COVID-19 Response

On this page, we will share information about The School of the Cathedral's COVID-19 response.

NEW LETTER FROM MR. WRIGHT

REVISED REOPENING PLAN


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Frequently Asked Questions

Schedule

  • *Updated 8/25/20* When does my hybrid learning student (Grades 2-8) report to school? Students in grades 2-8 are placed into either an A or B cohort - not to be confused with homeroom 3A, 3B, etc. A student in 3A homeroom may be in Cohort A or Cohort B, for instance. See the schedule here - Cohort A reports to school on yellow days and learns from home on green days, and vice versa.
  • *Updated 8/25/20* Can K-1 students opt for hybrid learning? No - the choice for K-1 is either five days in person OR five days a week remotely.
  • Can families opt for full distance learning? An all-virtual learning option remains available for parents who choose to do so. 
  • How can families express their choice of hybrid or all-virtual learning? A second intent form developed by the school was emailed - due 8/26 at 11:59pm. Once you have made the initial choice for your child’s education, please note:
    • Families will have the first week of school to determine if their selection of in-person or virtual accommodates their needs.
    • Families can move to remote learning at any time.
    • Once a family commits to remote learning they cannot choose in-person until after the 1st trimester.
  • How will students be divided into cohorts? We will start with last names, so that families attend school together on the same day. The cohort list has been released by email - email Beth Mayr at bmayr@cmoq.org if you need the link again.
  • How will cohorts be impacted by holidays, professional development, etc.? Certain cohorts will have holidays and professional development days off. 
  • *Updated 8/28/20* How will the schedules work re: Xavier and Drexel ability groupings? We have done our best to keep ability groups together. Some changes to homerooms (NOT cohorts - i.e. no changes to the days your hybrid learners will come to school) have been made, so that many ability groupings can stay together - a new list was released on Wednesday, 8/26/20.
  • *Updated 8/28/20* How will student arrival and dismissal occur? This year, arrival at school will be staggered alphabetically to encourage social distancing. We understand that parents may have specific work commitments, but we ask all parents to adhere to the assigned arrival times as best as possible to ensure the students' safety. See the schedule here. That link also contains information on dismissal.
  • If a teacher is ill, are there trained substitutes lined up to continue the hybrid learning model? We have a small core of substitute teachers. We’re always looking for qualified substitute teachers. If you are interested in learning more, contact us.
  • *Updated 8/25/20* If there is a need to pivot to fully virtual learning, what plans are in place to make that transition? Mr. Wright and the team have been working on a fully-remote plan, as a backup, this summer. We learned a lot from the spring, and the AOB has given additional guidance on instructional minutes. We’ll be able to pivot if needed. As a note, this decision will be made by the Health Department, to whom we have to report when there are positive diagnoses of COVID-19.
  • What will recess look like? We will still have safe spaces for students to play every day. The logistics and location of recess are still being determined, but it is important to Cathedral to incorporate daily recess.

Academics

  • How does Cathedral plan to enhance its remote learning experience, after doing so in the spring? The Department of Catholic Schools has provided guidance on instructional minutes for the school year. See the breakdown of minutes in the reopening document above.
  • What are expectations while remote learning? 
    • Students will be expected to maintain the hours of a normal school day and to be in uniform or in Cathedral spirit wear. Attendance will be taken daily.
    • Teachers will create sessions for students to sign in according to the daily schedule that will be posted by 7:40am each day on Google Classroom. *Updated 8/25/20*  The schedule will as closely mirror the schedule of in-person learning as possible. 
    • Students will log in and watch the teacher’s live instruction. Students should have their web cameras on and be on camera while participating in synchronous activities. 
    • *Updated 8/25/20* Parents are welcome to sit with their students, especially younger ones, and help them log in and get set up, especially the first few days. Parents will receive log-in information in advance of classes beginning on 8/31/20. 
    • The teacher can then assign work to class and students at home to complete off-camera and sign back in for next session of instruction.
    • *Updated 8/25/20* Many teachers will also have a second device to be able to monitor the chat, in case remote learners have questions. There is no sound from the student to the teacher, but the student may ask questions in the chat.
    • Remote learners will be expected to complete assignments and assessments according to the same deadlines as in-school learners.
    • There will be a faculty member who will facilitate remote learning by providing daily office hours. This way students and parents can ask questions, trouble-shoot technology, and have academic support when teachers in the classroom are unavailable due to their own teaching schedule.
    • Students will have the same expectations for behavior and attendance. Students should wear their Cathedral uniform or Cathedral spirit wear while participating in class online. This will help maintain a positive learning environment and reinforce for students the importance of doing their best work whether at home or in school.
  • Are we still doing standardized testing, and if so, how? As of now, we are still doing standardized testing. The Archdiocese of Baltimore Department of Catholic Schools (AOB DCS) will let us know more details in the coming weeks.
  • *Updated 8/28/20* Will students be able to bring home their devices (remote, hybrid, or in-person learners)? Students who are choosing the 100% remote learning option will pick up their materials this Friday, August 28th, between 8 AM and 3 PM. Please contact Elise Elbourne at eelbourne@cmoq.org to schedule a time to pick up your materials. Hybrid learners who do not have a device at home and would need to borrow a device, please email both Mr. Wright at mwright@cmoq.org and Mrs. Czarnecki at rczarnecki@cmoq.org. All Middle school students will be able to bring their Chromebooks home, but not yet - teachers will work with hybrid learners on when send those home (it will be after the first day of school).
  • *Updated 8/25/20* Will students be sharing devices in school at all? No.
  • *Updated 8/25/20* What supplies are needed? See the school supply list for each grade here. On the first day in-person, students only need supplies that they will personally use. Any supplies for the greater good (i.e. cleaning supplies, etc.) - we have lots right now (and not a ton of storage space), so please hold those at home. We'll email families as we need them to bring in cleaning supplies, etc. Those families who are virtually learning will just need basic supplies (pens, pencils, etc.) on the first day - teachers will help alert families if and before other items are needed.

Masks and Dress Code

  • Will masks be required? Face coverings will be required for all students, faculty, and staff. We ask every student to have at least 2-3 or more masks per day (and suggest more per day for the younger students). Read more from the CDC about the benefits of masks.
  • What types of masks are permitted? The masks must be form-fitting; no bandanas, buffs, neck gaiters, or balaclavas will be allowed. Masks may be cloth or disposable with any tie, any pattern, and any color. 
  • Will masks be available for purchase? We are not selling specific Cathedral masks. Students may wear any color/pattern of mask.
  • Will students have the opportunity throughout the day for mask breaks? Yes.
  • What are the uniform requirements this year?
    • The winter uniform will not require blazers or ties.
    • Online students will wear the Cathedral uniform or Cathedral spirit while online and in class.
    • PE Uniforms may be worn on PE days.

Daily Screening

  • What will daily screening and monitoring entail? Parents will get a text every morning with health screening questions that they must complete every day before entering school. 

Food and Beverage

  • How will students eat lunch during on campus instruction days? Students will remain in their classrooms and designated desks for much of the day except for recess and when possible outdoor lunch, recess, and mask breaks.
  • Will students still have access to water stations throughout campus? Yes, students, faculty and staff will have access to bottle filling stations. We highly recommend bringing a water bottle with the individual’s name on it, so water bottles do not get mixed.
  • When is a student permitted to remove their mask and drink water? Students will be able to drink their water when needed.
  • How will lunches be addressed? Students and teachers will eat lunch in their classroom at their desk. Please don’t forget to send your student(s) to school with lunch!
  • *Updated 8/25/20* Will outdoor lunches be an option? Yes, weather permitting. We are encouraging lunch outside as much as possible.
  • Will students have opportunities for snack? Yes. Please don’t forget to send your student(s) to school with a snack!

Facility

  • How will physical distancing guidelines be set forth and followed? Below are some examples of what the classrooms will look like as they are set up to accommodate social distancing. 
  • How will hallway traffic be changed and/or monitored to enable social distancing? Hallways will be divided in half, with indicated one-way traffic patterns. There will also be decals on the floor to help.
  • How will bathrooms be monitored or configured to enable safe social distancing? No more than 2 people will be permitted in any bathroom at once. Bathrooms will receive enhanced cleaning throughout the day. 
  • Will students have access to cubbies or lockers? Lockers and cubbies will not be used. Students will have a personal container for storing materials by the side of their desks.
  • May visitors enter the school? SCMOQ buildings are open to employees. Parents and visitors are not allowed to enter unless needed to pick up a student who is ill.
  • *Updated 8/25/20* Can parents escort young students to class on the first few days of school? Unfortunately, no. We will have staff on hand to help walk the students down to class, so no one will get lost or be alone!
  • *Updated 8/25/20* What adjustments have been made to limit interactions in hallways and stairwells? We have put decals and tape on the floor to separate folks walking in both directions. See some photos here!

Illness

  • What should a student, faculty or staff do that feels sick before coming to school OR at school? What if a student, faculty, or staff received a positive COVID test or presumptive COVID diagnosis? What if a family member or someone residing with a student, faculty or staff member receives a positive COVID test or presumptive COVID diagnosis? 
  • How will the community be notified about any of the above situations? Cathedral will contact the families in that classroom - without using the specific child’s name - if they have symptoms. We’ll inform parents on how to proceed. Please refer to the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools Decision Aid.
  • What should a student, faculty or staff member do if they are traveling out of state? Those returning from out of state travels from a state that the Governor has deemed necessary to quarantine afterwards should do so and follow the state guidelines.
  • *Updated 8/25/20* How often will SCMOQ communicate about the status of COVID-19 cases/symptoms/etc (even if it's an email to say "no cases")? We are planning to email this information once a week.

Sanitization

  • *Updated 8/25/20* What hygiene and cleaning protocols will be implemented? There is a regular group of dedicated maintenance staff. We will have enhanced cleaning throughout the day (including hiring an additional staff member), cleaning every night, and enhanced cleanings over the weekends. These staff (like the rest of our faculty/staff) will all be wearing masks and are all aware of and practicing strict safety protocols. They will also be communicating verbally to each other, to ensure clear, direct, updated information is shared.
  • How will hand hygiene be addressed? All faculty and staff will be encouraging students to wash hands properly and frequently. We will also display posters from the CDC about proper hand washing.
  • *Updated 8/25/20* What other sanitization measures have been taken? Jan Pro applied a 90-day electrostatic spray to help mitigate virus transmission. This spray dispels the virus. The spray was applied all over the school, including on the playgrounds. Additionally, we will be using a special purple UVC light at night that will aid in disinfecting.

Student Engagement

  • How will Cathedral maintain its faith-based sense of community? We will continue to have liturgy in-person, in much smaller groups. We will also continue sharing digitally via Fr. Kevin’s Children’s Liturgy videos, video messages from Monsignor Woy and Fr. Kevin, live-streamed Masses, and continued prayer throughout the day.
  • Will clubs and other extracurriculars take place this year? For the fall, we will not have extracurriculars or fall sports. Mr. Bush will be issuing refunds for fall sport registrations. We will reevaluate next trimester.
  • What support will be in place to help students, especially those new to Cathedral? Many of our new students were paired with a Summer Buddy this summer, to help facilitate introductions. We will be offering a virtual version of “Sneak a Peek at Your Seat.” We will also continue with our town halls, and teachers will have virtual office hours to meet with parents. 
  • What considerations are being made for family events - Homecoming, Haiti Carnavale, mixers, etc? Most of those events will not be happening in-person this year, based on guidance of quantities of people able to gather together. Some events, like First Communion and Confirmation preparation, will be happening virtually for the fall (and will be reevaluated in the future). Please reach out to us or to the event coordinator if you have questions about a specific event.
  • How will music, art, library, Spanish/French, and PE adapt to remote learning? We are doing everything in our power to offer specialty classes for our students. There will also be a variety of resources we have to offer these classes virtually. 
  • Will Middle Schoolers have electives? Unfortunately, not this year. We look forward to offering these experiences again after this global pandemic.
  • *Updated 8/28/20* Can families order spirit wear over the phone or online? We're working on expanding this availability. Stay tuned for more information about how to obtain spirit wear from the Mustang Market.

Tuition

  • Will there be a reduction in tuition if full distance learning is in place? No. We’re still providing instruction, whether in person or virtually. Tuition supports the operation of the school. 
  • What are the tuition deadlines for this year? What if I have questions about payments? Contact Mrs. Seiler at sseiler@cmoq.org

CED (Cathedral Extended Day After-Care)

  • What is the situation with after-school care (CED)? We will have Cathedral Extended Day (CED) and are in the process of staffing to be able to accept as many families as possible. As in all cases with CED, the number of students we can accept is determined by the number of staff available and the space available. 
  • How do I sign up? Sign up hereupdated version 8/18/20
  • What if I already signed up before the reopening plan was released? You will be automatically enrolled for your student. Contact Ms. Bergin to learn more: mbergin@cmoq.org.
  • How will students stay safe during CED? Social distancing requirements mean that we will have to keep the students in the respective cohorts as much as possible.

Other

  • What if I need help with Google Classroom / Google Meet, IXL, or other classroom technology? Contact Mrs. Van Huizen at jvanhuizen@cmoq.org or Mr. Holman at aholman@cmoq.org.
  • I need to contact my child's teacher. How do I do so? Feel free to email your child's teacher - all faculty and staff emails are listed here.
  • *Updated 8/28/20* How can parents support? We urgently need parent volunteers and substitutes to help relieve the teachers during the school day and provide coverage for when teachers are sick. Coverage times are from 10:30 AM until 1 PM. Volunteers will need to be VIRTUS-certified and be able to commit 2 or 3 days following the cohort schedule.
    • Please contact Sue Seiler at SSeiler@cmoq.org if you can regularly commit (2/3 days a week) to being a parent volunteer. 
    • If you are interested in becoming a substitute, please reach out to Mrs. Czarnecki via email at rczarnecki@cmoq.org.
    • Additionally, parent support of the Annual Fund is always appreciated. This support will help us continue safe operation of the school, including hiring extra cleaning personnel and purchasing cleaning supplies to sanitize our school.
  • What if I want to learn more about Admissions? We encourage you to visit our Admissions page to learn more about our offerings for virtual tours, Q&A, and connecting with us! Call 410-464-4100 or email info@scmoq.org to learn more.

Communications