JULY 20: RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN
Dear Parents and School Community Members,
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
– Mother Teresa
These words from Mother Teresa reflect the journey we are about to embark. I could not have been more proud of how our students, teachers and staff members handled the adjustments and sacrifices that were made along the route that led to a successful end of the last school year. Certainly, we would love to know what the next few months will bring, but COVID-19 has taught us the importance of living in the present.
Distance Learning filled a void when we could not return to school in the spring, but we all felt the loss of in-class instruction. As we begin the 2020-21 school year, it will be imperative everyone who enters our building each day follows the guidelines outlined in the Return to School plan. Managing the health and wellness of each person will be of primary importance if we are able to continue in-class instruction throughout the school year. Based on the adjustments made last spring, I have great confidence that we can manage the changes we will encounter when school begins and throughout the school year. Thank you for believing in and supporting the mission of our school.
Yours in Christ,
Principal + President
JUNE 12: UPDATE FROM MR. MORTON
Dear Irish Community,
Under my direction, the Strategic Plan for Return to School on August 12 has begun in earnest. Along with Dr. Diane Floyd, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, there is a commitment to make the 2020-21 school year a wonderful and life-changing experience for our students, as well as their families. Our goal is to return to a face-to-face experience, where the love and message of Christ can be shared in the safety of our school.
Our mission – to be a person for others – has been the guiding light for students at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School for decades. As we prepare to reopen school on August 12, never in the school’s history has that phrase carried such weight. The return to traditional school, the center of the Bishop McGuinness experience, will require and challenge all students, faculty, staff and parents to be a person for others as we navigate new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe, and most importantly, the school open.
Our top priority is ensuring the safety of everyone in the school. These four recommendations, recognized and affirmed by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, will serve as the foundation to reopening.
- Social Distancing
- Health and Hygiene
While these foundations will allow us to open the school building, we want to ensure the transition is a success. We know students are ready to learn in a familiar environment again, but will need to be flexible with the small, but necessary, changes being made in these six cornerstone areas:
- Spiritual Guidance
- Social and Emotional Care
- Extracurricular Activities
- School Community
- Data Driven Decisions
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more information about the policies, procedures and expectations that will be in place to return to school. The plan is being developed under the guidance of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, public health officials, and the State and Federal guidelines. We are also consulting with public and private institutions. We too are having open discussions and reviewing the plan within multiple committees – Archdiocesan Administrators, the Bishop McGuinness Administration Team, Faculty and Staff, School Safety and Maintenance, Parent and Community, and Students – to create a Strategic Plan that is considerate of all students and families.
While we do not know what the coming months will bring, I want to assure you that Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School is dedicated to providing an education that matters, in all circumstances.
Yours in Christ,
JUNE 5: MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT, DR. DIANE FLOYD
Dear Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Catholic school families,
It is my sincere hope that this communication finds you and your families safe and in good health.
Whether we were gathered together in virtual classrooms or participating in a live-stream school Mass, the past months have proven our Catholic schools can deliver quality learning and faith formation even in a temporary virtual world.
The key word here is “temporary.” While we are immersed in the present moment with all its challenges, frustrations, worries and doubts, we need to remind ourselves that this will not last forever. As we enter the summer, our state is easing its large gathering restrictions for essential services, and with that, our Catholic schools are preparing to open as scheduled this fall.
Our plan is to have on-site school as long as public health officials deem it safe to do so. Toward that end, following the guidance of public health officials, our schools are working to implement appropriate health and safety measures. Our schools also are working on contingency plans should the health crisis require it. The contingencies include blended learning, distance learning, and alternate school calendars.
We understand that families want to know as soon as possible what next year will look like. Your school will share more detailed information as soon as they can.
As this most extraordinary school year comes to a close, we’ve witnessed equally extraordinary commitment on the part of our Catholic schools and Catholic school families to ensure the continuation of faith and learning for our children despite a shutdown. To our students, parents, teachers, administrators and pastors, thank you for your patience and commitment to Catholic education and for being the “Church” during this pandemic.
We promise to keep you informed as these plans evolve.
May Christ, the Good Shepherd, continue to protect you and your family.
Diane Floyd, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
MARCH 19: UPDATE FROM MR. MORTON
We are committed to helping reduce community spread through social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis. We wish to share with you our plan moving forward.
The safety and wellbeing of our students and employees are our utmost priority.
Please see the information below and know that we will continue to work with the Oklahoma City Health Department and consult with the most up-to-date CDC recommendations regarding school safety.
Bishop McGuinness will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation and provide further updates as information becomes available. Also, please see the memo from the Catholic School Office of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Campus Closure: The Bishop McGuinness school campus will be closed to the public for all non-essential activities, effective March 17, until further notice. Families should be prepared for longer closings at this time. All buildings and gates will be locked. If there is a need to access our campus please contact the school office at 405-842-6638.
Academics: The school will initiate Distance Learning for all students on Tuesday, March 24, until further notice. Parents, guardians and students should be attentive to guidance from the school through emails. Bishop McGuinness will work to respect student learning needs during this extraordinary time.
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities: All school athletic and extracurricular programs will follow OSSAA Dead Period procedures. Students should not be in any school facilities during this time of closure.
Meetings: All meetings or gatherings related directly to the mission of the school must be canceled until further notice.
MARCH 31: MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT, DR. DIANE FLOYD
Dear Catholic School Families,
During this time of quarantine, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City will continue to serve our students and families.
On March 16, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City made the difficult decision to close the physical locations of all archdiocesan schools through April 5, 2020. During the week of March 23, Gov. Stitt and several city mayors ordered a mandatory shelter-in-place. Due to this new order, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is extending the closure of our physical locations until further notice. We will reconvene in-person once the restrictions are lifted and it is safe to gather. Rest assured we will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and communicate with you regularly.
It is in our students’ best interest to continue learning and developing skills remotely. Therefore, until it is safe to meet in person, we will deliver course content through the archdiocesan distance learning protocol currently underway for our high school students and, beginning this week, for our PK-8 schools.
The Catholic Schools Office is working closely with principals to ensure that schools are prepared to maintain learning by providing resources for online and distance learning. School staff will work daily to ensure your students are receiving the best instruction.
As our schools continue to provide instruction and assessment, the expectation is that families will continue to pay remaining tuition. If your family is experiencing extraordinary financial circumstances related to COVID-19, it is important to communicate with your school.
I thank all our administrators, teachers, parents and students for their resiliency and dedication given this developing situation. If you have any questions or concerns about the distance learning format, community assistance or any other issue, please reach out to your principals, teachers and local school community.
As we proceed, we are aware there are concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure families that we are monitoring all announcements from local, state and federal officials for updates and guidance. For the latest information on COVID-19, families are encouraged to visit our archdiocesan webpage, their local county health department website and the website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Please continue to pray for all those affected by this situation, especially for the sick, health care providers, public health officials, the unemployed and all community leaders. Through prayer, we also entrust to God our school communities as we share Mary’s conviction: “Nothing will be impossible for God” (Luke 1:37). You are in my prayers daily.
Diane Floyd, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools