Academy of Holy Angels to Adopt Hybrid Learning Option to Begin the 2020-21 Academic Year
The following message was sent to current parents on August 7, 2020.
Dear AHA Families,
Last week, Governor Walz announced the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 school year, providing guidance for Minnesota schools for reopening this fall. Of major importance in his plan is the opportunity for schools and districts to implement the best plan locally while utilizing the appropriate local, data-driven measures. This announcement is a follow-up to an earlier directive by the Governor suggesting that schools plan for three distinct learning options: full return of all students to campus, exclusive online learning, and a hybrid of both on campus and online learning.
After careful consideration, examination of options, and input from various constituencies, AHA will implement a hybrid learning model to begin the 2020-21 academic year. This option will allow for a blend of on-campus and AHAOnline instruction each week. In addition, the school is increasing our classroom technology tools to enhance the online experience and provide distance learners with a greater connectivity to the classroom and the individual instructor. In the final analysis, a hybrid instructional model will provide the students and faculty with the greatest opportunity to be safe and receive a strong educational experience. We strongly believe this hybrid model balances the health and safety of our students, faculty, and families while providing the critical modifications needed for on-campus learning.
Part of our data gathering included both a faculty survey and a parent survey last week. Each survey provided valuable and thoughtful feedback. We are grateful for this input and have taken into consideration those opinions and suggestions that blend with the framework of a hybrid model. There are some important considerations and accommodations that AHA intends to implement into our model:
1. The students will be divided into two groups by alphabet A-L and M-Z. Families will not be separated which will enable transportation, scheduling, and other considerations to be less restrictive. Teachers will be in their classrooms each day providing instruction to those present and to those at home online.
2. Parents who are uncomfortable with having their student physically at Holy Angels can opt for an exclusive online/distance learning model. Such a decision cannot be made on a daily basis but rather in a block of time that coordinates with classroom instruction and teacher preparation.
3. The School’s Preparedness Safety Plan will be an ongoing priority that includes daily monitoring, enforcement of social distancing, sanitizing, PPE (personal protective equipment), and other CDC, MDH, and State of Minnesota requirements.
4. A well-defined COVID positive protocol will be confirmed and established as a common practice and fully orchestrated in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health.
There are numerous details that still need to be communicated to each and every family. We ask that you continue to be patient while we complete all protocols and procedures and test those efficiencies with regulatory agencies. This framework that we are announcing needs to have flexibility and have the ability to be redesigned based upon outside influences such as county level coronavirus data, outbreaks, and trending safety concerns by local and state agencies. We are hopeful that in the months ahead we will be able to dial back on the population constraints of half the school in attendance, but we may also need to be aware that the reverse could occur, causing us to pivot back to a full, online program.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and we hope that this initial correspondence provides you with an overall framework of the school’s intentions. An overwhelming number of our parents surveyed indicated a strong desire to have their student back on campus this fall. We are eager and excited to see our Stars back in the classroom. We also acknowledge the concerns that you have expressed regarding reopening school. This plan is the first step in mitigating those concerns and getting our great school and its students back together.
You can review additional FAQs by clicking HERE. Please expect more information in greater detail from us in the days ahead.
Tom Shipley Heidi Foley