St. Patrick School gears up for new school year

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief
The front entrance of St. Patrick School.

Kandice Roethler is looking forward to seeing students in the hallways again once school starts on Monday, Aug. 23.

“We’re excited to have kiddos back in their classrooms and as much as possible, more movement throughout the building,” the St. Patrick School Principal said.

Last year’s COVID-19 protocols changed many of the school’s routines, including dismissing early at 1:45 p.m.

This year, Roethler said the school day will go back to the 3:15 p.m. dismissal time with the exception of 1:45 early outs on Wednesdays. Lunch and recess procedures will also be moving back to the regular routine. 

She added that the decision on whether or not to wear masks will be left up to the students and their families.

“That’s going to be a student and family choice. We can’t require them either way but we will have masks available for students in the office and throughout the building as well so if they do want to wear a mask, we have the resources for them,” Roethler said.

Access to hand sanitizer has increased in the classrooms and a single touchless dispenser will be located at the front entrance, the gym entrance and the lunchroom. Consistent disinfecting and cleaning procedures are also staying in place.

“We’re still really focusing on that strong handwashing and frequent hand washing routine. Working with kiddos and just teaching them what’s expected,” Roethler said.

The school building will start to be opened back up as parents will be welcome to walk their kids in on the first day of school, though Roethler said all visitors are asked to check in to the office. 

“I’m looking forward to getting back to really being a true school community, which is the church community, our staff and students and their families,” she said.

Roethler was happy to see the new and returning teachers come into the building to get their classrooms ready before students arrive on Monday for the first day of school.

“We’re excited to see them and welcome them back in. We want to make sure that St. Pat’s is their home and they’re going to learn here and they’re going to grow,” Roethler said of the students.

St. Pat’s will continue to keep families updated if anything changes during the school year in relation to COVID-19 protocols. 

While the school will continue to prioritize the safety of the students, Roethler said it’s equally important that the student’s academic and emotional needs are met as well.

“Ultimately at the end of the day our goal is to help kids learn and to reach and teach all kids,” she said.

Ray, Ellie and Kilee Hughes get set for the first day of school at St. Pat's in 2020.