St. Raymond School in Menlo Park welcomes students back on campus

by Linda Hubbard on November 19, 2020

Over the past several weeks St. Raymond School in Menlo Park has welcomed students back on campus, slowly phasing in two grade levels each week. Starting with the youngest students in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten, the school now has grades TK-8 back in the classroom.

“It’s wonderful to have the students on campus and although we are back to school, our classrooms and processes look very different,” explained Principal Valerie Mattei. “From pick up and drop off, to recess, to classroom set up, we have implemented many changes to keep our students and faculty safe. Despite all the new rules and regulations, the students are thrilled to be back at school with their classmates and teachers.”

Along with wearing masks and social distancing, currently when a student is dropped off, the parent drives into the parking lot and shows a staff member the results of their child’s home health screening on their phone. If the health screening is cleared it will show a screen with a green check mark. This is the first step to being allowed on campus. The child’s temperature is then taken and if normal, the child is given hand sanitizer and exits the car. The car line can get backed up, but everyone is adjusting to the new normal and learning patience and resilience throughout the day.

Depending on student enrollment, grade levels are divided into cohorts, learning in separate classrooms. With three teachers in transitional kindergarten and two teachers in each grade from kindergarten through five, St. Raymond School is able to accommodate smaller cohorts using current classrooms and the Kennedy Center.

As San Mateo County moves back to the Red Tier, to date schools in the county are not experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 and will continue to serve students on campus.

“The students are so happy to be back among their peers and the faculty are doing what they love which is once again interacting with their students and helping them reap the social and academic benefits of in-person learning,” said Principal Mattei.

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