We realize that this has been a challenging summer and that you are anxious to hear our plans for the start of the 2020-21 academic year. We have endeavored to create a safe, physical learning environment for your sons while preparing for various contingencies during the continuing pandemic.
Jesuit Dallas will begin the year, as scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 18, in a hybrid model of in-person and eLearning. We will maintain this dual mode of learning through Friday, Sept. 4, and will evaluate our options during these first few weeks of school.
Our hybrid model consists of evenly dividing the student body into a Blue Cohort (last names "A through Lee") and a Gold Cohort ("after Lee through Z"). During this initial period, students in the Blue Cohort will attend in-person classes on Mondays and Thursdays and Gold Cohort students will be on campus each Tuesday and Friday. The master calendar has been designed to support this direction, and each class will have 50% or less students than a normal day. Beginning with the first day of regular classes on Thursday, Aug. 20, breakfast and lunch will be provided to all students on campus and an additional take-home meal will be offered to students. During Vos Parate, only lunch will be served.
As part of our preparations for your son's arrival to campus, MERV 13 air filters have been installed throughout campus, bipolar ionization technology has been added to the air handlers, we have increased our inventory of hand sanitizers, and we are continuing to disinfect our indoor spaces regularly. Additionally, the School has hired a full-time nurse. While on campus, all students, staff, and guests will be required to wear a mask and follow physical distancing protocols.
On the days your son is not on campus he will be following a sophisticated, synchronous mode of eLearning. All students, whether on campus or learning remotely, will be expected to follow the new bell schedule and attendance will be taken for each class period. Students will interface with their teachers and classmates online via video during each class, and additional learning resources will be available to all students outside of their regular class schedule. School-wide Mass and prayer services will move to Wednesday. Senior service is being modified in consideration of the health and safety of our students, but this critical aspect of the formational experience will continue. All underclassmen will engage in eLearning from home on Wednesdays while we are under the hybrid model. Seniors will receive information relevant to their specific service assignments as we approach the start of the school year.
Although we are hopeful that all of our students are ready to begin the year in a hybrid model, parents can choose for their sons to engage exclusively through eLearning. Please visit RangerNet to indicate your preference of in-person or remote learning. More information can be found through our online FAQ portal.
We have not wavered in our desire to have everyone on campus together; however, the utilization of a hybrid model to begin the year will serve as a valuable practice period for our students, as they adjust to new behavioral expectations, social norms, and a different physical environment. This initial period of hybrid learning will also allow the administration to assess how well the students and our community have adopted to these new standards, to make adjustments that ensure a safe environment on campus, and prepare for a possible return for all students after Labor Day.
As the first day of school approaches, we will provide additional detail as to the expectations and requirements of our students and families. We will be well-equipped to continue providing an enriching academic experience if we are forced or compelled into a prolonged period of eLearning, although it is important that we remind our students and families that when off-campus, they play a crucial role in allowing us to maintain a safe environment for in-person instruction.
Freshman and transfer students will report to school on Monday, Aug. 17 for Student Orientation (split into a morning and afternoon session based on cohort). We will be combining Vos Parate and the first day of school into a single experience with the Blue Cohort coming to campus on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and the Gold on Wednesday, Aug. 19. The marriage of these two experiences will allow for brief classes both days in addition to class meetings and school pictures.
We are still evaluating how we can best manage extracurriculars and other aspects of student life that shape the full Jesuit experience. During the first three weeks of our hybrid model, students will participate in extracurricular activities on the days that they are on campus with their assigned cohort.
Please continue submitting your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can answer through the FAQ portal. The online portal also includes a detailed overview of the new bell schedule as well as New Student Orientation and Vos Parate.
We do realize that not being able to be together as normal has put an emotional strain on us all, especially our young men, but we also believe our plan moves us closer to our goal of welcoming all students back to campus. We will do our best to maintain a continuity of community with you and your sons no matter what challenges lay ahead.
Mike Earsing Tom Garrison '92