WESTFIELD – St. Mary’s Parish School will open this fall with a plan to keep students and staff safe and maximize in-person instruction.
St. Mary’s High School Principal Matthew Collins said continuing learning in-person was paramount when discussing how to proceed this fall.
“I feel it’s important to have students in-person for learning because of the relationships they have built with their teachers. Face to face learning allows student to ask the important questions they may not otherwise ask when remote learning,” said Collins.
In a press release, the Diocese stressed the importance of keeping students safe and the plan in place “guarantees our families the excellence they deserve. We believe keeping schools physically open as much as possible supports students and parents, provides consistent schedules, maximizes the highest quality instruction, and delivers a program that ensures our students holistic progress.”
Collins said when the buildings closed this past March, the Parish schools, including the high school and elementary and middle school grades, immediately began remote learning, with the high school keeping its daily class schedule to engage students as much as possible.
“At St. Mary’s, the remote learning over the past couple of months went very well. The students started learning in the remote classroom the day after the school closed due to COVID-19. Both the students and the teachers did an amazing job, but it certainly could never replace in-person learning.,” Collins said.
According to the release, employees, students, parents and visitors will be required to follow all recommendations for social distancing, sanitization, and necessary personal protective equipment, when in the classroom, and on school grounds. All recommendations will be clearly communicated with parents and the community prior to the start of school. It is the intent of the administrators and staff of St. Mary’s Parish School to keep all students, staff, parents and visitors safe at all times.
St. Mary’s Parish School is in the process of forming a Covid-19 Response Team. This team will be responsible for identifying:
- Passing Protocols for hallway safety
- Entry and Exit Protocols
- Drop Off and Pick Up Protocols
- Facility Preparation and Cleaning Protocols
- Hygiene Protocols
- Professional Development Plans for teaching and staff trainingTeaching and Learning Standards
- Remote Learning Protocols and Plans in the event remote learning is required or desired
- Mass and Liturgical Celebration Protocols
The Covid-19 Response Team will be composed of St. Mary’s administrators, faculty/staff members, custodians, parents and the school nurse.
St. Mary’s Parish School is a Roman Catholic educational community serving students from preschool through grade 12. We strive to develop spiritual growth, academic success,
character and integrity in all students. Guided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and supported by families we provide a quality Catholic education, where students of all faiths are welcome and are challenged to reach their highest potential and are inspired to embrace a life of service for God and neighbor. At St. Mary’s we believe we can best do this by providing full time, 5 days per week, in-person education in our buildings when we reopen for the 2020/2021 school year.
The administrators and staff of St. Mary’s Parish School are looking forward to welcoming back our currently enrolled students and look forward to seeing many new faces this upcoming year.
Collins said the high school will move forward with its new university schedule, which was announced last fall.
“The St. Mary’s High School staff also looks forward to the newly developed curriculum and university schedule with a focus on the humanities,” stated Collins.
While space is limited, applications are being accepted. Contact the Office of Admissions at 413.568.5692 or visit www.STMSaints.org for additional information on enrollment in classes from preschool through grade 12.