Many parents are most worried about their children wearing masks and social distancing, especially those with young students. Classroom desk and tables are to be spaced as far apart as possible, and arranged so that all students face the front of the classroom. Our schools very often are smaller, and that allows us to look at being more flexible. Click here to view all up-to-date Phase IV Capacity Guidelines. Pope John XXIII has about 200 students, with classes from 12 to 18 students. “We have space to spread out. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic), Working behind a safety partition on July 15, 2020, administrative assistant Bridget Fletcher makes preparations for the safe return of students to St. Paul of the Cross School in Park Ridge in the upcoming months. JL: No, I think we have not. CB: What are some ways in which your situation was different from that of Chicago Public Schools? Schools are set to reopen in the fall, but with restrictions — including face masks. CHICAGO — The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Catholic Schools unveiled plans to safely reopen school buildings in the fall. Instead, Mickelburgh will send out information ahead of time, and schedule orientation sessions for returning students to help them get used to new ways of doing things and to give them time to process the changes. Molly Cinnamon, principal at Pope John XXIII in Evanston, said she spent the weekend after the plan was announced answering questions and responding to emails. Everybody in our daily lives now unfortunately is accepting a level of risk.If we’re safe, if we follow the guidelines, if we wash our hands, wear our masks, maintain social distance, then we’ve mitigated the risk as best we can. Chalkbeat Chicago: How did the archdiocese make the decision to reopen schools for in-person learning this past summer, even as most public schools in the area opted for virtual instruction? The mayor, who oversees public schools in Chicago and appoints the schools chief and board, is expected to make the final call about reopening campuses along with city health … These children are together for the whole day. After reopening last week, at least one school – St. Alexander – was forced to suspend in-person instruction until September 8 due to COVID-19. Students who show any symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to stay home and get tested, and if the symptoms appear when they are at school, they will be sent home and asked to get tested. When the doors opened at St. John Cantius Church on May 24, there was a line of people waiting to enter. So the vast majority of our teachers showed up, took the job very responsibly, and have been heroes to us in their diligence and their dedication. So that gives us the flexibility to look at additional spaces to use — perhaps different outdoor spaces, even indoor spaces, in church halls or in church basements. CB: You mentioned doing a parent survey. How does it work? CB: The Chicago Teachers Union has said it wants to see a strict protocol for contact tracing if schools should reopen to students. Because of the risk of spreading the virus, students should not sing in music class and any choir or drama programs should be held virtually, Rigg said. JL: We had input from different teachers representing different teacher populations, different schools. Student Records . To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Those lessons will have to be virtual. Tax Credit Scholarships . And many, many, many were excited to do that. “I worry about the faith piece just because of Mass,” Cinnamon said. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn't possible without your help. Kathy Berry, principal of St. Symphorosa School, 6125 S. Austin Ave., said she’s keeping a list of questions from parents to find the answers to. In the days after the Office of Catholic Schools released its reopening plan, principals across the Archdiocese of Chicago fielded questions and worked to figure out exactly what the plan would look like in their individual schools. It’s not a, ‘We’re not doing it.’ It’s a, ‘What will it be like?’ We’ll figure it out together. CB: Officials in Chicago Public Schools have said school ventilation systems and classroom air quality are issues that need to be looked at before in-person instruction resumes. “Even though the guidelines are 30 pages, it’s a lot of nuance. Or is it a presumptive positive (a case when a patient tests positive by a public health laboratory, but results have not been confirmed by the CDC)? We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. JL: I don’t have that number because it varies from some schools where there are very, very few to some schools where the numbers are much larger. McKenna Corrigan, principal at St. Ann School in Pilsen, reconfigures classroom space for students to maintain social distance July 20, 2020. Posted: Jul 10, 2020 / 10:01 AM CDT / Updated: Jul 10, 2020 / 05:42 PM CDT. We also trace within our parishes because we believe it’s part of our responsibility as a large organization. But in some of the cases, we were not able to accommodate their requests to teach remotely. Band practice in small, socially distanced groups will be allowed, but not with any wind or brass instruments. Catholic dioceses are moving toward reopening their schools amid the coronavirus, with some adhering to state and federal health guidelines but … The plan was developed in consultation with public health, civic and educational authorities. CB: Did you see a higher-than-usual number of teacher retirements or other departures? Jim Rigg, the superintendent of Catholic schools, said the archdiocese is holding video training sessions now for principals and their academic and health and safety teams. CB: How did the archdiocese go about preparing for the reopening? Accreditation . School Reopening Plan . Keeping them safe — it’s just magnified so much.”. We did have a few teachers that said for whatever personal reasons that they did not want to do in-person learning. I would say the overwhelming numbers of positive cases we get in our schools come from familial contacts of transmissions or transmissions in group settings outside of the school. CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Public Schools will resume in-person learning in January, noting that remote learning instituted in March due to COVID-19 has not well-served many of its students, officials announced Tuesday. Under pressure to make a decision soon about whether to reopen Chicago school buildings in the second quarter, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said that the city is looking closely at the experience of Catholic schools. Early Childhood Excellence Checklist ; Catholic High Schools . Catholic Schools Ready to Follow ‘Blueprint’ to Safely Reopen Next Month BACK TO SCHOOL—Signs are pointing to a September reopening for Catholic schools in the archdiocese, says Michael Deegan, superintendent of schools. The archdiocese did institute a contact tracing protocol. Students at many schools will likely eat lunch in their classrooms as well, Rigg said, as no more than 50 students can be in the cafeteria at a time and they have to be 6 feet apart because they cannot wear masks while eating. JL: First and foremost, it’s size and flexibility. We knew we needed to factor in views from different constituencies and public health guidelines as well as our mission and our commitment to our students and their families across the archdiocese. I’m encouraged that we can be a model for other schools if we just take it slow and think about it.”. A critical part of our plan is the notion of the cohort, which you see in a lot of the literature about reopening schools. Overwhelmingly, our teachers returned to the classroom. Students are not to share school supplies, and any equipment that must be shared — for example, computers in a fixed lab — must be disinfected between students. Thursday, August 6, 2020 CHICAGO (WLS) -- After Chicago Public Schools announced they would be starting the year fully remote, some parents, looking to … IMPORTANT CHICAGO REOPENING NOTICE. Any school reopening needs to be ready for partial or full remote learning to happen at anytime. By Michelle Martin | Staff writerWednesday, July 22, 2020. They don’t split off and go to different rooms. But by and large, after the first couple of days, they breathed a sigh of relief, and were glad to be back in the classroom with the students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe were cancelled at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Corrigan said what was the teacher parking lot will likely be used as outdoor classroom space this year, also weather permitting. At the end of the school day, parents waiting to pick up their children will no longer be allowed to congregate at the school door or gate. CB: Have you heard ongoing concerns or anxiety from your teachers more recently as the school year has progressed? We’ll have some hiccups. In early July, the Archdiocese of Chicago released Reopening with Trust: A Planning Framework for the 2020/21 School Year. Some schools put in air filters, and we’re setting up a system so that if schools need those, we absolutely will help provide them. We look for well-ventilated areas to use as much as possible. Patch • July 10, 2020. JL: I don’t have the exact number, but I can tell you that our positivity rate, which is a key rate, is less than 1%. Cinnamon said having a smaller school will be an advantage this year. The Catholic identity piece is really important.”. These restrictions are the most up to date and take precedence over the industry-specific guidelines if there are points of contradiction. CHICAGO (CBS)– The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools announced plans to reopen in the fall. Is it a positive case? “Maybe it’s something they want to revisit at the end of the trimester,” she said. Reopening will be unstable. CHICAGO - July 10, 2020 - The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Catholic Schools today released its plans to safely reopen school buildings in the fall. 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