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9000 S. 86th Ave Hickory Hills, IL 60457

Reopening Plan

St. Patricia School Reopening Plan

Thank you for your patience and your kind support as the faculty, staff, Fr. Marc, and Mrs. Nowinski navigate through St. Patricia’s reopening plans. Our first responsibility is to ensure our students a safe return to school and then to do everything in our power to keep them healthy while providing excellent instruction. It is also important that our faculty & staff be safe and healthy. After meeting with the health & safety and academic committees, consultations & guidelines from the Archdiocese, and recommendations from Illinois State Board of Education, as well as the CDC, we have a completed draft of the St. Patricia School Reopening Plan to share.

Please read below the details and updates that have been shared.

St. Patricia School Reopening FAQ’s

Please note this information is subject to review and may change in accordance with IDPH and Archdiocese of Chicago guidelines.

Q: Will students have to wear masks in school?

A: Yes. All students, teachers, and staff members are required to wear masks in school. Each student will be required to bring two clean masks to school each day. These masks can be cloth, paper, disposable, etc. If a student comes to school without a mask or something happens to the mask a student brings, there will be emergency masks available at the office. 

The plan includes mask breaks in the form of outside classes, recess, PE, etc. with social distancing.  As we know, it is very difficult to wear masks continuously all day without a break. 

At mask breaks, students will be required to put their mask in a labeled paper bag. They will be taught how to remove the mask and sanitize in between mask use.


Q: Will Air Conditioning be available in classrooms for the 2020-2021 school year?

A: Yes! Due to very generous Parents/Parishioners, we are working on supplying each classroom with air conditioning for the beginning of the school year. This is a very expensive endeavor for St. Patricia. Many thanks to those who have donated to the air conditioning fund! You can still donate if you wish. We made it easy to donate if you follow this link to GiveCentral. https://www.givecentral.org/location/24/event/20171


Q: Will arrival or dismissal times be changed to safely manage student traffic?

A: Our Arrival & Dismissal will look very different this year due to COVID. We will start Arrival in the parking lot at 7:30 am. Each car will pull up to a station, two staff members will ask each child if they have any symptoms, temperatures will be taken, the student will then be sent to either the main doors or the Primary doors depending on their grade level to have their hands sanitized. They will then go directly to their classroom where their teacher will be waiting. Classes will not begin until a majority of the students arrive. 

Dismissal will be completed one cohort at a time until all students are dismissed. Cars will then be able to leave the parking lot. Parents will remain in their vehicles per Archdiocese guidelines.

There will be an exact map and explanation given in a later update prior to August 20th. 


Q: Can I walk my student into the building at morning drop off?

A: Parents are not allowed to leave the car or walk their child to the door as per Archdiocese guidelines.


Q: Will students be eating lunch in the School Hall (lunchroom)?

A: No. Students will eat their lunch with their cohort in the classroom. Students may remove their masks for lunch but must social distance. If a cohort is large, students will be separated and moved to a sanitized room with an adult supervisor to eat lunch and to allow for social distancing.


Q: Will students have Recess?

A: Yes! Cohorts will be allowed recess if the weather permits on the parking lot. Students will be able to take off their masks for recess but must observe social distancing rules. Students must stay with their cohort and not interact with other cohorts on the playground. Recess equipment is reserved, and may only be used by the assigned cohort. All equipment will be sanitized after use. 


Q: Will there be a full-time Remote Learning Option?

A: Yes, a full-time remote learning option will be available for St. Patricia students if families wish it. Our Academic Team is working with the Archdiocese on what that option will consist of and how it will operate. We currently know that there will be no additional cost if families choose full-time remote learning. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available.


Q: What is being done to ensure quality Remote Learning in the event of a short term return to distance learning?

A: The Academics team, which includes many of our teachers, has been attending webinars and meetings to plan the school year. To streamline our remote systems, we will be using Google Classroom/Google Suite for all grades Pk-8. The primary students will also have access to See Saw which interacts with Google Classroom. Teachers will be teaching through the Zoom platform so that there is constant interaction with students and teachers. We are also working on our website and webpages to make the format easier to navigate. The teachers have been attending classes and training on remote learning throughout the summer and will have even more training before the beginning of the school year. I am confident that this will be a much easier transition than it was in March. 

Of course, we are hoping that we will not need to return to the remote teaching platform, however, we feel we need to be prepared in the event that it is necessary to return. 


Q: How will last Spring’s effects on my child’s education be considered this fall?  

A: The teachers and I are aware that our students will be returning to school at levels different from the expectations we had in the past. The teachers are prepared to meet the students where they are academically and move forward from that mark. Our focus will be on the core subjects of math, reading, language arts, science, social studies, and religion.


Q: Will the Extended Day Program be available to families?

A: Yes, we are currently planning on the return of our Extended Day program. Our Health & Safety team is reviewing the possible options for how best to safely operate before and after school care. Currently, our Health & Safety plan is in the draft stage, with hopes to complete it by early next week.


Q: What is a Cohort?

A: A Cohort is basically a homeroom class, including the Teacher and all students for that grade level.


Q: What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

A: If we receive notification that a student or staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, our school community will be notified via letter.  We will not share the identity of the person to protect their privacy.  

  • The cohort of the infected individual should be quarantined and move to distance learning.
  • Students will be allowed to complete and submit academic work while quarantined.
  • The cohort’s classroom should be thoroughly cleaned. Windows in the area should be opened to maximize airflow.
  • The cohort members are asked to remain home until they have met the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation, which currently includes:
    – Three days with no fever and
    – General symptoms improved by at least 75 percent and
    – 14 days since symptoms first appeared or
    – 14 days since exposure to the infected individual(s) for asymptomatic individuals.
  • The principal should continue to closely monitor the health of all non-quarantined students and employees.
  • In cases of widespread infections in a school (particularly multiple cohorts), an entire school may be quarantined.