With our city currently in Phase 2, Brother Martin High School is continuing its efforts to reopen in August of 2020. We wanted to update you on these latest efforts following the most recent guidance from the Louisiana State Department of Education and our ongoing collaboration with the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Province of the United States and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Based on this most recent guidance, we do expect to return to school in August at full capacity with a number of modifications throughout campus as long as the city of New Orleans is in Phase 2 or Phase 3. At this time, we have modified the original 2020-2021 school calendar slightly. Orientation will now take place over three days from Wednesday, August 12 - Friday, August 14; 8th & 9th graders’ first day of classes is now Monday, August 17; and the first day of classes for all grade levels is now Tuesday, August 18.
The following non-negotiable guidelines will be in effect indefinitely when we return to campus:
In the event that a student, faculty, or staff member contracts COVID-19, that individual will be quarantined for 14 days, and all learning and instruction for that student or faculty member will transition to remote learning. Faculty on campus will substitute for the teacher of record and assist in facilitating learning in collaboration with the teacher of record and the department chair in the event that the teacher cannot perform his or her normal instruction while ill. Public health officials will conduct contact tracing and notify additional families who may need to be aware that their son has come in contact with someone who has contracted the virus. Brother Martin High School will be working with the Children’s Hospital Region 1 Medical Director to determine any additional steps that need to be taken, which, if any, other individuals need to quarantine, and when an outbreak occurs that may result in transitioning a specific group of students or faculty or the entire school to Remote Learning. In accordance with Louisiana Department of Health Reopening Guidelines for Schools, individuals who were in close contact with an infected student or faculty member may be identified and contacted as part of the Office of Public Health (OPH) contact tracing process. Close contact is defined as a person who was less than six feet away from the infected student for more than 15 minutes, as determined by the OPH contact tracing process. Individuals identified as close contacts will be asked to stay home and monitor symptoms for 14 days. If the school environment is determined to be a source of ongoing COVID-19 spread, we may have to transition to Remote Learning or Hybrid Learning for a span of 3-5 days.
Additionally, we will continue our partnership with Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, including having the presence of two athletic trainers on campus during the school day.
Other modifications regarding food services, arrival and dismissal protocols, traffic flow patterns during class transitions, daily/class-time schedules, other PPE, and programs involving high degrees of interaction are forthcoming. You will also receive a detailed “BMHS Reopening & Pandemic Response Guide” before the end of the summer. In the event that we have to transition from normal school operations at full capacity at some point this school year, we are also finalizing our Hybrid Learning Plan, which will involve an alternating schedule with students separated into two separate cohorts; and we are fine-tuning our Remote Learning Plan based on feedback from all constituents. However, we do plan to open at full capacity as of this email.
We are confident that all of the efforts that we have outlined above will allow us to open school safely in the fall as well as transition from one learning plan to another should the need arise. As has been the case since March, this situation is constantly evolving and will continue to affect our plans, especially once we return to campus and experience the impact of this virus on our school community.
We will continue to keep you updated as guidance and planning warrants. Thank you for your continued partnership, your trust in Brother Martin High School, your patience through this difficult time, and mostly, for entrusting your sons to our care.
Your partners in Mission,
Ryan Gallagher '00
Greg Rando '77