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COVID-19 Information

Today's School Closing Announcement by Governor Baker

We have also planned for this eventuality, the immediate ramifications of which are as follows: 

- The last day of virtual instruction for our Seniors, the AWHS Class of 2020, will be Friday, May 15. 

- All other grade levels will continue with their virtual instruction until Friday, June 5, when Quarter 4 grades will close. 

- There will be no Final Exams for any student. Each student’s final yearly average will consist of the four individual quarter grades and the mid-term examination.

- All AP students must take the revised, online AP exam(s) as part of the course. (This expectation has been clearly communicated.). 

- All planned school events and activities for the balance of April and the months of May and June are either postponed or canceled.

- We have made and announced contingency plans for Prom, the Senior Awards Breakfast, and Commencement for the last week of July, assuming we can gather as a community by then. We are also exploring virtual options, details to follow.

- While the MIAA has not yet made it official, the Spring Sports season is effectively canceled.

- In the coming weeks we will announce a virtual format for our end-of-year awards and scholarships ceremonies for Grades 7-11. 

- We will announce a schedule by which students can come to the school to retrieve personal items from their lockers in a manner consistent with all applicable health guidelines and restrictions.

April 2, 2020: President Duggan Provides Update

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 We continue to closely monitor the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and will use this page to provide important updates.

Although our risk level remains low, we thought it prudent to update you on the steps that we are taking to protect our students and employees, and to respond in case someone in our community is diagnosed with COVID-19. These actions have been developed under guidance from the Archdiocese of Boston and the Center for Disease Control. 
 

Update on March 26, 2020

Earlier today, Governor Baker extended the closure of all Massachusetts schools until May 4. Therefore, AWHS will continue with our robust virtual instruction program until at least that date. While we had hoped to resume normal classes sooner, we are well-prepared to do our part to help “bend the curve” and keep our community safe. As school leaders, we could not be more proud of the way our faculty, students, and parents have supported each other academically, socially, and emotionally under these unprecedented circumstances.

Read the rest of Dr.V's email by clicking here
 

 

Update on March 16, 2020

Today, Archbishop Williams had an extremely successful trial run in conducting virtual, online instruction. The diligence shown by our faculty and students to prepare for this unprecedented shutdown allowed everyone to fully engage and interact in our Zoom classrooms. Some technical glitches aside, we are now more confident than ever that we can maintain instructional momentum for the next three weeks -- or however long we are out of school.

AWHS Is Closed Through April 7
 
Students are not permitted in any AWHS facility until further notice. If they need to retrieve something from campus, they must make arrangements with an Administrator and receive permission to come onto property, which is being deep cleaned and secured.

Spring Sports Season Postponed Until April 27
 
Earlier today, the MIAA further delayed the opening of Spring Sports until April 27. AWHS, led by our Athletic Director Mr. Gordie McClay, is lobbying to salvage as much of the season as possible.  Please keep in mind however, that our student-athletes must respect the prohibition against public gatherings while trying to prepare for the season.

And Lastly: This is a Work in Progress -- Please Be Patient
 
The next days and weeks will not be easy as we all adjust to the realities of virtual schooling from home. We ask for your patience and support in creating an environment conducive for students to attend class in the morning and to complete assignments in the afternoon. (A few very cute, but a little distracting, dogs joined class today.)
 
As we move forward, we will continue to solicit feedback from our community so we can further refine this process and maximize student learning. These are unprecedented circumstances, but we will endure them and prevail, as we work and learn together in a safe environment.
 
For more detailed information, please read the latest email that went out to the community. 

 

Update on March 13, 2020

This afternoon AWHS received the following communication from Tom Carroll, Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Boston:
 
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and after conferring with Cardinal Seán, all Archdiocese of Boston parish schools and Archdiocesan elementary and high schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. On an ongoing basis, we will consider whether this period needs to be extended further. 

As a result, we will put into effect the remote learning plan we have been developing over the past two weeks.  Specifically: 

Monday’s half day schedule of virtual instruction will go forward as planned. We will begin full days of virtual instruction on Tuesday. 
If a student was absent from school today, either the student or a family member must come to school today to collect the textbooks and notebooks the student will need to participate in our virtual instruction program over the next two weeks. We will have staff members present through 6 PM to grant the necessary access.  Starting Monday, no student or parent may enter our buildings without advance permission, and specific arrangements will have to be made with the Student Life Office.

This suspension order applies to all AWHS-sponsored activities. The MIAA had already postponed the start of the Spring Sports season until March 30 yesterday. 

We strongly encourage our students to spend some time this weekend creating a suitable, productive space at home to facilitate online instruction. Please know that AWHS attendance policies will apply to all of these days, and students will be receiving grades, even though the activities are modified. If a student will be absent or needs an early dismissal during a virtual day, it is especially important to utilize Family ID to alert the school.



Deep Cleaning Of The School

On Monday, March 9, we performed our first deep clean of the school. We recently purchased “fogging” machines that rapidly and safely disinfected the school. 

 

Online Virtual Classrooms

AWHS is preparing to implement virtual, online classes should circumstances change and the school need to close for any length of time. The school has decided to use Zoom as its video conferencing platform (which is a change from the communication of last Friday, which specified Google Meet).

 

Virtual Practice Day
Monday, March 16 -- Students Remain Home

We are going to test the Zoom system next Monday, March 16. Students will stay home and teachers will run through an online half day using our 12:00 Dismissal Schedule, which can be found in the Handbook. This will count as a day of school and students must attend the virtual classes if they wish to try out for athletics later that day. 
 
The teachers will broadcast the lessons from school and then use the afternoon to troubleshoot conducting lessons online. A separate email will detail the virtual half day more closely. Normal school will resume on Tuesday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day).
 
 

Continuing Our Safety and Hygiene Practices

We are encouraging good hygiene by all faculty and staff through frequent hand washing (for at least 20 seconds) and the use of hand sanitizer. We have placed signs throughout our hallways to remind students on how to prevent the spread of germs. We also are encouraging faculty and students to minimize touching their face and making contact with others (handshakes, hi-fives, etc.). There are Purell stations in many of our hallways and sanitizing solution on every teacher’s desk. 

Increasing the frequency with which we disinfect our facilities. Our Maintenance Team is wiping down common surfaces that students touch on a daily basis. 
we have purchased “fogging” machines that rapidly and safely disinfect rooms.

We have canceled our April Vacation trip to Barcelona and Paris and informed our International Students that they may not travel home over the April break.

 

What You Can Do To Help

To support our efforts to keep our community safe, we are asking that our families exercise similar precautions, including the following:
 

  • Keeping students home if they are sick or presenting any cold or flu-like symptoms to minimize the spread of any communicable illness. If you have any questions about whether you should send a student to school, please contact our Nursing Office. 
  • Restricting all non-essential travel, especially over April Vacation, to destinations that have had significant documented cases of the coronavirus. We also ask that you notify us if your student has had contact with anyone who has recently visited a country with a Level 3 travel restriction from the CDC.
  • Continuing to practice good hand-washing and disinfecting practices, minimize unnecessary touching, and to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

 
With your assistance we can work together effectively to promote awareness, to encourage vigilance, and to enact these proactive measures while mitigating our students’ fears and anxieties. This is not to minimize the devastating impact the novel coronavirus has had on communities throughout the world or its high communicability, but rather to recognize that the populations most at risk are the elderly and those with pre-existing underlying medical issues. The likelihood that our students would contract a life-threatening illness from COVID-19 is, thank God, relatively small. 
 
Thank you for your support and understanding. Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about these or any related matters as we work together to keep our school community safe.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dennis M. Duggan, Jr. ’70, Esq., President
 
Michael R. Volonnino, Ph.D., Principal