July 30, 2020
Here you will find Trinity’s in process response to COVID-19, including processes and procedures for safety. The left-hand column has the guidance developed by the Diocese of Harrisburg in accordance with guidance from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the right-hand column has details for the implementation of that guidance at Trinity High School. This is a fluid document, meant to show you our thoughtful consideration of the challenges that await us this school year, while acknowledging that with four weeks left until the start of school, things may change. Some new points of guidance are expected from the Diocese of Harrisburg early next week.
July 20, 2020
Dear Trinity High School Community:
We are six weeks away from the start of the 2020-2021 school year, and many area school districts have begun to announce tentative plans for the coming year. Through a COVID-19 Task Force made up of diocesan educators and medical professionals, the Diocese of Harrisburg has created guidance for the reopening of its schools, as well. I have been blessed to serve as one of four principals on the Task Force. Each diocesan school, including Trinity, is now in the process of adapting this guidance to its local situation. Trinity plans to release this information to our community no later than Friday, July 31. These plans will, of course, remain fluid. Trinity will adapt its plan based on new requirements and guidance issued by Governor Tom Wolf’s administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Diocese of Harrisburg.
With this in mind, I expect the following important highlights to factor in Trinity’s plan to be released by the end of the month.
- Trinity will maintain a preference for in-person instruction five days per week. Trinity has also taken the initiative this summer to improve our technology infrastructure in order to livestream (and record) teachers presenting lessons each day, should a hybrid model combining in-person and online instruction become necessary.
- Trinity will adopt flexible attendance options for families who, due to apprehension over safety and health concerns, wish to keep students at home to learn. Livestreamed (and recorded) classes will assist this effort.
- Trinity has invested in a Thermal Temperature Screening Camera to take student temperatures each day upon arrival. Parents will be encouraged to screen students at home, as well, prior to the start of each day. Students with a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher may not attend school.
- Classrooms will be organized to maintain a minimum of three (3) feet of distance between students (World Health Organization standard), with six feet of distance preferred (Centers for Disease Control standard). Students and staff will wear masks whenever six feet of distance cannot be maintained, including the hallways and all common areas.
- Trinity will follow stringent protocols for daily hygiene and for school cleaning. For example, the latter will include the use of a Clorox Total 360 Cleaning System eligible for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogen Policy.
- Regarding lunch, Trinity will increase seating capacity in different parts of the building outside of the cafeteria for student safety.
- Regarding athletics, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association will continue to issue guidance that Trinity will follow. Off-season workouts have already begun for various sports.
- Trinity will work in conjunction with local and state health officials, as well as the Diocese of Harrisburg, in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 within the school community. Possible responses will range from keeping the school fully open to a hybrid model involving in-person and online instruction to totally online instruction of livestreamed (and recorded) classes.
Again, these are initial highlights of a larger plan that will be released by the end of July to our Trinity community. While no plan can entirely remove the risk of transmission within our schools or other institutions, Trinity’s final plan will emphasize student and staff safety while also stressing the essential importance of in-person instruction for student learning, socialization, and emotional and psychological wellness. Please stay safe and enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!
John W. Cominsky, Principal