Padua Announces School Opening Plan

July 22nd, 2020 | News

Click here to read Padua’s School Opening Plan.

Click here to read Padua’s Hybrid Plan.

Letter from Principal Stec (8/21/20):
Dear Padua families,

This week was all about welcoming back our teachers and staff and beginning the all-important training of technology and remote learning.  I want you to know our faculty is fabulous, and their commitment to our students is real and inspiring.  The plan to provide education, whether live or remote, is all new and improved.  The technology and training we have received is impressive and effective.  This, along with our plans to connect students to our Franciscan values and provide strong faith development ensure our promise of a premier education in holiness and learning.   We also welcomed 199 incoming Freshmen and Transfer -in families.  There is a real excitement about returning to school even in these different times.

As we continue to open up the school, we continue to add technology and new protocols.  There is no doubt that this pandemic is changing how we are preparing for our day-to-day experiences.  With those additions comes the need for us to be on the same page and to have new procedures in place.  To ensure that we are in partnership with providing a safe school environment, there are forms that need your attention and signatures.  We all must agree to follow these new expectations to keep us all safe and healthy.  The needed forms are detailed below. 

Parent -Student Handbook
The new Parent Student Handbook will be your source of all rules and guidelines for the current school year.  We have continued to update our procedures over the summer in light of ever-changing guidance during this crisis. The Parent sign-off form ensures that you fully understand this guiding document.  We have highlighted several sections that are particularly important or contain new information from the past.  The Parent Student Handbook will be available on tour website Monday, August 24, 2020.  Once you read through the handbook please sign and have your child return the form by September 11thParent Student Handbook Agreement Form. 

Returning to School After Illness 
As part of the every day procedures of running a school, students do get sick and are absent.  During a pandemic, this common occurrence becomes important to track and detail.  To that end, we have created an E-Form for parents to fill out in order for students to return to school.  This official form must accompany the student on their return.  This form can be found on our website or hard copies are available with the receptionist at the main lobby.  This form provides another layer of safety for us all.  This form only needs to be used when a student is absent due to illness and turned in to the Attendance Office .  All other absences can be verified by a written note from a parent or guardian.  Return to School after Illness Form

COVID-19 Student Policies Agreement
The next two forms are provided in conjunction with the Diocese of Cleveland.  These documents acknowledge that there are special circumstances and risk in providing live in-person education during a pandemic.  Furthermore, in partnership to create a safe and healthy Padua, there are expectations that must be upheld by both the school and our Padua families.  We know that we can only mitigate the risk and that is why we respectfully have offered alternative options to families for students to participate in full remote learning.  And, although we have an excellent plan and the right processes for keeping Padua a safe and clean environment, we must be clear that the risk of exposure amidst a pandemic is possible.  Therefore, the following Covid-19 Student Policies Signature form must be signed by all parents and students prior to starting school.  This signed form is due on September 8th.  Covid-19 Student Policies Signature form

Media Consent Form
As I said before, our new technology and our ability to provide synchronous and asynchronous learning comes with the need to videotape and live stream our classes.  In order to provide this innovation, we do need parents to consent and sign a form acknowledging that we can use these recordings in a variety of ways, but will only use these recordings in the most respectful and lawful way.  This form is due on September 8th as well.  Media Release Form

Calendar
As we move forward our plans continue to evolve.  The link below includes the updated Year at a Glance calendar.  Some dates have changed in response to our new plans.

Final Thoughts
We are so looking forward to seeing your children.  We have great plans to connect them and to continue the great spirit of Padua.  The start of school is always so important and exciting.  This year will be no exception.  The opening weeks include Class masses, Opening assemblies, and other exciting events; all social-distanced of course.  I pray that this crisis continues to improve.  I pray for you and your families and ask that you continue to do all you can to stay safe and healthy. Don’t forget: read your Summer reading books and do your math review.  I hope you have a great weekend and as always…Go Bruins!

Peace & All Good!
Mr. David Stec ’86
Principal  

Letter from Principal Stec (8/14/20):
Dear Padua families,

Excitement is in the air!  August is an exciting time  when plans start to become reality.  And even though we will begin this year  in certainly a different way, we are still very excited for this new school year. We look forward to seeing our students once again and we welcome the Class of 2024.  Hearing the sounds of sports practices and the marching band encourages me every August, and this year is no different.  I am encouraged at how well we have worked together this summer and have slowly reopened our school.  However, as you have heard time and time again, this is not the time for us to become lax in our safety response.  As a matter of fact, with just two weeks left, now is the time for us to do this even better.  Most essential is following the procedures we have put in place:  to wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing.  To that end, please remind your child of the importance of following these guidelines.  It is important for all of us to do our part to keep our school open, our programs running, and our community healthy.

Hybrid Plan: Wednesday Work Days
We are all set for our Hybrid opening. Let me clarify how Wednesday Work Days will function.  If we are in either our hybrid plan or full remote learning, Wednesdays will be considered a workday without live online classes. This will be a day where students can receive extra assistance and tutoring from teachers. Teachers will be available during your child’s regular scheduled class time.  Students can request tutoring time by setting up an appointment with the teacher.  Additionally, tutoring can be requested by the parent, or assigned by the administration and teachers as well. Again, there will be no live classes that day. As we go through the school year, I encourage you to utilize these Wednesdays to provide the extra help that often can be needed during remote learning. Students are expected to participate through live remote tutorials if assigned.  On the second Wednesday of the hybrid plan, which is September 16th, we will hold our Bruins Read Day. If your child has not started their summer reading assignment or their math review, now is the time to ensure that essential learning is happening. More information about this day and how it will work will be provided once we return. 

After School Activities
After school activities, including clubs, athletics, and Fine Arts has its own unique challenges.  During the Hybrid plan, remote students will be able to come up to school for activities only after 3 pm.  All students returning to campus must enter through the Main lobby to be symptom checked.   For students who are already here, places and spaces will be assigned depending on what activity they participate in.  Students who are waiting for rides after school will be assigned a specific location to wait.  All drop-offs and pick-ups are only allowed at the main entrance. Students will not be permitted to roam the school after 2:35 pm.  Students will need to be in their assigned places to work and wait until either their ride arrives or their activity begins.

Cleaning Protocols
As stated in our return to school plan, the school will be cleaned each and every evening and high touch surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day. Additionally, after each class, desks will be disinfected and students will sanitize their hands entering the classroom and when leaving. Another important area that we are addressing is the increase in no-touch opportunities and equipment throughout the school.  One change we added last year was the ability to pay for lunch with the bar-code on the student’s ID.  More information is available on our website about ID payment and updated information about this entire process will be available this Monday. 

Illness Protocol
For this year, Padua has employed two nurses to be on staff each and every day. This allows us the ability to respond to any possible Covid-related illness, while at the same time taking care of other clinic needs and health concerns. In addition, we have also created an isolation room for suspected virus concerns.   Temperature-checks of students, faculty, and staff will be taken at all entrances each morning. Members of the community with 100°F fever or higher will be isolated and sent home if their elevated temperature is verified.  In these cases, Padua has developed a return to school form that must be followed and signed before returning to school. It is our hope that, by following these protocols, we will be able to continue to mitigate the possible spread of this virus.

Calendar
As we move forward our plans continue to evolve.  The link below includes the updated Year at a Glance calendar.  Some dates have changed in response to our new plans.

Next week’s Bruins Beat will include important forms that need your attention and other start of school reminders.

Final Thoughts
Today we welcomed 6 new teachers and staff to our community.  They are extraordinary individuals that will make Padua a better place.  Next week the rest of our Faculty and Staff return to begin the important tasks of preparing for the year.  Please keep all our Padua Faculty and Staff in your prayers, they work extremely hard to provide a Happy, Healthy, Holy experience for our students while they help them become Highly Prepared. 

I look forward to meeting all of our new parents next Monday and Tuesday evening and I’m excited for all the great moments that will happen this year. Speaking of great moments…last night’s Marching Band concert was one I will certainly remember.  Well done everyone.  Thank you for all you do for Padua Franciscan.  I hope you have a great weekend, and as always…Go Bruins!

Letter from Principal Stec (8/7/20):
Dear Padua families,

I hope this Bruin Beat finds you well. Please read this letter because it has important NEW plans for our start of school.  Initially, our plan to return included only two models: Full remote and Full in-school.  Due to our current situation, and in consideration of new recommendations, we have added a hybrid model which we will use to soft-start the school year.   

As you are aware, the pandemic numbers continue to ebb and flow, and as expected guidance from the health agencies are responding accordingly.  As events in our city, county, region and state change, so must our plans.  As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in our area we have decided to create a hybrid model to provide an additional level of response for the most safe and successful return to school. After discussions with the Diocese of Cleveland, and considering the current recommendations of various health agencies including the CCBH, ODH, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and with the input of parents, faculty, and students, the Padua administrative team has developed this hybrid model for at least the first 3 weeks of this school year. In our current situation, we are confident that this model provides an excellent platform for education with half the students live in-person while the other half of the student body is in attendance live virtually. This hybrid model will permit us to gradually re-enter the building with numbers that will allow for greater than 6 feet of social distancing, while at the same time ensuring students have the all-important opportunity for educational and social connectivity with their teachers and peers.  Also, this soft-start will give us the time needed to train students and teachers on remote-learning technologies and to transition into a new way of moving throughout our building.   We believe that this model will set us up for the greatest success to return to full 5 day a week in-person learning as soon as possible, hopefully the last week of September.

New Hybrid Plan
As previously planned, our starting dates are the same. Orientation and Training by class will still occur the week of Aug 30 -Sept 4.  This will be followed by the three weeks of Hybrid learning.  

During these first 3 weeks of hybrid learning, training and review will be the key focus points.  This new model has students assigned, by last name, to attend classes either live in-person or remotely.  Both Live in-person and Live remote learning will follow the daily schedule from 8 am-2:35 pm.  Students are expected to follow their schedules and to log into their classes at the appropriate time.  All students will be engaged in learning four days a week.  Wednesdays are all remote and will be used for tutoring and teacher assistance. There will be no official classes on Wednesday.  Please review the hybrid plan closely.   

Over the next few weeks I will be sending home clarifying information about this new plan.  Also, new families will receive information at their evening orientation sessions.  On days that students are remote, they are permitted to return to school for after-school practices and events.  Remote students are not to return until after 3 pm to allow for the clearing of the building. 

With the addition of this hybrid model, we now have three options for content delivery for the upcoming school year. All school live in-person education, all remote with streamed live classroom instruction, and the hybrid model with half the students in session for live learning and the other half in session remotely for live streaming on alternate 2-day sessions.  The option to remote learn from home for the entire semester is still an option. Please email Brother Tom for more information at tcarroll@paduafranciscan.com

I know that this is not exactly what was planned at the end of July, and I am sure that this may cause some additional questions and concerns.  However, we are very hopeful that this hybrid soft-start will allow us to return to full 5-day in person school at the end of September.  If we needed to extend this decision we would let you know as soon as possible so you could plan accordingly.  It is are intent to make these decisions in three-week increments.  We decided on that time frame to allow us to respond quickly to a changing situation and not lock us in to any one model for too long.   Please know that we are trying to create a plan that best meets the needs of the entire community while at the same time being able to mitigate the risk of spread.  Regardless of the scenario, Padua has plans in place to safely and responsibly deliver a high-quality Franciscan education to students during the upcoming academic year. 

Calendar
As we move forward our plans continue to evolve.  The link below includes the updated Year at a Glance calendar.  Some dates have changed in response to our new plans.

Schedules
Freshmen schedules will be mailed to students this weekend and returning student schedules will be made active in MyPad today.  This summer, counselors worked with course request parent sign off sheets to finalize schedules. In this current environment, we will not be able to make changes to the schedules as in the past because of master schedule class limitations and health guidance protocol.  Students will be able to see their counselors for scheduling concerns during the first week up through September 11th

Final Thoughts
As you know, we cannot eliminate the risk; we can only mitigate it. We are confident that this crisis will end.  We know that a combination of interventions is the best approach to mitigating the risk as best we can.  That is why we have added these additional decisions. I wish I could tell you that plans will not change again, but uncertainty is real.  Our learning models may change based on evolving conditions and data about the pandemic.  As we continue to monitor the situation and move to different models we will communicate this information to you as soon as possible on our webpage, through SchoolMessenger, and in the weekly Bruin Beat. 

Next week’s Bruin Beat will include a detailed plan for Wednesday Remote sessions, After-school activities, lunch purchases, detailed sanitation protocols, illness response, and the Start of School reminders.

Know of my continued prayers for you and your family.  Be assured that we are getting everything in place to return to school and welcome our students home.  I hope you have a great weekend, and as always…Go Bruins!

Peace & All Good!
Mr. David Stec ’86
Principal