Bishop Hendricken & 2020-2021 School Year Reopening
Message from Fr. Marciano ’75 & Mr. DeCiccio ’03
June 11, 2020
Yesterday, Governor Raimondo and Education Commissioner Infante-Greene addressed school reopening in the fall, including the announcement of a statewide calendar for Rhode Island public schools. Official, detailed guidance is expected to be released in the coming week, and we will provide updates to our plans based on these announcements.
At Bishop Hendricken, we have been in the process of planning for the 2020-2021 academic year for over a month now, developing plans for whatever form it may take. We want to provide our community with some updates on this process.
First and foremost, we want to assure families that we are fully budgeted and resourced for education under the “new normal” and are working to ensure student success regardless of the educational model in which we find ourselves come September.
We have established three strategic committees who have begun working on key areas of reopening, as outlined below.
Campus Reopening Committee
Our Campus Reopening Committee is chaired by Mr. James Pierce, Dean of Student Life for Grades 10-12. Based on public health guidelines and state guidance, this committee will provide recommendations and protocols as it pertains to the reopening of Bishop Hendricken. This committee will address any issues or questions regarding building reopening and the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Topics of concern include social distancing regulations, mask/face covering protocol, personal protective equipment, cleaning/disinfection, and transportation, among others.
Our Academic Committee is overseen by Mr. Vincent Mancuso, Dean of Academics, and is chaired by Ms. Sarah Murray, English, and Mr. John Manning ‘06, Social Studies. This committee will continue to review all facets of the educational experience under the “new normal.”
This committee is currently preparing for all possible academic models and scenarios, including: 1.) a full return to school; 2.) a hybrid model with combination of in-person and virtual learning on a rotating basis throughout the school week; 3.) a staggered schedule with the alteration of the traditional Bishop Hendricken class schedule for students; 4.) and continued enhancements to the virtual learning program developed this year.
The Academic Committee is also exploring further opportunities for professional development for faculty and staff to better equip them for these new educational models.
Climate & Culture Committee
Our Climate & Culture Committee is led by Mr. Michael Monahan ’98, Dean of Student Life for Grades 8-9. This committee will look for creative ways to preserve the Bishop Hendricken experience and integrate all-important extracurricular facets into all possible models. This committee’s top priority is ensuring that students are afforded as much of campus life as possible given the circumstances, including arts, athletics, campus ministry/service, social events, and more. This committee will also continue to work with faculty and staff to go the extra mile in assuring positive student experience, specific attention to mental and emotional health, and more.
Given the nature of this pandemic and planned reopening, all of these scenarios are fluid and ever evolving. While we will not have specifics on decisions until later this summer, our promise to Bishop Hendricken families is to keep your sons safe; prepare fully and be ready for any form this school reopening may take; communicate openly, transparently, and frequently to keep you updated; and provide your sons with an educational experience that is unique to Bishop Hendricken.
We know this is uncertain, and in many ways, scary. Put simply, we all have more questions than answers at this point. But, as we work to make more sense of this “new normal,” know that our faculty, staff, and administration do so with the best interest of our students at heart and top-of-mind. Being entrusted with the education and high school experience of your son is a matter with which we take tremendous pride and responsibility. After all, we love your sons just as much as you do.
We thank you for your continued support. We will be providing updates as they become available over the summer. Live, Jesus, in our hearts. Forever!