PFPS Reopening FAQs
What is the school's position and requirement regarding mask usage? (Updated 5/18/21)
Effective 5/18/21, the school will no longer require the use of masks outdoors. This change comes as the Governor, DESE, and the MIAA modifies their recommendations regarding mask usage outdoors. The recommendations also encourage continued social distancing. Certainly, mask wearing outdoors is still acceptable and a choice one may make for a variety of personal reasons.
What is the School’s policy on REENTRY following out-of-state travel? (updated 4/1/21)
The MA travel order was replaced with a travel advisory on March 22. However, at PFPS, travel out of state for more than 24-hours still requires a negative PCR COVID test to return to school. Travelers out of state for visits under 24-hours are exempt from the need to test.
Does receiving the COVID vaccine change the reentry policy? (4/1/21)
Yes, if a student, faculty, or staff member has been vaccinated, he/she MAY be exempt from testing and/or quarantining for out of state travel and/or close contact exposure. TO BE EXEMPT, you must be two weeks beyond your second dose (Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose (Johnson & Johnson). You will also need to provide a copy of your CDC vaccine card with dates of vaccine administration to the school nurse.
What COVID tests are acceptable for REENTRY? (4/1/21)
PFPS only accepts PCR COVID tests.
How do I switch to remote learning? (updated 2/10/21)
If you are interested in learning remotely, please complete the Remote Learners Form and submit it to the school office.
What documentation is required to return to school if I am out for COVID related reasons? (updated 9/29/20)
Beginning on September 29th, all students, faculty, and staff who are out for these COVID related reasons:
a. You were home with symptoms but did not test
b. You tested positive for COVID
c. You are a close contact of a positive COVID
d. You have tested negative for COVID
e. You traveled to a restricted state
MUST complete the REENTRY FORM found here. DO NOT RETURN to school until receipt of this form has been confirmed by the nurse or school administration.
What happens if the MA Department of Public Health advises the school that a member of the school community has or may have Covid-19? (updated 8/21/20)
The school will follow the protocol and guidance provided by DESE. The DESE document regarding school response to various Covid-19 scenarios may be found below.
What is happening with sports and after school activities? (updated 8/20/20)
- The MIAA has moved the start date for fall sports to Friday, September 18th.
- School-sponsored clubs and activities may run at the discretion of the moderator.
- The dining commons will be open and available to students after school each day until 5 p.m.
Will lockers be available for student use? (updated 8/12/20)
At this time, and until further notice, student lockers will not be accessible. Guidance for schools reopening suggests the closeness of lockers, the common touch areas, and the inability to social distance when at lockers is reason to prohibit their use at this time. We are fortunate that students use the Microsoft Surface and the great majority of books are in the form of e-books. It is recommended that students bring a bag/backpack to carry their personal items throughout the school day.
I am interested in carpooling (updated 8/11/20)
Please call the main office (833) 999-7673 if you would like to be added to the Cardinal Carpool Directory.
Will I need to wear a mask/face covering in school? (updated 8/10/20)
For the safety of everyone at PFPS, we will require all students and staff to wear a mask/face covering.
A solid color or PFPS Logo mask or face covering will be required of all students.
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be a solid color or include Pope Francis Prep branding/logos
- Be secured with ties or ear loops to remain hands-free at school
PFPS logo masks are available through both Blake’s and Donnelly’s uniform companies as well as in the main office (limited stock). The links for the two uniform companies are below and attached is the image of the mask available in the main office.
How is PFPS addressing social distancing and the use of space? (updated 8/6/20)
PFPS is following MA DESE, MA Department of Public Health, and CDC guidelines for safe protocols regarding students returning to school.
- Masks are required on campus. Classrooms have been arranged so that student desks are 6-feet apart, facing in the same direction.
- Classroom capacities have been reduced significantly to accommodate the 6-foot distancing.
- Band and chorus will take place in the theatre and/or outdoors when possible where students can have 10-foot social distancing while performing.
- Plexiglass dividers have been placed on tables in the dining commons and chairs are 6-feet apart.
- Plans are in place so that students do not congregate in common areas – for example, when students enter the building in the morning they must move along to their first period class.
- Students with a study hall at the beginning or end of the day are permitted and encouraged to come in late or leave early.
- We have shortened passing times between classes so that students do not congregate in hallways and the learning commons.
- We have designated traffic patterns throughout the building with signage directing students and staff to travel in ways that reduces contact with others.
- Bathrooms will be locked during passing times so that students will not congregate. EHallPass software will replace paper hall passes and will track and limit the number of students out of class at one time thus reducing the ability to congregate.
- Water fountains will be off and students are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles that can be filled without touching any part of the fountain.
- Teachers will be encouraged to take students outdoors when possible – especially to provide socially distant mask breaks.
- Teachers are also encouraged to keep windows open in classrooms when possible.
- We are asking that students have their own materials and toolkit (such as markers, dry markers, erasers) and keep them together in their own ‘kit’ to reduce shared items.
How is the school handling visitors? (updated 8/6/20)
Planned meetings will occur virtually as much as possible. Parents and visitors will not be permitted inside the building beyond the vestibule space at the main entrance. The purpose of this is to minimize the number of additional people inside the building beyond the students and school personnel.
When does the 2020-2021 school year begin? (updated 8/3/20)
Freshmen will have their orientation on Tuesday, August 25th. The day will follow a regular school schedule beginning at 7:50 a.m. and dismissing at 2:05 p.m. Freshmen will not attend school on Wednesday the 26th.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will have an orientation on Wednesday the 26th. The day will follow a regular school schedule beginning at 7:50 a.m. and dismissing with a staggered release beginning at 2:05 p.m.
All students, grades 9-12, are in school for the start of their classes on Thursday, August 27th. That day will follow an ABCD schedule.
How does the State of Massachusetts travel ban/advisory affect school? (updated 8/3/20)
Students and families have a responsibility to follow the state requirement if they travel from a state requiring 14-day quarantine. As a result, the school asks that families inform the school at the same time they inform the state when returning from an identified state.
What cleaning/sanitizing measures will take place at school? (updated 8/3/20)
Good hygiene and personal responsibility is an important factor to successfully reopening school. Students should stay home if they are sick and when at school must wash hands frequently, practice social distancing whenever possible, and they are encouraged to keep a small supply of hand sanitizer with them at all times.
The maintenance team will be expanded. An additional custodial staff member will be hired exclusively to sanitize common touch places, common areas, and restrooms while school is in session. Near the conclusion of each period, teachers and students departing each classroom will sanitize and wipe down desks and work spaces before exiting the classroom. Teachers and students entering the classroom for the next period may elect to sanitize and wipe down desks as well. Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and stations will also be placed throughout the building’s common areas.