To our community,
We would like to start by saying “thank you.” We are so grateful for the support you have provided to the children and families served by Mount Saint Vincent over the years.
COVID-19 is making an impact on our world and it can seem overwhelming. As we all take this time to practice physical distancing, work remotely and washing our hands, we want to share with you how Mount Saint Vincent continues to live out its mission in these unprecedented times.
Our Sister Daniel Stefani Day and Treatment School was closed for an extended Spring Break. Beginning April 1, using online educational programming (iReady, Scholastic, ABC Mouse etc.) our teachers will prepare notebooks containing lessons for each subject area. Parents will pick up materials or teachers will drop them off at the families’ doorstep. (We have very dedicated teachers!) Lessons will be sent electronically to students and/or parents if that option is available to the family. More importantly, our teachers will reach out to students daily to just check in and see how they are doing.
We still have Residential children living on-site and though the kiddos cannot leave the campus for outside activities, our recreational therapist has many activities planned to keep them entertained. We will be posting photos from some of these activities on Facebook and Instagram so if you don’t currently follow us, now would be a good time to join us. On April 1st, the Residential kids headed back to the Sister Daniel Stefani Day and Treatment School where our teachers will be to continue their learning. We have modified the classrooms to allow for physical distancing but the children will still feel the caring concern from their teachers.
The Foster Care Team has been working hard during this challenging time to ensure that our 37 foster families and 38 foster children continue to feel supported. We have switched to virtual home visits every other week and weekly phone contact with foster families who have placements of children. To offer additional support to our foster families as they navigate this unique new life situation, we are offering virtual support groups and/or a training on a weekly basis. This past Thursday, we had 15 foster families participate in the virtual meeting.
The In-Home Team has moved to telehealth and phone sessions with families. Our staff is dedicated to continuing to provide therapeutic support and guidance to families who are struggling. This is truly a difficult time for families and increased stress is a reality. The In-Home Team is trying to be as creative as possible to connect with families virtually and by phone to offer suggestions and resources to families. The 21 families we are serving are trying hard to be open and flexible to work with us virtually. We all hope this is temporary and we will be back in homes doing sessions soon!
Our Preschool is now open! The preschool teachers took advantage of the closure to deep-clean the preschool, further their own education via online educational courses and created lesson plans to be prepared for the opening.
MSV’s hardworking Maintenance staff are still ensuring the buildings and grounds are well-maintained, and safe for all. They have even had some roofing and mechanical issues resolved taking advantage of having fewer staff and kids on campus. Silver linings!
The Kitchen staff continues to plan and make nearly 100 meals daily that are needed for the Residential kids and the staff caring for them. Extra precautions are in place but our Kitchen staff have handled the changes seamlessly.
MSV has always been blessed with volunteers ready to give their time to help maintain our 16-acre campus, provide activities for the children and assist with tasks as needed. Our campus may currently be closed to volunteers and visitors but it has not stopped the offers to provide Easter Baskets, games, and cards and letters of support to the children and staff. We very much appreciate these generous offers as they can brighten a day for the children and staff.
MSV staff are required to participate in regular training refresher courses. During this time, while many staff are working remotely, training has not stopped. In fact, in addition to staff training, we have also continued trainings specific to foster parents and families utilizing video conferencing options.
As you can see, our mission continues. We are dedicated to supporting and caring for the children and families we serve. COVID-19 won’t change that. Once again, thank you for being a part of our mission. We are grateful to you.
Mount Saint Vincent
As we continue to vigilantly monitor COVID-19, Mount Saint Vincent and SCL Health seek to provide factual information to keep families informed, and thus recommend the following reliable sources:
• Center for Disease Control Website: http://cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
• Colorado Department of Education Resources: https://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/saferschools