Shrewsbury – St. John’s High School recently announced its initial plans for students to return to its 378 Main St. campus this fall. In a letter from Headmaster Alex Zequeira and Principal Margaret Rourke Granados, families were advised of some of those plans.
“We want to begin by reiterating that the health and safety of all in the Saint John’s community remains our top priority. As a result, we will continue to adhere to federal and state guidelines as we further develop this comprehensive campus safety protocol,” the letter said. “Our goal is to resume the many signature on-campus curricular and co-curricular experiences that make Saint John’s so transformative for our boys and young men.
“It is very important to note that this document represents our thinking today, and will be continuously updated and communicated to you as we approach our return to campus in September. “
In the letter, Zequeira and Rourke Granados noted that although St. John’s had “moved to a remote-instruction environment” last fall, “do not believe continued remote instruction is a sustainable long-term solution for our school.”
The administrators noted that in May they created a task force to review the most likely options for the 2020-2021 academic year based on data available.
“With federal and state guidelines, as well as the guidance shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics and others serving as a baseline, members began assembling best practices and what will work best in our unique campus and program configuration,” the letter stated. “A total of nine scenarios have been designed and reviewed, with most centered on bringing students back to campus in the fall in some configuration.”
Over the coming weeks, administrators will be addressing these issues:
- Adjustments to schedules
- Building traffic flow patterns between classes and buildings
- Classroom layout and building sanitization
- Health Office location
- PPE protocols/enforcement
- Library and other common space logistics
- Physical education and athletics considerations
- Feasibility of foodservice use
- Health checks for those on campus and those coming and going from campus, including faculty and staff.
- Bus transportation regimens
- Hybrid instruction models (in-person and remote)
A number of measures will be implemented to minimize and contain the risk, including:
- The enforcement of the use of masks, significantly limiting outside visitors to campus, physical distancing, and other practical measures. This has already been put into effect this summer on campus.
- A tracing program has already been put in place to assist in limiting the spread of coronavirus. This summer on-campus employees must certify their health standing each day and all visitors to campus are only by registered appointment. A modified approach to this will be in effect when everyone returns to campus this fall.
- Administrators are currently reviewing all classes considering size and location and making the adjustments necessary to adhere to physical distancing and safety guidelines. Student experiences like SJLI and Kairos will have alternative structures and dates that allow students to participate safely and receive much of the value these types of retreats have for the school’s students.
For the full release visit https://www.stjohnshigh.org.