A Heritage of Faith & Excellence for a Future of Innovation & Service

A Heritage of Faith & Excellence for a Future of Innovation & Service

A Heritage of Faith & Excellence for a Future of Innovation & Service

A Heritage of Faith & Excellence for a Future of Innovation & Service

A Heritage of Faith & Excellence for a Future of Innovation & Service

Coronavirus/School Reopening Updates & Information

 August 6, 2020

Dear Saint Francis Solano School Community,

As of today, August 6th, Sonoma County continues to remain on the state of California monitoring/watch list. As you know, students are not allowed to return to campus until Sonoma County is off of the monitoring/watch list list for 14 days.  Therefore, students will begin the year on August 19th with Distance Learning.  It is our sincere hope that in the upcoming weeks we will be taken off of watch for 14 days and able to reopen campus.

Guidelines for the waiver application for K-5 students were released on Wednesday.  We are currently considering and weighing the prudence of applying for the waiver. Recent inconsistencies in testing data have further delayed the waiver process. Please note that the waiver does not include middle school or high school age students.  

Faculty is on campus preparing classroom cohorts, Hybrid Learning and Distance Learning. As we build cohorts we must know which students will be returning to campus for daily instruction and which will be choosing daily Hybrid learning from home.   Please look for an email on Monday that will request your intentions for your students’ learning option.  We eagerly anticipate our first day with students whether it be virtual or in person.  

Faculty will finalize a distance learning schedule next week; details will be emailed to school families.  Please anticipate students attending virtual live streaming/Zoom lessons between the hours of 8:20-2:20.  Kinder and First grade will attend shortened, age appropriate days with limited screen time. A finalized schedule for both classes and supply pickup is forthcoming.  Please also note that there will be a grace period for purchasing of uniforms and supplies when school is able to safely reopen on campus.

Debbie Picard and Robin Perkins

July 27, 2020

Dear Saint Francis Solano School Community,

On Thursday, Dr. Steve Harrington, Superintendent of Sonoma County Public Schools, conducted his weekly briefing with school superintendents and principals.  In this briefing he noted that Sonoma County is on the state monitoring/watch list through at least August 2nd.  If we continue to remain on the monitoring list after August 2nd we will start the school year in Distance Learning.  If, and this is a very optimistic if, the county were taken off of the list on August 3-5 we will excitedly welcome students on-site on August 19th.  

Here you will find Saint Francis Solano School’s Return to Campus Plan. This task force plan includes protocol and safety features put in place to assist with the safe reopening of campus for students and staff. This plan will be used once we are given the green light to have On-Site instruction. The plan has been sent to the superintendent of the Diocese of Santa Rosa and to the Public Health Department. The plan is dated July, 2020 and will be updated as public health policies change.

If we are required to begin the school year Distance Learning you should expect: daily attendance, daily classes for core curriculum (including language arts, math, science, social studies and religion), daily scheduled direct instruction(via Zoom, recorded lessons, and/or live streaming), daily interaction with peers and teachers, upper division office hours, and Spanish for grades 5-8.  We will continue to use Gradelink and Google Classroom in addition to weekly learning packets for younger learners.  Instruction will be age appropriate and respectively scheduled for the attention spans of students ages 5-13.

The third scenario includes the Hybrid Model.  Survey results showed that 29% of our school population would choose to participate in a Hybrid Model of distance learning rather than attend on-site instruction.  It is very challenging, if not impossible, for our teachers to teach both in person and virtually at the same time.  Faculty has met to create a Hybrid Model that will provide rigorous learning for all students while also allowing teachers the opportunity to develop plans for specific grades.  With the school reopened, teachers will follow the daily schedule with student learning on-site.  Curricula will be offered through Google Classroom and through learning packets.  At teacher discretion, there will be opportunities for direct instruction and student:student interaction throughout the day.  We must make it clear that families committing to hybrid learning will be a partner in the primary education and role of “teacher at home.”  As teachers are on-campus teaching, families who take on the Hybrid Model will take on a large commitment to the time management, instruction, accountability, and daily progress of education of their hybrid student.  Hybrid models per grade will be finalized in the coming weeks.  It is imperative for planning cohort learning to know the exact headcount of students per grade.  Therefore, at the beginning of August we will be reaching out to families to find out whether families will commit to hybrid learning or on-site learning when school reopens.

Per Dr. Harrington, the state of California is currently developing a waiver to reopen schools while a county is on the monitoring/watch list.  At this time, Saint Francis Solano School has requested to receive information about this waiver and its application process, once available.  We are currently not committed to applying for a waiver, we are simply gathering information. We will continue to update you on this process.

Thank you for your partnership,

Debbie Picard and Robin Perkins

July 21, 2020

Dear Saint Francis Solano School Community,

We appreciate your patience as the learning directives are constantly in flux.  To that end here are the three models that Saint Francis Solano School staff is working to prepare and finalize for August.

  1. Safe Return to Campus-students will learn in cohorts with direct instruction and a 8:20-2:20 school day.
  2. Distance Learning- students will receive daily direct instruction in five core classes including: math, language arts, science, social studies and religion.
  3. Hybrid Learning- parents will choose for their student(s) to either attend campus learning in cohorts, or participate in distance learning.

Per Governor Newsom’s statewide directives Saint Francis Solano School will follow the five principles of learning:

  1. Safe in-person school based on local health data (this state mandate requires Sonoma County to be off of the statewide monitoring list for a minimum of 14 days for all public and private schools to reopen safely)
  2. Masks required for grades 3-8, grades K-2 will be required to arrive at school wearing masks and will wear them throughout the day at the teacher’s discretion
  3. Physical distancing and other adaptations
  4. Regular screening/testing + dedicated contact tracing for staff
  5. Rigorous distance learning that includes live interaction with teachers and other students, and challenging assignments equivalent to in person classes (the faculty is meeting this week to evaluate and develop a revised distance learning model)

We as a school faculty want nothing more than to celebrate the first day of returning safely to campus.  That said, as of today, Sonoma County is on the statewide monitoring list.  Therefore if school were to start within the next 13 days, we would be required to provide distance learning.  There is no way for us to know what the situation will be in August, therefore we will be prepared to provide all three learning models.

We will continue to keep you informed as we are made aware of changes to the state and county directives.  Please continue to reference the school website and read communications for the most current information.


July 18, 2020

California Department of Public Health Reopening In-Person Learning Recommendations

 Presented by Governor Newsom on July 17, 2020


July 14, 2020

 Dear Parents,

I hope you are all safe and well and enjoying some summer relaxation.
As of last week’s Zoom meeting with the Superintendent of Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma County schools are scheduled to open in the fall. All students, including kindergartners, and staff are required to wear face masks. 

Yesterday, two of California’s largest school districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, issued a joint statement announcing that they will begin the fall school year online. This causes many parents to wonder what will happen in our county. As of today, unless there is a mandated closure, we will be able to be on campus. We continue to work on our safe reopening plan. Having said that, I do understand that some parents have concerns about returning to campus and are asking about Distance Learning. Please take a moment to complete the very brief survey that was included with the email update earlier today. Thank you.

Happy Feast Day of Saint Francis Solano,
Debbie Picard




July 2, 2020

The June packets have been mailed containing 2 blue emergency forms, raffle tickets or raffle ticket receipts, school sweatshirt order forms and new student health information (if applicable).
Additional school information such as student school supplies, uniforms and calendar information can be found: https: //saintfrancissolano.org/june-packet/
We will be adding to this information over the summer as we finalize details and protocols for reopening school on August 19th. Please continue to check your email and our school website for the most current updates. The school 2020-2021 handbook online will be posted in early August.
While we will have a very specific reopening protocol tailored to Saint Francis Solano School, you may wish to view the Sonoma County Office of Education’s Parent’s Guide to Reopening for a sample of what schools in the county may implement.


June 25, 2020

I would like to thank the members of the school’s Reopening Task Force, Dr. Nick Lopez, Erin Rogina, Beth Fenton, Lauren Cotner, Kim Subaie, Robin Perkins, and Perrin Cutting, for meeting this week. It was a positive collaboration and a school reopening document will be shared with you in July.

As you know, mandates from the state continue to be in flux. Most recently, Governor Newsom announced that all Californians over age two must wear a mask in most public settings, including schools. Yesterday, Sonoma County Superintendent Dr. Steve Herrington met with Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase to further discuss school reopening guidelines based on ever-changing conditions and state guidance. Their understanding is that the mask issue is still being discussed at the state level and additional guidance for schools will be coming soon. I will continue to keep you posted.

Using the county’s evidence-based approach, Sonoma County schools are still required to maintain a six-foot distancing standard. Saint Francis Solano school is able to follow that guideline by using the school’s East Wing, West Wing, main building and Father Roberts Hall.

I will continue to share updated information with you. I hope you are enjoying some fun and relaxation during these beautiful summer days!

 -Debbie Picard


June 16, 2020

We continue to move forward with our plans to reopen school with all students on-site beginning August 19th, once the governor moves from Stage II to Stage III. We are following the collaborative guidance by the Sonoma Office of Education, Sonoma County Department of Health, CDC, California Department of Public Health and California Office of Education.

In order to safely welcome all students back to campus, we will be using all available classroom space, including West Wing classrooms and Father Roberts Hall. Students will be placed into smaller learning “cohorts” to insure mandated social distancing of six feet. Our school day will be shorter, beginning with a staggered drop off at 8:20A.M. and instruction ending at 2:20P.M. Students will be expected to arrive starting at 8:20A.M. for temperature checks. 

The reopening guidance does not allow the offering of Children’s Center, before or after school, at this time.

In accordance with the current county health order, middle school students in grades 6th, 7th and 8th will be required to wear masks. Teachers and staff will wear masks and/or face shields at all times.  

We will continue to update you as we get more information. These plans are not final and are subject to change in accordance with county and state guidelines. Please continue to check your email and the school website for the latest details about the reopening of our school.

June 11, 2020

Yesterday, the Sonoma County Office of Education updated school administrators on the status of reopening. On June 12th,  SCOE will publish their guidance in alignment with the Sonoma County Department of Health, CDC, California Department of Health and the State Department of Education. You can find the guidance on the SCOE website
Today, the faculty met to discuss the possibility of on-site learning beginning August 19th. Next week, the administration will be meeting with a task force to collaborate on the reopening of our school campus in accordance with all public health guidelines.
When the governor moves from Phase II to Phase III Reopening, on-site learning is a possibility with certain safety measures.  For example, social distancing indoors is mandated and students would be properly spaced. Please continue to look for updates as we move through the summer. We will present detailed information as we have it.
Although the school day may require some adjustments, it is our sincere hope that all students will return to campus come August 19th!

The school office and playground are closed.

Please email inquiries to: stf.schooloffice@saintfrancissolano.org


Thoughtful. Responsible. Motivated.

These are the hallmarks of a St. Francis Solano student. Inspiring our students to become lifelong learners will serve them as they move along life’s journey – inspiring thoughtful questions and educational discovery.

St. Francis students are nurtured to become self evaluators who are able to make informed, intelligent choices and take responsibility for their work and actions. An emphasis on faith and kindness inspires students to care for and respect each other’s physical and emotional well-being.  Our focus is to create enthusiastic learners who think, develop and articulate independent ideas, adapt to change and solve problems using critical thinking skills.

St. Francis Solano School serves the families of St. Francis Solano Parish and the Sonoma Valley by cultivating an atmosphere embracing Roman Catholic values in which all students strive for academic achievement.

At Saint Francis Solano School, students embark on a spiritual, educational and social journey. Parents, as primary educators, partner with teachers in this ministry. Teachers facilitate the spiritual, academic, and social growth of all students, as they become self-evaluators, life-long learners, and faithful Catholics who serve as Jesus served.

Schoolwide Learning Expectations

St. Francis Solano School students are:

Faithful Catholics who are able to:

  • Actively participate in the Catholic Church in order to continue their development of faith
  • Recognize that we are made in the image and likeness of God, therefore, all life is worthy of dignity and respect
  • Make moral decisions based on Gospel values
  • Exhibit and model a Christian attitude of compassion through forgiveness of one’s neighbor and respond to those in need
  • Express a commitment to Church, country, community, social justice and individual relationships

Self-evaluators who are able to:

  • Make informed, intelligent choices understanding the consequences of those choices
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • Demonstrate self-motivation and self-discipline
  • Care for and respect one’s physical and emotional well-being
  • Reflect on strengths and areas of growth while striving to achieve personal best

Life-long learners who are able to:

  • Cooperate using effective oral, written and listening skills
  • Solve problems using creative critical thinking skills
  • Gain, integrate and apply knowledge
  • Think, develop and articulate independent ideas
  • Share their talents with others
  • Adapt to change and diversity
  • Utilize educational tools and resources

What Our Alumni Are Saying

“This school has left an impact on me in the best way possible. St. Francis’ religious message has taught me morals, a sense of right and wrong, and how to be accepting of all people. In addition, I am Jewish and I never felt that the teachers were trying to force me to change or convert to Catholicism. I am a student who loves to learn and the school has offered me opportunities to challenge myself…”

What Our Alumni Are Saying

“The students at St. Francis are fortunate to receive outstanding instruction from teachers who are dedicated to help each student succeed…the latest digital tools and lessons have been added to each class starting at Kindergarten through 8th grade…”

What Our Alumni Are Saying

“I have met people at other schools and heard stories of children my age being bullied and struggling with their grades because they are too afraid to ask for help. Never in my nine years have I witnessed or even heard of anything like that (here)…I can walk through the halls knowing everyone’s name and something about them…”

TreeRing Green Yearbook School
St. Francis Solano School

342 West Napa Street • Sonoma, CA 95476 • (707) 996-4994   Fax (707) 996-2662

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