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A photo of students walking in the hall at Notre Dame Academy

Updates to COVID-19 Procedures

Dear NDA families, 

We are writing today to inform you of recent updates to our COVID-19 procedures. Updates are a response to the internal data we have gathered since our school opened in August.

The Catholic moral tradition teaches, and the bishops affirm the right to follow the dictates of one’s conscience: “Nobody should violate the sanctity of conscience by forcing a person to do something contrary to his or her conscience. There are many health or ethical reasons why a person may refuse COVID-19 vaccination. We understand the urgency of this pandemic and the frustration some may experience because of the number of unvaccinated people; but even when someone’s decision may look to others as erroneous, conscience does not lose its dignity.”

Second, Catholic social teaching affirms the need to act for the common good: “We also stress that a person’s decision to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine finds its limits as we apply the Principle of the Common Good. In other words, the refusal to receive vaccination is also, for the conscientious person, a decision to use other means to protect his or her life and the lives of others against COVID-19.”

NDA procedures since the opening of school in August have affirmed both of these points. Over the past several months (dating to last school year), we have been able to amass considerable data within this community and its involvement with COVID-19.

Thus far this year, a significant number of students have lost learning days due to the requirement to quarantine at home for non-vaccinated students. The disruption to student learning places a burden on the students, teachers and families and degrades the level of education students receive.  

To date from the start of this academic year, over 110 students have been required to be quarantined; only three have been diagnosed after being identified as close contacts of a student who was positive at school, which means 97% of the students required to quarantine at home did not develop COVID-19.

Of the nine positive COVID-19 cases this year at NDA, only one was vaccinated (89% of all positive cases at NDA are non-vaccinated students).  

Based on an analysis of internal data, NDA will as of Tuesday, Oct. 5 adjust its COVID-19 procedures to include:

  1. Parents should report a diagnosed case of COVID-19 to Joey Rickards in the school office at (920) 429-6186.
  2. The school will require all students of the same household to stay home if there is a positive in the home or anyone in the household is symptomatic and awaiting results.
  3. The school will contact trace, alert parents if their child was a close contact (within 24 hours of being notified) and require masking for students who were close contacts for 14 days (regardless of vaccination status). All close contacts will be required to mask for two weeks and stay in school unless symptoms develop.
  4. If a student who has been in close contact develops symptoms, that student must be kept at home and parents must present a negative PCR test for the student to be readmitted to school.
  5. The school will track the number of positive cases. If the total number of positive students exceeds 10 concurrent cases and is greater than three households (1.5% of the student population), all members of the school community will be required to wear masks for two weeks.  
  6. Notification will be made by the principal if COVID-19 cases meet or exceed the 1.5% standard. Faculty, staff and students will be required to mask until notified by the principal that the concurrent cases have dipped below 10.
  7. Students who are required to mask while in school are required to have both their mouth and nose covered. A student may be issued a referral for ‘Conduct Around the Building’ if they fail to comply with expected masking protocols. This will be considered a disciplinary issue.

God bless,
 

Tom Kiely
NDA President

Patrick Browne
NDA Principal

About Notre Dame Academy: Notre Dame Academy is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and is a co-ed Catholic high school founded by the Norbertine Order, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Diocese of Green Bay. NDA’s distinctive history embraces the more than 120-year foundation of St. Joseph Academy, Abbot Pennings High School and Our Lady of Premontre High School. NDA offers a globally focused education with a leading IB Diploma Program. Its high-caliber educational community is focused on outstanding learning and creating a lifetime of opportunity for all students.