School UPDATE: Continued hybrid, with options

St. Mary's Families,

As we've gathered information from students, parents and teachers this week, one of the clearest and most consistent pieces of feedback we received was the continual changing of plans from hybrid to remote to in-person is adding stress to what is already a stressful time. 

People from all of those groups asked us to develop a plan, stick to it, and give families plenty of advance notice of those changes so they have time to adjust their schedules for work, transportation, activities, etc.

We also took the opportunity to look at the education environment around us. We note that almost all of the private and charter schools in Colorado Springs and Denver are either fully in-person or are in the same hybrid model that we started with in August. All of those schools seem to be having success with both models, and all of those schools are sticking with their plan.

In light of that, and with supporting feedback from the community, we are going to stay in the hybrid mode until the end of the semester. Group A in the school Monday/Wednesday, Group B in the school Tuesday/Thursday, both groups online Friday. Parents will have all of the following education options for their student(s):

100% Remote. For the 37 students whose families have chosen 100% remote instruction, you may remain in that mode. For other families that may wish to transition to 100% remote instruction, you may do so as soon you inform Mr. Biondini and all of your teachers.
Hybrid. For the families that said they wanted to remain in hybrid, you will obviously be in that instructional model.
In-person. For families that believe their student(s) need to be in the school Monday-Thursday, we will support those requests on a case-by-case basis. Your point of contact for those requests is Mr. Biondini. For families that believe they have good cause to be in-person Monday-Thursday, please inform Mr. Biondini no later than the end of the school day Monday, Oct. 19. If approved, those students will transition to Monday-Thursday in-person learning on Monday, Oct. 26.

Importantly, as we have said since March 13 when we were forced to go fully remote, the objective is to get the kids fully back in school. Sticking with our original plan and not whipsawing back-and-forth between different models of instruction will give us the time to ensure we can be ready to be fully in-person for the spring semester.

As we refine our plan for the spring semester, we will retain our three-tiered approach. We will have options for five-day in-person instruction, remote instruction, or a hybrid of the two. These options give our families a say in how education is delivered to their students, allows us to seamlessly transition to remote learning if we are required to do so, and supports students who are sick or can't come into the school.

We thank you for your patience and for your support as together we navigate these interesting times.

Deacon Rob Rysavy

Mr. Mike Biondini

Mrs. Brigid Jacques
Dean of Students