Several high schools in the Diocese of Allentown will return to five-day, in-person learning during the fourth quarter of the school year.
While students will continue to have the option to learn virtually, the response by parents to announcement of a more-normal schedule has been overwhelmingly positive.
At most Catholic schools in the Diocese, students have been attending in-person all year, with the option for virtual learning, but a handful of schools had a hybrid learning schedule.
Berks Catholic High School invited seniors and juniors back to a fully in-person schedule on March 22, and will do the same for sophomores and freshmen on March 29.
Bethlehem Catholic High School has set March 24 as the date for the return to fully in-person learning for all families who desire it.
Allentown Central Catholic High School is making plans to offer the option to families for students to return to school full-time on April 6th.
Notre Dame High School will offer families a four-day-per-week schedule on April 6th.
All four of these high schools have been on “hybrid” schedules this school year so they could maintain social distancing between students. The hybrid schedule split the student body into two parts, with each group attending part of the week in-person and part virtually, on an alternating basis.
Under the new in-person schedules, the schools will maintain the six-foot distance where possible, but in some cases it will be less. Standard health and safety precautions, such as face coverings and sanitization, which have been very effective, will continue.
The Diocese’s other high schools – Nativity B.V.M in Pottsville, Marian High School in Tamaqua, and Kolbe Academy, a recovery high school in Bethlehem – have been on five-day, in-person schedules all year because their smaller student bodies allowed for adequate social distancing without using a hybrid schedule.
Three elementary schools, which also have been on hybrid schedules this academic year, are moving toward offering five-day, in-person instruction. St. Catharine of Siena School in Mt. Penn returned part of the student body to five day, in-person instruction on March 22nd, with the remaining grades on March 29th. At Sacred Heart School in West Reading, only the middle school grades (Gr. 6-8) were in using a hybrid schedule and these grade levels will return for five day per in-person instruction on April 6th. St. Peter School in Reading will begin to return students to five day, in-person instruction in Grades K-3 by the beginning of May.