Dear Corpus Christi Families,
I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer and staying healthy and safe! We’re excited to start another fantastic school year, however that may look.
We continue to gain more information about COVID-19 and the safest procedures for returning to school on August 19. We are in nearly daily communication with the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) and have consulted with local medical personnel. With their guidance and following recommendations from the CDC and the State of Illinois, we have developed the following plan. This is the plan as we know it today - we will need to be flexible to adapt to new circumstances and guidelines as they become available.
The OCS followed three guiding principles for their plan to reopen Catholic schools in the Diocese.
Our school buildings will provide a safe and faith-filled environment for our students.
The course of the pandemic in Illinois remains fluid. As such, this OCS Diocesan Plan may be updated on a continual basis as pandemic data and guidelines are regularly reviewed.
OCS asks that our school families assist us in serving the common good and work in cooperation with not only their diocesan school but also with the OCS to the best of their ability.
Who was Involved / How it was Developed
The OCS Diocesan Plan was created from discussions with the superintendent of the Diocese of Rockford, the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Diocese of Joliet, the Diocese of Springfield and the Diocese of Belleville. The Transition Joint Guidance document created by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the guidance from the Catholic Mutual Group were reviewed. Finally, a representative group of OCS diocesan principals and licensed medical professionals in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas were consulted by the Superintendent of Schools in the design of the OCS Diocesan Plan.
I’m sharing three documents with you. The first is a summary of Corpus Christi’s plan for the 2020-21 school year; the second is a detailed document from the OCS reflecting the data and thought behind each of our decisions; the third is a press release the OCS shared today:
Options for Instruction
Families will choose from two options for instruction this year. Both options will be as synchronous as possible, meaning the students will meet in a live session and follow our regularly scheduled class times per teacher requirements. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class for students attending in-person and for students logging in remotely.
If a family chooses the in-person instruction option, students will meet as we traditionally have at school.
If a family chooses the remote learning (Virtual Academy) option, students will sign in and connect via Microsoft Teams/Seesaw to their assigned class.
* More information will be shared with families closer to the start of school
Technological Advances for Instruction
We are excited to share with you the technological advances we’re working to implement which will create a synchronized, state of the art learning experience for our students.
Regardless of which option a family chooses for instruction, there are three scenarios that may play out this year.
- In-person instruction - where all students will be in the building at the same time.
- Mixed model - where some students will learn in the building and some students will not, based on choice or CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
- Full remote learning - should we be required to do so based on stay-at-home orders.
I am excited to share with you that we will be prepared for all three!
Using Microsoft Teams/Seesaw as our platform, we’re working to equip every classroom with a camera device, TV monitor, microphone and speaker system. This will allow us to provide a synchronized, secure classroom experience whether in the building or learning remotely from home. The goal of implementing this system is to ensure that all our students receive the same high level of education you should expect Corpus Christi to provide.
Teachers will be able to see both students in the classroom and students logging in remotely. Students not in the classroom will be able to see and hear their teacher in the classroom, without the distraction of being able to see other online students. The class schedule will be followed each day regardless of where a student may be participating.
I will keep you updated as COVID-19 guidelines and this plan continue to evolve. We consider our school to be an extension of the values that you teach in the home and now we ask that you be an extension of what we are teaching in the classroom. The manner in which you present this plan to your children will be reflected in their attitude toward learning in this new environment. While it may not be an ideal situation, we have worked hard to make this the best situation we can offer.
Please see that this week's "Saturday with the Saints" (Friday) edition .
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our school. Your Corpus Christi family is looking forward to seeing you back in our halls and classrooms!