Archdiocese: Protocols for reopening Catholic schools call for face-to-face instruction in the classroom

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The Office of Catholic Education has submitted a set of protocols for the 2020 Reopening of Schools to the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services.

According to a release from the Archdiocese, “the primary means for instruction will be face-to-face teaching and learning in the classrooms every day of the week.”

The protocols were reviewed by and include recommendations from the Governor’s Physicians Advisory Group.

The priorities of the protocols are the health and safety of the students, the delivery of effective academic instruction, and the attention to the students’ social and emotional well-being.

The schools will continue instruction and activities focusing on the teachings of the Catholic Church and the practices followed by members of the Catholic faith on the island.

Along with sanitizing and disinfecting schools, the protocols call for checking temperatures of everyone before entering campus, following social distancing, and wearing facemasks or individual face shields. Activities on campus will be limited to avoid extended contact among the students in and out of the classroom.

For some schools, that means restricting overall school enrollment to the number of students who can be accommodated in the classrooms with limits on the number students according to CDC guidelines.

Other schools will limit enrollment in the classrooms and offer distance learning on the school campuses in various locations such as gyms, auditoriums, libraries, multipurpose rooms, and cafeterias. Some schools will also offer distance learning opportunities to students choosing to stay at home.

Throughout the fourth quarter of the last school year, Catholic schools provided distance learning opportunities until the end of the year. Many lessons were learned from those new experiences. Teachers, administrators, and staff members have attended meetings and training sessions this summer to enhance distance learning if that is necessary. The schools are also preparing for the new school year by ensuring that the equipment and activities are ready for the students’ re-entry into on-campus academic activities.

Since enrollment in some schools may be limited, families are encouraged to contact individual schools or the Office of Catholic Education at 562-0051 or send an email message to superintendent@archagana.org if they are considering registering in one of the fourteen Catholic schools on the island. Information on individual schools can be found on archagana.org/schoolfinder.

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