Navigating the 2020-2021 School Year

                                                                                                                                                                                  

School year begins August 19

As you might expect, we are monitored all was happening locally and nationally, and in light of the Health Authority Order from Mark Escott for schools in Travis County, we began the school year for all students on August 19 with distance learning. We are ready to move to a hybrid model of on-campus learning with two cohorts of students on alternating days on Monday, September 14.

Prepared for Change

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, St. Michael’s Catholic  Academy’s top priority is to provide the utmost health and safety for all employees and students while upholding our mission.

St. Michael’s will plan to follow applicable precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and will continue to monitor and follow the City of Austin’s guidelines.

We anticipate that the situation surrounding COVID-19 will continue to evolve throughout the school year. Our staff is prepared to adapt to any of the following scenarios designed to respond to such changes in order to prioritize the safety of our students and employees.
 

School Year Goals

Connectivity

In This Together  |  We know that connectedness reduces stress and anxiety. Feeling connected to others or a purpose promotes positive affect and can improve perseverance. This is a goal for us all - to persevere and support one another. Our school is a “family of families” and it goes without saying that we will do our utmost to stay close.
                                                                                                                                                                                  

Clarity

Remove Uncertainity |  In uncertainty, students must know what to expect. This applies to emotional consistency from adults. It is important that we all stay positive. Faculty will do their best to convey everything students need to succeed by explaining all steps clearly and succinctly.
                                                                                                                                                                                  

Continuity

Stay on Track  |  Regardless of course format, faculty are committed to ensuring a learning experience that promotes academic depth, critical thinking, and active learning engagement. Our students will continue to be challenged to the right extent to keep them on track.
                                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                  

What we know now.

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Our School Opening Guide

Our School Opening Guide is a work in progress for the 2020-2021 school year. As fall approaches, there will likely be adaptations to this document, and we will keep you informed as we move forward. Examples of information you can find inside include: 
  • Health + Safety Policy 
  • Health + Safety Training
  • Facilities Updates
  • Transportation 
  • Traffic Flow Guide
  • Learning Models
                                                                                                                                                                                  

Hybrid Model Start Announcement


Mobility through Learning Models

If schools are closed at any point during the term, we will shift back to distance learning only. After the successful implementation of distance learning last spring, we have continued to improve the distance learning experience for students. Our goal will be to ensure optimal student engagement and increased support and connection for students as they work remotely. The academic year may be adjusted in the event of a prolonged need for distance learning.
                                                                                                                                                                                  

Helpful Terminology

  • Asynchronous Learning  |  Self-paced learning without real-time interaction (e.g. Students view a pre-recorded online science experiment.)
  • Distance Learning Model  |  A continuation and enhancement of our distance learning format.
  • Hybrid Learning Model  |  A model in which there is a mix of in-person and distance learning.
  • In-Person Learning Model  |  A return to campus as normal with enhanced sanitation, distancing and mask wearing.
  • Synchronous Learning  |  Distance education that happens in real time (e.g., Students attend Zoom class together with their teacher).
  • SWIVL  |  Camera system purchased to enhance blended in-person and hybrid or distance learning

Technology Upgrades

We are further enhancing our instruction capability by adding Swivl cameras to classroom spaces in the fall. With this technology, we can teach in-person to a reduced in-class population while live-streaming the class for synchronous access to students not scheduled to be in class on a particular day.

Students at home can see and hear the instructor as well as the rest of the class, and students in class will also be able to see and hear students at home. In this way, all students can participate and collaborate while we continue to prioritize safety.


Student Support

We have witnessed our daily lives change in unimaginable ways, and each of us has experienced our own range of emotions, including sadness, anxiety, confusion, anger, grief, and for many, a sense of loss.

We are highly aware of these individual differences and will plan accordingly with our support offerings as we remain flexible and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Our students’ mental health, safety, and wellness at St. Michael’s remains at the forefront of our minds. All members of our Student Support Team are available to assist students with social-emotional and academic needs through individual and family appointments. 


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  • We are a

    Family of Families
3000 Barton Creek Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78735  (512) 328-2323
St. Michael's Catholic Academy is mindful of its mission to prepare the student holistically for leadership, service, and decision making consistent with Catholic values; and admit students of any race, color, or national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the school. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age, or gender in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate against students with special needs; a full range of services might not be available.