Bal­ti­more Catholic Schools set to re­open this school year

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS -

— Catholic schools will be re­open­ing this school year with a mix of both in-per­son and in­line learning through­out the Arch­dio­cese of Bal­ti­more.

Chan­cel­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion, Mr. James B. Sellinger, and Su­per­in­ten­dent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Donna Har­gens, of the Arch­dio­cese of Bal­ti­more re­leased last Fri­day its re­open­ing plan for its el­e­men­tary and sec­ondary schools for the 202021 school year. The plan pro­vides a frame­work for fac­ulty and staff to re­turn on Au­gust 24, 2020 and for stu­dents on Au­gust 31.

The plan is de­signed to max­i­mize both safety and in-per­son in­struc­tion and re­quires strict ad­her­ence to all rec­om­mended safety prac­tices, in­clud­ing so­cial dis­tanc­ing and the wear­ing of fa­cial cov­er­ings.

Un­der the plan, most Catholic schools will be able to ac­com­mo­date all stu­dents for five-day, in-per­son in­struc­tion; how­ever, due to the size and staffing of some school fa­cil­i­ties, some schools will be­gin the school year un­der a blended or hy­brid model in­cor­po­rat­ing both in-per­son and re­mote learning.

Lawrence Cal­la­han, Pres­i­dent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, said in a re­lease that Mount Carmel has a COVID-19 re­open­ing task force that is work­ing to en­sure the school fol­lows the re­open­ing guide­lines set by the Arch­dio­cese of Bal­ti­more.

“In the near fu­ture we will sched­ule a Zoom meet­ing to as­sist you as we re­spond to all the nec­es­sar y steps mov­ing for­ward,” Cal­la­han said.

Fam­i­lies who do not feel com­fort­able re­turn­ing their child(ren) to in-per­son in­struc­tion will be able to have their child(ren) par­tic­i­pate in re­mote learning from home, which will in­clude syn­chro­nous in­struc­tion.

The Arch­dio­cese’s re­open­ing plan was de­vel­oped with guid­ance and re­sources from state and lo­cal of­fi­cials, as well as the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion (CDC), and the Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics (AAP).

It was de­vel­oped by the Plan­ning Ahead Task Force for Catholic Schools, which in­cluded health­care pro­fes­sion­als, coun­selors, ed­u­ca­tors, school lead­ers, par­ents, and ex­perts in var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­ble fields.

Feed­back from par­ents/ guardians, fac­ulty/staff, and stu­dents in­formed the fi­nal ver­sion of the plan.

“Our num­ber one pri­or­ity is the health and safety of our stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff,” Sellinger said. “We look for­ward to wel­com­ing our stu­dents back to the class­room, whether they be in per­son or par­tic­i­pat­ing vir­tu­ally.”

“Catholic schools have the abil­ity to safely re­turn to in­per­son in­struc­tion due to their fa­cil­ity and en­roll­ment size,” Har­gens said.

“A sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in tech­nol­ogy, in­fra­struc­ture, and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, as well as the adop­tion of a va­ri­ety of risk mit­i­ga­tion meth­ods, are key fac­tors in our school sys­tem’s abil­ity to of­fer all three modes of op­er­a­tion (in-per­son, hy­brid, and re­mote).”

PHOTO PRO­VIDED BY OUR LADY OF MOUNT CRAMEL

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School

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