When Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all schools closed in March, Sacred Heart School Principal Kristina Relihan had a remote-learning plan in operation within two weeks and the well-administered academic process continued successfully through the end of the school year.
Sacred Heart returned to full, in-classroom learning in September.
“We’re happy to be back in person everyday with our scholars,” said Relihan, who is in her third year as principal at the well-known Catholic school in Lynn. “We do have some families who have chosen to keep their scholars remote, but we just updated technology to ensure that scholars can Zoom in to the classroom or be in person in the classroom.”
The health of the Sacred Heart community is supreme, aided by the installation of hand-washing stations in every classroom and multiple hand-sanitizing stations throughout the school, along with updated cleaning protocols.
Sacred Heart, a sister school of St. Mary’s Middle and High School, has students ranging from its youngest class at 2 years, 9 months, to pre-K and Kindergarten, and all the way up to grade five.
“Even the little ones keep their masks on,” said Relihan.
During lunchtime, scholars are socially distanced six feet apart at tables in the large school gymnasium. Students in the early childhood program have lunch in a socially distanced arrangement in their classrooms.
Sacred Heart School has an excellent teacher-to-student ratio that has been lauded by parents. There are 23 members of the faculty educating the school’s 190 students.
“Our enrollment has stayed about the same,” said Relihan. “I think COVID-19 definitely limited our capacity in classrooms because of socially distancing and making sure that we’re adhering to the six-foot rule between desks and between children and that there’s enough space for everyone to safely to be in the classroom.
“But looking to the future, we hope to see the expansion of early childhood and expansion of grades 1-5 – just continuing to offer a great education at Sacred Heart,” added Relihan.
Relihan, a dynamic, hands-on administrator who holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Wheelock College, is excited about Sacred Heart’s educational partnership with St. Mary’s of Lynn, which is led by St. Mary’s Head of School Dr. John Dolan.
“It’s going really well – we are a 2.9 (years) to grade 12 continuum, which is something that is not seen in many Catholic schools today, so it’s exciting to be a part of it,” said Relihan.
The principal said the transition to the new learning environment at Sacred Heart has been made possible by a professional and cooperative faculty.
“Our teachers are truly rock stars,” said Relihan. “They come to school every day and have passion to do this work. Everyone here is amazing. We all work together and make it through each day.”
Relihan commended George Sonia and his staff at Lancelot for their diligent efforts in keeping the school clean.
Addressing the trying times in elementary school education caused by the coronavirus, Relihan said, “I’m very positive in a not-so-known time. I think what we’re offering here at Sacred Heart is positivity and reinforcement that we can be in school and learn every day in person.”
If you’re interested in enrolling at Sacred Heart for the 2021-2022 school year please visit our website https://www.sacredheartschoollynn.org and schedule a Tour Tuesday today.