Dear Jesuit families,
I would like to commend our students for an outstanding start to the academic year and thank our faculty and staff for all they have done behind the scenes to make it all possible. Your sons have navigated through new social norms and changes to the learning environment, and we have been able to maintain the continuity of community that is so vital to the Jesuit experience. It was certainly a tremendous feeling and sight having all of our students together again on campus.
The on-going global health emergency continues to impact our calendar and operations, and following our continued consultations with county health authorities, the Diocese of Dallas, and local medical professionals, we are going to maintain our current mode of learning through the end of the first semester, which includes three options for students: attending school in-person every day; attending school online every day; or, continuing to attend only on the assigned blue/gold cohort day. There will be no changes in the format or support for online learning and faculty will continue to utilize MSTeams during all teaching periods. Apart from Dec. 9, which will be an on-campus school day, Wednesdays will be an eLearning day for all students while we move forward with senior service and specific grade-level activities.
Some of our most prominent extracurricular activities have also enjoyed a great start to the year, and we want to continue to offer ways to engage and support those endeavors while maintaining a safe environment for participants, officials, and fans. We took the necessary precaution to limit attendance at home football games this year, and fan attendance for basketball and other indoor activities through the end of the first semester will be limited to the parents of each participant. Tickets will not be transferrable. More details on fan/visitor expectations will follow in a later communication.
The Jesuit experience is filled with many wonderful traditions and we were excited to see our young men and faculty in full dress code beginning today. And while some of our boys may not be eager to begin wearing ties and blazers, we can certainly count on their enthusiasm for a modified Ranger Day which will be spread out over two days in November to accommodate all grade levels. In consideration of the health and safety of our community, some of our most beloved Holiday traditions will regrettably need to be modified. There will not be an on-campus Christmas Eve Mass at Jesuit this year although we are planning a virtual Mass and will share those details in the hope that you will be able to celebrate with us. Additionally, we will not have our traditional Mass and wrapping party for Adopt-a-Family and the JWA Christmas Bazaar will be a week-long online event. We are mindful of all the ways in which the spirit of our community is unmistakable, and we encourage you to participate in events where you can, especially during these unique times.
I would like to close by reminding each of our parents of the important role you play in keeping our campus safe and our doors open. There have been a handful of positive COVID-19 cases within the student body since the start of the school year, but we have also had dozens of students forced into quarantine because of potential exposure. The protocols that we have in place are designed to keep everyone safe but quarantining large groups of students is disruptive to the learning environment and can lead to significant consequences for our extracurricular programs. Our community should be looking to set the example for social responsibility, and our commitment in this shared effort does not stop when we leave campus. Please take the necessary precautions to protect you, your sons, and our Jesuit family in all you do. I am most grateful for your partnership in our timeless mission of forming men of conscience and compassion.
Michael A. Earsing