St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington is working to determine how to best go about returning to school.
Much like other schools, they acknowledge many factors are out of their control but have planned for any possible situation. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has laid out requirements for reopening schools stating that schools will reopen if that region is in Phase four and the daily infection rate remains five percent or lower over a 14-day average.” Schools have until Friday to submit their plans for reopening while the state will begin giving approval Aug.1 to the first districts to reopen.
Parents, teachers and students struggled to balance their ‘new normal’ when the coronavirus hit, closing schools in mid-March. Having students turn completely to virtual learning was a large adjustment, leaving many wondering what the best solution is for the new school year.
St. Anthony’s faculty and staff plan on having all students return, but they acknowledge that might not be possible. They have four different campus options available for students. Campus 1 is designed for students that can be on campus full time. This plan will factor in all mandated social distancing guidelines while operating with all students. Students will have their temperature digitally scanned upon entering the building.
“All students will be divided by grades and be assigned to a different area of the school,” says Assistant Principal Dr. Christina Buehler. Another way to maintain social distancing guidelines is restrictions on lockers; students will have access to their lockers in the morning after arriving to school and the afternoon before dismissal. Hallways and staircases will also be “one-way” routes to ease congestion.
Campus 2 is designed for both on-campus and remote learning, based on transportation issues. If students have difficulty getting to school this mix of on-campus and live remote learning will work best. As a private school, their transportation relies heavily on decisions by individual districts and restrictions.
Campus 3 is a live remote learning environment based on medical accommodations. Schooling would still take place during the normal hours of 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..
Campus 4 is independent remote learning designed for international students. St. Anthony’s has been working closely with international students who have returned to their home countries to ensure they continue virtually. Many international students who were able to have stayed with their host families for the summer, guaranteeing that they can return in person in the fall.
“We all know virtual learning is no replacement for the amazing experience St. Anthony’s delivers, but we have a few creative ways to keep our students engaged, excited, and ready to return to us as soon as they can,” said Alex Kissel, director of center operations for UTP High Schools.
These plans are in place with the hope that students can return; if they cannot open, all students will default to the Campus 3 option. International students that returned home will utilize Campus 4.
They are planning on deploying iPads to all students mid-August. They are intended to be used in all versions of their campus plans. Being that students have restricted locker access if they are back, faculty hopes the iPads alleviate the need to visit lockers. In the event that students are partially virtual or fully virtual, the iPads ensure all students have equal access to the curriculum and resources. Lunch periods and free periods will be held in the cafeteria, student center and gymnasium for excess room. Additional information regarding all school athletics will be posted on the website on Aug.1 at www.stanthonyshs.org.
Orientation will cover all of this information and more as they roll out their detailed reopening plan. While they do not know what the future holds, St. Anthony’s High School is prepared for just about any situation.
The full video of St. Anthony’s planned reopening can be found at: Saint Anthony’s High School 2020-21 Reopen Campus Information – YouTube.