MSDA Fall 2020 Reopen Plans

September 4, 2020

We are getting ready! Last minute details are going into place, all for the days we have been waiting for—the return to school. The faculty will be at the Mount the week of September 8 for four days of preparation, working on state of the art technology to enable live streaming, keeping the class together whether in school or at home. New faces are among our faculty, our Dean of Academics and English teacher. The class of 2024 and our transfer students will join us on Thursday, September 10 for Orientation.

A NEW password protected section of the website has been created to assist in keeping important information accessible for all members of the current Mount community. The Portal will still be used for student class and grade information, but the new MyMSDA will provide a hub for Community Connections, academic updates, COVID health procedures, calendar links, and much more. A link is available to our new food service, Dining Partnership Group (DPG,) who will be providing contactless grab-n-go lunch service. Dates for college counseling events are viewable as well.

As always, a few reminders -- every student needs technology access each day, internet connection for Zoom meetings, and earbuds with a designated device. If a student is in need of a device, please let us know. Cohort III - Remote Learning students will need to pickup textbooks before school. Details are found in MyMSDA. Please remember to check your daughter’s temperature, review the symptom list, use the Magnus app, and send before 7:30 am each day. Failure to complete this information will result in a student being sent home. Masks will be worn at all times, with the exception of lunch. Again, if this regulation is not followed, a student will be sent home.

As always, if there's any questions, please email Laura Hollenbaugh, Dean of Academics, or Head of School Sister Fran Sullivan, OP


August 21, 2020

It is hard to believe that we are in the final weeks of summer. These months have felt quite different than what we’d typically expect or experience, and it's likely that the feelings are the same thing about the start of the next academic year. We find ourselves simultaneously eager and anxious about the upcoming year. When we come together on campus, something we’ve looked forward to for months, we will wear masks and move through our spaces in new ways, reading signs and following arrows and keeping distance between ourselves. We will develop new ways to communicate and express our enthusiasm, since the days of high fives and fist bumps and hugs are gone, at least for now. (But have you noticed how much you can learn from a person’s eyes?) Life at the Mount will look and feel different, but let’s not forget that at our core, we are still the same community. We have chosen this place intentionally, and despite the many changes, we hold firm to our values and the MSDA mission of seeking Truth in all aspects of life and empowering young women to realize their gifts and talents.

Following are several updates, resources, and suggestions that you may find helpful. There will of course be more detailed information to come as the start of the school year draws near.

Academic and Start of School Information


In closing, we hope it is readily apparent by now that as a team of educators, we are sensitive to the challenges that persist and the additional adjustments we will need to continue to make as a community. There will be a learning curve for all of us, for sure. We may hit bumps in the road, and we may need to pivot. Knowing this, we must commit to a practice of ongoing reflection, both personally and institutionally, and work together to navigate what comes our way this year. Yet despite the complexity and uncertainty, we are excited! We look forward to seeing our students’ smiling eyes, and hearing their voices and laughter, and witnessing their commitment to their sisters and their community. Thank you, parents, for partnering with us and sharing your daughters with us.


August 14, 2020

The following provides an overview of the steps taken to reopen Mount St. Dominic Academy in a responsible manner that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of all community members. The school’s COVID-19 Reopening Task Force developed these response protocols through a process of collaboration, with vested stakeholders and physicians within the community. Following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the New Jersey Governor’s Office, our primary focus is to mitigate the risk of virus transmission and foster an effective and equitable learning environment. While we cannot guarantee that all risk of coronavirus transmission will be eliminated, we have established guidelines and policies to help mitigate risk to the greatest extent possible. 

We view parents as essential partners in this responsible school reopening process, and ask that families enforce social distancing and other appropriate COVID-19 response guidelines during non-school hours. 

Mount St. Dominic Academy will periodically review its COVID-19 response protocols and reserves the right to edit its policies and practices as Governor Phil Murphy’s Office and the Departments of Health and Education issue updated guidelines and recommendations.

Procedures & Important Information

August 7, 2020

One of our core values at the Mount is community. In these days of Blended/Hybrid and Remote Learning, it is difficult to work with and hold onto the community experience. We all know the social interaction or rather the lack of, brought about with COVID-19, is especially hard for our young women. Keeping this in mind, as we created the schedule for the opening of our year, see the following specifics:

July 31, 2020


Mount St. Dominic Academy has been actively planning for the return of our strong, resilient, young women in September 2020. After exploring multiple options, working with our Reopen Task Force and reviewing survey results, we have determined the safest and most appropriate path forward for our community is the Blended Learning/Cohort Model. We will also offer an All-Remote/Distance Leaning Model for students or families who do not feel comfortable returning to school at this point. The Mount is also always aware that the Governor’s office could determine a change in our plans.