Thursday, Oct. 15

Parent notification of a positive case in the classroom

Dear Parents and Guardians:

An individual in one of your daughter’s classes has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Due to the number of safety precautions we have in place and according to the guidelines of the Douglas County Health department, your daughter does NOT need to quarantine. There is no further action necessary on your part. We will continue to investigate and please be aware your daughter’s status may change due to contact tracing. (IF WE HAVE CALLED YOU DIRECTLY YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN OVER THE PHONE).

Even though you have probably been monitoring your daughter for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, we are asking that you be even more diligent over the next 10 days. Please use the following guidelines from the health department.

Symptoms of COVID-19, including:  fever, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, cough, and loss of taste and smell. If your daughter develops any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and continue to isolate at home. If she develops chest pain or difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

If your daughter develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, she must isolate until:

  •  24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) have improved and
  • 10 days have passed since her symptoms first appeared

If you have additional questions, including where you can be tested, please visit the Douglas County Health department website at or call the Douglas County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Epidemiology Section at 402-444-7214.


Kris Hennings | Dean of Students

Monday, Sept. 21

After working with a cohort of Omaha Catholic high schools and medical experts, we have decided to move slowly toward an all-in school plan. On Oct. 12 all students will return to school full-time to begin the second quarter.

In the interim, we will monitor the number of cases closely. If they increase, we will be prepared to return to the hybrid model or, if necessary, shift completely to remote learning.

For now, all families will still be able to choose remote learning either full-time or part-time. Please email Mrs. Christen at, if you want to move to full-time remote learning.

We will continue the following practices, which are critical to our success:

  • Masks required at all times
  • Faceshields required when moving about the building
  • 6-feet social distancing at lunch
  • Continued cleaning protocols for desks, restrooms and high-touch areas
  • Frequent handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer
  • In the classroom, teachers will be limited to a 6-foot “bubble”

In addition, since all classes may not have the full 6 feet of social distancing, desk shields have been ordered and arrive on Oct. 9.

With the return to all-in school, more students will be required to quarantine when there is a positive case in the building. For example, one positive case could lead to approximately 10 people who must quarantine. Since a student has four classes per day, this could mean 40 quarantines for one positive case.

To avoid such quarantine numbers, it is imperative that you do NOT send your daughter to school if she has any of the symptoms listed on our symptom checker. The slightest indication of possible symptoms means that your daughter must stay home.

Our teachers have been working exceptionally hard to deliver academic content with rigor and accountability on two platforms simultaneously, in-person and on-line. I have added some additional teacher preparation days to the calendar, so teachers can continue their work in both platforms. Friday, Oct. 9, will be a teacher plan day – no school for students.

Please know that if you choose all online learning, there are seven courses that our 100% online students cannot take for credit. These classes are highly participation-based and/or require use of specific equipment. If your daughter moves to 100% online and is in one of these courses, Mrs. Christen or a counselor will contact you.

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate these challenging decisions. We will continue to base our decisions on what is best for the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Susie Sullivan

Wednesday, July 15 – Back to School Information

I wanted to provide everyone on the latest information, regarding the start of school plans. Please know this changes as much as the weather in Nebraska! Currently we are planning on all students returning in the fall unless the Nebraska Department of Education and Douglas County Health Department do NOT allow us to do so. If a Directed Health Measure is announced we will adjust our schedule accordingly. Our decisions and expectations will be based on the guidelines of medical experts. Our faculty and staff are ready to be back in the classroom, however, if we are directed to go back to a virtual environment, we are ready to make that change as well.

Every person in our building will be required to wear a mask, which covers the nose and mouth. A cloth mask is preferred and your student will need a clean one each day. We will have extra masks in the office if your daughter forgets to bring one.

You will be sent a survey, under a separate email, to communicate any special needs your daughter or family may have in regards to learning in the fall. Based on your needs we will provide the best learning environment for your daughter.

We have taken additional cleaning measures in our building, which we will continue to do throughout the entire school year. We have purchased several electrostatic sprayers, in order to efficiently disinfect the building each evening.

Some additional actions include:

  • Students will wear face shields in addition to masks when moving from class to class. These will be provided by Marian and disinfected each evening.
  • Hand sanitizer in each classroom.
  • Disinfectant wipes in each classroom. Desks and door handles will be wiped down after each class.
  • Disinfectant spray in each classroom for cleaning larger areas.
  • Hourly cleaning of our restrooms by custodial staff.
  • Hourly cleaning of high traffic areas such as handrails and door handles.
  • HVAC system has been checked in order to monitor and increase air flow throughout the building.
  • Directional signage for traffic flow.
  • New lunch plan to maintain social distancing which includes more spaces for students to each to maintain social distancing.

Finally, please remember that it is only mid-July and we know there could be changes to our plans. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority and we will maintain this focus as we move forward. Our goal is to open school with all of our students and to keep it open, so it is important we all work together to make this happen. We will continue to update you as we get closer to our start date of Aug. 13 for all freshmen and Aug. 14 for all students.

To help your daughter transition back to the school year, please have her practice wearing a mask now. It will be easier for her to get used to it prior to school starting. It will also help curtail the spread of COVID19 in Douglas County.

Our specific return to school plan, that we have in place for this fall, can be found on here. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the website with new information. I will communicate with you regularly with any new information and will go back to a weekly e-mail beginning Aug. 1. Thank you for your patience as we navigate through COVID-19. Stay safe.

Susie Sullivan

Friday, May 29 – Summer Conditioning Update

In compliance with COVID-19 recommendations, Marian is hosting weights and conditioning beginning June 1. Due to size limitations, student-athletes have been assigned to groups by their sport’s head coach. If you missed the notice for responding to the training schedule and would like to see if there is room for you in a group, please contact the head coach of your sport. Multiple sport athletes will condition with the sport that occurs first in the school year.
Some sports are able to have open gym skill sessions. If you are interested in attending volleyball, golf, softball or tennis skills training, please contact the head coach.

More information on summer conditioning can be found here.

Friday, May 22 – Summer Camp Dates Moved to July

We continue to monitor and respond to COVID-19 recommendations. All camps are currently scheduled for July. Full refunds will be issued if a camp is canceled or if a camper is no longer able to attend.

More information on summer camps can be found here.

Wednesday, March 18 – Parent Reminders for Online Learning

Thank you for your support these past few days. I know how hard this situation must be for everyone, not just our schools. The Marian community is strong, and I know we will get through this together. We are 24 hours away from starting our virtual learning! The faculty have been working hard to convert their lessons to a total online environment. I will send parents any communication I have with the students, so that you can stay in the loop. I have a few tips and guidelines to help you navigate this adventure with your daughter.

  • Please tell your daughter to respond to emails, even if they just state “okay” or give a “thumbs up” emoji. They are going to get several emails in the coming weeks, it is important for them to stay up on them each day.
  • Stick to a schedule! Your daughter was sent a course schedule to follow each day. You can view the course schedule here, so you are also aware of what she should be doing at what time of day.
  • Have a family meeting about the schedule and how it will work for everyone.
  • Create a work space.  Have your daughter create a space for learning, which is free from distractions, so she can concentrate.
  • Make your daughter get up and get dressed, just like a regular school day. She does not have to wear her uniform, but if it helps her to concentrate in her uniform, go for it!
  • We start each day at Marian with a prayer, and we will continue to do so. Each day your daughter will receive an email with a video of one of our students, faculty, staff or a Servant of Mary leading a prayer for the day.
  • Remind her to communicate with her teachers if she is confused. They will be online regularly, so have them reach out through email with questions. Over-communicate!
  • If she is having difficulty in math, our math tutor, Ms. Abel, can set up a video-conference to help her. Ms. Abel sent a google doc to your daughter for these appointments. You can also email her at
  • If she has a research project to do, our librarian, Mrs. Raabe, has set up a library folder in a CANVAS account. Everything she needs for a research project is located in this folder. Your daughter has access to this folder of information.
  • Our counselors are also available through email. We will have one counselor in the building each day to trouble-shoot and provide guidance either over the phone or through email. Please reach out to your daughter’s counselor if you have concerns.
  • Our website has a dedicated page to COVID-19 with Frequently Asked Questions, along with other info related to our school closure. All announcements and updates are posted here. Please check out the website for more information.
  • If your daughter is having difficulties with technology, please have her try a different browser. If that does not work, please contact your teacher first and she can help troubleshoot.
  • Make sure your daughter is eating healthy and getting some exercise. It is difficult to sit at a computer for long periods of time. She needs to move!

Again, thank you for your continued support of Marian. As we launch virtual Marian, I am confident our students will rise to the challenge and, in true Marian girl fashion, conquer all that needs to be done! If she is stressed out or is struggling, please know we are here to help. Please reach out to her counselor and they will find her the assistance she needs. We realize this is all new, so we are happy to help. I will continue to check in with parents, students, faculty and staff to keep everyone engaged in our community!

Principal Susie Sullivan

Tuesday, March 17 – A Message from President Mary Higgins

We hope this message finds you well. Those of you who don’t have a current student, may not know that Marian’s campus closed effective March 16, in cooperation with the effort to slow the spread of Corona virus.  Beginning March 19, “Online Marian” will be up and running as we transition to an e-learning delivery. Our students, faculty and staff will continue to study and work from home.

Yes, this is an exceptionally challenging time but we have much to be thankful for:

  • Thank heavens Marian has a tremendous faculty who have spent countless hours on professional development focusing on the best uses of technology in teaching.
  • Thank heavens Marian switched to a new learning management system (LMS) in December that provides all the tools necessary for 100% online learning.
  • Thank heavens our students are now familiar with this LMS and can seamlessly adapt to the online delivery of their courses.
  • Thank heavens Marian has a principal, Susie Sullivan, who had the foresight and fortitude to create an academic plan for all students and faculty well before the closure was officially announced.  Her communication has been outstanding as she has regularly assured students, parents and faculty that “It is not going to be perfect. Things will go wrong.  But be flexible and patient, and we will get through this!”

I am in awe of our faculty who have stepped up enthusiastically and professionally to insure that the quality of a Marian education is upheld.

The Advancement and Business offices are open and functioning but from their kitchen tables rather than their desks on the third floor of MHS.

All of us will certainly struggle at times with this “new normal.” However, my hope is that we can open ourselves up to the possibility of inspiration….through reflection, music, a lovely walk outside, poetry, reading a meaningful book, enjoying a kind conversation, finding a way to help someone else, designing or enjoying art, practicing meditation, creating new culinary dishes (that is one of my goals, but my husband is rather frightened).  The possibilities are endless.

Finally, I would like to share with you part of a blog written by Marian junior, Naomi Delkamiller. Please take just a few minutes to read her thoughtful and perceptive words about both “Angst” and “Hope.”

May you be happy, may you be safe!

Thursday, March 12 – School Closure Notice

Following the recommendations of the Nebraska Department of Education, Marian High School will be closed effective Monday, March 16, until further notice, due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

On Monday, March 16, the school building will be open from 6:30 a.m until 7 p.m. to allow students, faculty and staff to pick up any necessary items they may need during the closure. Students should have all textbooks, notebooks, iPad and iPad charger in order to continue learning during the closure.

Online learning will begin Thursday, March 19.  An email with complete instructions will be sent tomorrow.

Thursday, March 12 – COVID-19 Update

The Marian administration has been receiving information on a regular basis from the Nebraska Department of Education and the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office regarding COVID-19 in the Omaha metro.  We have been following their guidelines and take what is happening across the country very seriously.

As we prepare for returning to school, I want to remind students, parents, faculty and staff that we must be vigilant in following the recommended precautionary measures. Our maintenance staff has spent hours cleaning and disinfecting the building. They will continue to clean common spaces and areas throughout each day. In addition, classroom teachers will be assisting with wiping down classroom desks after each class. We have hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol content in each classroom and on tables in the cafeteria.

There are some simple, everyday steps you can take to reduce your chances of exposure and to protect others. Fortunately, those steps are the same that you would take to prevent the flu, the common cold, and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve) and throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Take care of your health overall.

Many of our students traveled over spring break, so I ask parents to monitor their health closely. Please consider keeping your daughter home if she traveled to a foreign country, went on a cruise, traveled to an area highly impacted by COVID19 or if you have people living in your home who would be at greater risk if your daughter returned to school.  Please do not send your daughter to school if she has a cough, fever or any upper respiratory symptoms. Our building will be open tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. if your daughter needs to pick up books, notebooks, iPad and iPad charger from her locker. She will need these to stay caught up with classes. She is also welcome to come in Monday to get the items she needs.

We will utilize CANVAS, our Learning Management System, so that students can be kept up to date on course information. We will work with any student who is sick or must quarantine. The final decision on whether you send your daughter to school is yours. The school will support you if you want to keep your daughter home.

Finally, I do have some specific cancellations that we are implementing for this week.

  • Monday, March 16 – No ACT prep classes for the junior class. We will have a regular schedule on those days, which will be sent to them directly.
  • Tuesday, March 17 – Marian Moms lunch is canceled.
  • Thursday, March 19 – Parent-teacher conferences are canceled. Teachers will contact parents of any student who has a D or F in their class. Parents, please be patient as teachers will not do this until next week.
  • Friday, March  20 – The pre-ACT test scheduled for sophomores will be canceled and rescheduled for another time.
  • Friday, March 20 – Senior Retreat is canceled.
  • Sophomore Review will be canceled. We will contact parents about rescheduling these in April.
  • Ms. Rochelle Rohlfs will contact coaches with information about NSAA events. The coaches will then contact their student-athletes.

I realize how disappointing this is for our senior class, but we have to consider the bigger picture. At this time, I do not have a date to reschedule retreat, but we will certainly try to find one. If we are successful, the retreat will be an optional event since we realize that some students will not be available.

Please be sure to check email frequently, as this situation changes rapidly. We will continue to evaluate future Marian events on a case-by-case basis and will communicate with families through email, text and Marian social media accounts. I have several emails and phone messages that I have not been able to return. I will get to those soon, but know that I must communicate first with our stakeholders. Please know we will update you immediately as changes are made.

This is not a perfect solution. All Catholic schools could eventually be asked to close, which we will comply with if asked.

We encourage you to check out the following resources regarding Coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Principal Susie Sullivan

Monday, March 2 – COVID-19 Precautions

I wanted to update you on some precautions that Marian is taking in preparation for the potential spread of COVID-19 (previously called the coronavirus) in the United States.  We are fortunate that Dr. James Lawler, a Marian parent and Director of International Programs & Innovation and Global Center for Health Security at UNMC, has provided an update on how we can prepare.  We will continue to monitor the situation, and we will follow guidelines outlined by Dr. Lawler.

It is important to follow hand-washing protocol at all times, and we will continue to stress this with our students.  Over spring break, we will have a thorough cleaning of the entire building and will continue to wipe down common surfaces throughout each day.  Hand sanitizer is located in each classroom.

In the event that we would be asked to shut down school for a period of time, we are developing a plan to continue school through the use of our 1:1 iPad program and CANVAS student learning system.  This would only happen if we were ordered to remain at home for a period of time.  Please know that we are hopeful this will not happen, but we want to be prepared.
I will keep you informed as I receive information. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Principal Susie Sullivan