2020-2021 School Year Plan

Re-Opening Aquinas

2020-2021, Year of Charity

“Love is patient, love is kind.” 1 Cor 13:4

Welcome Back Video (you must be logged in to view this video)

The Mitigation Plan

At Home Learning Description

— Trimester 1 —

Guiding Principles 

  1. The human person is body-soul; the physical presence of a person has a sacramental quality that cannot be replaced.
  2. Community is a key component to our mission of fostering excellence in Faith and Reason.
  3. Students learn best in person.
  4. The isolation of last spring has affected children; they have an emotional need to return to something close to normalcy.
  5. Students have academic gaps from eLearning; continued eLearning or independent work would create a cumulative effect, placing students further behind.
  6. Schools must be flexible, prepared to return to eLearning if necessary.
  7. Too much screen time can be unhealthy.
  8. A Catholic school should be compassionate toward community members experiencing difficulties and seek possible ways to provide assistance.
  9. Reasonable health precautions should be taken, according to state and diocesan guidelines.

New at Aquinas 

  1. Masks required indoors, moderate distance or masks outdoors (provided by families; by the school as needed)*
  2. Temperature check scanners and hand sanitizer stands at each entrance, required use upon entry
  3. 1:1 devices provided for students: iPads Grades 1-3, Chromebooks for Grades 4-8, mobile hotspots available
  4. Schoology (Learning Management System) used in Grades PK-8 to post and collect assignments in a way that is user-friendly for parents, students, and teachers – Students access all their classes from one page, parents supervise all their children on one system, teachers able to centrally post and collect written work, videos, online tools, assessments, etc., connecting assignments directly to gradebooks
  5. Additional space for school nurse, area to separate symptomatic students going home
  6. New protocols regarding times and areas for cleaning
  7. Hand-sanitizer dispensers in classrooms
  8. Child-friendly videos posted (coming soon) to introduce new procedures before students return to campus – Messaging framed within our celebration of the Year of Charity and the virtue of Courtesy: being thoughtful of others
  9. Signs to emphasize “Welcome Back!” along with signs for reminders of procedures
  10. COVID-19 Team for health precautions and social/emotional wellbeing (plan, train staff, monitor); to plan communication regarding precautions and responses to illness; to plan and implement school responses to illness (when to switch to Plan A, B, C, with diocesan consultation)

*Face Shields may be worn as an alternative to masks and will be provided as an option for teachers.

Trimester 1, 2020: Return on Plan A, switch to Plan B or Plan C as needed

Plan A: 100% in-person

  1. All students on campus all day, Monday-Friday
  2. Modified social distancing (3 feet), masks indoors, health checks at entry
  3. Alternative arrangements for morning arrival (go to classrooms vs. gym) and afternoon dismissal, changing classes (moving teachers vs. rooms, only one grade in the hall at a time), lunch in classrooms, staggered times for recess
  4. Students phase-in for the first weeks of school, allowing students to discuss the past trimester, learn new procedures, and adjust to being together in small groups before joining together as a whole class.
  5. Sensitivity to students’ social/emotional adjustment when planning assessments and addressing disciplinary issues
  6. Student assemblies and school Mass offered in-person for less than 250 persons, with social distancing (Mass offered in person for half the student body each week and streamed live for the other half)
  7. Same length school day (3:00pm), with scheduling arrangements to allow time for changing classes, cleaning, and staggered dismissal
  8. Emphasis on using 1:1 devices and training students in Schoology during the first weeks of school to prepare for possible changes to Plan B or Plan C.
  9. Visitors must seek administrative approval in advance to access student areas
  10. Assistant principal serves as contact for parents/staff with requests to stay home for health reasons (concerns of high risk or cases of illness)
  11. In-Class and Homework Assignments posted on Schoology. Students needing to stay home provided books and a 1:1 device to access assignments, assisted by an eLearning tutor live online 2x/week, and meeting with their teacher and classmates online on Fridays for a live, 20-minute session of prayer, check in, and an activity. Excused from some assignments.
  12. Families keep students home if the student or a family member is showing signs of illness or tests positive
  13. Extended day program available, with modified social distancing
  14. Sports offerings adjusted for outdoors only, intramural 

 

Plan B: 50% in-person

  1. Only half the student body on campus M/W, the other half on campus T/Th.
  2. Full social distancing (6 feet), masks indoors, health checks at entry
  3. Alternative arrangements for morning arrival (go to classrooms vs. gym) and afternoon dismissal, changing classes (moving teachers vs. rooms, only one grade in the hall at a time), lunch in classrooms, staggered times for recess
  4. Fridays reserved for short homeroom prayer and check in (virtual meeting) followed by teacher planning time.
  5. School Mass offered via live stream.
  6. Teacher attention given to students on-campus; students at home working independently on assignments posted on Schoology, saving questions for when they are on campus with the teacher
  7. Assistant principal serves as contact for parents/staff with requests to stay home for health reasons (concerns of high risk or cases of illness)
  8. Students needing to stay home provided books and a 1:1 device to access assignments, assisted by an eLearning tutor live online 2x/week. Excused from some assignments.
  9. Families keep students home if the student or a family member is showing signs of illness or tests positive
  10. Visitors permitted only as a rare exception, with advanced administrative approval
  11. Extended day program available for students the days they are on campus, with social distancing
  12. Sports offerings on hold

 

Plan C: 100% eLearning

  1. All students off campus
  2. Academic eLearning Monday-Thursday, Fridays reserved for specials and planning time for academic teachers
  3. Since 1:1 student devices will be provided, participation in live lessons and activities will be required
  4. School Mass offered via live stream
  5. Monday-Friday morning prayers live with the principal at 8am, followed Monday-Thursday by 8:15-8:25am homeroom prayer and check-in meetings, PK-8 
  6. Frequent live lessons:
    • PK-K, students participate in one live lesson for the whole class and one small group session each week
    • Grades 1-3, one live (30-minute) lesson per day with intro and practice, rotating subjects
    • Grades 4-5, two live (30-minute) lessons per day with intro and practice, math daily, rotate other subjects
    • Grades 6-8, three live (30-minute) lessons per day with intro and practice, math daily, rotate other subjects
    • Specials offered on Fridays, rotation of posted assignments and live lessons (schedule TBD, Spanish included as an academic subject Monday-Thursday for Grades 6-8)
  7. Assignments posted on Schoology for all subjects, on rotation

 

Updated from earlier draft: New at Aquinas #1 & #10 ; Plan A #6, #7, & #12; Plan B #9; Plan C #2, #5, and #6, e