The Path Back
THE PATH BACK
The Health and Safety of the OLMA community, combined with providing exceptional academics and meaningful student experiences, are central to our plan to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all to re-think many aspects of everyday life. Face coverings have become the norm, and the firm handshake replaced with elbow bumps and virtual hugs. We’re questioning the safety of things that many took for granted, like eating out, riding the school bus, and sitting in a classroom.
On the plus side, COVID-19 has brought many families closer, and more grateful for one another and those we hold most dear. At OLMA, that includes our teachers, staff members, students, and all of our families, both immediate and extended.
OLMA formed a Reopening Task Force to develop The Path Back as we approach a new school year. In addition to pooling our collective resources, the Task Force, comprised of many different workgroups, has worked with health and safety, operations and logistics, medical, and education experts from across the country as part of 90-Day ISM Roadmap to Campus Reopening Program. This resource, along with input received from students and families and guidance from state and federal officials, the Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, has been invaluable. Together, we explored many different scenarios and created The Path Back reopening plan.
The one thing we can all be certain about is continued uncertainty. We need to be prepared to turn on a dime should things change — for the better or worse. Flexibility and cooperation are essential as we work as one OLMA community to protect and educate our students. We are all blazing new trails and are bound to be detoured along the way. Together, we will stay on course while continuing to act in the best interests of our students, faculty, and staff.
TASK FORCE PRESENTS: PANDEMIC POLICIES
CLICK HERE to view the 2020-2021 Pandemic Policies manual.
Task Force Presents Plan Overview
On Thursday, September 27, members of the OLMA Reopening Task Force presented an overview of The Path Back plan as well as shared additional details on the Hybrid Flex and Online Flex learning models. If you were unable to attend, you can view the recording HERE.
INTRODUCING THE HYBRID FLEX MODEL
Academic success is a result of a number of different factors, including the cognitive, social & emotional well-being of a student. Central to this positive development of all students is an intentional, structured, and supported model for learning that considers the critical facets of growth essential to realizing academic success.
The strength of our OLMA sisterhood is evident in the desire of our students and teachers to be united as one. During a time when coming back to campus this fall must be reimagined, so too must our learning model for academic success. This is where our journey on The Path Back begins — with the OLMA Hybrid Flex blueprint for learning.
The Hybrid Flex model’s foundation is multidimensional, supporting the academic, social, and emotional development of students with consideration for the need for both classroom and distance learning at an unprecedented time. Its framework is constructed in accordance with research-based methods for hybrid learning, including best practices for distance learning, and is supported by maximizing face-to-face time with teachers while providing a robust online learning program designed to strengthen and advance, not replace classroom education.
OLMA’s Hybrid Flex model of learning brings students to campus at least two days a week with a focus on constructive educational opportunities and purposeful student engagement. Distance learning will be implemented on the remaining days of the week where a structured and supportive online learning program will be administered throughout the school day.
“Flex Days” have been incorporated into the scaffolding of the hybrid model of learning to deliver meaningful opportunities, whether it be on-campus or online, to support the OLMA Sisterhood and overall student, teacher, and staff experience. These include, but are not limited to class meetings, Mass and Communion services, faculty planning, sisterhood activities, socio-emotional learning, and academic support. Together, on-campus and distance learning within the Hybrid Flex structure will focus on the inclusion of academic support mechanisms and the reinforcement of a culture of accountability critical to student success within a hybrid learning environment. Ultimately, this model also provides for the flexibility of successfully returning to full distance learning if compulsory, as well as increasing time on campus when achievable.
For a graphic on the science behind blended learning models like the Hybrid Flex, as well as additional details on both in-person and distance learning days, click on the images to the right or CLICK HERE.
Flex Days have been incorporated into the scaffolding of the hybrid model of learning to deliver meaningful opportunities, whether it be on-campus or online, to support the OLMA Sisterhood and overall student, teacher, and staff experience.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What measures have you taken to help ensure a healthy building and safe learning environment?
- Will masks be required for students, faculty, and staff while on campus?
- How will you be screening students for COVID-19 symptoms?
- Will students need to self-quarantine at home after traveling to one of the high-risk areas identified by the State of New Jersey? If so, for how long?
- Will students need to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus?
- In terms of health and safety, what should we be doing now to prepare for the return to school?
- What happens if someone has symptoms while on campus?
- What happens if a student or faculty/staff member tests positive for COVID-19 after being on campus? Will we be notified?
- What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
- Will students be eating in the new OLMA Cafe and how will food be distributed?
- Where can I find the forms I need to fill out for the new school year?
- Where can I find the coronavirus clearance form?
- When will school start this year?
- How often will students attend school on campus?
- What are the arrival and dismissal times for on-campus days?
- How will on-campus days be structured?l
- What schedule will students follow when using the Online FLEX model?
- What approach will you be taking for distance-learning days?
- What will a distance learning day look like for Hybrid Flex and fully remote learners?
- What are the bell schedules for each learning model?
- Will fall athletic practices and competitions take place?
- Other schools in the state and across the country where the virus is much worse are returning to campus full-time. Why can't we?
- If I'm in Village 1 and my best friend is in Village 2, will we ever get to see each other?
- How will classrooms be configured?
- If I am uncomfortable sending my daughter to campus on in-person days, will you provide an online option?
- Do you anticipate a full return to on-campus learning this school year?
- Will you be providing bus transportation this fall?
- Many of the St. Augustine Prep buses are completely full. Will they be adding buses or routes to allow for social distancing?
- Will OLMA families receive discounted pricing since students will only be on campus part-time?
- If I decide not to ride the bus this year, can I get my deposit back?
- If I decide to begin the year without busing, will my daughter's spot still be available if I want to resume bus transportation later in the year? If so, will the price be reduced?
"I like the change to online learning. It's forcing us to learn new things, which is exciting. We are using Zoom a lot, even on days when we don't normally have live lectures. The teachers are very understanding and always checking in about our work as well as how we're feeling."
Adrianna Dodge, Class of 2021
"This is something I never expected, but as a teacher, I've learned to adapt to anything. It's what we do. Every class is different, so we never teach the same thing the same way. We learn to be flexible and to teach in whatever way best meets the needs of our students. Right now, that's online. While it is a challenge and a lot of work, it's also kind of fun."
Susan Cavagnaro, History and Sociology Teacher and OLMA Alumna
"Despite the instability in our world, Lily looks forward to the stability that OLMA has offered her. She continues to thrive with her classes and the amazing young ladies in her friend group. This is another reason why sending her to OLMA is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made! OLMA has been a gift to our daughter in so many ways and we are so grateful!"
Kendra Lemauro, OLMA Parent
"We are incredibly impressed with the level of continued education being provided, during this unprecedented time. The foresight and foreword thinking of the administration is the best -- bar none! Today's young ladies are tomorrow's leading women and we are so blessed that OLMA is a part of our daughter's path and journey!"
Renee and Rocco Milillo, OLMA Parents