Week at a Glance

Marian Central Catholic High School Faculty Newsletter

NOW PUBLISHED EVERY TWO WEEKS

September 6, 2020

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Hope you take some time to rest and recharge!


Reflecting on the past two weeks...


We had a great first two weeks of school with all students in-person... our procedures seemed to be effective, including temperature taking, keeping the halls moving and students' social distancing, and setting up the classrooms with the minimal amount of desks possible. Unfortunately, although we only had a couple of Positive Covid-19 cases identified, it was the "close contact" issue that caused us to go remote from Sept. 2 through Sept. 11 while we revisit where the issues are.


We hope that with the prompt pivot we had to make from in-person to fully remote, giving teachers Tuesday, Sept. 1 as a day to regroup helped teachers to adjust to temporarily moving to remote teaching.


During the past week, as teachers have been remote teaching, administration as been reviewing where changes can be made so that if we do have a positive Covid-19 case, it will not cause such a large number of "close contacts." This forced us to rethink how to ensure that desks and students are at least 6 ft apart in ALL classes at ALL times. With limited classrooms and teachers with full schedules, we had to think outside of the box. This is how we came up with our two-team rotation that will be implemented beginning Sept. 14 when students return from remote learning. Please read more detailed information on this process in the section below.


Thanks to PE, Gov. & Econ Teachers!

A quick shout out to our PE, Government, and Economics teachers who made sure all students participated in our annual Bus Evacuation Drill on August 25.



What's coming up?


The upcoming week (Sept. 8-11) will continue to be remote for all students. Beginning the week of Sept. 14, we will begin the Two-Team Rotation Procedure that will allow us to provide in-person learning while also allowing for social distancing within ALL classrooms. Please see the more detailed information in the section below.


Mentor Homeroom ~ Virtual

Although a mentor homeroom was scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, Mrs. Littner has done a great job to change this to a virtual event, so 9-9 will be a regular bell schedule. Instead, the Student Mentors will be scheduling a virtual meeting with their mentees Thursday and Friday after school... still covering key issues that we know will help our freshmen succeed! These topics include icebreaker activities, discussions, and resource sharing to ensure that our freshmen know where to go for help, how to monitor grades, etc.


Homecoming... adjusted

As you might have noticed, the week of Sept. 14 was supposed to be Homecoming Week. Obviously, with the postponement of the football season to spring, we knew that this would not look the same, but we were still hoping to have some sort of celebration, still preserving a Homecoming-type court, King, & Queen. Since that week will be the first week we are back in person, we are pushing off the week until October. In the meantime, we are encouraging our seniors to apply for the Student Council's Executive Board. Once we secure the Board, they will be engaged in brainstorming on how to still have a Homecoming-type celebration and festivities. Stay tuned!


Senior Portraits... adjusted

Yes, this too needs some adjusting for a few reasons.

1) We will need to ensure social distancing so our usual timeframe will need to get spread out,

2) Now that we will be on a two-team rotation for in-person learning, we will need at least two senior girl days and two senior boy days, and

3) We need to accommodate our senior full-remote learners so they can come into the school to take their portrait while the rest of the student body is not at school.

Our deans are working with our new photographer to make arrangements. Once this is determined, we will push out the new schedule to the families and staff.


Have a great couple of weeks!

Two-Team Rotation ~ New Academic Delivery Procedure beginning September 14, 2020

Starting Monday, September 14, we will begin our Two-Team Rotation for Academic Delivery.


WHY?

- Desks in most classes are not and cannot be set at least 6 ft apart given the class sizes of many of the classrooms

- Because the desks are not at least 6 feet apart, when a student is identified as Covid-19 positive, there are, inevitably, 6-8 students PER PERIOD that are considered "close contact" and would need to be quarantined.

- One student's close contacts could cause between 36 - 48 students out for 14 days.


How Were the Groups Determined?

- First, we attempted to keep all students enrolled in classes that were smaller than 10 students together, so they were put into either all red or all blue (as much as possible), including keeping all Band students or Choir students in one group.

- Once some students started being placed into either the red or blue team from the smaller classes, the focus was put on splitting the largest classes as evenly as possible.

- As classes were "split," key considerations included the balance of boy vs girls and making sure that teams within each class were not TOO unbalanced (ie: 3 red and 24 blue).

- All siblings are placed on the same team.

- Ultimately, classes will be no larger than 16 students.

**Click here for the rotation schedule for red/blue days.


What's next?

- Desks will be removed to allow classrooms to be reconfigured, keeping desks at least 6 ft apart.

- Families will be notified of this change early in the week of Sept. 7, including letting them know which "team" (red or blue) they would be on.

- Our office will be working this week to mark students as "Remote," "Red," or "Blue." You will be able to see this in your gradebook where you previously identified which students were remote. This category will now be labeled "Team."

- Starting Monday, Sept. 14, the "Red" team of students will be at school, receiving in-person instruction, while the "Blue" team & your full remote learners will be remote learning from home.

- Team rotation will be on a daily basis (see attached schedule).

- ALL noon dismissals will be YOUR time to work individually or with your PLCs to make necessary curricular adjustments.


Attendance

**Daily attendance for both teams will continue to be expected. You are also going to have to create & submit to the office new seating charts once you re-seat your students the week of Sept. 14. If you need any ideas about how to manage taking attendance efficiently so little instructional time is lost, feel free to reach out to your colleagues or Administration.


Things to still be determined

- We are still deciding how we might be dealing with Semester Exams if we are still on the Two-Team rotation then.

- What Late Starts will look like.

- How to best schedule virtual conferences.

- What 8th Grade Visit might look like.


Resources & Ideas

We know that teaching with about half of your students in-person and half remote poses some unique challenges. Please know that we trust that you are the experts in your field. You know the content, including what key standards must be taught in order for the students to successfully complete the courses you teach. That being said, please know that you have the autonomy to determine how you set up your instruction with this two-team model.

- You may just continue to teach daily as if all students were in the classroom, and just looping the remote learners in through your video conferencing platform.

- You may determine that it may be more beneficial to plan in two-day increments, identifying which work can be done independently (remote learners) and which work requires hands-on or face-to-face engagement (your in-person learners) and divide the work accordingly.

- You may determine a combination of both approaches, based on the content and activities.

-You may find yet another way to approach this all together.

All approaches are going to be effective, as long as you continue to plan with the focus on the key objectives, always focusing on the end result.


As you know, many times our colleagues are our best resources for ideas. Don't hesitate to brainstorm with your colleagues (either within or outside your PLC team) or administration. I have also attached some articles I found that might help.


How to Make Lessons Cohesive When Teaching Both Remote and In-Person Classes

How to Balance In-Person and Remote Instruction

How to Plan for Hybrid Teaching and Learning


LearnAway—University of Illinois

The University of Illinois has created a website dedicated to providing information for teachers utilizing remote instruction. You can find the website and resources by clicking here.

Back to School Night ~ VIRTUAL

We are just about set to debut our first-ever Virtual Back to School Night.

We are still missing a few video submissions. If you have not yet shared your course videos to Mrs. DiSilvio, please do so asap.

Click here to review the powerpoint on how to do this.


**Don't forget... when sharing it with Mrs. DiSIlvio, make sure you apply "Anyone with the Link" when sharing.


If you need one-on-one assistance, feel free to reach out to any of the Administrative team!

Emergency Drills

As you know, the Deans recently sent an email out temporarily postponing the school's emergency drills until further notice.


ISBE requires that if a school has any in-person learning, the school is still held to the yearly expectations of all emergency drills. Therefore, the Deans are now working to reconfigure the emergency drills schedule, especially given our new "team" configuration for delivering both remote and in-person instruction.


Once they have developed the new schedule, you will be informed. Thank you for continuing to keep our students safe!

Outside Visitors

A quick reminder that all Diocesan schools are required to limit any visitors to the schools at this time. If you need to communicate with parents or others who are not staff or students, please utilize emails, phone calls, and video conferencing tools to meet.

If a meeting is required for a sensitive or personal topic regarding our students, please discuss it with someone from the administration before setting up a meeting.

Thank you for keeping our Marian family safe!!

TECHNOLOGY CORNER

Having Trouble Getting Used to Outlook Email?

If you are not sure how to attach a document, send an email using blind CC, or any other procedures using our new Outlook email system? Feel free to reach out to anyone on the Administration team or Mrs. Houk, and we will be happy to sit with you one-on-one to ensure that you feel comfortable using Outlook!


Why Technology is Important in the Classroom

Click here for a great video that speaks to the importance of educators embracing technology use in the classroom.


Remember that you've got DYKNOW!

DyKnow is our Classroom Management Software that will give you, the teacher, the ability to see what websites/apps each of your students is on in real-time! Not only that, but you will be able to redirect them with a message, lock them out, collect data of off-task behavior and more!

If you need more information on how to use this tool, check out this quick how-to video!

The Next Two Weeks' Schedule

As you work through your plans this week, please note these events. For a more detailed list, check out our school calendar, 8to18 Athletics Calendar or Clubs/Organizations Page


Monday, September 7, 2020

LABOR DAY: NO SCHOOL


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

REMOTE LEARNING


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

REMOTE LEARNING


Thursday, September 10, 2020

REMOTE LEARNING

3 - 5 pm ~ Mentor Homeroom, Virtual


Friday, September 11, 2020

REMOTE LEARNING

3 - 5 pm ~ Mentor Homeroom, Virtual


_______________________________________________________


Monday, September 14, 2020

RED Day

2:40 pm ~ Confessions, Chapel

3:00 pm ~ Mass, Chapel


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

BLUE Day

2:40 pm ~ Confessions, Chapel

3:00 pm ~ Mass, Chapel


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

RED Day

NOON DISMISSAL ~ Schedule #6


Thursday, September 17, 2020

BLUE Day: SPIRIT Dress Down Day

Lunches ~ Adoration, Chapel

2:40 pm ~ Confessions, Chapel


Friday, September 18, 2020

RED Day: SPIRIT Dress Down Day

2:40 pm ~ Confessions, Chapel

Happy Birthday to...

September 7 Lori Hirsch

September 19 Jim Stamatakos