Roanoke Catholic School gives details about what school year will look like in-person

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 9:43 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s no secret that school looks different this year, and as time ticks closer and closer to August 25, things at Roanoke Catholic may look the most normal compared to public schools in Roanoke.

“You know it’s funny, I worked on my summer newsletter for parents, and who would have predicted that on Friday March 13th we would have been out of school for the remainder of the year and be engaged in summer learning for teachers and students and rearranging our campuses for the start of the school year? It’s a new world,” said Principal Patrick Patterson. Patterson has been the principal of the private school for the last ten years.

The “whole new world” will include face masks for all faculty members and students, wellness checks, which include temperature checks, social distancing and staggered dismissal times for class change.

As of now students enrolled in RCS do not have a virtual learning option.

“We really made a commitment to our families, school community, faculty and staff, to be in person, we know that children learn best face to face and by good social distancing, wearing masks, and doing all the things the CDC and the Department of Health has advised that we can operate safely,” said Patterson.

Patterson says the number of students in the building at once will help too. At full capacity the school can hold 650 students, but under CDC guidelines, only 500 will be permitted this year.

As of now enrollment is 370 students, which includes 55 new students. By the first day of school, Patterson says there will be around 400 students.

“My advice to all parents, because I’m a parent myself, is know that your educators, whether you’re in a public or private school, love deeply and care for your children, and they won’t make any decisions that don’t feel are in the best interest of the school community,” said Patterson.

After the school day is done, there will not be sports practice. While the Diocese of Richmond, which covers 23 schools from Tidewater to Bristol, has not made an official announcement, RCS went with the decision that public schools are abiding by.

Rooms have also changed. Desks are spread out, and a teacher lounge will be converted to the nurses office, while the nurses’ office will serve as a designated isolation room, if any student of faculty member has covid symptoms throughout the day.

If RCS has a case, that information will be reported directly to the Virginia Department of Health and administrators will receive guidance on next steps from VDH.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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