Baltimore Catholic Schools set to reopen this school year
— 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).”
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School