Notre Dame High School has announced that it will open the 2020 fall semester with a combination of in-person and remote learning.
In an email to parents and students, Notre Dame president Ken Jennings wrote, “At the forefront of this decision, which was not made lightly and was advised by a number of our stakeholders, is the safety of the Notre Dame family and the critical importance of in-person learning from both an academic and social-emotional standpoint.
“Our unique hybrid provides one week of in-person instruction and one week of concurrent learning from home, which will alternate student time on campus weekly. Those students logging-in to their classes from home will experience the same live-instruction as their on-campus peers.”
Notre Dame’s principal, Joanna Barlow, said all students in the ND Hybrid model will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with one another in real time “to nurture a sense of classroom community and academic growth.”
“Of course, the plan allows for six feet of social distancing in each classroom to better protect our students and faculty. Equally important is that this Cohort model allows students to stay together for one week in the physical classroom and one week logging in from home, thus reducing the chance of the spread of the virus,” she wrote.
In late May, Notre Dame formed six teams tasked with making recommendations necessary to reopen the school in the current climate. Their suggestions were submitted to the school’s board of governors last month, who then approved the current reopening plan.
The plan also includes an upgrade to faculty technology and the offering of intensive faculty professional development which will assist them in maintaining rigor and accountability in any model of instruction. Sessions will be dedicated to digital platforms, the virtual classroom, student engagement, assessment data, and curricular shifts.
“We are fully committed to offering the full Notre Dame educational experience this fall”, Jennings wrote. “While we hope this will be a very temporary schedule for our students, the situation will be monitored and evaluated monthly. Notre Dame High School is poised to seamlessly switch to any of the three models outlined in our SWAT report as deemed necessary.”
Founded in 1957, Notre Dame High School is a co-educational Catholic college-preparatory school located on 100 acres in Lawrence.