Return to School 2020 OLD

Three students look over a phone on the first day of school in 2019.

Thank you again for your continued support of our De La Salle community as we make our way
through this unprecedented time together. It is times like these which ground us in our faith, bind
us together as a community and allow us to show everyone what the De La Salle experience is
truly all about.

I wanted to update you on our plans to return this fall as the governor released the MI Safe
Schools Return to School Roadmap
 in June.

During the fourth quarter last year, the teachers and staff made an amazing effort to transition
from in-person learning to distance learning. The students responded to the call to strive to
continue learning and improving themselves educationally. Parents also rose to the challenge of
not only continuing their own careers, but also providing guidance and oversight as their sons
might have struggled with assignments. Together we not only survived but thrived during
distance learning.

During the weekend of June 20-21, we celebrated the class of 2020 with the first-ever outdoor
baccalaureate mass and commencement ceremony, and also hosted the first official event on
the new Saint John Baptist de La Salle Field. Both were a resounding success which can be
attributed to the great work of the senior events committee working together with parent and
student representatives, the Christian Brothers Auxiliary, and Dads Club.

Now that we have been able to celebrate the class of 2020 in a way that only the De La Salle
community could do, we turn our focus to the next academic year and reopening our school
safely. In addition to the guidelines released by the state task force on June 30, and updated
phase transitions for our region, the Archdiocese of Detroit has also formed a task force
dedicated to reopening in the fall with a focus on academic excellence, and health and safety.
Our focus has been on returning to in-person learning in the fall, but we do need to make sure
our contingency plans are thorough and ready to implement without delay.

The three common scenarios that are being considered included:
1. A full return to in-person learning.
2. A hybrid of in-person and distance learning.
3. Full distance learning.

The two committees we have formed are focusing on academic programming, and the health
and safety logistics of reopening. In addition, our Athletics Department has been working within
the MHSAA guidelines to restart interscholastic athletics, and summer workouts have
commenced. Our Marketing and Communications team is also developing processes for
communicating the updates to families as clearly, concisely, and regularly as possible.

The academic programming committee has been investigating best practices, gathering data on
the success and failures over the last 10 weeks of the school year, and are putting together a
plan should we need to transition at some point in the future to distance learning, and for use as a supplement to full in-person learning. Our faculty were able to transition to distance learning
with little prep time to continue to deliver a Lasallian education under the circumstances. We are
working to make sure that should the need arise again, we will be more prepared and better
suited to deliver the best distance-learning educational experience possible following best
practices and the feedback received over the 10 weeks of distance learning. This focus will also
be key should students miss school for a variety of reasons or should we need to pivot to a
hybrid schedule.

The health and safety committee is working to formulate a plan that is uniquely created following
the state-mandated requirements and in cooperation with the AOD guidelines, but is tailored to
fit our facilities with keeping the safety of our faculty, staff, students, and parents at the forefront.
We will be back to school in the safest way possible so that together our community can thrive
even under difficult circumstances or strict restrictions. The committee is composed of faculty,
staff, parents, and medical personnel. Some of the key areas being developed are:

1. Arrival/dismissal of students and daily health check-Ins.
2. Usage/transition of common spaces (hallways, cafeteria, commons, gymnasium).
3. Classroom usage (with social distancing, cleaning protocols, and health equipment).
4. Bathroom availability, usage, and cleaning.
5. Isolation room for sick students (location and process for admitting).
6. Check-in process for all visitors and guests.
7. Safety procedures (safety drills including cleaning/shutdown for positive school
8. After-school activities and placement of students.

Many of these discussion points are complex and multi-faceted. The final decisions of the
committees will largely depend on the state-mandated requirements along with AOD guidelines.
We are focused on reopening school in-person in the fall with the health and safety being the
main priority for your sons and our staff.

Discussions of the many options have been ongoing over the past few weeks as we all
navigated a new normal together. We are working towards putting together a comprehensive,
compliant, and tailored-to-De La Salle plan for the fall and will release updates as they are
available. We look forward to the opportunities for De La Salle to once again show everyone
how we are encouraging students to develop their faith, character, intellect, and morality in a
truly Lasallian way.


Mr. Nathan R. Maus, Principal