The word “stewardship” probably brings to mind things like “time, talent and treasure” and is often thought of only in terms of church. But, in the broadest sense, stewardship refers to “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care” (www.merriam-webster.com).
When plans were carefully developed for the reopening of school, they were developed with the goal of establishing a safe environment, in the midst of a pandemic, that would allow our children to be served physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally for the entirety of the school year. We give thanks to God, and all in our community, for what has been accomplished thus far.
We have not had a single case of COVID, nor an exposure, on-campus. We have had students who have needed to quarantine because of exposure to a person who is COVID positive, outside of school. When exposures occur in large groups, it is often difficult to determine who among the group is a “close contact” and so everyone needs to quarantine. Keeping those who could potentially be infected away from others during the 14 day quarantine period is the key to stopping transmission of the coronavirus. This is especially important during times, such as now, when there is increased community spread of this very contagious virus.
This past Thursday, the increase in case numbers of COVID and how this could potentially impact schools was the topic of discussion at the weekly Maricopa County Department of Public Health meeting with school nurses. Among public health professionals, there is strong support for schools remaining open despite changes in case counts and positivity rates. School Nurses were encouraged to continue monitoring the Maricopa County Schools Dashboard and Metrics, to remain aware of the degree of community spread, but it was reiterated that what is going on in individual school should be what guides decision making and actions. At OLMC, we are in a good place. To continue to stay in that good place, however, we must all act as good stewards. This means each one of us has the responsibility of being thoughtful about where we go, what we do and who we are with.
The preservation of the safe and healthy school environment that we have all worked to create must be prioritized in our decision making process. We must continue to practice those actions which are known to help decrease the spread of germs--frequent hand washing, physical distancing, mask wearing and staying home when sick. Though it will require sacrifices, continuing to have over 95% of our students on campus, learning in the best way possible, is indeed something worth our time and effort. May we be strengthened in this endeavor by the words of St. Paul, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)BACK TO LIST