6410 South Dante Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773-324-1020      Fax: 773-324-9235
About MCHS

2020-21 Reopening Plan

Back to School Plan 2020-21 School Year

Mount Carmel High School Fall Reopening Plan

“The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school should start with the goal of having students physically present in school.”
American Academy of Pediatrics - June 2020

Early in this process, Mount Carmel formed a back-to-school task force to discuss all of our options for the 2020-2021 school year. The task force has been meeting over the last three months to determine and solidify a healthy and safe re-entry plan for our students and teachers. 

The decision to begin the school year with all the students is based on three considerations:
  1. Students are best served by being present in the classroom. Bringing our full student body to campus each day provides the best educational outcomes for our students.
  2. Our facility is large enough to support physical distancing and adequately serve the needs of our student population. Our current student body represents 60% capacity of our campus facilities.
  3. Bringing all students to campus each day provides the greatest support for working parents. 

We are excited to welcome our students and teachers back to campus and look forward to the beginning of the school year.
Key dates
Monday, 8/24  - Freshmen will return to campus for a half day, with full school days on 8/25-8/27.

Friday, 8/28 - The entire student body will return together for a half day of school.

Daily – At Home
  • If a student or any member of his immediate family has any of the following symptoms parents should contact school and keep him home: currently known symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your son has any of these systems please have him stay home from school and have him tested.
  • It will be the parent(s)/guardian(s) responsibility to take your son’s temperature prior to coming to Mount Carmel each day. If an individual’s temperature is 100.4 or above he should stay home. We will randomly check temperatures upon students’ arrival to school.
  • If a student will be staying home from school please call 773-324-1020 and dial 1.  If you believe your son to have Covid-19 or your son is being tested for Covid-19 please specify this information upon reporting the absence.

At School – Prior to the School Day Beginning
  • The school building will be open at 6:30 a.m.
  • Teachers will open classrooms at 7:30 a.m. 
  • Students who arrive prior to the opening of classrooms should enter and remain in the Student Commons, where socially distant seating for 50 students will be available.
  • If additional students space is required prior to the opening of classrooms, seating will be available in the Cacciatore Center Gym.
  • Students arriving at 7:45 a.m. or later should enter through the Prayer Garden and go directly to their first period classroom.

On Campus Guidelines
  • Classes will begin every morning at 8:05 a.m. and conclude at 2:40 p.m.
  • The school building will be closed at 4 p.m. A study hall will be available in the Commons for any student requiring accommodations after 4 p.m. Please contact Bill Nolan at bnolan@mchs.org or 773-324-1020 ext. 265 to reserve a space.
  • On mornings with Late Starts - ordinarily on Wednesday (see School Calendar) - classes will begin at 9:05 a.m.  
  • Masks must be worn 100% of the time while a student, visitor, faculty, or staff member is in the building.
  • Masks (cloth, surgical, or gaiter only) must be a solid color: no patterns, advertising, political messages, etc. Masks may have an MC logo. 
  • Water fountains have been disabled, but water bottle filling stations are available throughout campus.
  • Social distancing will be adhered to whenever possible, both in the classroom and in the hallways.
  • Once IDs are distributed, student IDs will be required and must be displayed on a lanyard.  

Bus Transportation
  • Bus transportation will run as scheduled; routes will be sent mid-August.
  • All students taking the bus will be required to wear a mask on the bus at all times: no exceptions.
  • Bus drivers will have additional disposable masks in the event a student does not have one.
  • All buses will be equipped with hand sanitizer that students will be required to use upon entering the bus. 
  • Each bus will be cleaned and disinfected after the morning and evening routes.
  • There will be a limited Activity Bus schedule based on on-campus activities.  The Activity Bus schedule will be forthcoming.

Passing Periods and School Lockers
  • Students can access lockers ONLY before and after school, and during the lunch periods.
  • Students will be allowed to carry their belongings in a backpack throughout the school day.
  • Hallways will have directional lanes and students will be asked to STAY TO THE RIGHT.
  • Staircases will be designated UP and DOWN.
  • Doorways will be designated ENTRY and EXIT for each building.

Class Information
  • For the fall trimester (and beyond, if necessary) we will suspend our traditional rotating class schedule in favor of a “fixed” schedule of classes. This will allow us to more easily track where each student is located at specific times on a daily basis, and also allows us to expand our lunch program to four periods (rather than three).  
  • Classrooms will be set up to maintain physical distance between students wherever possible.  
  • Each classroom will be equipped with hand sanitizer.  
  • Teachers will also be encouraged to utilize outdoor space for class as weather permits.

  • Each Lunch Period will be a full 44 minutes  
  • Lunches will be organized by class level
  • There will be three locations for lunch; each location will be limited to a maximum of 50 people (students and lunch moderators) and students will be assigned to a specific location.
  • Lunch tables will be limited to three students per table
  • Country House will serve lunch in all three locations; hot lunches will be pre-packaged.

Remote Learning
Preparedness to Pivot: In the event that remote learning must be implemented please see the below guidelines. Through flexibility, understanding and support, we will work together to make the transition if necessary.

  • Students will participate and virtually attend class each day. There will be a balance of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (off-line) learning each day. 
    • Students will receive standard letter grades (A-F) for assignments, projects, assessments, participation and trimester final exams.
    • Students will run through their full class schedule. You will not have a class during your assigned lunch period.
  • Students will actively participate and engage in every class. 
    • Remote learning handbook will be forthcoming next week.
  • Attendance is required each day in the specified format for each class. 
  • Several tools will be required to deliver robust instruction, information, and assessments:
    • Google Email - students must check their email daily.
    • Google Classroom
      • Parents will be required to join their son’s classrooms (a google email account is required to join)
    • Exam Login and Google Forms for assessments (tests and final exams as well)
    • Interactive learning apps such as Twitch, Zoom, etc. to host classes and provide streaming/recording capabilities.
  • A remote learning option will be available for any student who is not comfortable with attending any type of on campus instruction in the fall. You must let Mr. Tabernacki know you are choosing this option no later than August 12th via email - stabernacki@mchs.org. If you select this option, you must remain on the remote learning platform for the duration of the 1st semester.

Cleaning Procedures
  • Common areas will be cleaned and disinfected by Mount Carmel’s maintenance staff throughout the day.
  • Teachers and students will disinfect their own desktops at the end of each class.
  • Our cleaning service will clean and disinfect the entire facility every evening.

Campus Visitor Requirement
For the protection of our students, faculty and staff, Mount Carmel High School has established restrictions for on-campus visits to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. 
  • Visitors to campus are by appointment only and must be escorted in and out of the building.
  • Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival to Mount Carmel.
  • Visitors will be asked to complete a symptom check list before admittance.
  • Visitors are required to wear a mask in common areas or when unable to social distance for the duration of their stay.
  • Visitors are expected to follow social distancing guidelines.

Positive COVID test results
Mount Carmel will adhere to CDC and IDPH guidelines
  • Any student or Mount Carmel employee with a positive test result will need to  quarantine for 14 days and be fever free for 72 hours before returning to school.
  • Any student with Covid-19 like symptoms identified at school will be sent home to be evaluated by a physician. If the physician gives a clearance note to return to school without testing the student may return after he is symptom free for 72 hours.
  • If Mount Carmel sees a trend of positive cases within the school, the administration - in communication with public health officials - will determine the potential need to temporarily close the building and transition to remote learning.


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