Back to school: Bishop Stang returns with hybrid learning

Sep 15, 2020

For the first time since mid-March, students are back in class at Bishop Stang — albeit, at half capacity.

Starting Sept. 14, the catholic high school kicked off the academic year with hybrid learning. According to school President and Principal Peter Shaughnessy, the first day went “really well.” 

“It’s great to have kids back in the building,” he said. “It’s been so long.” 

While students may be back inside the building, it isn’t business as usual. 

As part of Stang’s hybrid learning plan, students are divided alphabetically to attend school on alternate days, with those not in school learning remotely through Zoom. 

“It’s not as good as having everyone in,” school spokesperson Jennifer Golden said. “But I think we’re doing the best with the situation as we can.” 

The daily schedule has also been modified to allow students to take mask breaks outside — at a six foot distance, of course.

Golden said that, so far, students have done a great job following the new social distancing protocols. 

“Realistically, they’ve been social distancing for months,” she said. “I thought it was going to be harder for them than it has been, but it’s really been a natural transition for them.” 

“They know if we can stick to the rules, we can keep coming in,” she added. 

To prepare for reopening, new additions had to be made in order to comply with the school’s new guidelines. 

Hand sanitizing pumps can be seen in every hallway and classroom, with lanes and arrows marked out for one-way and through travel in every corridor. Stairs have also been marked for one-way travel.  

With school lunches, meals have to be ordered the night before so they can be prepared for dropoff the following day.

Shaugnessy said every decision was made in collaboration with the Dartmouth Board of Health.

“They’ve been outstanding,” he said.

The principal said that based on coronavirus case levels, Bishop Stang staff will assess at the end of the month whether to transition to full in-person learning in October, or if class might have to revert to a fully remote plan.

“We’re hopeful that’s not going to be the case,” he said. “But we’ve got to be agile and ready to adapt at all times.”