Return to School
This page is dedicated to keeping families informed about what is happening at St. Pius X High School as we start the 2020-2021 school year. Check back here frequently for updated information.
- When is the first day of school?
- What is the schedule?
- What is the dress code for distance learning?
- Will students be visible during "at home" learning?
- How do I know which cohort my student will be in during hybrid learning?
- What is the plan for athletics and fine arts programs?
- When are students allowed to be on campus?
- What are the policies and procedures regarding COVID-19?
- How is SPX encouraging physical distancing on campus?
- Will masks be required for everyone on campus?
- Will SPX offer food services when students return to campus?
- How will masses and prayer services be affected?
- How is SPX handling lockers on campus to ensure proper physical distancing?
- Will SPX allow volunteers or visitors on campus?
- What can my family do to support a healthy campus?
August 17 is the first day of school in a distance learning model.
St. Pius X is committed to onboarding all students with a meaningful, on-campus experience. To do this responsibly and while maintaining necessary physical distance, we will have each grade on campus in small groups for a one day orientation. Families who prefer that their son or daughter attend the orientation remotely, may do so. A registration form for “virtual orientation” will be sent closer to the orientation date.
- August 11 – Senior class
- August 12 – Junior class
- August 13 – Sophomore class
- August 14 – Freshman class
Four days of each week will follow a block schedule – Monday and Thursday will be odd-block classes, and Tuesday and Friday will be even-block. Wednesday will be devoted to asynchronous study. Tutorials will be offered in virtual and hybrid models of learning by appointment.
The SPX student body will be divided into two cohorts – Leaders and Scholars. The Leaders cohort will be on campus Mondays and Tuesdays and the Scholars cohort will be on campus Thursdays and Fridays. Students will be engaged in synchronous, distance learning where they will be actively “in class from home” on two days which they are not physically on campus. On Wednesday, they will be engaging in self-paced asynchronous learning.
SPX will have advisory two days each week and community time will be scheduled when each cohort is on campus.
While engaged in distance learning environment, students are required to wear a St. Pius X uniform shirt or an approved SPX t-shirt. Students will be able to participate in Spirit Days as long as they follow the guidelines.
Students who are physically on campus must be in full uniform; those at home will be required to wear an SPX uniform shirt or an approved SPX t-shirt. Students both on and off campus will be able to participate in Spirit Days as long as they follow the guidelines.
All students participating in synchronous learning during distance or hybrid models will be required to have their cameras on during class. Teachers will count a student as present for a class only if a student is visible on camera and actively involved in the learning process for the duration of the class period.
Our hybrid cohorts will be named, “Leaders” and “Scholars.” Cohorts will be determined in part by alpha split. We are working to achieve balance as we use the alpha split, course rosters, and the number of socially distanced students permitted per classroom/ meeting space. In the hybrid model, parents will have the option to opt into a distance learning only option for their students. That option will come with a time commitment, and we will not ask for parents to declare their wishes until we are closer to the hybrid transition. Therefore, we will not have cohort lists until a later date.
Once the St. Pius X campus opens to students, they should be dropped off no earlier than 7 am and must be picked up by 6 pm. Students who drive themselves to school will not be allowed to congregate on campus and must leave immediately after dismissal unless they are involved in co-curricular activities. Students whose cohort is not scheduled for on-campus instruction may come to campus for after school, co-curricular activities and will enter through designated doors and undergo a health screening.
There may be situations that necessitate temporary school closure due to positive COVID-19 cases in a classroom/our community. The school leadership has created this plan in the event this should occur. Our goal is to work diligently with parents, faculty and staff in preventing this through the mitigation steps outlined.
PROVIDE NOTICE: Communication Procedures
COVID-19 Case on Campus:
The administration will send out communication to our SPX families, informing them of a "lab-confirmed" positive case on campus. Additionally, St. Pius X High School must notify the Health Department in accordance with applicable local and state laws and regulations.
PREVENT: Procedures to Prevent the Virus from Entering the School
Student, parents/guardians, faculty, and staff must notify St. Pius X via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if any of the following situations occur:
COVID-19 Exposure & Symptoms:
"Close contact" is defined as:
- Being directly exposed to infectious secretions (i.e. being coughed on); or
- Being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes
You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
You shared eating or drinking utensils
If either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious, individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test. In evaluation whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we will consider the following symptoms:
- A temperature of 100.4° Fahrenheit or above
- Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection within the past 72 hours
- Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
- Low Grade Fever
- Muscle Pain
- Sore Throat
- Loss of Taste or Smell
- In the previous 14 days has had close contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19, or is ill with a respiratory illness
- In the previous 14 days has traveled internationally
- In the previous 14 days has traveled domestically to any area deemed a national "hot spot" for COVID-19
Campus-Wide Adjustments for Prevention:
- Routine health screening of faculty, staff and students
- Campus-wide education on hygiene, healthy habits, and clinic protocols (school nurse)
- When a student becomes ill, they must stay at/be sent home and the following procedures should be followed:
- Students must be picked up within 30 minutes of parent notification
- Students may not return to school until after 72 hours without fever reducing medications and/or with a physician's note to return, in addition to no visible symptoms
- Symptomatic students will be isolated
- Increased sanitation protocols campus-wide
- Hand sanitizer available in every classroom
- Classrooms and common areas will routinely be sanitized using a commercial disinfectant
RESPOND: Lab Confirmed Case in School
COVID-19 on Campus:
The protocol will be determined by the local and state health department and CDC guidelines if a confirmed positive COVID-19 case occurs on our campus.
Possibly scenarios listed below:
- Transition from Hybrid to Distance learning
- Implemented when individuals have had a "lab-confirmed" positive test or have had "close contact" on our campus as directed by local and state guidelines
- Campus access will be limited to essential personnel. No visitors will be allowed on campus without permission of the administration
- For individuals who have come into "close contact" (by our definition stated above) with someone who has a "lab-confirmed" positive test, a 14 day quarantine will be required and distance learning will be available.
- Individuals who have had a "lab-confirmed" positive test must meet the following criteria before their return to school:
- At least 1 day (24 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
MITIGATE: Daily Campus Procedures to Reduce Likely Spread Inside the School
We will continue using aggressive sanitation protocols; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, making hand sanitizer available throughout campus, and limiting external visitors.
Sanitization & Cleaning:
The housekeeping staff will frequently clean and sanitize touchpoints throughout the school day with hospital-grade disinfectants. Classrooms will also be sanitized each night with hospital-grade disinfectants. All classrooms will be fogged with disinfectant for increased sanitization measures periodically. Additionally, teachers will sanitize desks and seats in classrooms with a disinfectant after each class period use.
Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and offices, and hand sanitizer stations will be available at exterior doors and high traffic areas across campus.
If needed, St. Pius X is prepared to accelerate cleaning practices and respond immediately to any illness on campus. The School has high-grade disinfectant and specialized fogging equipment to allow disinfectant into crevices, keyboards, and other hard-to-reach areas.
The HVAC system has been updated to use hospital-grade filters (MERV 13) in order to increase air filtration in all locations across campus.
Faculty, staff and students will be required to wear masks on campus.
During drop-off, students will undergo a health screening including a temperature check before being allowed in the building. Specific details about the drop-off and pick-up procedures during hybrid learning will be announced closer to that date.
No outside visitors will be allowed in the buildings at this time without administrative approval and health screening including temperature checks.
Physical distancing between each person should be maintained as much as possible on campus. Signage, rearrangement of furniture, and ongoing reminders will assist the community in adhering to this guidance. Faculty and staff will monitor students during their time on campus.
In order to ensure adequate physical distancing, hallways and staircases will have specific foot traffic flows. Signage will be posted around campus to assist students as they navigate between classes.
All faculty, staff students and visitors on campus will be required to wear masks. Faculty, staff and students will be issued two SPX adjustable masks. The issued masks, in addition to solid black, or white cloth masks or solid blue, white or pink disposable masks, will be the only masks faculty, staff and students will be allowed to wear.
SPX is working with Lexington Independents to ensure students will have a lunch purchase option available when on campus. In order to minimize contact, options will most likely be offered as a "box lunch" for grab and go and may be of a limited selection. Learn more about Lexington Independents' “Safe Café” initiative and what steps they are taking to ensure the health and safety of your students and their staff.
Table seating will be staggered. Signage will indicate the distance students should maintain while waiting in line. Students will also be allowed/encouraged to eat outdoors when weather permits.
Our first line of defense is you. A safe return to campus will require shared accountability from all SPX families. We are working diligently to reopen campus as safely as possible, but we need the assistance of parents/guardians in this process. Keeping your children home when they do not feel well is essential.
We also ask that you and your sons and daughters be patient and flexible as we all navigate these new routines and challenges. We ask that you partner with SPX to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses by:
Maintaining preventative health practices:
- Encourage frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer.
- Practice coughing and sneezing into elbows.
- Add daily temperature checks to your morning routine.
- Continue regular doctor visits and well-child appointments.
- Keep immunizations and physicals current.
- Encourage lots of physical activity and time outside.
Keeping your child emotionally safe:
- Ask how they are feeling and give them space to share and ask questions.
- Maintain at-home routines to provide stability.
- Continue reassuring them that the adults in their lives are there to support their well-being, both physically and emotionally.
First and foremost, we are incredibly grateful to all of you for your continued support of St. Pius X High School and our mission and commitment to a Dominican education: Prayer, Study, Community and Preaching. We thank you for your efforts that contributed to the success of the distance learning program last semester. Of the 166 families who responded to our school-wide survey, 142 were satisfied to very satisfied with their student's experience of distance learning. Thank you for working with us through a new, unexpected and challenging situation that developed quickly. We are indebted to our faculty and staff for pivoting and creating new ways of teaching so that SPX students could continue learning. We are genuinely thankful for the continued support and involvement of you, our parents, alumni and friends! You are the people who made the spring of 2020 work for our kids!
It is now time to move forward and optimistically look toward the 2020-2021 school year. Our plans are to safely welcome your sons and daughters back to campus for in-person, on-campus learning. We hope to welcome them back to campus for sports, theater, choir, band, and all of the activities that engage your students in the SPX community.
And, as we say this, we are fully aware that there are many factors beyond our control that will force us again to be called upon to find different ways of successfully teaching, meeting the myriad needs of our students, and building the SPX community. A team of administrators, teachers, and staff members have worked tirelessly to determine valuable and viable scenarios, which will meet the needs of our students setting priorities for their health, safety and learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
Return to School Task Force
Immediately following graduation, a task force was created to collect information and make recommendations regarding the continued success of your students' educational experiences. The teams are made up of administrators, faculty and staff members with specific expertise and knowledge. They are collaborating with public health experts and other educators, and utilizing guidelines from the state, other government and health official organizations, and TEA to form plans for the 2020-2021 school year. The teams and their responsibilities are below.
- Academic Continuity Team – Evaluate the past three months of instruction and delivery, assess physical needs based on educational, local and state guidelines, and prepare academic instructional models.
- IT Continuity Team – Evaluate how the Information Technology systems responded to off-campus learning and prepare systems for various instructional models to begin in August.
- Plant Continuity Team – Evaluate the health and safety needs moving forward based on educational, local and state guidelines establishing protocols and policies for faculty, staff and students to safely and productively return to campus.
- Community Integration Team – Evaluate how SPX maintains the feeling of community and continues to communicate and live our mission with our faculty, staff and students. This team specifically looks at community life (athletics, activities and overall sense of belonging) and how to ensure students feel a continued sense of belonging and engagement
Five Tiers of Interaction
We anticipate five tiers of interaction that students may cycle through during the 2020-2021 school year:
Tier 1: Your child and all faculty and staff are on campus with minimal safety precautions
Tier 2: Your child and all faculty and staff are on campus with moderate safety precautions
Tier 3: Your child and all faculty and staff are on campus with maximum safety precautions
Tier 4: Your child and all faculty and staff are partially on campus with maximum safety precautions in small-group cohorts rotating between in-person and distance learning
Tier 5: Your child is engaged fully in remote learning with only essential staff allowed on campus
Returning to School: Three Models
The administration with the Return to School Task Force, is working to create a school calendar and daily class schedule that will allow for full flexibility and engagement. We do not anticipate major changes to our published date for the beginning of the school year, the end of the school year, and scheduled breaks, but these plans are subject to change as health needs change in our world. We do anticipate looking to three different models for school in 2020-2021 and are building the capability to switch quickly from one model to another, as needed and required.
Model A: All Students, Faculty and Staff (Tiers 1-3)
In Model A, all students, faculty and staff return to campus in August. Specific health precautions will likely be in place in accordance with local, state and federal requirements and could include:
- Daily temperature checks for all faculty, staff and students
- Wearing masks that cover the mouth and nose, except when eating and drinking
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures
- Procedures for moving through hallways and stairwells to maintain effective physical distancing
- Reducing or eliminating shared materials and high-touch surfaces
- Redesigning large community gatherings such as assemblies and all-school Masses
- Volunteers and visitors welcomed back on campus, as conditions allow
Model B: Hybrid Learning (Tier 4)
In Model B, a portion of our community will be on campus while others learn remotely from home for reasons that may include:
- Limiting the number of people allowed on campus at one time to reduce COVID-19 transmission factors
- Students, faculty and staff uncomfortable returning to campus due to personal risk factors
- Students, faculty and staff in quarantine or isolation for reasons associated with COVID-19
Model B is characterized by hybrid learning through an interactive block schedule that focuses on synchronous learning for all students. Some students will physically be in the classroom, while others learn from home. In this model, students at home and in the classroom will receive the same lessons at the same time; students will have the capacity to interact with each other and the teacher through the use of technology. Students who are at home will be expected to log-in and participate during real class time. In Model B, students who are on campus will be expected to follow the same safety precautions listed in Model A, including wearing masks that cover the mouth and nose, except when eating and drinking.
Model C: Campus Closed, Distance Learning (Tier 5)
It is possible that there will be times during the school year when campus must be closed because of public health recommendations and forced closures. We are fully prepared to transition to distance learning when necessary. We have reflected and analyzed the feedback from students, faculty, and parents from the spring semester and are instituting improved technology, lesson planning, and community engagement, to make future distance learning an exciting and viable experience for your sons and daughters.
While our plans for the 2020-2021 school year may evolve as conditions and guidelines in our community change, our commitment to our St. Pius X community remains steadfast.
- The health and safety of our community is our highest priority.
- We will optimize our resources to provide your child with the best possible learning experience without interruption of the college preparatory education you can and should expect from SPX.
- We will continue to provide timely communication as conditions evolve in our city, county, and state.
We sincerely thank you for partnering with St. Pius X High School in the education and formation of your sons and daughters.
May you always be abundantly blessed,
The SPX Leadership Team
Dear St. Pius X Families,
In response to COVID-19, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and The Center for Disease Control (CDC) have provided specific guidelines for Texas schools. While St. Pius X High School, a private, faith-based school, is not directly guided by TEA, we are expected to develop and follow plans that are "similar" as per Governor Greg Abbott. In an effort to create a school where we can provide an excellent academic environment, we must take measures that will reduce exposure to illness for our students, faculty and staff.
After careful consideration, deliberation, and prayer, St. Pius X High School leadership determined to start classes on August 17 in a distance learning model. During distance learning, SPX leadership will continue to assess the situation using the guidance of local and state health officials. It is our intention and hope to return to in-person learning in a hybrid model on September 8.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented health crisis for schools in our city, state, country, and world. As we plan for the 2020-2021 school year, the health and safety of our students at St. Pius X High School is our top priority. We are committed to bringing students back to our campus and providing a safe place for them to grow spiritually, academically, and emotionally. The uncertainty of these times does not change the mission of St. Pius X High School.
Prayer, Study, Community, Preaching - this is a Dominican education at St. Pius X High School. Inspired by Veritas, young men and women embrace academic excellence and integrity, celebrate the community's diverse gifts and heritage, and embody social justice and service.
- Prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and school community
- Use research-based data to develop, implement, and enforce best practices in the area of health and education
- Promote campus practices and policies that reduce the risk of virus transmission and provide flexibility as we respond to unknown variables
- Respect and follow the authority of local and state guidelines and orders
Models of Learning
It is important that we find a way to gather with our students in the safest way possible and begin building relationships that are integral to student success. We will host in-person orientations and re-orientations for each grade level. While remaining physically distant, these sessions will encourage our students to connect and reconnect with faculty, staff, advisors and friends. We will celebrate a new year and a new way of being SPX strong.
Below are the scheduled days for each grade level orientation. More details will be released, including the option to attend orientation virtually, as we draw closer to the dates.
August 11 - Senior Class
August 12 - Junior Class
August 13 - Sophomore Class
August 14 - Freshman Class
Beginning August 17, all SPX students will participate in synchronous, distance learning. We have invested in cutting-edge technology that enables more engaging and interactive instruction and learning. The entire SPX community will be on campus meeting the needs of our students, their families and supporting one another.
Distance Learning Schedule
Odd Block Classes
Even Block Classes
Students will be able to schedule tutorials with faculty members by appointment.
Please click on the graphic below for a more detailed view of the distance learning schedule.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning
Synchronous Learning - Whether on campus or in the virtual classroom, students are in class at the same time and experiencing the same lessons together. Students will be able to interact with their teachers and each other through Microsoft Teams throughout the class period.
Asynchronous Learning - Students will review posted lessons in all classes, working at their own pace to complete assignments.
Student Expectations During Distance Learning
- All students must have an approved device as defined by the BYOD guidelines
- Students must be logged into their classes by the start of class.
- Cameras and microphones must be on and functioning.
- Students must wear an SPX uniform shirt or approved SPX t-shirt.
- Students must actively participate in class with their classmates and teachers.
- More detailed information and guidelines will be distributed with the Student/Parent/Guardian handbooks during orientation.
Using Microsoft Teams as a platform with our new technology, Swivl, every classroom will be equipped with video and audio capabilities to create a synchronous learning experience. During distance learning, all students will log into their Microsoft Teams account and interact with their teacher, teaching from the classroom, in "real time."
When moving to hybrid learning, students not on campus, will log into their Microsoft Teams account and share an identical experience with those in the classroom. Teachers will be able to see both students in the classroom and learning remotely. Students not on campus will experience and interact with everything happening inside the classroom.