St. Joe’s students glad to be back in school for classes; administration says testing partnership helped the school with testing

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Students at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute are back inside the classroom, after being out temporarily, because of Erie County’s orange zone status.

“It feels great to be back in school, great to be with all of the other students and teachers, it’s great to be in person and learning in person,” said James Crane, senior. 

“It’s nice to be in person and see all of our friends. I think you can learn a lot better when the teachers are there to help you,” said Christopher dePinto, freshman. 

The students returned on Thursday, school administration says it took a lot of work to get to this point.

“It’s really been great to have life in the building once again, this is why you open a school to have those relationships that get fostered every day in our classroom between our teachers and our students and to have the spirit that the students bring into the building each day,” said Jim Spillman school principal. 

Schools are required to make sure that students have a negative covid test before taking part in, in-person classes. They also have to perform weekly random testing as well. The school tested hundreds of students prior to their reopening

“There was a lot of work, a lot of asking questions, there was confusion not just on the parents and students part, but on the school administrators part. We were really having a tough time navigating the mandates, then the mandates changed, and we had to change,” said Christopher Fulco, president. “But we made the decision, when the mandate was to test 100 percent of faculty staff and students, to go ahead and test 100 percent.”

The school partnered with Kaleida Health Visiting Nursing Association to get a lab license that allows them to test on the premises. They tested over 570 students, faculty and staff before reopening.

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