April 1 Safe Return update
Dear College Community,
I hope this finds you looking forward to the Easter break. I wish you all many blessings of the season and hope that you take full advantage of “unplugging” during this time.
Our Benedictine Heritage teaches us the importance of living our lives in balance: balancing our work, our time in reflection and prayer, and our leisure with loved ones. During the pandemic, I have heard from many in our community about how our work schedules and personal lives have taken on new dimensions, blending in ways that have challenged us to intentionally find that balance.
With this in mind, I encourage you to disconnect from your work responsibilities over the Easter break, to embrace the Benedictine focus on balance and to make time for yourselves, for your families and friends. We become better people and better for one another when we give our minds, bodies and spirits time to rest and restore.
In that vein, this week’s update comes to you on Thursday (no April Fool’s, I promise!). And it’s a short one!
Important COVID-19 information
We are strongly recommending all eligible students and employees to take advantage of the opportunity to sign up for vaccinations. Governor Walz has now opened this opportunity to all Minnesotans 16 years of age and older. As mentioned in the last two communications, resources are readily available to you for this purpose. Links to resources can be found in the March 19 College Update.
Minnesota COVID-19 uptick
We have seen COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the uptick across the state. Our weekly COVID-19 tracking also indicates an uptick and we are monitoring the situation. I strongly encourage everyone to stay vigilant in practicing our Community Pledge during this uncertain time. Our collective health and safety depend on our commitment to our CDC and MDH recommendations, both at work and in our respective communities: mask up, continue to practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently.
Finance and financial aid
Approximately $1.1 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) emergency funding was disbursed this week to St. Scholastica students who demonstrated exceptional financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This funding will assist students with covering the cost of attendance or emergency costs related to tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health) or child care. No application was required. This is wonderful news for our students! A huge shout out to Trish Johnson, Jill Larson and their respective finance and financial aid teams for all the work that has gone into this process. It’s quite a process to navigate!
I wish you all a very blessed Easter and Easter break. Relax and rejuvenate!
Stay well and be safe,