MSDA Fall 2020 Reopen Plans

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.

MASKS ARE REQUIRED ON CAMPUS AT ALL TIMES.

Option 1: Blended Learning/Cohort Model 

  • Students will be divided into two cohorts.
  • Students from the same family will attend school on the same day.
  • Cohorts will attend school for full days on either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. On the two of these four days that they do not attend class, students will log into class remotely and participate in ongoing instruction.
  • Wednesday will be an asynchronous learning day.
  • Teachers will leverage technology to deliver some course content asynchronously and will intentionally design synchronous class meetings that foster student engagement and enhance understanding, synthesis, and application of curriculum.
  • This approach combines in-person instruction and digital learning and reduces the number of students on campus and in classrooms at any one time.

Option 2: All-Remote/Distance Learning

  • In accordance with Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement, MSDA will provide an all-remote option for students and families who do not feel comfortable returning to school at this point in time.
  • Students will log in to their classes remotely to participate in synchronous class sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. They will have the same experience as the blended learning cohorts on the days they are logged in remotely.
  • Teachers will provide relevant course materials asynchronously.
  • Teachers will be available for extra help and counselors will provide relevant support and services through online platforms.
  • School events, club meetings and activities will be adapted to the greatest extent possible to remain accessible to students learning from home.
  • Families will be requested to inform us of your all-remote choice in August.

Details:

  • Our young women will be present in school on Monday, September 14 or Tuesday, September 15 for the first day. School hours will be 8 am to 3 pm.
  • Our enhanced technology capabilities and ongoing professional development for faculty will enable the flexibility to deliver a quality education as the year progresses. Our first choice would be everyone back on campus at the same time—without COVID-19! These are unprecedented as well as transformative times for us as an institution and we will take on new forms as we move ahead. We are committed to a process of reflection and growth that incorporates open, respectful dialogue and meaningful partnership with all our constituents as we offer a rigorous, equitable, effective education to all students of Mount St. Dominic Academy.
  • All class periods will be 55 minutes, include a break after periods 1 & 2, and two lunch periods.
  • Lunch news: hot food, sandwiches, smoothies, and salads will be prepared for “grab and go.” More information will follow in the coming weeks.

This information is the start of a month long process of continuing to share information and materials with you. In the meantime, if you wish to contact us, please reach out to Head of School, Sister Fran at fsullivan@msdacademy.org or Dean of Academics, Laura Hollenbaugh at lhollenbaugh@msdacademy.org.