In-person classes continue

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Whenever possible, students attending classes in-person are seated at a safe distance in Mount Carmel’s classrooms.

This fall, Mount Carmel students returned to school in person, and so far the school has been able to stay open despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  That experience differs from to many other schools all over the country. 

As of right now many parents and teachers across the country are against in-person learning because of the dangers of COVID-19. Other teachers are actually against online learning, because they believe that it affects the way students learn. A CBS article by Jeremey Ross on April 20, 2020, describes the fears and concerns of both parents and teachers.

While many public schools have elected remote learning, Catholic schools like Mount Carmel have chosen to bring students into school in some manner. 

The CBS report points to a study by the National Catholic Educational Association that suggests that has resulted in an enrollment gain for some schools.

 “At a time when Catholic schools are considered a dying breed, the decision to go back full time has led to a surge in enrollment.”

Catholic schools like Mount Carmel have instituted new measures in an attempt to keep students and teachers safe. These measures can be as simple as requiring masks, sanitizing desks after each class, and urging students to stay 6 feet apart whenever possible. By implementing these, the CDC says it will help us in stopping the spread of the virus. This is very important at the time because as of October 9th, Illinois is currently at 314,725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to CDC data . 

So far, Mount Carmel has been able to stay open, but some other Catholic schools that initially were open for in-person classes now have closed temporarily.

According to a Chicago Sun-Times article on August 22, 2020, St. Rita High School began the year with in-person classes, but switched to remote classes after two students tested positive for COVID-19.  The school has now reopened for in-person learning on an alternating day “Red” and “Blue” schedule. Other schools such as Notre Dame College Prep and Loyola Academy began the school year in person, then switched to online at least temporarily.

In that same August 22 Chicago Sun-Times article, a parent from the St. Rita High School explained her choice.

“When the survey came around about what your preference would be, he (her son) was very clear he wanted to do online,” said Mrs. Meza, who has a medical condition that puts her at a higher risk for contracting the virus.”

Like others who are concerned about pre-existing health conditions, remote learning provides a sense of safety for themselves and others in the family.