2 Cape Cod Catholic schools plan to open with in-person classes
HYANNIS, Mass. — The classrooms at St. John Paul II High School in Hyannis are quiet right now, but they won’t be in a few weeks.
“We are confident in our plan to bring our students back to school safely and responsibly,” said Principal Mona Lisa Valentino.
Her school and its sister school, St. Francis Xavier Prep, which share a campus, are both planning on a full, five-day week of in-person reopening.
“Our students are excited to be back in front of their teachers. We’re a close-knit community and, overall, we’ve been communicating with our parents weekly and the response has been very positive,” Valentino said.
The Catholic high school and middle schools have 475 students in grades five through 12. Christopher Keavy is the president of both schools. He said they can reopen in-person since they have a manageable enrollment and the luxury of plenty of space. Students in each classroom will be placed at least five feet apart and will be able to safely socially distance.
“It was a difficult decision because we didn’t want to flirt with an unsafe scenario, but I’m pleased to say we’re comfortable within the guidelines,” Keavy said.
To get students up to speed on their expectations and guidelines for when they return to class, such as one-way hallways and staggered lockers, the school held a student orientation on Wednesday.
“It’s thrilling because we understand how much our students want to be back in school and how important it is to have that social interaction, although safely,” Valentino said.
The schools said families have the option to start learning remotely if they wish. If they change their mind after starting in-person, they’re welcome to switch to remote learning