Campus Preparations for Fall 2020
St. Teresa’s Academy has been eagerly preparing the campus for the return of students in the fall of 2020. Multiple leadership groups and committees have collaborated to address new ways of learning and working at the Academy. The groups worked to analyze the following key issues:
- Identifying important issues related to safe classroom learning
- Determining best technology support and practices
- Reviewing scheduling and continuity plans
- Discussing cultural competency and equity needs
- Assessing lunch and social interactions
- Improving health and well-being services
- Establishing guidelines and protocols for business operations
- Determining campus ministry operations
- Facilitating and maintaining critical sanitizing needs
- Developing and strengthening campus safety operations
- Aligning all efforts with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet mission-based values
In addition, we have consulted with and continue to study guidance from the following resources:
- Jackson County Health Department
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Local architects and risk management advisors
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The Missouri School Board Association (MSBA)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
- The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- School leaders in the Kansas City Independent School Heads Association (KCISHA)
IMMUNOCOMPROMISED AND/OR HEALTH RISK STUDENTS
Parents are asked to update their daughter’s health information by logging into Powerschool and/or contacting STA’s school nurse, Angela Sweeny at firstname.lastname@example.org. Administration, the school nurse, parents and the student will unite to determine appropriate academic accommodations for students identified as being high risk for the COVID-19 virus.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Today’s students face a great deal of uncertainty and stress, and St. Teresa’s is ready to help. Students may have a variety of concerns about issues such as the COVID-19 crisis, racial injustice, depression, broken friendships, and more. The physical, psychological, and emotional health of the STA student body is important. Whether on campus or not, comprehensive school programming plans and personal counseling services are available for all students. The Student Life section of the STA website has detailed information. Parents are encouraged to partner with the Academy as an essential part of the equation in helping your daughter. Daily prayer and a commitment to the spiritual life of students is an integral part of STA’s mission. The St. Teresa’s Academy Campus Ministry department is vital in helping students. A vibrant campus ministry, whether on-campus, in hybrid mode, or through virtual platforms, will be maintained to ensure that there is time for prayer and spiritual growth. In life, there will always be challenges, and the young women at STA will be helped to understand that the Lord will give them the needed strength to face all trials.
The STA community relies on its members to abide by safety and health guidelines to maintain a healthy school environment. Some important guidelines include:
MOBILE APP HEALTH CHECK-IN
All students will be required daily to fill out the online COVID-19 Health Check-in form, which can be found on the STA Mobile Up app. The questionnaire includes seven questions, one being your daughter’s daily temperature reading. The form is to be submitted each day by 8:00 a.m. or prior to any student entering campus. This information will be monitored each morning by the school nurse in an effort to provide all students with a safe and healthy learning atmosphere.
SOCIAL DISTANCING IN SPACES
Classroom seating is adhering to the 6 feet social distancing guidelines; hence, classes with larger enrollments are being placed in auxiliary learning spaces, such as the Commons, Fahey Learning Center, Auditorium, Windmoor Center, and Chapel. Traffic patterns and signage will be in place to provide the best possible solution to social distancing while moving between classes.
USE OF MASKS IN PUBLIC GATHERING SPACES
The coronavirus is spread primarily through person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking. Face coverings and masks will protect people from infection.
SANITIZING AND CLEANING MEASURES
All classrooms will have a sanitizer unit, disinfectant bottle, and paper towels. Per the recommendations from the CDC, handwashing is one of the best means of protection from getting sick. STA’s campus disinfection protocols have been increased to ensure a healthy environment.
The St. Teresa’s Academy administration and faculty are faithful to the STA mission and are committed to delivering a premier, college-preparatory education to students. Plans are ready to adapt to changing circumstances should they arise. Three learning plans have been developed that will be followed based on the conditions at any given time. The goal of each option is that students’ educational experiences will continue with little to no interruptions. The plans include:
St. Teresa’s Academy administration is planning for on-campus school operations in the fall of 2020. Guidelines will be followed that are consistent with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as local, state, and federal authorities. In all campus spaces, protocols have been established to keep individuals at least six feet apart. All community members will be required to wear masks in shared public campus spaces.
COVID-19 exposure and infection information must be reported to the St. Teresa’s Academy school nurse, Angela Sweeny, at email@example.com, or (816) 501-0148.
ADJUSTED CLASS SCHEDULE
Students’ class schedules and student class sizes have been adjusted to support health, wellness, and social distancing. The following outlines the schedule for a regular school day.
ZERO HOUR: MONDAY- FRIDAY, 7:30 - 8:30 A.M.
Zero hour will remain for each of the three modes of learning (Campus, Hybrid, and Virtual) to further support STA’s mission to empower young women and solidify the STA sisterhood.
Zero Hour may be used for a variety of student engagement opportunities, including:
- Club/Class Officer Meetings
- Student Leadership Meetings
- Athletic/Sports Practices
- Club/Class Meetings
- Counselor Programs/Meetings
- Service Opportunities
- Advisory Breakfast Gatherings
- Math Mentoring
- Tutoring Services
- Student Success Center Services
- Prayer and Spiritual Formation
BEFORE/AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Before school supervision is available starting at 6:30 a.m. After school is available until 5:00 p.m. Students that need to arrive prior to the start of school or remain on campus past the dismissal bell are welcome to check in at the Fahey Learning Center. Adult supervision is provided for no fee.
Due to COVID-19, all students must fill out the online student Health Check-in form prior to entering campus.
Schedule Information: From Monday through Friday, students are scheduled to be on campus beginning at 8:30 a.m. and finishing at 3:15 p.m. (traditional calendar plan).
Athletics will be offered in accordance with MSHAA guidelines and requirements.
Campus Ministry, Fahey Learning Center, Star Shop, College Counseling, Math Hub, and the Student Success Center will be open for regular access and services.
GUIDELINES FOR CAMPUS USE
Below are highlights of campus requirements and steps that have been taken to ensure the community’s health and safety.
- Prior to campus arrival, complete the STA Mobile App Health Check-in.
- If ill, students, faculty, staff, and community members must stay home.
- Designated key fobs must be used to allow for touchless entry to buildings.
- Follow marked pathways and signages to reduce congestion.
- Seating in classrooms will be configured to allow for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart.
- Wear face masks in classrooms, hallways, and all common spaces, including restrooms.
- Abide by social distancing practices.
- Use stairways, instead of the elevator, whenever possible.
- Thoroughly wash hands multiple times a day.
- Dining services and the lunch program will be held in classroom advisory groups or outdoor spaces.
- Field trips, assemblies, and other large gatherings will be cancelled or limited.
- Congestion in the health office will be reduced.
- The water fountains will be adjusted, if necessary, to ensure their use is safe.
- Air vents will be cleaned regularly. A biochemist will inspect filters and systems.
- Nonessential visitors will be limited, and all those who enter campus spaces will be required to wear masks.
- Bringing in students from other schools for special programs (e.g., music, robotics, academic clubs) will be limited.
Given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, should the campus population need to be reduced, preparations are ready. Hybrid learning schedules have been developed that create a lower school and upper school framework for students.
Lower school is defined as freshmen and sophomores, while Upper school is comprised of juniors and seniors. Students with overlapping courses will be given the option to attend the class on campus or virtually.
Below is more information and a sample hybrid schedule. In this example, Days 1 and 3 (highlighted and described as “On”) will be held on the STA campus. Days 2 and 4 will be conducted following the same schedule, using live streaming video through Microsoft Teams.
Day 5 (not shown) will be used for student engagement opportunities, both on and off campus. This framework will promote socialization, spiritual growth, and community building.
Last year during virtual learning, one of the special ways students were supported was through the Virtual Angels program. Through this program, caring STA adults reached out to each student to help gauge their well-being.
CLUBS AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Clubs and extracurricular activities will remain a focus for the student body. Performances are scheduled for each semester. Activities may include, but are not limited to:
- Virtual and on-campus clubs
- Affinity group meetings
- Class meetings
- Extracurricular activities
- Social gatherings
- Prayer services
- Math mentoring
- Meetings with teachers/counselors
- Access to the Student Success Center
A seminar period has been scheduled for all classes, ie. Tuesdays - Freshmen/Sophomores, and Thursdays - Juniors/Seniors. These class periods will be instrumental in unifying students, extending social emotional health services and programs, helping freshmen transition to high school, and building sisterhood.
In-person instruction will be provided as much as possible; however, should circumstances warrant campus closure and suspension of campus activities, virtual learning will be offered. The health of the STA community will constantly be assessed, and local and regional COVID-19 infection cases will be monitored.
Should there be a high quantity of active COVID-19 cases confirmed on campus and/or high exposure cases confirmed in Kansas City, classes would pivot to the virtual learning program. The time spent in virtual learning could be two to five days or longer, if needed.
VIRTUAL CLASS SCHEDULE
A sample Lower and Upper school schedule follows. The courses listed will be held using live streaming video through Microsoft Teams each day. Days when the course is not listed would indicate periods during the day where the student is to complete lessons.
Day 5 (not shown) will be used for student engagement opportunities. See the above statements under Hybrid Learning.
St. Teresa’s Academy teachers are equipped with tools to transition seamlessly between Campus (faceto-face), Hybrid, and Virtual learning. Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, extreme measures have been taken to ensure the premier education at STA. Consistency is the key to success across disciplines to encourage flexibility, structure, self-regulation, and accountability between students and teachers. The STA staff and faculty are dedicated to providing a safe and open environment for students to discuss their questions, concerns, and celebrate being together again.
Microsoft Teams will be the central hub of activity with St. Teresa’s. Using this platform, your daughter will have access to shared files, and will be able to complete assignments, participate in virtual classes, and communicate with faculty, staff, and other students.
COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION
- Using the Microsoft Teams platform, teachers and students can communicate one-on-one or in groups.
- Teachers can send messages and announcements to individual students or whole classes at once. Individual users can create private chats with other users.
- With the Channels feature, teachers can create sub-categories within each team for assignment sections, groups, break-out rooms, and focused topics.
- Teachers will be able to conduct live streaming video classes and meetings using built-in video technology called Teams. Live streaming or recording of classes will provide students that are both on and off campus access to the instructor’s lessons.
- Students may participate in live streaming video discussions with Flipgrid, which is also integrated into the platform.
- Teachers can use OneNote Class Notebooks to share notes and files and give feedback to individual students. Notebooks can also be shared between faculty members to collect and curate resources, collaborate and develop new documents, and share professional development materials.
OneNote Class Notebooks have a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities. Assignments and courses may be organized in each student’s own digital notebook. OneNote integrates with Microsoft Teams, making it just a click away for students and instructors.
- Go Beyond Text OneNote can be used to collect and organize a wide range of content, whereas paper notebooks can really only cope with text, drawings and paste-in pictures. OneNote can go further, allowing students to clip content from websites, add audio notes, and link to videos.
- No More Lost Notebooks Paper notebooks not only get bulky once expanded into several volumes, but are also prone to 14 loss and damage. OneNote notebooks are stored in the cloud (in OneDrive) and automatically saved and synchronized, so students can access them on any web-enabled device. Not only can they read or edit notes on the go, but they can work on notes at home then find them waiting when they log in on campus.
- No More Hunting through Notebooks OneNote uses a structure of notebooks, sections, and notes so it is easy to create an organization that works for each student. Instead of spending hours leafing through paper notes, students can use the search function to find an elusive entry.
- Share Notes for Group Work Another useful feature of OneNote is the ability to share notes or notebooks with other people. This could be great for collecting material for a group project.
This technology tool allows teachers to generate online assessments that can be delivered remotely to students. With the Dugga app integration in Microsoft Teams, it is now possible to schedule a test for a class directly from Teams and to add individual students to a test. Additional benefits include:
- Create lessons, assignments and conduct different tests and exams.
- Use essay and auto-correcting question types, such as single-choice questions and multiple choice questions.
- Accessibility tools
- Enables teachers to use the assessment module for the implementation of marking and grading with rubrics.
Edpuzzle is an invaluable flipped classroom tool. Instructors can live-embed Edpuzzle with OneNote to narrate videos, track class comprehension, and engage students in interactive, self-paced learning. Edpuzzle can provide students with a more individualized instructional approach to learning. Formative assessment data received while students view instructional content helps teachers have better conversations with them about their learning.
Movavi Academic provides teachers with a powerful tool for making comprehensive educational videos. STA instructors will enrich the entire learning experience and take the classroom experience to the next level using video editing software.
Google Drive offers a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tools, along with a number of other Google applications. Add in the ability for multiple users to simultaneously edit documents, and you have a real tool for collaboration. Each user can see the colored and labeled cursor of every other user while they work on an essay, a spreadsheet, or a class presentation. Projects ripe for Google Drive might include writing workshops, group projects, class discussions, and peer review. It’s also ideal for teachers to use to give feedback to their students.
Microsoft Teams users can now share and collaborate on files saved in 3rd party storage locations, including Google Drive.
Dr. Siabhan May-Washington, President
Barbara McCormick, Principal for Academic Affairs
Dr. Elizabeth Baker, Principal for Student Affairs
Megan Schaefer, Director of Development & Marketing
Kathy Rohr, Director of Finance
Patty Thompson, Director of Human Resources
Jo Weller, Former Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Mandi Sonnenburg, Director of STEAM Projects and Education
Laura Foley, Board Member
Joe Massman, Board Member
Dr. Marion Spence Pierson, STA Medical Director
Becky Flores, Director of Campus Operations
Angela Sweeny, School Nurse
Ty Abney, Director of Athletics
Debi Hudson, Director of College Counseling
Gil Mont, Operations Manager
Kelly McKee, Director of Recruitment and Enrollment
Bri Walker, Director of Equity and Inclusive Education
Andrea Arredondo, Director of Campus Ministry
Matt Stewart, Technology Coordinator
Jeff Zimmerman, Technology Administrator
Robert Wynn, Security Operations
Laura Snapp, Executive Assistant to the President