Academics » Reopening Plan

Reopening Plan

St. Mary’s High School has developed the safest, most secure, and most teacher and student-focused school reopening plan achievable. After working diligently with Perrotta Consulting, a threat mitigation and emergency operation planning company, and exhausting every available resource, we have developed a systematic way to secure and reopen St. Mary’s High School at 100% occupancy, five days a week, for the 2020-2021 school year. So long as we are permitted to reopen and remain open by the State of New York, we will use every available resource to:

  • Provide the safest environment possible for our students and teachers
  • Keep our extended school families healthy
  • Communicate with our families and faculty
  • Ensure continued access to education whether in the physical building or remotely
  • Ensure equal access to education for all students
  • Provide means of support for our students’ and faculty’s social and emotional well being

The following plan will evolve after submission based on changing needs of students and teachers, as well as the changing conditions of the pandemic and revisions to New York State Guidelines. Attending school in person is no small challenge. Through extensive studies of data and research collected from the New York State Department of Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Academy of Pediatrics, and several other private and public-sector resources from across the globe, we have identified how to safely return teachers and students to the classroom.

Yes, Saint Mary's will be open for in-person instruction 5 days a week for all students.  All courses will meet and adjustments will be built into the schedule allow for a safe learning environment.
St. Mary’s High School will require all students, teachers, staff, and visitors to arrive at campus wearing masks. Anyone who arrives without a mask will be provided one before being permitted to enter the building. Regular mask breaks will be worked into student schedules. Students will wear the St. Mary’s mask as part of their uniform.
Students will be screened prior to entering the building and proceed to a secondary testing location if their surface temperature is determined to be above 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of screening. Screening will be conducted through two entrances in Marist and Immaculata. Building entrances will be by grade level. There will be a staggered dismissal by means of transport at the end of the day.
All non-essential visitors, including parents, will not be permitted to enter the building. In the event of an emergency or an appointment with administration, visitors will be screened prior to entering our secure environment.
At the start of the school year, students will have limited access to common areas such as the library and hallways. Signage will indicate stairwells and hallways for directional flow patterns enforced by teachers. Water fountains will not be used and students will be instructed to bring their own water. Bathroom use will be restricted to two visitors at a time. Faculty are to maintain 6 feet of distance when in the faculty room.
Class sizes will be kept smaller. All non-essential items for teaching will be removed from the classroom so as to maximize spacing.  When singing in music class or taking part in PE class, a distance of 12 feet will be maintained. PE classes will be adapted for instruction in healthy living and outdoor activity, as the locker rooms will not be accessible.
St. Mary’s has partnered with a new food service company, SLA. SLA is prepared to provide boxed lunches for students. The two lunch periods will now be separated by homeroom to allow for extensive cleaning between groups. Additionally, tables will be placed in both gyms to allow for appropriate spacing between students while eating.
Maintenance staff will carry out frequent disinfection of classrooms, bathrooms, and high contact surfaces around the building using EPA certified disinfectants. A logged schedule will be kept throughout the day. Full building disinfection will occur at the end of each day. St. Mary’s will continue to develop and promote a culture of healthy habits in which students and teachers sanitize their hands and personal space frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizing stations will continue to be filled throughout the building.
Students are to bring their own supplies. If they forget to bring supplies, the school will provide only supplies that can be disinfected after use.
In the event of a positive case within the building, full facility decontamination will occur before anyone is permitted to return. If any student, teacher, or person with whom they reside is diagnosed with COVID-19, they must notify the main office at St. Mary’s High School immediately.   A detailed seating chart will indicate which individuals who were potentially exposed, and they will be contacted directly.  A general communication will be shared with the school community. Any student who was potentially exposed will transition to distance learning for a 14-day period as a precaution. Faculty who may have been exposed will also transition to distance learning.
All St. Mary’s High School students have the option to learn from home, especially if they have vulnerable family members or medical needs. An accommodation will be made to provide instruction.  Accommodations will be:
  • More asynchronous than synchronous instruction
  • Daily material posted (video lesson, pre-recorded video from teacher)
  • Office hours and small group Meets
  • Regular Meets with resource room teacher for those students with IEPs; all other IEP accommodations honored
If you feel this is the option best your family's safety and well being, click here and complete the formThe form must be submitted by August 21st.
In the case of a mandated shutdown, St. Mary's will transition to a school wide distance learning program.  We will continue to use My School App for instruction, homework, and assessments.  We will also continue to use Google Meets for live in-person instruction.   There will be adjustments from the spring distance learning program; we will follow our school schedule and attendance will be taken in Meets.  The distance learning model will:
  • More synchronous than asynchronous - schedule of the day will mostly follow regular in-person school day
  • Daily live Meets with teachers
  • Full class Meets
  • Regular Meets with resource room teacher for those students with IEPs; all other IEP accommodations honored
An updated Distance Learning Program document will become available on our website by the end of August.
St. Mary’s High School recognizes the stress and emotional toll this year has taken on not only students, but also faculty and parents. Our teachers and guidance counselor will be attuned to the realities of the physical, mental, and economic hardships our families have faced over the last several months and trained to support them to the best of our ability. Resources will be available for anyone struggling with mental health through counselors and the district. St. Mary’s asks that parents clearly communicate to teachers if their child is going through a difficult time so that we can quickly and effectively work together to address the child’s needs. Our Advisory program will serve as another point of contact for students, and with the introduction of sodality, we hope to see even further engagement in the social and spiritual well being of our students.
Teachers and students must avoid any unnecessary travel. If immediate family members of teachers or students travel to states or countries with quarantine restrictions, they will be required to quarantine within their own home away from the individual who will be entering the school. We will determine our transportation capability in coordination with our public school district bus protocols.
St. Mary’s High School is actively working to implement the safest and most operationally successful school reopening plan possible amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with our partners, we will establish a culture of health within our walls. Our decision to reopen is based on scientific facts, industry standards, and threat mitigation procedures adopted from private and public sectors. COVID-19 is generally a mild disease in children, including infants, but this does not diminish its severity or the threat it poses to our students, faculty, and families. Together, we will safely and optimistically reopen this school year, and yet always remain on a heightened state of alert so that we may adjust and adapt as the pandemic conditions and student and teacher needs change. 
You can also click here to read a statement from Perrotta Consulting, the crisis management firm St. Mary's partnered with in creating the plan.