Back to School 2020
As we plan for the 2020-21 school year, we believe our nearly 70 years of experience and success in meeting challenges will serve St. Thomas School well. Four cornerstones guided our planning for the upcoming school year. The safety and well-being – physical, intellectual, social, and emotional – of our current faculty, staff, students, and families remain our top priority. We are anchored by our mission, vision, guiding principles, and core virtues. We remain committed to a rigorous academic program, the development of character and leadership, a strong and vibrant community, and the long-term sustainability and vitality of the School.
The following cornerstones guided decision-making in developing STS Reimagined:
Protect and promote the health and well-being – physical, intellectual, social, and emotional – of our students, faculty, staff, and families.
Continue to deliver a rigorous academic program that includes the development of character and leadership.
Provide a full five-day a week program with as much on-campus instruction as possible.
Given the evolving nature of COVID-19 and circumstances beyond our control, we are preparing multiple learning models that respond to community health conditions as well as COVID-19 activity levels in King County and Washington state. Families can be assured that in each learning model we will deliver an outstanding, rigorous, five-day a week, academic program, while also providing a strong character and social-emotional learning experience. We will continue to advance students through the curriculum, reinforcing new concepts and skills. We are prepared to pivot between models as required by government and health officials, or as circumstances specific to our community arise, so that student learning continues without interruption.
"We will be ready for whatever happens. It has been my experience that life's greatest challenges
bring the greatest rewards. And so, we are moving forward, guided as always by
our mission, vision, and core virtues and principles, to establish a new and better normal."
- Kirk Wheeler, Head of School
- Our beliefs about remote learning are firmly rooted in the School's mission, vision, guiding principles, and core virtues.
- While we cannot duplicate the experience of being together on campus, all aspects of the remote learning program are designed to reflect that experience.
- We continue to provide a program rooted in the principles of child development and responsive to the changing needs of growing children.
- The program is also designed to be situationally responsive and allow for partnership with parents as we recognize that this pandemic impacts the families of students and staff in varied ways.
- Finally, as with everything we do at St. Thomas School, we maintain an innovator's mindset and are committed to refining our program.
Types of Remote Instruction
remote Learning Plans by division
health and safety
STS Reimagined, the plan for the 2020 - 2021 school year, takes into consideration requirements and guidance from local and national public health officials, as well as the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). When it is safe to return to campus, regulations include:
- Face Coverings: All students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear a face covering throughout the day.
- Health Screening: All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be screened for signs of illness each day upon entry.
- Physical Distancing: To the extent possible, physical distancing is required in classrooms, other common areas, and during activities.
- Personal Hygiene: Hand washing and sanitizing will be required multiple times each day.
Cleaning and Sanitizing: Robust protocols will be implemented for cleaning/sanitizing school facilities and materials.
health advisory board
The Health Advisory Board supports the Head of School and senior leadership team in interpreting public health data, assessing risk, reviewing health and safety protocols, and providing important insight into the School's COVID-19 response. The board includes:
Mark Freeborn, M.D.
Mark is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon at EvergreenHealth’s Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute. His focus is on spinal trauma, revision surgery, cervical and thoracolumbar spine disorders and scoliosis. Mark received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his orthopedics residency and fellowship at the University of Washington.
Vishal Gala, M.D., M.P.H.
Vishal is the Chief of Neurosurgery at Kaiser Permanente of Washington and Vice-President of the Washington State Association of Neurological Surgeons. He attended the University of Michigan for college, graduate school, medical school, and his neurosurgery residency. As a resident, Vishal was heavily involved in developing formal regulations for training of U.S. resident physicians. In addition to his medical degree, Vishal holds a Master of Public Health degree.
Kristina Adams Waldorf, M.D.
Kristina is a University of Washington Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Global Health, who has studied infectious diseases for 20 years including Zika virus and SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) in the laboratory, as well as in public health. She is currently working closely with the Washington State Department of Health to study COVID-19 hotspots and racial/ethnic groups at greatest risk of infection in Washington State. Kristina is also a member of the UW Center for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases.