Planning Ahead

Planning Ahead

A message from our principal, Mrs. Jennifer Ramirez, regarding our planning for the upcoming year.

I hope that your summer is going well and that you have enjoyed some relaxation. As we await the archdiocesan decision as to what school will look like in the fall, I want to review for you the possible scenarios and what they mean for St. Philip the Apostle School (SPAS.) The archdiocese has promised us guidelines by the end of the week and I will contact you soon after to let you know our plan. The possible scenarios are outlined below.  

Scenario One: Full In-Person Instructional Model

  • SPAS would resume traditional in-person classes with the flexibility to quickly pivot to distance learning in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19.  

  • SPAS administrators would work closely with the archdiocese to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for reopening classes.

  • Grades would be assigned and student accountability would be expected. 

  • Social distancing guidelines would not be possible because all students would be on campus as normal. However, face coverings would probably be required of students and staff, and limitations on student gatherings during unstructured times would be established as required by current guidelines. Additional measures like hygiene requirements, one-way hallways, and temperature checks could be enacted.

  • While the goal would be to return to traditional in-person classes, teachers would do their best to meet the educational needs for students who may be unable to return due to limited social distancing measures.

  • The exact likelihood and timing of another rise in infections is unknown, so this model would allow for a quick pivot to online learning. This scenario would require all educators, support staff, students, parents, and caregivers to adapt quickly should there be changes in the way school is conducted.

Scenario Two: Blended/Hybrid Instructional Model

  • SPAS would institute a model that is a combination of learning in physical classrooms and learning through an online environment. For example, students may have one or two in-person learning days each week (and their peers rotate on the other days) with the rest of the week’s learning completed at home with some online components.

  • Grades would be assigned for some classes and student accountability would be expected. Some classes may be offered, but not graded.

  • Social distancing guidelines would be followed, resulting in 50% of normal capacity for each class. Face coverings would be required of students and staff, and limitations on student gatherings during unstructured times would be established as required by current guidelines. Additional measures like hygiene requirements, one-way hallways, and temperature checks could be enacted. 

  • By maintaining a blended/hybrid model, SPAS would have the capability to quickly move to full online mode if there is another outbreak of COVID-19, as all coursework would already live online within our learning management system (Google Classroom.)

  • This scenario would require all educators, support staff, students, parents, and caregivers to consistently approach teaching and learning in two delivery formats: in-person and online.

Scenario Three: Full Distance Learning Instructional Model

  • SPAS would maintain learning experiences and services online through a proactive, purposeful, and developmentally appropriate approach. 

  • Grades would be assigned for some classes and student accountability would be expected. Some classes may be offered, but not graded.

  • This format would limit any health and safety risks potentially posed by having students and staff in school buildings. 

  • As this scenario would mean that teachers never see their students in person, it would require all educators, support staff, students, parents, and caregivers to use communication technologies, pay close attention to the development of each child, and ensure that appropriate grade-level growth is happening while learning takes place at a distance. 

  • This format may be synchronous or asynchronous, meaning students and teachers may be in the same virtual space at the same time, or students and teachers are online working toward deadlines, but there is no requirement about being together in the same virtual space at the same time.

  • This scenario would place additional responsibility on parents/guardians as students would remain at home and away from school.

  • This format would require occasional mental health days for both students and teachers.

Our SPAS administrative team will continue to work throughout the summer on developing plans so that, when we receive direction from the archdiocese we are well prepared to pivot in any direction with confidence and a commitment to ensuring the highest quality instructional program in a safe environment. To that end, over the course of the coming months, SPAS will also:

  • Reflect on our best practices and areas of growth based on the distance learning program used during the spring semester to further refine and maximize success for next school year. 

  • Provide ample professional development and training for teachers on all necessary online platforms and distance learning best practices.

  • Conduct a technology audit to ensure all students and teachers have access to all necessary resources.

  • Execute a thorough deep cleaning and sanitization of the entire campus and continue these practices daily once students and staff return.

This is certainly not the first challenge we have encountered at St. Philip, and we believe that our ability to persevere and to be creative in difficult times has consistently made us a strong organization.

We want nothing more than to see and interact with our students and families next school year. We understand that you are anxious for answers to all of your questions about the coming year, and we will update you regularly as our plans develop throughout the summer.

As always, we are committed to innovating and delivering an unparalleled Catholic education to all students. We greatly appreciate your continued flexibility and support as we navigate these unprecedented times

As always, please reach out if you have questions.

Jennifer Ramirez