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A Catholic school in Glenshaw will return to in-person instruction for all students and staff later this month, officials said.
Blessed Trinity Academy – of the North Hills Regional Catholic Elementary Schools, a group of five schools within the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh – will allow its 160 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade return to classrooms starting Aug. 27.
Students who are uncomfortable or unable to attend classes will have the choice to do remote learning. Each class will be recorded and broadcast live using Google software.
Students and teachers inside the building must wear a mask in hallways and bathrooms or any time they cannot stay 6 feet apart. The only time masks can be removed is while sitting at a desk, which will be spaced 4 to 6 feet apart, according to the plan outlined on the school’s website.
Moira Edmiston, the school’s principal, said she is not concerned about students and teachers who do not follow rules aimed at preventing the disease’s spread.
“I am not because we’ve been staying in touch with our teachers and parents throughout the summer,” Edmiston said in an emailed response to questions. “We’ve been communicating with them about the protocols, and sharing more about the need for all of us to work together to reopen safely.”
She did not explain what repercussions are in place for students or staff who do not adhere to safety guidelines.
“All are aware that the measures in place are for the safety of everyone. Maintaining a safe learning environment is our focus. We’re all working for the same goals. As a community, we will work together to meet the expectations outlined in the plan,” Edmiston said.
The principal said the school’s parents were surveyed to see which reopening options the school should pursue. Returning to in-person instruction, she said, was “overwhelmingly their choice.”
The last day responses for the survey were collected was June 26, Edmiston said.
Meredith Kandravy, the school’s director of admissions and marketing, said she is “happy to have the option” to send her children, all three of which are enrolled at Blessed Trinity Academy, back to school.
Kandravy said the decision to return to in-person instruction was based partly on the fact that the school sits on 72 acres of land adjacent to St. Mary’s Parish. When appropriate, Kendravy said, the school will opt to instruct students outside and allow them to eat lunch outside.
Students and teachers will be required to have their temperatures checked before entering the building.
Weekly masses will be streamed live into each classroom, according to the school’s website.
The website says social distancing of 6 feet will be “maintained as much as possible” during recess and outside classes.
“Lunch will be outside or in the cafeteria.Volunteers will be needed,” the website reads.
The website said students’ sharing of materials and supplies will be limited. It encouraged parents to label items being brought to school.
Kendravy said the school has been working diligently through the summer to develop a remote learning program, which the academy dubbed [email protected] Devices have been given to students in third through eighth grade, with plans to give younger students devices, as well.
The remote learning program will utilize Google Classroom. Google Meets will be used for live-streamed instruction.
Blessed Trinity’s reopening plan aligns with Diocese of Pittsburgh plans for its elementary schools, which were announced July 7. Detailed plans for Blessed Trinity Academy were released Aug. 1.
Catholic high schools have staggered start dates.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .
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