RE-OPENING PLAN FOR 2020-21
As we look toward the 2020 - 2021 school year, we face obvious challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This document contains some of the guidelines that we will follow so that, working together, we can meet those challenges. As we wait with great anticipation to see how this pandemic will play itself out over the next few months, we are left with many unanswered questions. What is abundantly clear, however, is that our students need to return to the classroom in the fall.
See below for the most up-to-date guidelines.
RE-OPENING PLAN ANNOUNCED
A Message from the Superintendent, Dr. Cheeseman
In May, we created a preschool and a k-12 task force group of school and diocesan teachers and leaders who, informed by parent and teacher focus groups and interviews, have created a plan to ensure that our schools are prepared to welcome students back in the fall. The task force had as its primary focus the safe return of students to a full five-day schedule of in-person instruction, while also planning for the possibility of having to make a fluid transition to a more robust distance learning plan. Additionally, the groups worked on the creation of a hybrid model for students who either can not immediately return to school in the fall or who may have to learn at home temporarily at some point in the year.
As the focus groups met we stayed focused on four guiding principles, we refer to as F.A.C.E:
FAITH Every decision must be rooted in the core belief that our schools must be Christ focused and student centered.
ACADEMICS We must, whether focusing on in-person or distance learning, ensure that our academic program is rigorous and that it recognizes the dignity of every child while at the same time challenging students to fully develop their God-given gifts and talents.
COMMUNITY Catholic schools must be safe and nurturing environments that are family oriented and encourage students to respect life and serve others.
EMPOWERMENT Teachers need to be given the professional development to meet the ever changing academic and social-emotional needs of students. Parents must be engaged partners empowered through consistent communication and support. Students need to be given the age appropriate tools needed so that they can make healthy decisions for themselves, as well as for their fellow students.
The re-opening plan guidelines on the pages that follow flow from the guiding principles articulated above and our school leaders have already began working to meet the guidelines by modifying the use of space and changing existing practices to ensure a safe, clean, and welcoming environment for our students to return to in the fall. In the coming weeks you should expect to hear directly from your principal with school specific implementation plans in keeping with these guidelines.
While I am sure this document does not answer every question you may have and while it may need to be tweaked as we get closer to the opening days, I do hope that it brings you a bit of comfort and relief in knowing that whatever the challenge, we will face it, together.
May God bless you and may Our Lady shower Her blessings on our Catholic school community.
Dr. Steven F. Cheeseman
Superintendent of schools