St. Margaret of Scotland's Reopening Plan

On Friday, July 10, 2020 the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that all schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago would reopen for face-to-face instruction in the fall. Since then, there have been a lot of questions as to what that plan will look like for SMOS. Each school within the Archdiocese of Chicago will have plans that look different depending on the direct needs of the individual school. Please know that each plan is created with the safety of the students, teachers and staff as the number one priority. Below answers some frequently asked questions and the plan for SMOS.

1) When is the first day of school?

We are opening in phases.

9/3/20- Grades Pre-k through 3 (12:30 dismissal) NO EXTENDED DAY

9/4/20- Grades Pre-k through 8 (12:30 dismissal) NO EXTENDED DAY

9/8/20- Grades Pre-k through 8 (Full day of school) EXTENDED DAY BEGINS

2) Is there an option for remote learning?

Yes. There is an option for remote learning. The remote learning will be handled by an outside vendor that the Archdiocese of Chicago has partnered with. This vendor will instruct, assess, and input grades. If a family is opting for remote learning, you must commit to the remote learning per trimester. Once the trimester begins, you may only opt out of the remote learning when the new trimester begins.

3) Is there a hybrid model being offered?

No. Per the Archdiocese of Chicago, no hybrid model will be offered this school year. A family must either commit to face-to-face instruction or remote learning.

4) Will students, staff, and teachers be required to wear masks all day?

Yes. Masks must be worn all day with the exception of lunch and recess. Students must bring a mask to school every day (supplied by the parent). The school will have emergency masks available if a student misplaces or forgets their mask. Face shields are not allowed.

5) How will drop off and dismissal work?

We will now have three entrances for pick up and drop off (this will be announced closer to the first day of school). Parents will not be allowed to walk their child into the school building. For pre k students, there will be teachers/aides at the door to escort students into the building.

6) What safety precautions will be taken when students, teachers, and staff enter the building?

Everyone will have their temperature taken as they enter the building with a touchless thermometer. Everyone will be asked if they are sick or not feeling well as they enter the building. Everyone will be required to sanitize their hands upon entering. Masks must be on before entering the building?

7) How will lunch be handled?

Students will now eat lunch in their classrooms. Students will either receive a hot lunch from school or bring one from home. Students will not be allowed to have food delivered from outside vendors: UberEats, DoorDash etc.) In the event a student forgets their lunch at home, the school will either provide a lunch for the student, or a parent can call the office and someone will come to the door to retrieve the lunch.

8) How will classes be handled?

Students will stay in a "cohort". They will only be with their cohort for the length of the school day. For middle school students, teachers will switch classes rather than the students switching classes. Special's teachers will come to the classroom instead of students leaving the classroom. Gym will be held in the classroom for health and will be outside under the same safety precautions as recess.

9) Will students all have recess?

Yes. Students will go out in groups for recess. Masks do not have to be worn during recess. Students and staff will be trained on safe social distancing practices for recess.

10) Will volunteers be allowed in the building?

No. This year SMOS is opting out of any volunteers for the 2020-2021 school year. This is to protect the safety of everyone.

11) Will parents/be allowed in the building?

To protect the safety of everyone, we are asking parents/family members to limit their time in the school building. Parents will be allowed in the school office by appointment only or emergency cases when a student is sick or needs an early dismissal. We will have a plan for early dismissals. We are asking that students do not leave for an early dismissal unless it is an emergency. Uniforms should be purchased online and will be given to the student. Tuition should be paid online through FACTS or via phone with the school office.

12) What safety precautions is SMOS taking to ensure compliance with the CDC and Covid-19 Guidelines?

There will be sanitizing stations throughout the school. Each classroom will be equipped with sanitizer and disinfectant. Desks will be arranged six feet apart. We have created a Health and Safety team to clean and wipe down high traffic areas and bathrooms periodically through the day. This team will also ensure that everyone is complying with CDC guidelines. Floor signs will be visible to promote and ensure safe social distancing. Students will be kept 6 feet apart. High traffic areas will have plexiglass dividers. Classroom rugs will no longer be used in classrooms.

13) Will students be allowed to share supplies,books etc?

No. There will no longer be "community" items. Students must have their own supplies. Students will not share textbooks or devices.

14) How will Extended Day be handled?

Students will be in "cohorts" for extended Day. The same safety protocols that are in place for the school day will also be in place for extended day. There will now be a new protocol for dropping off and picking up students from Extended Day. Parents/family members will not be allowed into the building. We will use a call system. More information will be sent closer to the first day of school.

15) Will there be new start and end times to the school day?

Yes. Instead of the 7:45 am start time, students will be required to report at 8:00 am (before care will still be available). Students must be in their seats by 8:10 am. Dismissal is at 3:00 pm. There will be a 2:00 pm dismissal every Wednesday for deep cleaning of the school. This cleaning is a more extensive cleaning. Another deep cleaning will also happen every weekend. Hourly and daily sanitation will occur throughout the school day.

A survey was sent to every family via email yesterday. I ask that you take the time to complete it. I truly understand that we are in unprecedented times and decisions can be very rough on families. I will continue to update everyone weekly on any new changes/additions. If you need assistance or need to discuss anything in regards to our reopening plan, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly or to Mrs. Dixon.