What they’re most worried about, she said, is the social and emotional effects children are dealing with. JL: First and foremost, it’s size and flexibility. Having gym outside — with no masks but 6 feet between students — is a possibility, weather permitting. I’m encouraged that we can be a model for other schools if we just take it slow and think about it.”. Erika Mickelburgh, principal at St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge, said she’s confident that her faculty and staff will be able to handle the safety protocols and any academic gaps students have after six months out of the school building. La alcaldesa envió un correo electrónico refiriéndose a un “tipo muy bueno”. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic), Maintenance staff at St. Paul of the Cross School in Park Ridge measure where to put social-distancing markers on the ground on July 15, 2020, as the school makes preparations for the safe return of students in the upcoming months. 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. Catholic dioceses are moving toward reopening their schools amid the coronavirus, with some adhering to state and federal health guidelines but … The Archdiocese of Chicago reopened its schools for full-time in-person instruction in August, giving families the option to choose remote learning. She’s been working with a parent who is a nurse for a few weeks already to figure out how to do temperature checks, for example. Tax Credit Scholarships . 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. More Chicago-area Catholic schools have delayed the start of in-person classes because of positive cases of COVID-19 in their communities, as teachers at other private schools … Now, it would be disingenuous to say that there was not some concern, some hesitancy on the part of some. She also noted the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has approximately 20,000 students attending in school in person, along with 2,700 teachers … We immediately gather data about the individual, and we quarantine the cohort. How this Chicago pre-K teacher created a typical day for her students in an atypical year, 2020 LSC election participation plummets, nearly 1000 seats unfilled. CB: How did the archdiocese go about preparing for the reopening? “We can’t possibly cover everything in a plan like this,” Rigg said. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. “Now the low enrollment is kind of our ace in the hole,” she said. We then certified the schools that were ready to open. And many, many, many were excited to do that. 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. Students or staff who have a family member at home who tests positive also are expected to quarantine at home for at least 14 days. In early July, the Archdiocese of Chicago released Reopening with Trust: A Planning Framework for the 2020/21 School Year. The plan was … How did you address those issues? 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. Cardinal Blase Cupich speaking to students at St. Genevieve Catholic School, 4854 W. Montana, in January. | Sun-Times file photo. 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. Families that don’t want to send their children to school buildings can opt for virtual school. We also trace within our parishes because we believe it’s part of our responsibility as a large organization. McKenna Corrigan, principal at St. Ann School in Pilsen, reconfigures classroom space for students to maintain social distance July 20, 2020. Click here to view all up-to-date Phase IV Capacity Guidelines. Parents speaking Tuesday agreed health and … “They know we’re going to do everything to keep their children safe. But the archdiocese has not released publicly the number of COVID-19 cases in its schools, the number of times they have quarantined students and employees, or even what percentage of students’ families opted for remote learning. We have many cases where the family or the parents or older siblings went to a party where social distancing was not observed, where masking was not done. Among the factors Chicago Public Schools is weighing when deciding whether to reopen school buildings: the experience of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s 150-plus campuses, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.. I would say at probably 95% of schools, most kids are in person. Patch • July 10, 2020. 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. They will be asked to register at and pay tuition to their regular school, but their children will receive instruction through an archdiocese-wide virtual school, Rigg said. JL: We offered every school and the parents in every school the chance of coming back for in-person learning, or we had available options for distance learning for the children. Chicago Public Schools has only had 108 days of in-school instruction this year because it also had a 11-day strike in October. CB: The Chicago Teachers Union has said it wants to see a strict protocol for contact tracing if schools should reopen to students. CHICAGO (CBS)– The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools announced plans to reopen in the fall. It could be that there is a parent or child who has risk factors that would make COVID-19 especially dangerous for them, Rigg said. (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. So in all cases in Chicago, where we’ve had a case reported in one of our cohorts, there’s only been one situation where a second case was reported within the 14 days of the infection time. If a second person in the cohort tests positive, it’s likely that their whole cohort will be quarantined at home for 14 days. Students will have their temperatures taken and be asked about any possible COVID-19 symptoms every day when they enter the building. Test Scores and Performance Data . Early Childhood Education . CHICAGO — The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Catholic Schools unveiled plans to safely reopen school buildings in the fall. At least nothing that we’ve analyzed yet that I’m aware of. Crusaders are called to show love for one another by maintaining distance.”. That is a very, very fine showing. “We will not be able to start school in our usual way, with the supply drop-off and ice cream social.”. During the day, each cohort of students will likely spend a lot more time in its own classroom, with special-subject teachers coming to them instead of the class traveling to other rooms, Rigg said. It begins with a report coming in to our central team, which reacts by immediately contacting the principal to get more details. newsletter, With nearly 300 NYC school buildings shuttered due to COVID, de Blasio promises to staff up ‘situation room’, Philadelphia schools due for more than $400 million from COVID-19 relief, 8 Indiana education stories to watch in 2021, NYC education issues to follow during Albany’s new legislative session, What stories we’ll be watching on the state education beat in 2021, Across U.S., states see public school enrollment dip as virus disrupts education, Chicago plans to reopen schools, close budget gap with $720 million in anticipated stimulus funds, Chicago cluster educators — the first to return when schools reopen — want more details. We also surveyed our parents. Every school then had to create a plan that covered all of the aspects for a safe reopening. Posted: Jul 10, 2020 / 10:01 AM CDT / Updated: Jul 10, 2020 / 05:42 PM CDT. After reopening last week, at least one school – St. Alexander – was forced to suspend in-person instruction until September 8 due to COVID-19. Now as we move into the colder weather, we understand that there’s going to have to be some additions. I am truly curious about … Pre-kindergarten and students enrolled in intensive and moderate cluster classrooms will begin in-person learning on Jan. 11, 2021. The school will keep a closer watch on any symptoms within the student’s or teacher’s cohort. Archdiocese of Chicago releases 2020-21 school reopening plan Coronavirus. 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%. That’s a powerful sentiment because these parents are part of our worship community. Pope John XXIII has about 200 students, with classes from 12 to 18 students. by: WGN Web Desk, Marcella Raymond. Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, has an update on the reopening of Catholic Schools in the Fall. We look for well-ventilated areas to use as much as possible. That’s pretty good. Crusaders are called to lead by encouraging everyone to be safe. Extra furniture is to be removed. 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 … CB: But again, you’re not able to share what your number of cases has been or the number of quarantines that you had? We attempted, if at all possible, to see if there was a way to employ them for distance learning for those schools that had large enough e-learning numbers to warrant additional teachers. CB: What are some ways in which your situation was different from that of Chicago Public Schools? They don’t split off and go to different rooms. Keeping them safe — it’s just magnified so much.”. We’ve had situations where there are sport leagues for students that are not run by the archdiocese or by our schools, where the precautions may not have been taken as completely as they should have been. And that’s led to really very, very good outcomes for us. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. The same children stay together every day for their classes. Catholic schools begin planning for reopening in fall. The State of Illinois imposed new mitigation measures that went into effect on Friday, November 20 at 12:01 am. 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. “What’s most important is that the people in the school understand the basic principles about masks, about distance, about handwashing.”. 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. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Foot traffic within the buildings will be delineated with markings and signs. The experience with distance learning in the spring should help students stay connected to school during longer absences, principals said, but it will be more difficult for schools that haven’t had the resources to offer, say, a Chromebook for every child in the past. “We need to be deliberate in how we plan for those safe spaces,” Mickelburgh said. The office is also offering “starter packs” for schools with everything they need to get the building ready, and negotiated for discounts on cleaning and disinfecting supplies for schools. School Reopening Plan . JL: No, not really. According to the document, the safety and well-being of students and staff members is the primary focus, and because the pandemic is unpredictable, it is possible that schools will have to be closed. The school in suburban Elk Grove Village was one of many Catholic schools opening Monday for the first time since schools in Illinois shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. These children are together for the whole day. 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. Over 85% of our parents told us they wanted us to do everything we could to bring the kids back to the classroom. Is it an exposure to a positive case? “And we know that things will look different for students, so we’ll have to help orient them and train them on how to wear masks.”. The Archdiocese of Chicago on Friday announced its plan to reopen schools in the fall, allowing students to return to classrooms for in-person instruction. Cinnamon said having a smaller school will be an advantage this year. The Archdiocese of Chicago reopened its schools for full-time in-person instruction in August, giving families the option to choose remote learning. We did have a few teachers that said for whatever personal reasons that they did not want to do in-person learning. To make that work, Rigg said, schools can collect cohorts outdoors and bring them in one at a time, using different doors for different cohorts if possible. We’ll have some hiccups. Their size is obviously much larger than ours. “I’ve been in education for 12 years, and kids are incredibly resilient and they will adjust as long as they see adults modeling it in a positive, fun, encouraging way.”. The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools responded Wednesday to Chicago Public Schools' announcement of moving to remote learning this fall, saying they intend to keep students in school … CB: Did all schools that are part of the archdiocese reopen for full-time in-person instruction? The plan was developed in consultation with public health, civic and educational authorities. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. That makes it difficult to fully size up the school year. IMPORTANT CHICAGO REOPENING NOTICE. Officials there say they are following strict safety measures and deem their reopening a success so far. What safety measures were put in place ahead of the return of students to school buildings? 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. 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. When the doors opened at St. John Cantius Church on May 24, there was a line of people waiting to enter. (Note: Some Catholic school teachers have expressed concern and demanded remote learning.). That might mean having to stagger the daily start time. CB: Have you heard ongoing concerns or anxiety from your teachers more recently as the school year has progressed? That line was there almost constantly for the first several days that the church, 825 N. Carpenter St., was open for personal prayer under the Archdiocese of Chicago’s reopening plan. Any school reopening needs to be ready for partial or full remote learning to happen at anytime. Staff will also make sure students are wearing their masks properly and see that students wash or sanitize their hands. CB: What is the size of those cohorts at your schools? Band practice in small, socially distanced groups will be allowed, but not with any wind or brass instruments. The following industries … CB: Are you able to share how many cases you have had across your schools, and how many times your students have had to quarantine as a result? 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. Accreditation . We have a standard procedure for notifying the families of students that are in a quarantined cohort, about what to do and where to go. Schools are supposed to be in session 180 days. Corrigan said what was the teacher parking lot will likely be used as outdoor classroom space this year, also weather permitting. We, of course, maintain privacy, and we never identify the individual. JL: No, I think we have not. When someone in a Catholic school does test positive for COVID-19, Rigg said the school community will be notified. Many parents are most worried about their children wearing masks and social distancing, especially those with young students. Is there something about their locations and demographics that might explain why they’re outliers? The only time students and teachers can remove their masks is while they eat and when they are outside, but when masks are removed, they must stay at least six feet from one another. Schools are set to reopen in the fall, but with restrictions — including face masks. “They trust us,” she said. CB: Is there anything that stands out about the schools where a majority of families chose virtual instruction? The group would put tags on giving trees in the church with specific names and needs for parishioners to take home and purchase items to donate. CB: Did you see a higher-than-usual number of teacher retirements or other departures? 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. Now, we have 40,000-some students and 5,000 staff in our schools, and in the city of Chicago alone, we have 91 schools with a population of 19,000 students, plus another 2,700 staff. For over 20 years, the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Queen of All Saints Basilica Parish, 6280 N. Sauganash Ave., has held its “Shared Christmas” program to collect toys, clothing and sundries during Advent for clients of Catholic Charities and other organizations in Chicago. 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. Cardinal Blase Cupich announced Monday all schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago plan to reopen in the fall. By Michelle Martin | Staff writerWednesday, July 22, 2020. 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. Is it a positive case? Overwhelmingly, our teachers returned to the classroom. But in some of the cases, we were not able to accommodate their requests to teach remotely. “I worry about the faith piece just because of Mass,” Cinnamon said. 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. This plan is designed to help schools and parents successfully and safely reopen our school buildings to students this fall. 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. The White House won't allow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to testify at a House Committee on Education and Labor hearing on safely reopening schools … “Even though the guidelines are 30 pages, it’s a lot of nuance. Student Records . The plan, available at schools.archchicago.org/curriculum-and-resources/school-reopening-plan, calls for all teachers and students 3 years old and older to wear masks and stay in homeroom-based cohorts most of the day. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic), schools.archchicago.org/curriculum-and-resources/school-reopening-plan. The Reopening with Trust: A Planning Framework for the 2020/21 School Year is available in English, Spanish and a Polish-version is forthcoming. We’re investigating the options. Students in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, who have been at home since mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak, will … The person must follow the guidelines for the Centers of Disease Control before returning at least 14 days later. How much input did you solicit from your teachers to make the decision, and what was the response? CB: You mentioned doing a parent survey. “We have space to spread out. Thursday, August 20, 2020 CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some teachers and parents want the Chicago Archdiocese to change their school reopening plans, which currently involve in-person classes. If they have a negative test, they can return to school when the symptoms subside. 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. A critical part of our plan is the notion of the cohort, which you see in a lot of the literature about reopening schools. But usually, that’s quelled, because everybody’s working so consistently to make sure that people are notified and that we continue to be safe and clean. Thursday, August 6, 2020 CHICAGO (WLS) -- After Chicago Public Schools announced they would be starting the year fully remote, some parents, looking to … “We’re here for those families as well.”. In a pandemic, there is no place where you are 100% safe. 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. Each of those we triage, and we take care of the positive cases first. 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. Las escuelas de Chicago necesitaban computadoras. “How do we do that? The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Catholic Schools released its plan for schools to reopen in the fall and provided requirements to help keep students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. newsletter, Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, Better Government Association, Sign up for the The Catholic identity piece is really important.”. JL: Not anything that seemed to rise to the level of a significant spike. In the meantime, she’s planning a virtual coffee hour for parents and making appointments with those who want to meet face-to-face, outside the school door if need be. These restrictions are the most up to date and take precedence over the industry-specific guidelines if there are points of contradiction. JL: Cohorts go anywhere from usually 15 to maybe 23. As for extracurricular sports, Rigg said, the archdiocese is waiting for guidance from the Illinois Elementary School Association. Corrigan said she also sees her school’s lower enrollment as an advantage. While going to the gym is permissible, students would have to keep masks on, so vigorous activity might not be the best idea, Rigg said. JL: We put together a plan that set out guidelines on everything from taking temperatures when students come in the morning, to the setup of classrooms to socially distance students, to how recess should be handled, to what to do if a child shows up in the morning and seems unwell. CB: Are you able to tell me what percentage of your students are learning remotely? 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. suntimes.com - Letters to the Editor. One of the key influences for us was statements put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (that said the overriding goal should be to reopen classrooms where possible). 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. 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? 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. School Masses will also change, with schools having to follow their parishes’ archdiocesan-approved procedures. “It’s just a lot of questions,” she said. The archdiocese did institute a contact tracing protocol. JL: We had input from different teachers representing different teacher populations, different schools. 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