ordinary June, almost no one wants to think about the start of school in
the fall. Summertime, after all, is all about relaxation, recreation,
vacation, and reconnecting with friends and family. It's usually the
time to forget about alarm clocks, bell schedules, and, yes, textbooks
But this is no ordinary summer.
I'm sitting at my desk at school or standing in the check-out line at
Costco, I'm always getting questions about the start of the new school
year," said Principal Mr. Joseph A. Waler. "That's so
much different than a typical summer, when sometimes I think people
don't even want to see me because my face reminds them that school will
be starting and summer will come to an end!"
The uncertainties created by the pandemic have all of us wondering if and how school will resume in August. Everyone is asking: What's going to happen in the fall?
short answer to this question is this: We don't know for sure. That's
the only honest, realistic answer any school leader can give right now
as we await direction from Governor Mike DeWine and health authorities, which should be issued in the next week," Mr. Waler explained.
who tells you that they know what NDCL is going to do is either making
it up or relaying something someone else made up," Mr. Waler stressed.
"We have not finalized or communicated our specific plans for the fall."
course, that doesn't mean we at NDCL are simply twiddling our thumbs as
we wait for word from Columbus. A task force of teachers, staff
members, and administrators is working hard on re-opening plans focused
on these three focus areas:
SAFETY AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROTOCOLS:
How will we
design school-day procedures and operations to promote health and
safety in ways that decrease the likelihood of spreading COVID-19?
CALENDAR AND SCHEDULING:
How will we
structure our calendar and school day if we need to reduce the
population density in our classrooms and the building as a whole?
How will we
define, expect, and support truly excellent online learning, especially
if we experience another extended school closure?
plan to share our proposed plans by the middle of July, which will give
us time before school starts to make adjustments in response to
feedback from our families.
developing these plans, we are consulting local and national resources,
including guidance developed by Loyola University of Chicago, the
Cleveland Clinic, and the Office of Catholic Education of the Diocese of
Cleveland. Notre Dame Schools President Dr. Michael Bates has also convened a group of healthcare professionals to guide and review our planning process.
hope to share our proposed plans, which will address a number of
possible scenarios, by the middle of July, which will give us time
before school starts to make adjustments and other tweaks in response to
feedback from our families," Mr. Waler said.
have no expectation that our plans will be perfect or set in stone. Our
aim is to be nimble and agile so that we can keep our community healthy
as we provide excellent Catholic education, no matter what
circumstances or challenges we may face as the school year unfolds," he