COVID-19 Resources

The ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic impact presents a tremendous challenge for schools to resume instruction in August. Saint Joseph Academy aims to balance its mission, values and rigorous academic programming with the health and safety recommendations of the scientific community and as outlined by the Ohio Departments of Health and Education in making return to campus decisions.

Guiding Principles

The following principles guide our discernment in making return to school plans:
  • Remain rooted in the Congregation of St. Joseph’s charism, the mission of Saint Joseph Academy and the best science and research available. 
  • Keep the health and safety needs of our students, faculty, staff and coaches, particularly those most vulnerable, at the forefront of all decision making.
  • Provide an extraordinary education for our young women that prepares them for college and the world beyond.
  • Provide remote learning for students who are unable to attend classes on campus.
  • Promote connectivity, collaboration and empathy. 
  • Keep relationships and community at the center of all we do.
  • Cultivate personal responsibility, action and leadership within our students to ensure academic integrity and accountability.
  • Ensure discernment in decision making. 
  • Promote resilience and adaptability as the fluidity of the pandemic shifts circumstances.
Saint Joseph Academy's Return to School Plan is subject to change based on our evolving understanding of COVID-19 and its impact. Check this webpage often for the latest information.

Guided by the principle of unifying love, it is up to each one of us to keep one another safe. This includes multiple layers of precaution to keep us all working toward a common health goal.

COVID-19 Dashboard

The COVID-19 dashboard provides a regularly updated status on COVID-19 positive cases that have affected Saint Joseph Academy students, faculty and staff. The data is being shared in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy, and will help inform Saint Joseph Academy decision making related to on-campus operations, health and safety measures and more throughout the fall semester.

COVID-19 Pledge: That All May Be One

Health and Safety Measures

Recent guidance from the State of Ohio, which calls for all schools to “Reset and Restart” in the fall and honoring the unique needs of the Saint Joseph Academy community have been paramount foundations for the plans for coming back to campus. The documents referenced on this page outline the following as critical in being able to safely plan for in-person learning on campus: 
  • Vigilant assessment of symptoms
  • Sanitation and hygiene practices for school and community
  • Social distancing practices
  • Facial coverings 
Safety measures for all students, faculty, staff, coaches and visitors include:
  • Requirement of daily health assessments and a temperature check at designated entrances before being admitted into buildings.
  • A designated room to isolate anyone who suspects she/he may have a COVID-19 symptom until able to leave campus.
  • Reduction of the number of students in each classroom to allow sufficient spacing between the teacher and students, as well as between students.
  • Maximizing all available spaces, indoor and outdoor, for class instruction.
  • Requirement that all students, staff, faculty, coaches and visitors wear facial coverings before entering any building on campus and keep them on while on the property. Disposable masks will be available for students, faculty, coaches and staff.
  • Following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, encouraging washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever possible. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, is available throughout high traffic areas in each building.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of spaces including classrooms, common areas and high-touch surfaces.
  • Monitor and adjust ventilation systems to increase air filtration and the flow of fresh air.
  • Installation of plexiglass barriers in key locations on campus.
  • Offering limited pre-packaged “grab and go” items for lunch.
  • Visible signage throughout both buildings (both on the walls and floors) as reminders about maintaining proper social distancing, wearing facial coverings, sanitizing, washing hands and directional signs for doors and stairways.
  • Limiting campus visitors.
  • Modification of hallway and stairwell traffic patterns.
  • Elimination of the use of lockers.
For Saint Joseph Academy to be successful in bringing students back on campus for in-person learning, we are relying on your partnership to maintain the health and well-being of all students, faculty, coaches and staff. In addition to the health and safety measures outlined, we need your commitment to conduct an at-home assessment prior to your daughter entering the campus. Please keep your daughter at home if she:
  • Registers a temperature higher than 100.0 F or has chills
  • Has a cough
  • Has a sore throat
  • Has a headache
  • Has congestion and/or a runny nose
  • Is experiencing fatigue
  • Has muscle or body aches
  • Is experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Is experiencing a loss of taste and smell
  • Is experiencing GI upset including but not limited to nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Has been in contact with anyone who has recently (within the last 14 days) tested positive for COVID-19
Anyone experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms or anyone who has been in close contact (within six feet for longer than 15 minutes) with someone who has recently (within the past 14 days) tested positive for COVID-19 should remain at home. Please read the latest CDC Guidelines on what to do if you or your daughter becomes sick.

As previously communicated, please do not travel outside of the State of Ohio two weeks prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, August 24. If travel during this time is already planned and/or essential, please contact Academic Administration.

Returning to School Communications

List of 10 items.

  • October 15, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents/Guardians,

    Earlier this week we shared the next phase of our safe return to school plans during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Although our goal has been to bring students back to full in-person learning, and we had hoped to do so starting Tuesday, October 20, the recent announcement by Governor DeWine today has given us pause. The increase in COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County has moved the county into the Red/Level 3 risk level category for high exposure and spread. As such, we will remain in hybrid learning for the foreseeable future. A new schedule will be provided in tomorrow’s newsletter, as well as posted on our website. Thank you for your patience and understanding. This is a fluid situation, and we will be ready to evolve as able.

    Principal Jeff Sutliff
  • October 13, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents/Guardians,

    Thank you for your patience as we have continued to refine the next phase of our safe return to school plans during the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

    With grateful hearts, we reflect on our experience and look forward to brighter days ahead. Over the course of Founders’ Week (October 12-16), we will celebrate the Eucharist with our students for the first time since before the pandemic reached Cleveland in March. We have made plans for the safe return of four grade levels of students to campus each day beginning Tuesday, October 20, provided local conditions remain relatively stable.

    While Saint Joseph Academy will strive to maintain six feet of social distance whenever possible, we have made the decision to allow teachers greater flexibility in meeting social distance standards. Classrooms will not be crowded or tightly packed, but there may be times when classroom seating will approach, but will no longer fully meet, a standard of six feet at all times. Teachers will still have the space to maintain six feet of distance and students will be empowered to maintain the distance they need to feel safe. The requirement for our community to wear facial coverings throughout the day and maintain six feet when possible will continue as it is still recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

    This decision was made through a process that involved prayer, listening, reflection, study and consultation with medical experts. We have also considered our own experience at the Academy and throughout the Diocese of Cleveland since the Academy’s start of the school year in late August. We believe this flexibility will strengthen our ability to meet the spiritual, educational, social and emotional needs of your daughter(s) while still maintaining a healthy campus environment. We understand that some parents/guardians and students preferred the hybrid schedule and will not be comfortable with this change, but we ask for your continued partnership, trust and support. Please continue to communicate your concerns and suggestions with us so we can meet the needs of your daughter(s) and your family.

    Saint Joseph Academy will continue to engage in rigorous COVID-19 symptom screening, including temperature checks each morning and require that students remain at home for a period of time even after symptoms cease. In addition to offering a level of protection, symptom screening will reduce the incidents of the cold, flu and other communicable illnesses in our school community. If your daughter is quarantined from the Academy due to illness and accompanying symptoms, we encourage you to consult your family healthcare provider immediately to arrange a test or a diagnosis that rules out COVID-19.

    We will continue to monitor conditions and respond as needed. Our schedule may change as conditions evolve, and we may need to shift back to hybrid learning or fully remote. Please remember that we are in this together and it is through our commitment to follow the necessary guidelines that will help minimize our risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. 

    Please direct any questions to Principal Mr. Jeff Sutliff at 216.251.6798 or

    If you would prefer your daughter(s) to continue or begin enrollment in full-time remote learning, please email Assistant to the Principal Mrs. Andrea Ham by Thursday, October 29.

    We are deeply grateful to you for entrusting us with the care and education of your daughter(s). The opportunity to share in and witness their development as women of unifying love brings us joy each day. Their fundamental goodness serves as a constant reminder of God’s abiding love and presence.

    With gratitude,

    Principal Jeff Sutliff 
    President Kathryn Purcell
  • October 2, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents/Guardians,
    I am writing to respond to some questions and suggestions families have raised and to keep you informed about our COVID-19 healthy building protocols.
    The scientific community strongly recommends increasing the supply of fresh air and improving ventilation as a means of minimizing the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. 
    As we approach the colder months of the year, Saint Joseph Academy needs to continue to adapt and refine practices for improving air quality.
    Air purifiers have been in place throughout the Academy’s campus since August. These purifiers are classified as a Class II Medical Device by the FDA and filter 99.99% of particles down to 0.1 micron. They remain on at all times.
    Fitzmaurice Hall has a modern HVAC system. It has been set to increase the fresh air supply.
    In the Academy Building, adjustments will be made to improve fresh air circulation and air quality. These measures include keeping windows and doors partially open in classrooms, offices and stairway landings whenever possible. Windows will not be kept wide open but they will be cracked open sufficiently to increase fresh air circulation. 
    We will increase boiler settings in order to offset the colder air entering the building through partially opened windows. Teachers will shut classroom windows each night when closing up the classroom and reopen the windows first thing in the morning. The facilities staff will check each room in the evening to ensure the windows are closed. 
    We are confident that if the heat levels are raised in the building at night, the masonry walls will retain sufficient heat to keep classrooms and offices tolerably warm throughout the day. Students are encouraged to wear uniform sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets. They may also wear their coats as needed to offset the chill.
    We continue to encourage frequent handwashing and require frequent sanitation of shared surfaces. More plexiglass barriers will be added throughout the Dining Hall and in common areas of campus as the need for these spaces will increase with the cooler weather.
    Thank you for your support and understanding of our efforts. Your prayers and kind words are a source of strength and inspiration as together we meet the challenges of educating our students during a global pandemic. Let us all be comforted with the knowledge and faith that through all of the challenges we face, God holds and loves the world.
    With gratitude,
    Principal Jeff Sutliff
    President Kathryn Purcell
  • September 25, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents/Guardians,

    When the 2020-2021 schedule was developed in July, we felt it was the best plan for how to approach the school year. We prioritized safety and incorporated insights from the spring and early summer. 
    Since the global pandemic first arrived in March, we have learned that we must be flexible and adaptable in our planning, balancing the need for structure and routine with the need to respond to evolving conditions and apply our growing understanding of COVID-19. 
    Saint Joseph Academy continues to seek and follow guidance from scientific experts and the evolving body of medical research regarding the global pandemic. We also observe the experience of other schools that have started with different strategies and evaluate how we could apply what we learn from their experiences. 
    Through the parent/guardian survey responses regarding the first month of school, it is apparent that:
    • Having students back on campus has been a source of joy and relief.
    • There have been challenges and frustrations as both students and teachers adapt to the impacts of social distancing guidelines and modified schedules. 
    • Parents/guardians desire more days on campus for their daughters.
    • We need to make more extracurricular activities available for students.
    The experience of the first month of school has taught us that we should move away from linking Saint Joseph Academy schedules directly to the color classification system aligned with the Cuyahoga County COVID-19 Risk Levels. We will continue to carefully monitor these risk levels, but we will develop our schedule based on the current, specific needs and conditions of our school community. We will continue to prioritize safety and parent/guardian choice in our decision-making.
    Saint Joseph Academy will begin the process of transitioning to a schedule with more grades on campus. We will continue to carefully monitor COVID-19 risk levels, but we will develop our schedule based on the current, specific needs and conditions of our school community. Safety and parent/guardian choice will continue to be prioritized in our decision-making.
    October Schedule Updates:
    During Founders’ Week (October 12-16), an additional grade will be brought onto campus for Community and Connection Days. Students will not attend classes on Community and Connections Days for their grade. Instead, they will join their classmates in the celebration of Mass and other activities. There will be a virtual connection for full-time remote learners on these days, but they are also welcome to attend these days in person with prior notification by sending an email to Administrative Assistant to the Principal Mrs. Andrea Ham.

    We understand that parents/guardians are partners in our efforts and appreciate the role you play as the primary educators of your daughters. We appreciate your continued support in guiding your daughters to make safe and responsible decisions when they are not in school. It has become increasingly clear that careful and mindful choices made outside of school will have a dramatic impact on our ability to be together on campus, including the return of those with increased risk levels for severe illness due to COVID-19. It is up to all of us to do our part, “That All May Be One.”
    We are grateful every day that you have trusted us with the care and education of your daughters. Your prayers and words of support have strengthened and inspired us as we work through the challenges of each day. If you have questions or concerns, please call 216.251.6788 or email Jeff Sutliff.
    With gratitude, 

    President Kathryn Purcell
    Principal Jeff Sutliff
  • August 28, 2020

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

    We are excited for our students to begin their first full week of instruction next week! As you are most likely aware, there are several important reminders that need to be reiterated before classes are in session. 

    Final Forms: A COVID-19 Pledge has been added to Final Forms. All students and their families are required to sign off on the pledge and keep contact information updated.

    Face Coverings: Face coverings are required for students, faculty and staff. It is highly recommended that each student packs additional masks in case a strap breaks or a replacement is needed.

    Carpooling: Students who are carpooling are asked to wear masks at all times while in the vehicle. Parents are strongly encouraged to do so as well.

    Website: If you have not had an opportunity to review the Saint Joseph Academy website and specifically the Back to School Information tab, you are encouraged to do so. On this page, you will find important information regarding return to campus, including return to school schedules. 

    There are several resources available in both the Parent Portal and Student Portal of our website. Once in your account, you can customize your calendar view to include as many or as few of the group calendars (academic events, arts, admission, etc.), access college scholarship information, the handbook, course offerings, etc.

    Lunch Menu & Accounts: We are excited to partner with AVI Foodservices to offer a new selection of lunch options! Please note that at this time, AVI is not able to accept cash or checks during lunch. To view the weekly lunch menu or add funds to your daughter(s)’ lunch account(s), go to the “My School Dining Account” button on the Parent Portal on our website or go directly to their website here. To create an account for your daughter(s), you need to know her/their school ID number(s), which can be located in PowerSchool (it’s the number listed to the left of the grade level). Once signed up, you can set notifications to be alerted of account balances. 

    Schedule Rotation: Until further notice, the daily schedule will remain on an ABCD rotation.

    Class Instruction: Class sections have been divided into two locations in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Each section is supervised with the help of additional faculty and staff.

    Attendance Policies: In-person learners should alert their teachers by 7:30 a.m. if they need to change to remote learning due to COVID-19 symptoms (sniffles, cough, loss of taste/smell, etc.). A parent/guardian must call the Academy’s attendance line (216.251.5374) by 7:30 a.m. if their daughter is too sick to attend in-person or learn remotely that day. All students attending class are required to do a daily “face to face” check in with teachers during class time, either in-person or online, depending upon the students’ mode of learning for the day

    Uniform & Dress Code Policy: Daily uniform consists of a school-approved polo shirt, skirt or slacks, socks or tights, student ID and school-approved shoes. School-approved sweater or sweatshirts may also be worn. Skirts must be buttoned and zipped at the waist. Polo shirts must not hang down below sweaters or sweatshirts.

    Students will be notified when they will be required to wear formal uniform. The formal uniform consists of a Saint Joseph Academy polo shirt; skirt; sweater; solid navy blue, dark green or black hosiery or tights and shoes. A white uniform polo shirt must be worn under all styles of sweaters. Polo shirts must not hang down below sweaters. Formal uniform must be worn for the entire day.

    Below are reminders about the required uniform. Please note that any student who is not in dress code will be issued a one-point infraction.
    • Uniform polo shirts, sweaters and skirts can be purchased from Schoolbelles.
    • Uniform sweatshirts can be purchased from the Paw Prints Bookstore (two options) or Schoolbelles. The new packable jacket, which can be purchased in the Paw Prints Store, can be worn on top of the daily uniform.
    • Only flat front, mid-rise slacks in khaki may be worn. No jeans.
    • Shirts worn under the uniform polo shirt must be solid white with no colors, writing, illustrations, etc.
    • Shorts may be worn under the uniform skirt but may not hang below the skirt hemline.
    • Socks/Tights must be solid colors of navy blue, dark green, black, gray or white. Socks and tights sold in the Paw Prints Bookstore may be worn with the daily uniform. Patterned tights are not permitted.
    • A predominantly solid color shoe in the following colors navy blue, dark green, black, gray, brown, white or tan with a hard sole may be worn. The shoe should be one of the following styles: tie, buckle, oxford, docksider, saddle shoe, athletic shoe, clog or loafer with heels no higher than two inches. 
    • The following shoes are not permitted: boots, any shoe that is over the ankle, sandals, any shoe with an open toe or Crocs/plastic shoes or replicas of such.
    • Hair must be within the range of natural coloring. Hairstyles may not be extreme, such as spikes, shaved heads, etc.
    • Bandannas and hats may not be worn.
    • Tattoos may not be visible.
    • Piercings other than ears are not acceptable (adhesive bandage, make-up, etc. may not be used to cover piercings). Students with multiple ear piercings may be asked to remove them if determined inappropriate by the Dean of Women.

    Tuition and Fee Payment Protocol: In accordance with the Academy’s 2020-2021 school year visitor policy, we can no longer allow drop-in visits on campus. Therefore, if you wish to make a tuition or fee payment in person, you must schedule an appointment with Vice President of Finance & Administration Ms. Moria McGreer. She can be reached at or 216.251.6788 x253. 

    Paw Prints Store Shopping Protocol: Customers including parents/guardians and students are required to make an appointment with Paw Prints Store Manager Mrs. Colleen DeVenney ’94 will be checked in following COVID-19 protocol.

    Please continue to keep us in your prayers throughout the year.  We are grateful for the blessings of each day and for our shared efforts to support the mission of Saint Joseph Academy.

    With gratitude,

    President Mrs. Kathryn Purcell
    Principal Mr. Jeff Sutliff
  • August 21, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents and Guardians,

    Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year! Since 1890, Saint Joseph Academy has been dedicated to providing an unparalleled education to young women, helping them deepen their faith while developing them to become compassionate leaders our world so desperately needs. We are so proud to be in our 131st year!

    Although we will remain flexible and nimble in many ways, Saint Joseph Academy will be unwavering in our commitment to provide a faith-based, challenging, individualized educational experience to our students, whether on campus or remotely. We take your trust in choosing Saint Joseph Academy for your daughter(s) very seriously; we know that her/their safety, well-being and intellectual development are paramount.

    Our “Character of a Saint Joseph Academy Graduate” statement signals the spiritual outcomes we aspire for each young woman who attends the Academy. It reads:

    In the tradition of the Congregation of St. Joseph, the graduate of Saint Joseph Academy is a woman who lives unifying love through empathetic justice, service to the dear neighbor without distinction, personal integrity and emerging wisdom.

    During their four years at the Academy, students explore ways to grow in these spiritual attributes. To guide them throughout their high school journey, there is a theme each year that focuses on one of the key attributes. That particular attribute is integrated into the Academy’s summer reading theme, classroom pedagogy and service learning opportunities. Our alumnae of all ages would agree these attributes are worth striving towards. 

    This year’s theme is “Women of Unifying Love.” Part of that calls for the cultivation of Empathetic Justice. That is defined as “Devoted to doing justice with compassion and respect for others, she (the Saint Joseph Academy graduate) works for systemic change to bring about global equality.” Without concern for justice, we cannot truly be agents of God’s unifying love in our world. Topics of diversity, equity and inclusion are on our minds. We need to continue to work together to create a culture and environment that signals that each person in our community belongs and is valued, and we will extend this into our larger world. To advance this important work, we need to listen, share opinions and get to know the dear neighbor without distinction. You will hear more about our efforts in regard to our theme and our focus on Empathetic Justice as the year proceeds. 

    We warmly welcome the Class of 2024 into our school community. As these students embark on their high school journey, everyone at Saint Joseph Academy is ready to support them in becoming the young women God calls them to be. 

    Fitzmaurice Hall, named in honor of Mother Theresa Fitzmaurice, CSJ, is now open to students and faculty. The renovation both preserved the building's rich history and distinctive architecture while updating it to support 21st century education. In the current COVID-19 climate, the beautiful, spacious CORE Ministry and Social Studies classrooms and common areas allow more students on campus during the school day while providing us the necessary space to safely distance students. 

    The new Makerspace innovation lab is nearly complete! It is four times the size of the former space and features a modern, flexible setting filled with advanced technology. This interactive, hands-on innovation lab, remains a focal point for student experimentation, creativity and learning both inside and outside the classroom. If in the last few years the 3D printers hummed with nearly 10,000 hours of creative print jobs, we can’t even imagine how much can be accomplished in this new area! Using this incredible space and equipment, Saint Joseph Academy pledges to challenge and excite students with possibilities for design, collaboration, innovation and discovery.

    We are grateful to our dedicated faculty and staff for their professional commitment to their growth as educators and to our students, including the following new educators who are joining our community:

    Mr. Paul Gambon, Substitute Teacher/Co-teacher: Mr. Gambon earned a Bachelor of Science from Loyola University of New Orleans and Master of Science from the University of North Florida. He first joined the Academy last spring as a substitute Chemistry teacher. Previously, he taught Science at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, FL and worked for many years as a laboratory scientist.
    Mrs. Taylor Lagzdins, Social Studies Teacher: Mrs. Lagzdins recently earned a Master of Education in Urban Secondary Teaching from Cleveland State University. She graduated magna cum laude from Baldwin Wallace University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. A West Park resident, Mrs. Lagzdins has been an active volunteer in organizations dedicated to promoting equity, empowerment and social justice.   
    Ms. Sarah Manszuk, Substitute Teacher/Co-teacher: Ms. Manzuk is a Saint Joseph Academy Class of 2016 graduate. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts History and Social Studies from Cleveland State University, graduating magna cum laude, as well as her licensure in Integrated Social Studies Secondary Education.
    Maxim 2 of the Congregation of St. Joseph calls us to strive to do our best in all things, to be who God created us to be. The Sisters refer to this as a call to “the more.” As our school community strives to do our best in all things, we reflect deeply on the lessons we learned in the spring.  

    When we listened to our families, students and recalled on our own experiences teaching in a remote setting, consistent themes emerged:  
    • Strong relationships and community must be prioritized. 
    • Live, in-person instruction during periods of remote learning is essential. 
    • Time management and communication skills must be nurtured in our students. 
    • Faculty and staff need to strengthen and streamline communication to students and families. 
    We were also reminded of the importance of our partnership with families and the need to be flexible as we creatively and persistently respond to new challenges. For example, Commencement, Prom and Walk of the Roses could not have happened for the Class of 2020 without the innovation, effort and prayer of the entire community. We remain committed to preserving the sacred traditions that define the Saint Joseph Academy experience for our students and their families. Just like classroom instruction, our community rituals may take new forms, but relationships remain at the heart of all we do. 

    With students learning both on campus and remotely in this unique 2020-21 school year, we embrace the challenges of our new “normal” and strive to do our best in all things. We’ve implemented a flexible master schedule that provides an opportunity to build and nourish relationships while also maintaining safe and healthy social distance. The timing of the Congregation of St. Joseph’s gift of the additional learning spaces of Fitzmaurice Hall and the generosity of our benefactors at this critical time in the history of our school reminds us that God is with us at all times. Six months ago, we did not imagine that we would need more space to meet the challenges of a global pandemic, yet God anticipates our needs and answers prayers before we ask them. 

    We are people of faith and hope who are strengthened by the knowledge that God will continue to provide us the resources we need. And, as divine beings created in God’s own image, God empowers us to create beauty in new forms, to invent new technologies, and to discover solutions to problems both anticipated and unanticipated. We have the capacity and the calling to make manifest a more perfect, more unified world, “that all may be one.” 

    As we commence on a new school year of providing excellence in the education of young women, we thank you for your confidence in Saint Joseph Academy. We take our responsibility of helping your daughter(s) deepen her/their relationship(s) with God and achieve her/their personal best with the utmost importance. 

    We pledge to communicate often with you throughout this extraordinary year. 

    With much gratitude,

    President Mrs. Kathryn Purcell
    Principal Mr. Jeff Sutliff
  • August 19, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents and Guardians,

    Returning to school will look a bit different this year, so please read all the pertinent information below carefully.

    Next week there is a separate Orientation Day for each grade level. This will provide the best opportunity to teach and implement new safety practices. It will also afford each class the opportunity to gather as a community to pray and celebrate the start of the new school year, including a live-interactive stream for our remote learning students.  

    Orientation Schedule
    Please note that this year’s orientation is required for all four grades. On these days, students’ pictures will be taken for their school ID badges, the yearbook and for purchase. Click here for the full Orientation Schedule.  
    *8/24 Monday. . .Grade 9 
    **8/25 Tuesday. . .Grade 10
    **8/26 Wednesday. . .Grade 11
    **8/27 Thursday. . .Grade 12

    *The traditional Freshmen Rose Ceremony will take place on this day, within the school day.
    **Rose Ceremony for transfer students will take place on their respective orientation date, within the school day.

    Returning to School Schedule Level
    Beginning Monday, August 31 through Friday, October 2, the Academy will be using the Return to School Schedule RED. This schedule has two grade levels on campus; other grade levels are learning remotely. Click here to access the details for the RED schedule. Full-time remote learners should follow this schedule as well, and log in for classes remotely on the days their classmates will be on campus. 

    We have decided to adhere to this schedule through October 2 in order to establish routines and ensure we have proper procedures in place before we increase the number of students on campus each day. However, if the recent positive trends are reversed and the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 level for Cuyahoga County moves to the purple level, we will need to shift to full-time remote learning for all students until the county is out of the purple advisory level.

    We will also need to be mindful of the temperatures in the buildings. Should they rise to a level deemed uncomfortable for students to wear a face covering throughout the day, we will keep students at home and utilize remote learning as we would in any inclement weather situation. Administration will advise if building temperatures for the next school day are too high for on campus learning; if that is the case, parents and students will be advised that all students will be remote learning and the respective schedule for that day.

    On Thursday, October 1, the upcoming week’s schedule will be communicated. The schedule will be reflective of Cuyahoga County’s COVID-19 Risk Level.

    Uniform Changes
    We are excited to announce there are two new approved uniform pieces that students can wear on non-formal uniform days. Click here to see the new options. 

    Morning Drop Off Process
    Please allow extra commute time as there are now additional steps required to ensure health and safety measures can be taken. 
    • The doors at the Academy Center entrance of the Academy Building will open starting at 7 a.m. - an hour before school starts.
    • Students can be dropped off in the morning at the St. Joseph Circle. If they arrive between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., they will need to report first to the Academy Center for a temperature check before entering the building. Parents should wait to see that their daughter has been able to enter the building before driving away from campus.
    • Starting by 7:30 a.m. in the St. Joseph Circle, temperatures will be taken while students are in their respective vehicles. 
    • Those who walk to school or drive can enter through the Academy Center doors on the eastside of the Academy building. 
    • Student walkers’/drivers’ temperatures will be taken by a temperature scanner which is installed in the Academy Center.
    • Students must answer the following COVID-19 questions every day upon entering the building:
      1. Do you have a fever at or above 100.4?
      2. Do you currently have any symptoms of COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell?
      3. Have you had any symptoms or been exposed to someone who has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    Lunch & the Dining Hall (Ground Floor, Academy Building)
    • Saint Joseph Academy is pleased to announce our new food service partner, AVI Foodsystems.
    • Lunch will feature a selection of entrees, grab-n-go options and beverages for purchase.
    • If your daughter plans to buy her lunch, please make sure there are funds on your daughter’s account before school starts. Click here to access her dining account.
    • The Dining Hall traffic flow has changed to allow for single file lines and social distancing.
    • Students are welcome to bring their own lunch. 
    • While eating, facial coverings can be removed; but they must be put back on once finished eating. Social distance must be maintained at all times.
    • Lunch periods are assigned by grade level (Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors). Only those assigned to that time period may eat at that time.
      • There is enough seating for eating lunch in the Dining Hall, outside on The Scholars’ Porch, Howley Terrace and other assigned areas.
      • Please note that eating at Fitzmaurice Hall is not permitted.
    • Those with the free activity block (when not eating) will have assigned locations.
    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we refine our plans. We will have further updates and information in the coming days.

    With gratitude,
    Mr. Jeff Sutliff
    Mrs. Kathryn Purcell
  • July 29, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Families,

    As the return to school approaches, we wanted to share some additional details regarding the 2020-2021 academic year. 
    The safety of your daughters, your families, as well as our faculty, staff and their families is our number one concern. As the COVID-19 landscape continues to shift, Saint Joseph Academy will need to adjust to it. The Academy’s policies are under constant review and are certain to evolve. These plans will continue to be shaped by the following:
    • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines 
    • State, county and local health department guidelines 
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals
    • Harvard T. H. School of Public Health
    • Countless webinars and sessions with other school leaders
    Saint Joseph Academy’s Academic Plan for the 2020-2021 school year is available here.

    Our schedule includes:
    • A full-time remote learning option for students who are not able to come to campus
    • A flexible weekly schedule based on Ohio COVID-19 advisories
    • Social distancing measures in place throughout the buildings, throughout the day
    • Attendance by grade level cohorts
    Families who choose a full-time remote learning option for their daughters should notify the Academy by emailing Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Mrs. Andrea Ham, by Wednesday, August 5. It is understood that plans may change in the future, but this information will help us plan more effectively for the first quarter of the school year.
    In order to observe heightened health and safety precautions and to minimize potential risks to our community during this global pandemic, Saint Joseph Academy will be restricting visitors to campus. This includes parents/guardians. Parent/Teacher Conferences and Curriculum Nights will be held virtually. Necessary visitors (including contractors needed to make emergency repairs) will be required to wear facial coverings and will follow our safety protocols. Please remember that these restrictions are for the safety of your daughters, your family, as well as for all our students, faculty, staff and their families. 
    It has been a great challenge to accept that our way of life has changed. The global crisis has caused disappointment and sadness and has disrupted our lives. Attending school will look different as will the typical activities of a new academic year. We wish we could gather together and celebrate the beginning of the school year as a full community, including All-School Mass, but that will not be able to happen safely. However, we are committed to staying connected as a community. To maintain a focus on health and safety, our new reality will include increased attention to hand washing, daily temperature checks, physical distancing, facial coverings, assigned seats and reduced movement in our buildings. Although these are inconveniences, there is comfort in knowing that we are not alone in this task, and that it is what we need to do to mitigate the global impact on our community.
    As people of faith, we are people of hope. We are confident that the Saint Joseph Academy’s mission and values will guide us through this challenging time. We embrace the opportunity to respond in ways that strengthen relationships and bring us closer to one another, “that all may be one,” in the spirit of the Gospel and the Congregation of St. Joseph. Thank you for entrusting us with the care and education of your daughters.  

    With gratitude, 
    Jeff Sutliff
    Kathryn Purcell
  • July 22, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Parents/Guardians,

    Thank you for your prayers and patience as we work to develop and refine our plans for the 2020-2021 school year. We are so grateful that you trust us with the care and education of your daughter(s).

    The ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic impact presents a tremendous challenge for schools to resume instruction in August. Saint Joseph Academy aims to balance its mission, values and rigorous academic programming with the health and safety recommendations of the scientific community and as outlined by the Ohio Department of Health in making return to campus decisions. 

    Please refer to our detailed health and safety measures at this link.

    The first day of school is scheduled for Monday, August 24. We are planning a staggered start with an orientation day for each grade level to give us time and space to safely reinforce policies and procedures. The schedule for the first week of school will be as follows:

    8/24 Monday | Grade 9 Orientation
    8/25 Tuesday | Grade 10 Orientation
    8/26 Wednesday | Grade 11 Orientation
    8/27 Thursday | Grade 12 Orientation
    8/28 Friday | No Classes/School - Teacher Professional Day

    Our Academic Planning Team and Scheduling Team are finalizing the master schedule, and its details will be shared with you next Wednesday, July 29. The plan aims to maximize students’ on-campus time within the guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health.  

    God bless you all and please continue to keep us in your prayers! 

    Mr. Jeff Sutliff
  • August 5, 2020

    Dear Saint Joseph Academy Families, 

    We write to update you on our current thinking after taking some time to thoroughly review and prayerfully consider the various national, state, county and local recommendations for schools. After consideration of these recommendations, we remain committed to the plans we put in place in July for the start of school and the start of athletics. At this point, the Academy intends to move forward with our published return to school plans. After a brief pause to ensure being mindful of all recommendations, athletics resumed today with all necessary protocols in place. 

    We also want to remind families who choose the full-time remote learning option for their daughter(s) that the deadline to send a request via email to the Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Mrs. Andrea Ham is the end of the day today, Wednesday, August 5. Thank you to those families who have already communicated this request. The commitment to be a fully remote student can be reevaluated and changed at the end of each academic quarter.

    Students’ academic course schedules will be available for viewing through PowerSchool on Monday, August 17. Class schedules were built based on spring registration requests. Due to our classroom safety measures, it may be difficult to make adjustments to schedules. However, if your daughter’s schedule has an error, please contact her guidance or college counselor.  

    As the COVID-19 pandemic situation is ever evolving and our approach will likely develop as well. If we need to pause again, please know that it provides us time to thoughtfully consider all recommendations, orders and mandates. There is much to consider. Saint Joseph Academy is not alone in this effort. Schools all around the country are adjusting their plans to align with shifting health and safety recommendations, as well as the needs of their specific communities. It is possible that even in the next three weeks, the needs could change. If so, it may cause us to make further adjustments to our plans. 

    The uncertainty is challenging for us all, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. We also want to thank you for your feedback and for your questions, as they both help us to refine and improve our plans. Please know that we will continue to work in the best interests of our school community. 

    With much gratitude, 
    Jeff Sutliff
    Kathryn Purcell
The Ohio Department of Health has established a Call Center, staffed by licensed nurses and infectious disease experts to answer questions regarding coronavirus every day, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 

Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)