2020-21 BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN
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We hope that your summer is going well and that you have enjoyed some time away from the typical routine of the school year. Only six more weeks until we welcome our girls back to school! As MND determines how we will begin the 2020 – 2021 school year, we are using the general guidelines that Governor DeWine outlined. Our focus has been on providing the unique Mount Notre Dame experience that our students and families want and expect while also providing a safe environment.
As mentioned in several prior communications, MND is planning to be back in the building for the start of the new school year. The MND Administration has been discussing COVID – 19 scenarios which include logistics and planning, creating and maintaining community, curriculum and instruction, promoting Catholic Identity, and offering technology support. We have worked to formulate scenario options that provide a consistent school environment for our families, staff and students and is sustainable if attendance is impacted by COVID – 19. We also want to ensure teacher-led instruction and student participation. Today, we share with you three scenarios that could be implemented and seamlessly interchanged depending on the Governor’s ongoing guidance for schools in Ohio. Currently, we are planning to start the first semester in Scenario 1 as planned per the calendar above with hopes of not having to move to Scenarios 2 or 3. Students will be expected to be engaged in their learning and activities every day. We will make decisions about our schedule for second semester as we monitor the situation in the fall. Please know that the following information will not cover all questions that many will have. More detail will be provided as we continue our planning and approach the start of school.
Scenario 1: All students present in the school building at the same time. Students would be present for classes four days per week with one day per week (typically Wednesday) serving as a Non – Traditional Instruction (NTI) day. The NTI day is a required school day and will encompass our Professional Learning Community (PLC) time which was formally a late arrival day. It will also include Distance Learning for classes, additional MND events and experiences and academic support. Depending on the plan for the NTI day and our school calendar, some or many students may still be on campus for activities or support.
Scenario 2: Students present in the school building at half capacity. Students would be on campus for classes two consecutive days per week (typically Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday) and would participate in class the other two days from home via the Tablet PC. One day per week (typically Wednesday) will serve as a Non – Traditional Instruction (NTI) day as described in Scenario 1.
Scenario 3: Students learn remotely through Distance Learning. Students would participate in synchronous (specific class time frame) as well as asynchronous (flexible time frame) instruction, MND events and experiences and academic support.
As you can see, each scenario does have one day per week as a Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) day. Besides allowing our calendar to be predictable and consistent regardless of the scenario, this decision has been made to allow for:
- a deep cleaning of the building during the week
- built-in time for faculty Professional Development
- in-person academic support for students (unless the Governor closes schools)
- creative exploration of alternative learning activities
- educational learning opportunities on topics such as mental health, goal setting, racial equality, women’s health, social justice, etc.
- creative scheduling of events and activities that currently may not be possible in person due to social distancing requirements
- flexibility as we work with those who may have specialized circumstances due to their health situations
- the inconvenience of COVID-19 to become the best possible learning opportunity – allowing students, faculty and families to explore learning schedules and modalities that would otherwise be impossible in a pre-scheduled traditional year
Safety is of utmost importance for the MND staff and students. In order to keep this at the forefront, we are planning for the following protocols to be in place to start our school year. Adjustments will be made per best practice based on the Governor’s Guidance, the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC.
- Self-screening for symptoms by staff and students
- Wearing of masks/face coverings by all students and staff
- Placement and usage of additional sanitization stations throughout our building
- Regular disinfecting/cleaning throughout the day and each evening
- Additional deep cleaning on NTI days
- Social distancing
- Arrangements for students with special health circumstances relative to COVID – 19. (If this impacts your daughter, please reach out to Mr. Ben Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a discussion.)
We hope that you can see that MND is fully committed to a school year that retains the outstanding academics, co-curriculars and spiritual environment that have become the valued MND Experience. We are excited to navigate this school year in a way that propels each of us to learn, live, lead and serve – regardless of the impact of COVID-19.
Finally, as we continue to prepare, we ask for your ongoing patience with the release of our summer documents. As you can imagine, reworking our school calendar to fit these scenarios is taking some additional time. MND intends to work within the previously provided skeleton calendar (see below) with the possible exception of the fall and winter breaks as indicated. Stay tuned for more information about the calendar and further details on protocols in the coming weeks. We are so very excited to have our students back on campus soon!