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Last week, the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry was able to meet with Principal Joan Sullivan and Assistant Principal Jillian Boudreau of The Immaculate Conception School to see firsthand what steps have been taken to keep students and faculty safe.

Strong planning and communication over the summer lead to the following successes for the school year:

A day porter is seen sanitizing all touch points (hand rials, doorknobs, etc.) throughout each school day for constant cleanliness. During off hours, the school also gets a thorough nightly sanitization of all classrooms by a professional cleaning company. “It’s expensive but absolutely worth the safety of our children and staff”, Principal Sullivan stated.

A Health Office has been created with several isolation rooms for children to safely visit the school nurse if needed. The space was made available as a result of the school forgoing Pre-K recruitment this year. The School is currently K-8 and accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

There is a new level of tech across all grades. Infrastructure upgrades like interactive whiteboards, faster internet capabilities and a dedicated technology coordinator to coach both students and teachers have created ease when transitioning to hybrid classrooms. Principal Sullivan states, “Fostering engagement and maximizing student voice is a purposeful direction for learning.” The Google Education platform helps to maintain a sense of community as classroom learning is aligned identically for in-person, hybrid and remote students.  These technological advancements give students and their parents the flexibility to adjust their daily schedules, as needed, without missing a beat in the classroom.   

The in-school experience has changed based on new policies and procedures. Classrooms have moved into the gymnasium to appropriately space out desks. Students are also given a yoga mat by their desk so that they can freely stand, stretch and move around in a safe space during class.

All schools are facing challenging times this year. As COVID cases rise, safely operating a school could become even more difficult. As a private school, the IC has the flexibility to easily adapt to these challenges and any new challenges to come their way. Creating and maintaining a safe and fun learning environment for their students is the IC’s number one priority and they are doing a great job at it!

To learn more about the Immaculate Conception School, click here.

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