Marian Central prepares for in-person instruction in fall
Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock announced plans Thursday to reopen with full in-person instruction when students return for the 2020-21 school year.
Marian's plan was guided by resources from the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education and the governor's office, according to an 11-page plan outlined by the school.
Marian will reopen as scheduled, with freshman orientation on Friday, Aug. 14. All students will begin Monday, Aug. 17, with classes starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 2:40 p.m., while class periods have been "extended slightly for cleaning protocol and staggered passing periods."
Families who do not wish to return for in-person instruction will stay enrolled and asked to continue paying tuition. The plan does not outline any specific options for remote learning.
"We have taken every step to ensure the safety of students and staff at our school this fall," the plan states. "However, we understand that some families may not wish to return. Some families may include individuals in at-risk groups for COVID-19, while others may feel general anxiety. The family will remain enrolled at the school and you will be asked to continue paying tuition. Administration will work with you to determine if/what virtual options you may have."
The school also outlined a number of additional safety protocols, practices and guidelines.
Students and staff must take daily temperature checks before entering the building. Any visitors, including family members or substitute teachers, will be screened prior to entry. Face masks are required at all times while inside the building.
A solid colored mask covering the nose and mouth is required, while bandanas and scarves will not be allowed. The school will provide one reusable mask with the Marian Central logo to each student and employee. Masks will not be required outside, while eating or during band class for brass or wind instruments.
Students will be required to wear identification cards on school-issued lanyards. "IDs will be part of the school's dress code and will allow staff members to better identify students throughout the school, especially due to everyone being required to wear a face covering/mask," the plan states.
All employees will be trained in health and safety protocols, and signs will be posted to promote social distancing and proper hygiene, such as hand washing.
Students will have limited locker trips during the day, eat lunch in classrooms and seat facing the same direction. Common areas, such as lab tables, will be marked by teachers to show where to sit to maximize spacing.
Lockers will be spaced apart with one empty locker between each. Siblings' lockers will be placed next to each other.
Disinfecting spray, wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available throughout the school.
Water fountains will be turned off and only bottle refill stations will be used. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day. Bathrooms will be cleaned between passing periods.
Clubs or organizations that take place after school will not meet, until further notice.
Students in households that travel out of the country or to a state with a COVID-19 surge may be asked to wait 14 days until returning to school.
Students or staff showing symptoms in school will be separated from the rest of the school's population and held in a quarantine area. Students diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 will be tracked to "verify the resolution of the symptoms and all other criteria for the quarantine have been met" before returning to instruction.
Marian will work with the Diocese of Rockford officials and state to determine if any COVID-19 surge in the school will no longer allow for in-person instruction. Marian could return to remote learning or a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, if necessary, the plan states.