off, arrival times will be divided by alphabet. For example, students with last names beginning with A-L should arrive between 7:40-7:50am, while students whose last names begin with M-Z should arrive between 7:50-8am. Finalized arrival assignment times will be distributed closer to the first day of school.


As we previously shared, we will have staff at each of the following doors to administer temperature checks and dispense hand sanitizer to each student upon entry to the school. Check out our Arrival Procedures video for more information! For everyone’s safety and to ensure student arrival times are as efficient as possible, each grade will enter through the following school doors*:


Kindergarten & Grades 1-2: Gym door off parking lot nearest Walden Pkwy

Grades 3 and 6: Handicapable gym door

Grades 4 and 5: 101st Street door

Grades 7 and 8: Walden Parkway rear door


We have been intentional about these door entry assignments as they are designed to minimize the path each student must take as they enter the building and walk to their classroom.

Please note: Older siblings walking/bringing their younger siblings into the school will be an exception to these door assignments. More information forthcoming.


  • All students and employees must wear face masks on arrival.
  • Teachers and/or staff will be performing “Wellness Checks” of all students as they enter the building.
  • For the safety of students and staff, parents may not enter the building at drop-off or pick-up.

Wellness Checks consist of four individual “checks”:

  1. Temperature Checks: A temperature check of each student must occur. Any student with a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit must be sent home (see Infection Protocol section).
  2. Hand Sanitizer Check: Students will receive hand sanitizer from a staff member, who will ensure that hand cleaning occurs.
  3. Mask Check: Each student will be checked to ensure that mask is present and properly worn.
  4. Symptom Check: Students will be asked every day: “Do you feel sick in any way? Do you have a cough or fever? Have you taken any medicine this morning?” Any student who identifies as feeling sick will be sent home.


To help expedite the process of getting our students off campus and home safely, we encourage parents with students old enough to cross with crossing guards to arrange a location to meet off campus -- either across the street, at church, up the hill, etc. This would lessen foot traffic in the parking lot and other busy dismissal locations. Be sure to clearly communicate where your children should meet if you have multiple SB students, and where you will meet them so there is no confusion. Planning out the path/direction to take around the building would also be helpful to ensure you don’t miss each other.


Additionally, for traffic safety, please note that the middle exit driveway on Walden (second from the preschool) is EXIT ONLY at both arrival and dismissal. See the detailed  map later in the newsletter for more information.

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s guidelines, including the quarantine procedure, continue to be updated as new information becomes available. St. Barnabas administration has meetings at least weekly with the Archdiocese in which they share the most updated information. The Archdiocese has updated quarantine procedures since they were first released.


All AOC schools will operate under a “Cohort” model when buildings reopen this fall. Under a Cohort model, students and staff are grouped by homeroom to minimize exposure throughout the school. Specials teachers and other content-area teachers will travel to the students and are encouraged to stay 6 feet apart from students at all times.



We wanted to remind families of the CDC’s guidelines regarding a child found to have symptoms at the morning arrival check or a child who is ill throughout the school day and has any of the following CDC listed symptoms. Please note if we send your child home with any of the symptoms below, we are required to send any siblings home as well, regardless of whether siblings are showing any symptoms. In order to return to school, the child either has to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test OR a doctor’s note with a different diagnosis. In the case of an alternate diagnosis, the child must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and a 75% improvement in other symptoms. For more information, please see the Symptoms of Coronavirus page on the CDC’s website.


While this list does not contain all possible symptoms, the most common symptoms include:

Fever or chills


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Muscle or body aches


New loss of taste or smell

Sore throat

Congestion or runny nose

Nausea (including stomachache) or vomiting




  • A student who is exhibiting a fever or two or more other COVID-19 symptoms, will be immediately sent to the wellness room* and parents will be contacted for pick-up.
  • The student should see a doctor to assess symptoms and/or administer a COVID-19 test.
  • For students that see a doctor and it is determined the illness is not COVID-19, either through a test or the doctor’s diagnosis, the student may return to school when symptoms subside with a doctor’s note confirming the negative COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • If the student has symptoms but has tested negative on a COVID-19 test, they should remain at home until symptoms disappear. They must provide a doctor’s note or the documented COVID-19 test results before being allowed to return to school.
Wellness Room*
  • The wellness room will be in place of the administrators’ office therefore, connecting it to the main office.
  • A main office staff member will supervise any students who are sent to the wellness room until they are picked up by their parent/guardian.
  • Students in the wellness room will be spaced 6 feet from one another.
  • The wellness room will be disinfected upon exit of student(s).
  • A parent/guardian may temporarily park along Walden and ring the doorbell at the Walden entrance. An office staff member will escort the student to the Walden door and have a parent sign for dismissal of the student.



If one child* (this is updated from 2+ children) in your student’s cohort tests positive for COVID-19, the entire cohort will be isolated (sent home for e-learning) for at least 10 days** from the test date (this was updated from 14). This includes the homeroom teacher in the cohort. Students will be allowed to complete work virtually with their teacher while the cohort is away from school. We highly encourage all families to have a childcare plan in place in case your child becomes ill or their cohort is required to quarantine, as this can happen with little notice.


*Quarantine of a cohort now occurs after the first COVID-positive case. Criteria for returning after a COVID case have now changed. New criteria are:

  • At least 24 hours with no fever (without medication)
  • A general improvement in other COVID symptoms
  • At least 10 days have passed since COVID symptoms first appeared
  • Doctor’s note is required

Please note: at the time of release of these new criteria, they were not yet updated in the revised Archdiosesan reopening plan.


** New CDC guidelines have been issued recommending changes to how we discontinue isolation on patients who have previously tested positive for COVID-19. In some cases this will represent a significant change from thinking over the past few months.

Background: Patients often test positive for SARS 2 CoV (the virus that causes COVID-19) for a long period of time after the disease has resolved. The test being performed are not actually detecting live virus but rather are detecting genetic fragments of the virus. Science has shown that patients are rarely contagious (i.e. shedding live virus) after 10 days of illness.





We appreciate the patience of our e-learning families as we worked out the kinks of our e-learning program. As of Monday, we encourage students to participate in their Zooms and live instruction independently. We also strongly recommend that all our e-learners wear headphones for all live instruction, as it helps them to focus and hear what’s going on in their classroom more effectively. 



St. Barnabas will have an inventory of devices that can be made available for students in the event that the class or school goes into quarantine.



We are awaiting our shipment of 6th grade iPads from Apple, and will send a separate email to 6th grade parents with more information in the weeks ahead.



In addition to our 1:1 iPad program for 6th-8th grades, we are currently working on providing individual technology for all grades. (We started with 5th grade and are currently working our way down to the younger students.) These devices will remain at St. Barnabas and will be used only by their assigned student. Should full-school e-learning resume at some point, students may be able to check out a device.



As we continue to refine our e-learning plan for the coming school year, please note the following:

  1. Students who select e-learning for the fall but wish to transition to in-person learning may do so at the following times:
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences (October 7 and 8)
  • Upon the completion of each trimester In each aforementioned instance, a parent must have a meeting with their child’s teacher via Zoom and must notify the principal or assistant principal of their desire to resume in-person learning. In order to appropriately support the student, a transition conversation must happen between parent, teacher, and administrator prior to the beginning of the new mode of learning and prior to the end of the trimester.
  1. Students who select in-person learning for the fall but wish to transition to e-learning may do so at any time; however, a parent must have a meeting with their child’s teacher via Zoom and must notify the principal or assistant principal of their desire to begin e-learning. The teacher and parents will select a mutually agreed upon date for transition.

Once a child transitions to e-learning from in-person learning, they must continue e-learning until Parent-Teacher conferences or the end of a trimester. In order to appropriately support the student, when a transition is desired a conversation must happen between parent, teacher and administrator prior to the end of the trimester.


Trimester 1: Tuesday November 24

Trimester 2: Friday, March 12

Trimester 3: Wednesday, June 9

  1. e-Learning would be provided to students who are quarantined or have an extenuating circumstance or long-term illness (approximately 10 days or longer) 

Please note: At the beginning of the school year, each student will be assigned to a homeroom regardless of their method of learning (virtual vs. in-person). Given the considerations of bandwidth, teacher workload and need to balance classroom size and spacing, there will be a lead e-learning teacher responsible for providing the live instruction in each grade. Therefore, should your child change their mode of learning (virtual vs. in-person) we cannot guarantee that the lead e-learning teacher would be the same person as their homeroom/cohort teacher.



On June 8, Cardinal Cupich announced that the Archdiocese Catholic Schools would plan to reopen their schools safely. Along with a return to full in-person learning the Archdiocese was to partner with a 3rd party vendor in order to provide an e-learning option for any Archdiocese families. Due to overwhelming parent feedback desiring a locally managed e-learning option, on Friday, July 31, the Archdiocese announced that local schools would provide e-learning for their families. We are awaiting the Archdiocese guidelines for e-learning, including, but not limited to, requirements for live-streaming. However, in the meantime we are working to create and outline an effective long-term e-learning program for those that would like to choose it for their child this Fall. We understand that in order to make an informed decision for your family, it is important for you to understand the components of our locally provided e-learning program.


We are sharing in draft form our current thought process on e-learning. As we work to create a streamlined, effective method of e-learning for our families we also feel it is important to take into consideration our teacher’s workload and all that we are asking of them this coming year. We are taking into consideration all that we learned in the Spring as we provided crisis learning. We know that our families desire an increased level of structure and consistency in approach. Please know that our e-learning option will require time and involvement from our parents/guardians to assist with supporting their child’s virtual class participation.


We will share more detailed information in the coming weeks as we further develop our e-learning structure.



  • We will provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • The same curriculum standards will be covered whether a student is learning in-person or virtually.
  • Curriculum resources such as textbooks, workbooks etc. will be provided to the students participating in e-learning.
  • e-Learning would be selected by trimester and students may return to in-person learning at the start of the new trimester if desired.
  • Students will follow the sequence or order of their in-person school schedule and may participate in the short “mini-lesson” for each core subject with independent practice, assignments, and asynchronous supplemental videos.
  • Traditional grades will be given, and attendance will be taken.
  • We anticipate streaming the live “mini-lesson” or teacher delivered content. The camera will only be placed on the teacher and not on the students who are participating in the in-person instruction.
  • We have adopted Google Classroom for all grades as our Learning Management System, and our main instructional delivery tool will continue to be Zoom. We will continue to utilize other supplementary online tools and programs to assist with differentiating instruction.
  • We have not yet determined if a particular teacher will deliver the online content or if it will be shared by all grade level teachers. We will have conversations with our teachers to determine the best approach.


In order to lessen additional cost to families for uniforms this fall, and to help our students stay as comfortable as possible during their transition back to school, we have made some temporary changes in our uniform requirements.

  • Until further notice, on any day of the week, students may choose to wear their gym uniform, regular school uniform or school uniform shorts with a school polo.
  • For sanitary reasons, we ask that parents launder their children’s uniforms frequently and a have a fresh uniform for their child daily.
  • We also recommend that any student who cannot independently tie their shoes wear Velcro or slip-ons that fit properly, as teachers cannot tie shoes while maintaining physical distance.


Parents/proxies may come anytime within those time frames that works for them. This year, Info Sunday will take place in the school parking lot. We will be collecting student supplies, distributing Big Bucks tickets, sharing important parent information and more! 


One important change to our previous communication regarding Info Sunday is that we are now asking parents to bring ONLY the general supplies such as tissues, etc. that cannot fit into your child’s backpack, labeled with your child’s first and last name. Personal supplies that can fit into your child’s backpack should be brought to school on his/her respective orientation day, labeled with your child’s first and last name. The reason for this change is to minimize the number of people handling personal supplies from the time of drop-off. We ask everyone who attends Info Sunday to please stay in their cars and keep the supplies in their trunk so our staff can get them efficiently and safely.


Given all the safety precautions this year and the staff required to uphold them, we are not able to accommodate parents bringing supplies on the first day of school. Families may send a trusted proxy on Information Sunday if they are unable to attend.


Yes, all St. Barnabas families should have someone drive through to pick up Big Bucks tickets, get their teacher assignment and information packet. The event will be drive-through in the parking lot to minimize contact.


Families may come at either time on Info Sunday - 9:00-10:00am OR 11:00-12:00pm. Parents can drop off the general supplies, pick-up their Big Bucks tickets, hand in their safety agreement forms and pick-up their spirit wear.


The gym supplies bag should only come to school on the day a child has gym, just as a child playing an instrument would only bring it to school on the days the child has band/music class.



If you ordered from School Toolbox, the teachers are assisting with putting the labels on. For all students, organizing the student’s supplies will be part of the in-person orientation.