ESSEX—Our Lady of Mount Carmel, along with all other Catholic Schools under the Archdiocese of Baltimore, returned to in-person learning last week—the first time students and teachers were together since March.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) resumed in-person learning while following the Archdioces of Baltimore’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Outlined in the reopening plan, schools will establish a daily health screening protocol for students and staff entering the building. The objective is to verify the absence of symptoms and known exposures. Those who lack a completed screening upon arrival at school, will have their temperature taken before they may enter the school building.

Faculty and staff will be required to take their temperature prior to entering school facilities. Preschool and kindergarten students will have their temperatures taken and recorded upon arrival at school. Students in grades one through 12 will be required to have their temperature taken by a parent or guardian prior to arrival at school. Anyone registering a temperature greater than 100.0° F will be required to stay home.

All faculty, staff, and students (age 3 and older) are required to wear a cloth face mask when indoors and whenever social distancing is not possible outdoors.

Specific guidelines will be in place for when students and staff are permitted to be without a cloth face mask while on the school campus, such as during meals.

Chrissy Hedglin, Director of Institutional Advancement at OLMC, said students, staff and teachers reported no issues in following these guidelines and that students were ecstatic to be back in the classroom.

“It’s been wonderful. There’s been a bunch of happy kids who are glad to be back in the classroom. It’s exactly how it’s supposed to be-it’s the new normal. Larry Callahan is the President and he has made sure that everybody has what they need to feel comfortable and safe,” Hedglin said.

Gabe Hernandez, a 6th grade student at OLMC, said he’s glad to back at school.

“When school started I felt safe because the precautions [ the school] took were very smart with hand sanitizing entering and leaving the classroom. It’s a good community-I like it,” Hernandez said.

Understanding that some parents may be hesitant to return their children to school, OLMC has provided the option for students to continue to work virtually.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Chancellor of Education James Sellinger said in a press release. “We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom, whether they be in person or participating virtually.”

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