Fall Reopening Plan

Important Links - Orientation Week Begins Aug. 31

Freshman Orientation Details

Orientation Details for Grades 10-12

Daily Health Self-Assessment and Mask Requirements

The faculty, staff, and administrators at Bishop O’Connell are keenly aware of the great responsibility we have as Catholic educators. We value the trust our families place on us as partners in the education and formation of their children. To that end, Bishop O’Connell staff have developed detailed plans for opening the school this fall under the following three guiding principles:

  • Plans have been designed that advance the school’s mission to provide students with an education rooted in the life of Christ and to foster the pursuit of excellence in the whole person.
  • The health and well-being of our entire community has been of paramount importance as decisions are made.
  • Clear and consistent communication will continue to be central to planning at all levels to ensure stakeholders are well-informed and to maintain a strong community built on trust and respect.

Bishop O’Connell has developed three reopening models for the 2020-2021 school year, based on guidance from the Diocese and public health officials; analysis of research and reports in the education, industry, and health, science and government sectors [view a list of resources HERE]; and the physical realities of the current school campus.

The administration also closely reviewed the results of recent parent and faculty surveys, which provided many great insights, including the following:

  • Parent responses indicated that 7 out of 8 families wanted students back on campus in some capacity.
  • 3 out of 4 faculty members indicated no significant reservations with the Hybrid model.
  • Both parent and faculty questions and concerns centered heavily on health and safety, including the ability to provide for appropriate amounts of social distancing for in-school models.
  • Parents and teachers discussed both the physical and mental health needs of students as they relate to each respective model.
  • Regarding distance learning, parent comments reinforced the need to provide structure and required virtual classes.
  • Similarly, faculty expressed the need for greater opportunity to connect directly with students providing for community building, greater student engagement and accountability.

Given all the relevant information as well as the current conditions in our immediate community--and focused on the school’s ability to meet the health mitigation guidelines provided by the Diocese, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Centers for Disease Control-- we intend to begin the year using the Hybrid model for our Fall 2020 reopening plan.

Please note that an individual full-time distance learning option will be available for all families with students who are unable or do not wish to return to campus at this time. 

It is also important to note that we will continue to monitor the evolving situation and pivot as necessary to ensure the best educational experience possible regardless of the challenge and context. 

Reopening Models

Reopening Information Session

Recorded Aug. 18, 2020


Frequently Asked Questions

This section will continue to be updated.

Campus Entrance Policy
Fall 2020

All staff, students and visitors are required to wear a mask, practice social distancing and perform daily health self-assessments prior to entering the building, Read more...

Updates from the School

Preventive Measures

White House CDC -March162020

Use a Cloth Face Covering to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 - As the COVID-19 situation continues, the CDC has recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.  Options for making masks with or without a sewing machine are available HERE. If you choose to wear a facemask, please be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing and/or removing your face covering and wash your hands immediately after removing.

Virginia Executive Order No. 63 (Requirement to wear face coverings while inside buildings)
May 26, 2020

Virginia Governor Issues Stay at Home Order
March 30, 2020

Coronavirus Guidelines for America - White House/CDC - March 16, 2020

Flattening the Curve - Information from the University of Michigan Health - March 11, 2020.

Effective Preventative Measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

Social Distancing - In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged Americans to practice "social distancing" measures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through U.S. communities.

The CDC defines social distancing as it applies to COVID-19 as "remaining out of congregrate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible."

COVID-19 Symptom Chart - CDC