Aug 17

Important Message About Masks at Brebeuf Jesuit

The message below was sent to the Brebeuf Jesuit community on Monday, August 16.

Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Community,

As you know, this is a time of heightened concern around community spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. At Brebeuf Jesuit, our policy currently remains that masks are optional for those students, faculty, and staff who have been vaccinated, and required for those who are not vaccinated. We are comfortable with this approach because we know that our students, faculty, and staff have a vaccination rate of over 90%, and we are not currently seeing the spread of cases. If our Brebeuf data were to suggest otherwise, we will be prepared to adopt universal masking as one tool for mitigating the risk to all. It is vitally important that we continue full capacity, uninterrupted, in-person education.

One additional consideration for risk mitigation is how to manage events that bring in a significant number of visitors. While our high vaccination rate for our students, faculty, and staff is a known quantity for us, we can’t have that confidence when it comes to others. Our medical task force has advised that any time significant numbers of people from outside of our faculty, staff, and students are gathering in the building, we should exercise additional risk mitigation measures. Therefore, upon consideration of current community risk, we are going to require masks for all participants (parents, faculty, and staff) at the Wednesday, August 18, Back-to-School Night event, regardless of vaccination status.

We will be thrilled to see as many of you as possible in person for Back-to-School Night, and the masks won’t dampen that enthusiasm! Please be prepared to bring your own mask to Back-to-School Night, though we will have some disposable masks available at the doors as well. If you cannot attend, that’s okay – we encourage you to look up the syllabus and/or other introductory materials for each of your children’s courses, and reach out directly to a teacher if you have any questions.

Mass of the Holy Spirit Update

As an additional risk mitigation strategy this week, we’ve decided to move this Thursday’s all-school Mass of the Holy Spirit convocation outdoors to the football field. Students will be seated on the turf field in groups with their classes, and they are welcome to bring blankets to sit on if they wish. Students will no longer be expected to be in “convo dress” now that the event is outside and seated on the field. We apologize for any inconvenience in that change of plans. As usual, parents are invited to attend Thursday’s all-school Mass, and there will be seating available for you in the bleachers. As an outdoor event, masks are not required at the Mass, including for parents/visitors.

Again, we will continue to watch the data closely. Thank you all for being flexible as the situation develops. We’re excited to be holding these traditional back-to-school events all together in person this year!

Greg VanSlambrook