For Release: Joliet Catholic Academy Return to School Plan

Dear JCA Families, 

On June 13, 2020 the JCA Administration announced our commitment to resume on-campus classes for the 2020-2021 school year beginning this fall in August, while keeping the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff as our top priority. The JCA Administration along with the newly created Re-Opening Task Force has looked at various areas of the campus and school building to determine the safest and most efficient means of operation in accordance with governmental guidelines. The steering committee of the task force sub-committees concerning Health and Wellness, Building, Schedule, Athletics/Activities, and Curriculum and Technology have all met to address the needs of our school community.

Several JCA parents, faculty, and staff members have participated in our Steering Committee and Task Force Sub-Committee meetings. JCA has also adhered to protocols set by the Diocese of Joliet, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) regarding returning to school.

The input from our stakeholders and steering committees has led us to announce we will resume on-campus classes with an 80/20 Hybrid Learning model. 80% of learning will occur in person and on campus, while 20% (or one day per week) will occur at home through “LIVE” E-Learning. On E-Learning days, staff and students will participate in “live” classes on a regular, full-day schedule. Health and safety protocols will also be ensured by cleaning and disinfecting the entire building on E-Learning days.

On Monday, July 6, JCA Athletic teams resumed summer practices/camps in accordance with the IDPH and IHSA’s Phase 4 plan. The complete plan for the resumption of on-campus athletics can be found under the preceding link. 

Returning to school, much like returning to on campus athletics this summer, will include daily temperature checks, wearing of masks indoors, and certification of having no COVID-19 symptoms for both staff and students. All plans and protocols adhere to ISBE, IDPH and CDC directives on returning to school. These plans are subject to change due to the flexible nature of COVID-19.

Results of JCA’s Recent Return to School Parent Survey

JCA recently sent a survey to all current parents on spring E-Learning and returning to school this fall. Of 361 total respondents, 81% of JCA parents rated their students’ spring E-Learning experience as Good, Very Good, or Excellent.  

  • 72% of respondents Agreed or Strongly Agreed with a return to full-time traditional school with health and safety measures put in place. 11% Neither Agreed or Disagreed.
  • 57% of respondents Agreed or Strongly Agreed with students having a blended/hybrid approach to traditional in person learning and at home E-Learning. 19% Neither Agreed or Disagreed.
  • 93% of families were either somewhat likely or very likely to have their students return to school this fall.
  • 93% of respondents agreed with daily temperature checks; 100% agreed with hand washing; 69% agreed with modified access to restrooms; 76% agreed with daily IDPH self-assessment questions; and 83% agreed with restructured lunchroom protocols to decrease cafeteria population.

Please know that this is the first layer of information and it is subject to change.  Please expect additional information by the beginning of August. We are submitting our detailed plan to the Diocese of Joliet and local health officials. Once approved, this plan will be shared with all of our stakeholders. It is our hope that you are patient, but there are a few pieces that we are committed to:  

  1. Providing education to your child five days a week, with graded work.
  2. Limiting your child’s interactions with other students as much as possible, while balancing the learning process.
  3. Providing quality virtual options with “Live” E-Learning one day per week. We will continue to remain prepared in the event we are forced to shift to E-Learning full time.
  4. Support mental and emotional wellness through staff and resources.
  5. Provide education pieces for our staff, parents, and students.
  6. Continue to provide a community of Faith to support our students and the JCA community.

Thank you for your support of Joliet Catholic Academy. We intend to continue improving the support that we offer through this pandemic experience.  I am confident that if we stay focused on our faith, our relationship with Christ, and are mindful of each other we will get through this and become a better school and community.

Blessings, 

Dr. Jeffrey Budz

 

 

 

JCA President/Principal


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