11.19.2020 Principal’s Blog

Good Afternoon St. Joseph’s Families,

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not only do we get to eat an amazing meal prepared with love, but it allows us time to reflect on those things for which we are grateful. I have so many things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: my wonderful husband and son and my extended family – parents, four brothers and their families. I am grateful that I get to work with an amazing faculty and staff here at St. Joseph’s. I am also grateful for our students and parents. Without your commitment to Catholic education and your support of our school, we would not have the stellar reputation that we have maintained for 120 years!  Thank you for partnering with us.  It is a privilege and a blessing to be able to serve as the principal of St. Joseph’s Catholic School! Happy Thanksgiving!

Instruction Plan after Thanksgiving

Weeks of November 30th – December 18th

As we contemplated the best path moving forward for our St. Joseph’s school community for the three weeks following Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas break, we considered many things. These considerations are the health and safety of our school community – students, faculty, staff and parents, the goals we set forth at the beginning of the school year, our student learning, the rising COVID cases in Ada County and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Our goals:

  • The health and safety of students and staff.
  • Keeping students engaged in learning
  • Building relationships with families to keep them engaged with our community
  • Clear and proactive communication with families about their health, safety and education when returning to school.

Considering all these factors, we have made the decision in collaboration with Fr. Mariusz, our St. Joseph’s School Advisory Board, and other Catholic Schools in Idaho to continue with our current educational plan- full, in person learning with staggered start and stop times. We will continue to make the commitment to distance learning for those families who wish to have that option. We ask that those families who wish for their child/children to continue learning in a distance model, commit to a minimum of two weeks, from November 30th – December 11th, or the full three weeks through December 18th.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in our school remain low, we have had nine cases in total since the beginning of school. The cases we have had have come from outside exposure.

Factors that would change the full in-person model are a substantial outbreak of COVID-19 in our school, 20% of our faculty unable to come to school, 60% of our school community opting for distance learning, a state shut down by Governor Little, a mandate by Mayor McLean relating to schools or a directive by Bishop Peter.

Some requirements and considerations we are asking from our St. Joseph’s Community:

  • Any student who has had potential exposure during Thanksgiving break (airplane travel, traveling out of the area, gathering with people outside immediate household,) are required to quarantine for 3 days upon returning home or may choose distance learning for two weeks.
  • If your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please keep all children home. If anyone in your family is being tested for COVID-19 keep all children home.
  • If anyone in your immediate family is sick, please keep all children home from school.
  • Any immediate family member experiencing any illness symptoms- keep children home – siblings must stay home as well per our safety protocols
  • Request that you limit exposure over the next month to immediate family – avoid sleep overs or group gatherings
  • Please consider the health and safety of our faculty and staff – we have several faculty members who are caring for elderly family members
  • Please consider the health and safety or our broader community – continue to practice our 3 W’s:
    • Wear a Mask – all people on our school campus must wear a mask
    • Wash your hands
    • Watch your distance when with others

School Mass

We had Mass on Tuesday morning with our 2nd and 3rd grade students attending in person. On Tuesday, December 1st our 1st and 8th grade students will attend in person. It is such a privilege and blessing to be able to pray and worship together. Mass will be livestreamed (private link) for those students not attending in person. Mass dress is required for those attending Mass in person.

Here is the Mass Schedule for December:

  • December 8th – Grades 6 and 7 will attend in person
  • December 15th – Grades 4 and 5 will attend in person


In our 14th week of school, we have had two students test positive for COVID-19. We do have quite a few more students in quarantine this week.

Current COVID tracking information for St. Joseph’s HERE.

  • If your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please keep all children home. If anyone in your family is being tested for COVID-19 keep all children home.
  • If anyone in your immediate family is sick, please keep all children home from school.
  • see Illness Decision Tree for Schools

If your family travels (this means your school-age children are traveling with the family) out of state through January, self-quarantine for three days following your return. I recognize that this is inconvenient, but we are trying to implement precautions to mitigate exposure to COVID-19. We will reevaluate this requirement in January.

#BravelyGiveToday – St. Joe’s Fundraising Drive

To date, our school community has donated a little over $50,000 – thank you for your generosity! Ways to donate- You can write a check to the school, you can submit a payment online – the school pays a  small transaction fee for this method, or you email Anita Miller an amount you would like to donate and it can appear on your bill – we can accept monthly payments if that helps.


Parents, please notify the front office if your child will be absent for any reason. We need this information to continue to track daily absence rates. Mrs. Granvall’s email is granvalla@stjoes.com

Dress Code

Just a reminder, after Thanksgiving break, shorts can no longer be worn. Our weather in Idaho is cold and students will be outside for recess.

St. John’s Parish/School Connection

Please continue to support St. John’s Parish or your local parish. Advent begins on November 29th. The Cathedral of St. John – our school parish – will be hosting Fr. Bill Casey from November 29th – December 3rd. This is the Advent Parish Mission focusing on the Essentials of the Catholic Church. Fr. Casey will preach at the Sunday Masses- these Masses will also be live streamed.

Thank you for being a part of St. Joseph’s Catholic School. We are blessed to be able to work with your children.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!

Thanksgiving Prayer | Thanksgiving quotes inspirational, Thanksgiving quotes, Thanksgiving prayer

Blessings,Tammy Emerich


St. Joseph’s Catholic School