Carmel Catholic High School outlines hybrid back-to-school plan
Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein will reopen for in-person classes next month, but with students attending only twice a week and taking part in remote learning the other three days, under a plan released by the school.
The plan also gives parents and guardians the choice of remote-only learning for their teens when school begins Aug. 17.
"Under either scenario, students will receive a stellar education, a hallmark of Carmel for decades," the plan states. "As our parent surveys clearly showed, a large majority of parents were satisfied or highly satisfied with our eLearning experiences last spring. We will only get better with each experience, so we expect parent and student satisfaction to remain high."
Students who attend in person will be split into two "cohort" groups that will stay together throughout the school year. One group will attend Mondays and Tuesdays and the other on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will take part in virtual learning on Wednesdays.
The cohort model will make it easier to trace contacts in the case of a positive COVID-19 test, and better control attendance and flow through the building, according to the plan.
Before arriving at school each day, students will be required to complete a symptom check via a mobile app and then undergo a temperature screening before entering the building. They'll attend three or four classes per day and need to keep all books and supplies in backpacks, as lockers will not be accessible.
Once in the building, students and staff must wear masks at all times, except when eating. Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible, under the plan, and classrooms will be cleaned throughout the day. Hallways will feature one-way traffic, and passing periods will be lengthened to allow students to step outside for mask breaks.
Students will be allowed to purchase pre-boxed lunches or bring their own, and eating will take place in the student lounge and outdoor, tented spaces, as well as the cafeteria.
If a student has a high fever or displays COVID-19 symptoms while in school, he or she will be placed in a quarantine room until picked up by a parent or guardian.
If a student tests positive for the coronavirus, the whole cohort will be made aware of the positive test, without divulging identifying information, the plan states. If more than one student from the cohort tests positive, the entire group will remain at home with virtual learning for 14 days and until all positive tests have turned negative.
For more on the back-to-school plan, visit www.carmelhs.org.