Catholic Central Coronavirus Committee Update re: Fall 2020 Plans


Hello Catholic Central Community,

We hope that you are well, and appreciate your support as we have navigated these last few months together. We are proud of the work we have done as a community, and have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to complete the returning family survey. Your responses have been incredibly valuable to us, and the constructive feedback has helped guide us as we continue to work on multiple plans for the fall.

We will be returning to instruction on August 17, 2020. 

Some of the most consistent feedback we received from returning families was that their sons needed some time to unwind. Additionally, these past few months have been incredibly demanding on our teachers, who will be placed in yet another extraordinary position this fall.  As important as it is for us to return to the building, it is vital for the young men in our care, and for our faculty members, to have a chance to recharge for the upcoming year. We need to remain vigilant about the mental wellness in our community.

On the other hand, many incoming families indicated that they were anxious for their sons to start engaging with the learning process. In response, we were able to adjust and add on to our summer enrichment opportunities for incoming students.

The main question on everyone’s mind remains the same: what will the fall look like?

Unfortunately, we do not have a set answer - no one does. What we are able to control, though, is our plan for whatever might present itself. 

Our goal for the fall is to create a schedule and format that will allow us to move between the various phases of the State of Michigan’s Safe Start Plan seamlessly, so that no matter what restrictions are placed on in-person gatherings the quality of the education and engagement between your son and his teachers will remain the same.

Just today, the Governor’s office released an updated guideline that will impact some of the items laid out for you in this release. We still want to share what we have ready, and of course we will continue to update the plans as needed.


Update: As of 6/17/2020 the phases and allowances may have shifted - again the point of our plan is to allow us to move between the stages with flexibility, regardless of the restrictions. The Governor is expected to release a further update on June 30.

We have outlined some of the areas of concentration below, as well as a few key items that are being explored. We will continue to update you as we have more concrete decisions.

Academic Committee:
  • Focus on optimizing live face-to-face instruction time. Feedback from the surveys indicated a strong preference for duration of instructional meetings, even if that means on fewer days, as opposed to shorter meetings on a daily basis.
  • Focus on optimizing interaction between students.
  • Structuring class rosters on a quartile basis to allow us to seamlessly move between 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% capacity (this will not impact anything on the parent or student side of things).
  • Focus on creating more synchronous learning opportunities if distance learning is required.
  • Focus on creating a learning system that will not penalize students who miss school due to illness.
  • Focus on maintaining the high level of academic excellence expected of a Catholic Central education.

Health and Safety Committee:
  • Focus on optimizing student safety, and reviewing all of our health protocols.
    • Faculty, staff, and student screening
      • Limited building entry points will be outfitted with monitored temperature-taking kiosks.
    • The requirement of PPE
      • As of right now masks will be mandatory for all people in the building, but gloves will not be required.
    • Traffic flow in the building
      • One-way stairwells will help alleviate congestion in the class changes.
    • Illness during the day
      • Creation of an isolation area (if needed) along with a tracking process to allow for contact tracing.
    • Further development of a "Return-to-School" process for students who miss school due to illness.
    • Development of a “Shamrock Pledge” for student buy-in to our efforts.
  • Focus on mental wellness support for our students, including the hiring of a full-time Student Wellness Counselor as of February.
  • Focus on additional concerns such as passing time (bell schedule), large gathering spaces, lunch, etc.
  • Focus on safe food distribution, in collaboration with our provider, TruFoods.
  • Focus on proper cleaning - the full Maintenance team will become IHSA certified
    • Positive confirmation that our current HVAC system will serve our needs. The current system will filter droplets and circulating virus down to 3 microns in size.
  • Goal of creating a walk-through video to show a “day-in-the-life” by the end of July.

Campus Ministry Committee:
  • Focus on our mission of helping your son encounter Jesus Christ in a life-transforming manner.
  • Focus on engaging students spiritually through Masses, community service, etc. in smaller group settings.
  • Re-examining school retreats, and communicating with off-site locations regarding their safety protocols.

Athletics Committee:
  • Focus on returning students to activity as safely as possible through a structured “on-ramp” procedure.
    • Plan published to the school website.
    • Pre-screening process for student athletes and coaches.
  • Focus on development of a full cleaning protocol for equipment.
  • Acquisition of new signage and safety equipment (visors for football program, new strength equipment, hand sanitizing equipment, etc.).
  • Focus on monitoring and complying with the Michigan Department of Health, Oakland County Health Department, MHSAA, and Catholic High School League on any and all guidance and suggestions.

Technology Committee:
  • Focus on purchase and installation of new equipment in the classrooms to allow for improved recording capabilities.
  • Purchase of software to allow for improved video lessons (if needed).
  • Purchase of increased bandwidth to the school internet to allow for improved streaming capabilities.
  • Purchase of new devices for faculty and staff to allow for improved video conferencing.
  • Updated device recommendations for students to better accommodate distance learning, if needed.

Professional Development:
  • Focus on training faculty with all of the new technology and software.
  • Focus on preparation for all of the potential environments that may present themselves in the fall.

As you can imagine, this is just a small sample of the tremendous number of items we are working through among the various committees and sub-committees. We are very confident in the learning environment we will present in the fall.

Thank you again for your trust, patience, and support as we navigate this together. Our primary focus will always be the health and well-being of your son and our faculty. Through our partnership with you, the parents and guardians, we will continue to offer the best high school experience in the state of Michigan.

Sincerely,

The Catholic Central Coronavirus Committee
 
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“Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge” is the motto of the Basilian Fathers and the sacred mission of Catholic Central High School. For ninety years, the graduates of Catholic Central have made a positive impact locally, nationally, and around the world.