MIAMI | Daily health checks, temperature-taking, physical
distancing and mask-wearing: That's how Archdiocese of Miami schools are living
the "new normal" of in-person back-to-school.
In keeping with Archbishop Thomas Wenski's statement, issued Sept. 16, 2020, students in Miami-Dade and Broward County
Catholic schools began a phased return to class Sept. 23, 2020. The dates and
ways of returning have been left to each individual school as long as all
students who choose to do so are back in the classroom by Friday, Oct. 2.
Parents still have the option of keeping their
children home. Teachers will continue to teach
in their classrooms and those students who remain at home will continue to view their
lessons online, at the same time as their in-school classmates.
Below is a sampling of the phase-in plans of some archdiocesan schools, as well as the percentage of parents in those schools whose children
will continue learning from home.
Less than a handful of schools will pursue a hybrid
model, where students come to school and stay home on alternate days. For the majority
of students, in-school learning will take place five days a week.
Above is a gallery of the first day of in-person classes at some of the archdiocese's Catholic schools. Below is a video from Msgr. Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens outlining some of their safety protocols, many of which are being implemented in all archdiocesan schools. And check out these creative videos from St. Hugh School in Coconut Grove.
This story will be updated in the next few days, as
more pictures and information arrive.
Freshmen with last names A-J returned Sept. 23. As
part of the transition, half of each grade is coming to the school each day
through Oct. 2, while virtual instruction is offered concurrently to other
When fully implemented Oct. 5, this hybrid learning
model will mean the school is divided into two cohorts. Because Our Lady of
Lourdes works on a rotating block schedule, the Blue cohort (last names A-J)
will report to school on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the other students learn
virtually (and concurrently) from home. The White Cohort (last names K-Z) will
report to school on Thursdays and Fridays, while other students learn virtually
(and concurrently) from home. All students will engage in virtual instruction
The school is phasing in one team at a time, oldest
to youngest. Each group comes to school for a half day, so that parents, staff
and students can practice the new arrival/dismissal procedures and so the students
can familiarize themselves with the safety guidelines. While each group is on
campus, the other groups continue to follow a fully virtual class schedule.
Grades 6-8 started Sept. 23; grades 3-5 return Thursday,
Sept. 24; and grades K-2 return Sept. 28, with all grades back on Tuesday,
About 67% of parents have chosen in campus
instruction, and 23% online. All students who have opted to return to campus
will attend school five days a week.
St. Andrew welcomed students back in two phases, first grades K- 4 on Sept. 24 then grades 5-8 on Sept. 30. "It is great to see our kids again, to see how they have grown, how they have changed and to see their excitement when they saw their friends face to face and their teachers," said the school's guidance counselor, Francheska Greene.
Freshmen (grade 9) are returning to campus Sept. 23-Sept.
25. On Sept. 23, only students with last names A-L reported to school. On Sept.
24, it will be M-Z and on Sept. 25, it will be A-L again, while the rest of the
grade levels continue with virtual learning.
On Sept. 28, all students (grades 9-12) with last
names ending in A-L will return. On Sept. 29, all students with last names
ending in M-Z will return.
All students will alternate blended learning, one
day virtual and one day physical. Those students that selected to only
participate in virtual learning will continue to learn from home.
St. Brendan is using this hybrid or blended model in
order to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
About a quarter of the students have opted to
continue with online-only learning.
Grades K-2 returned Sept. 23; grades 3 and 4 will
do so Sept. 28; grades 5 and 6 will return Sept. 30; and grades 7 and 8 will
return Oct. 2.
About 30% of St. Gregory's students have opted to
continue learning from home.
The school's K-8 classrooms have been equipped with
the latest technology. We have updated our Internet cabling has been updated
and electrical outlets have been installed in order to ceiling-mount state-of-the-art
Poly Studio X50 all-in-one video bars. These video cameras allow the students
at home to see and hear their teacher in the classroom. Teachers will be able
to broadcast their Clear Touch board to their students, allowing them to
visually engage in lessons as they would physically in the classroom.
Grades K-2 are back Sept. 23; grades 3-5 return Sept.
28; and grades 6-8 on Thursday, Oct. 1.
About 39% of St. Mary's Cathedral School students
will continue with virtual instruction.
The students participating via virtual learning
will be following the same schedule as the on-campus students with some
opportunity for independent learning where appropriate. The school is using
Google Meet as its virtual conferencing platform since it uses the G-Suite for
Education including Google Classroom, Email, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides,
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