While the 2020-2021 school year has looked a lot different for students and staff at East Boston Central Catholic School (EBCCS) due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Principal Robert Casaletto said the reopening plan at Eastie’s remaining Parochial School has been smooth as can be.
EBCCS kicked off the school year in September with ‘in-person’ learning for some students and ‘remote’ learning for others but recently switched to ‘hybrid’ learning.
“Everything has been going really well at EBCCS,” said Casaletto. “We have had our PreSchool and Kindergarten students in five days per week since September and we just transitioned grades 1-8 to hybrid learning when we returned from Christmas break. That is going very well so far.”
Casaletto said EBCCS’s hybrid schedule offers two days per week of in-person learning and three days of remote learning for all students.
“Group A has in-person learning on Monday-Tuesday, all students are remote on Wednesday, and then Group B has in-person learning on Thursday- Friday,” said Casaletto. “Our students have been fully engaged on their remote learning days and times, and we are not noticing any learning loss or feelings of isolation. In fact, when given the option to return to in-person learning, many of our families elected to remain fully remote because they are happy with both the teaching and learning that has occurred so far this year during our fully remote days.”
EBCCS has added some additional safety precautions for the 2020-2021 school year like staggering arrival and dismissal times to limit the gathering size outside the school.
“We also added sinks and air purifiers to every classroom,” said Casaletto. “Each student has their own individual desk sneeze guard, individual sanitizer provided by East Boston Savings Bank, the use of a Chromebook, and over six feet of space separating them from the next student.”
The school also created a “Care Room” in the event a student or faculty member becomes sick while in the building with disposable gowns, safety glasses, gloves, and KN-95 masks.
EBCCS also purchased webcams, live streaming cameras, microphones, speakers, a ZOOM licence, and privacy walls for the teachers to keep the staff safe and allow them to teach to both in-person and remote students at the same time.
“We just opened re-enrollment and new enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Casaletto. “Families can visit ebccs.org for more information. We will have virtual tour videos up on the website next week.”