The 30th Annual St. John’s Student Leadership Retreat

Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins, over twenty 6th,  7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attended a “retreat.”  This year’s retreat was quite unique.  Even with the uncertainty of the details that surround the start of the  2020-2021 school year, our dedicated Student Leaders were able to receive the training necessary to help them lead our school during the upcoming year.  Our Student Leaders were also given the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events they will be hosting during the upcoming school year, including:

  • Spring Spirit Week planning
  • Fall Pep Rally planning
  • Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
  • ASPIRE presentation training with Mr. Mercier
  • Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier
  • Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle

Student Leaders spent time doing team building activities in the gym.  Not only were these activities fun and engaging, but they were designed to help our students experience the power of effective communication.  Good listening, engaged body language, eye contact and being empathic were just a few of the skills that were practiced during our afternoon games.  These games also gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our school’s student body, our congregation and community.  What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2020-2021 school year.

St. John’s Lutheran School Waiver Application Process and Safety Protocols

On Friday, July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom put forth the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California. St. John’s Lutheran School is an elementary school located in Old Towne Orange, California. St. John’s Lutheran School has continuously operated in Orange since 1883, serving families with a high-quality education.

St. John’s Lutheran School has nearly 700 students. These families serve our community in a wide variety of ways from doctors and nurses to firefighters, law enforcement, and many other “essential worker” positions. The school is a critical piece of all family’s life, not only educating their child, but caring for the children while they are working, working even during the pandemic.

Waiver Application (p. 6)

School Waiver St. John’s Lutheran School August 4 2020

Background Information

St. John’s Lutheran School – private school

Number of schools – 1

Enrollment – 511

Superintendent (or equivalent name) – Dr. Jacob D. Hollatz

Grades/Number of Students Proposed to Reopen:

Kindergarten: 73 – 3 classes

1st grade: 62 – 3 classes

2nd grade: 75 – 3 classes

3rd grade: 65 – 3 classes

4th grade: 73 – 3 classes

5th grade: 79 – 3 classes

6th grade: 84 – 3 classes

Date of proposed reopening: August 18, 2020

Name of person completing application: Dr. Jacob D. Hollatz

Phone number: (714) 288-4406

Date: August 4, 2020

I. Consultation


The teachers, instructional assistants, and office staff at St. John’s deeply desire to be back at work and have students physically in classrooms. The staff was presented with the health, safety and re-opening protocols on July 20 and have agreed that they overwhelmingly prefer to teach in person than online. The teaching, support, and administrative staff were surveyed about their desire for teaching modality. 90% of them want to come back.



Parent and Community Organizations

School Age Care (on side day care) – July 20, 2020 consultation – the day care staff results are included in the staff results above and are overwhelmingly ready to start school face-to-face.

St. John’s also has a parent Auxiliary or PTA. The executive board of this organization was surveyed and they unanimously want to come back to school. They were consulted on July 30, 2020. Parents were also surveyed on July 14. 73% of parents desired the school to open face-to-face and that survey had a 95% response rate. See the survey results below.


Since St. John’s is a private school, we have no official labor organization. Our teachers were provided with an anonymous survey to express their interest in returning to campus and the results are in the above graphs.

II. Elementary School Reopening Plans

The information below in the documents confirms that St. John’s Lutheran School reopening plan(s) address the following, consistent with guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the local health department, have been published on the website of the local educational agency (on this site and on

Cleaning and Disinfection

See the Infectious Disease Prevention Plan below.


See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan below.

Entrances, Egresses, and Movement Within the School

See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan below as well as the entrance/exit maps below.


CAMPUS_MAP_StJohnsOrange PM Drop off areas

Face Coverings and Other Essential Protective Gear

See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan below.

Health Screenings for Students and Staff

See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan and the Infectious Disease Prevention Plan below.

Healthy Hygiene Practices

See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan below.

Identification and Contact Tracing

Staff and student protocols are in place to identify where staff and children have been to help in contact tracing. Weekly guidelines for staff include: Weekly Guidelines for Covid-19 8.3.20, postings on every door to identify where staff and children are at all times and a comprehensive attendance monitoring system (LMS/Learning Management System).

See the Infectious Disease Prevention Plan below as well.

Physical Distancing

See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan below as well as the Campus Maps above.

Staff Training and Family Education

All staff are trained on COVID identification using an HR approved online course. See the St. John’s Waiver and Infectious Disease Prevention Plan below. Families will receive training through parent orientations scheduled for the beginning of the year.

Testing of Students and Staff

See the Health, Safety and Reopening Plan below, the Infectious Disease Prevention Plan and the Waiver Re-Opening below. Additionally, the school has isolation areas set up for students, published protocols for staff and community partners for testing. Our insurance fully covers COVID testing for staff. Community testing locations and partnerships are provided to all staff and families. St. John’s follows all OCHCA, CDPH, and CDC guidelines as published in St. John’s attestation that is on file on our campus. Teachers and school staff will also be able to utilize the Orange County teacher COVID testing site.

Triggers for Distance Learning

St. John’s will follow the CDPH guidelines when it becomes necessary to close down and return to all distance learning.

Communication Plans

St. John’s will follow all CDPH, CDC and HIIPA guidelines when it comes to communicating to families about regular COVID protocols and when a COVID incident happens on campus. Additionally, we have a COVID certified HR staff member to liaison between our organization and the proper health departments.

School Website

Content are published here on our school learning and communication blog as well as on

Additional Resources:

St. John’s Waiver for Re-Opening

Health, Safety and Reopening Plan

Infectious Disease Prevention Plan [1]

CDPH and Cal/OSHA Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs

Click to access guidance-schools.pdf

California Department of Education Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools

CDPH COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year -19/Schools%20Reopening%20Recommendations.pdf

July 20, 2020 Update

St. John’s parents – Below is the update that went out via email today, as well as another way to get in touch with Supervisor Wagner.

St. John’s Waiver for Re-Opening

St. John’s Waiver Parent Letter


July 17 – School Update

Dear SJLS families,

God’s grace and peace be with you! I am thankful that all of our families have continued to partner with us through this entire COVID pandemic. I believe that God is with us in any situation, which is why the school theme for 2020-2021 is “Faith Over Fear!”

St. John’s leadership is expecting updates from Governor Newsom at 12 noon concerning K-12 schools. While we do not know what the school update will be, all of us at St. John’s Lutheran Church and School want you to know that we are committed to your family. As a private, Christian school we enjoy many freedoms that our public peers do not. These freedoms are a gift from God. Once the announcement has been made, St. John’s leaders will carefully look at the new guidelines and continue to walk by faith into this coming school year.

No matter what the announcement is, St. John’s commitments remain:

  • Proclaim Jesus Christ and the Salvation that comes through Him
  • Provide exceptional teachers who love and care for your children through this storm
  • Provide an exceptional education no matter what the venue or platform
  • Walk alongside your family as we all endure the uncertainty placed before us

The survey sent out this week indicated that approximately 75% of our families want a face-to-face experience for their children and 25% of families want an online experience. We are committed to offering both options for our families as health guidelines allow. We are also excited about some outdoor classroom settings! We will be communicating consistently throughout the coming weeks leading up to our August 18 first day of school. You can always find the latest updates at

Always remember: “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Faith Over Fear!

Jake Hollatz, Ed.D.

St. John’s Lutheran School
714.288.4406 • www.sjls.org

  • Delivering the Restorative Hope of Jesus • Courageous Faith. Inspired Learners •


Uniforms 4U is OPEN!

Uniforms 4U is the only Uniform supplier in Orange County that has reopened its doors. 

In order to ensure the safety of our guests and employees our dressing rooms at our Irvine location will temporarily be unavailable due to CDC and the State of California guidelines. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 
This will also ensure Uniforms 4U can remain open to in store appointments for sizing purposes and accommodate more families. We will offer and accept appointments in 45 minute slots for sizing your students. The first appointment of the day will begin at 9:30 am Monday-Friday with the last appointment at 4:15. This schedule will allow for proper sanitizing before and after each appointment.

We ask that only the students being sized along with parents attend the appointment to ensure proper distancing guidelines. Masks are required under State guidelines and CDC recommendation. 

If you need to delay, reschedule or cancel your appointment please notify the store with 24 hours notice as space is limited. 

Our online stores are always open 24/7. We also will offer Saturday appointments July 18th and August 15th. 

Thank you for your patience and support as we all try to work through these uncertain times together. 

Sincerely,Your friends at Uniforms 4U