Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Update

Parish Updates

School March 3/13 update

School March 3/12 update

School March 3/11 update


Date: March 13, 2020

Dear Saint Raphael Families,

Thank you for your patience and trust during the past few weeks as we have done extensive research and collaborated with parish, Diocesan, and local community leaders about our schools’ responses to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This has been a rapidly developing situation that is unprecedented in our schools’ histories. In order to proactively support our community, we’ve decided to close our campus to students beginning on Monday, March 16th with an anticipated reopening on Monday, March 30th. This decision came with consultation of Father Phil and the parish leadership team as well as with Bishop Luis Zarama.

Beginning on March 16th, SRCS K-8 students will continue their studies through distance learning opportunities. Teachers will receive training on developing age appropriate distance learning environments so that the curriculum can continue to be taught to a high standard. We acknowledge that this will present challenges, but school leadership will dedicate time to train and support teachers. On Monday and Tuesday of next week, faculty and staff will be present to finalize plans for distance learning. Please be prepared for further communication from your student’s teacher(s). Because we feel confident in the effectiveness of distance learning, we have no plans to alter the school calendar at this time.

For St. Raphael Preschool students, early childhood educators from St. Raphael, St. Michael, St. Andrew, St. Francis, and Sacred Heart are working together to create a document for families with a large variety of age appropriate learning activities for you to do with your young children at home. We plan to share this by email on Monday evening. Staff will come in early next week to sanitize all learning materials in the classrooms. 

School leadership will continue to collaborate with local health departments, medical experts, and parish and Diocesan leadership to continue to monitor the course of the virus in Wake County and make decisions about changing the reopen date if necessary. At this time there are NO known cases of COVID-19 in the St. Raphael community. Our highest priority is keeping our students, families, and staff safe and healthy.

We continue to pray for all those affected by COVID-19. Let us remember to care for all our brothers and sisters in Christ by following the precautions recommended by the CDC and NCDHHS.

God bless,

Joseph Whitmore, M.Ed.

Principal, St. Raphael Catholic School

Molly DeAngelo

Director, St. Raphael Preschool


TO:                    St. Raphael Catholic School & Preschool Families 

Date: March 12, 2020

FROM:              Mr. Joseph Whitmore, Principal of St. Raphael Catholic School

                          Mrs. Molly DeAngelo, Director of St. Raphael Preschool  


RE:                    Coronavirus Communications Update

As the coronavirus virus (COVID-19) continues to spread in our area, we understand that there are growing concerns with what we should do at St. Raphael Catholic School and Preschool. Please know that our ultimate goal is and always will be to ensure that our students have a safe learning environment where they feel comfortable, nurtured, and supported. Given the recent increase in cases of COVID-19 in our area, we continue to recognize this important responsibility and have worked very closely over the last two days to put the plans below in place.

Several questions have come as to why St. Raphael Catholic School and Preschool remain open on a normal schedule. We feel that it is in our students’ best interest to stay open. We are actively following the guidance and direction of local health departments, which at this time are recommending that schools remain open, as well as staying in constant communication with other Catholic Schools within the Diocese of Raleigh. We plan to remain open until we are advised otherwise by local health departments. We feel confident that if we – parents, students, faculty, and staff – all agree to follow the recommended practices by the CDC and err on the side of caution at your home, then we should be able to support our students here at St. Raphael Catholic School and Preschool.

As has been stated in prior communication, prevention is the best medicine. The following are current measures and practices that we are taking to ensure a clean and safe environment:

  • Students will be reminded about the importance of thorough and repetitive hand washing and using hand sanitizer. Students will continue to clean their hands after using the bathroom, before eating lunch, and after recess. Flyers are posted throughout campus and teachers continue to review the practice of proper hand washing, coughing and sneezing in your elbow, and keeping hands out of eyes, mouths, and noses.
  • JaniKing, the contracted janitorial service, is using hospital grade cleaning supplies to disinfect door knobs, water fountains, and other high-touch surfaces on a daily basis.
  • Classroom teachers will be disinfecting high-touch surfaces and resources/equipment on a daily basis.
  • Regarding Mass on Wednesdays, St. Raphael Catholic School will continue to operate under the direction of St. Raphael Catholic Parish and follow the practices that they have adopted for weekend masses. Please refer back to the memorandum that was shared on March 3 for more specifics. Be on the lookout for more information from St. Raphael Catholic Parish.
  • All field trips and school activities outside of normal class instruction will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Please know that the effectiveness of what we do is dependent on a strong parent partnership. We rely on you for the following: 

  • As recommended for any virus such as the flu, parents should keep children with fevers or respiratory symptoms home from school until symptoms, such as frequent sneezing and coughing, are resolved. Children should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school, without symptoms being masked by medication. Our office staff will work with teachers to identify sick children, contact the student’s parents, and stay with children until they can be taken home. It is important that parents pick up their children as soon as possible upon receiving a call from school, which is the best interest of the child and all staff members.  
  • Read the Coronavirus “What You Need to Know” poster (click here) for more information and resources, which is from the NC Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • If you have any health concerns about your child, please contact your pediatrician.
  • We will maintain a welcoming community to any new students or families who have been traveling internationally or out of state.  Health organizations – not schools – are tasked with identifying travelers who may have been exposed to the virus. If health officials do not place travelers under quarantine, then they are allowed to return to school and to the workplace. 
  • Home and School communication is of the utmost importance. Reach out to us with information regarding sick students, family members, and individuals who have potentially been exposed. Additionally, please ensure that the schools have your most updated contact information. Lastly, if you need to update the school on any underlying health information for your student(s), please contact Mr. Jake Dapolito (SRCS) or Molly DeAngelo (SRPS). 
  • Continue to reinforce good hygiene, proper nutrition, and adequate rest at home.
  • In order to minimize foot traffic and exposure, we will be insisting that the school and classrooms not receive any visitors outside of parents and guardians. This includes admissions tours, shadows, and outside guests.

Please know that we fully understand that this event is fluid and changing by the minute. Should we need to close the school building, we are preparing to continue the learning process with age appropriate distance learning opportunities for the students. This is an ongoing process and is actively being developed at this time. 

People with questions or concerns about COVID-19 can call the state bilingual hotline at 866-462-3821 or visit this website. Please also refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website for information and additional updates.

We respect that every family has a right to make their own decisions regarding how to best keep your family healthy. That said, there is no replacement for classroom instruction.  Rest assured that we are monitoring and acting based on the latest information. The health of our students and staff is our top priority. 

Please join us in praying for all those who’ve been affected by the virus – the sick, the health care and public health professionals caring for the sick and working to contain the virus, those affected financially, and all of us as we deal with this situation and its added anxiety and stress. 

Best Regards,

Joseph Whitmore, St. Raphael Principal

Molly DeAngelo, St. Raphael Preschool Director



TO:                    St. Raphael Catholic School & Preschool Families 

Date: March 11, 2020

FROM:              Mr. Joseph Whitmore, Principal of St. Raphael Catholic School

                          Mrs. Molly DeAngelo, Director of St. Raphael Preschool  


RE:                    Coronavirus Communications Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for the trust, support, and communication as we navigate the current challenges with the coronavirus. Across Wake County, we are seeing different organizations respond in a variety of ways to what is being recommended and declared by local, state, and federal officials. At SRCS, I am working closely with staff to generate a plan that keeps the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff at the forefront, but also allows the learning process to continue. We are reviewing current practices and procedures, as well as exploring contingency plans. Additionally, I, along with the other Catholic School Principals, will receive direction from the Catholic Schools Office by the close of business today. 

In summary, please know that this is a high priority for us. Please also remember and reference the guidelines that were sent last week as those have not changed. Students should continue to wash their hands and maintain proper hygiene. They should also remain home if they are feeling under the weather. We appreciate your patience as we continue to put plans in place. 

Be assured of further communication. 

God bless,

Joseph Whitmore, M.Ed.

Principal

Saint Raphael Catholic School



Parish Updates

School March 3/13 update

School March 3/12 update

School March 3/11 update