Regis To Continue Remote Instruction for Remainder of First Trimester

On Thursday, October 1, Regis High School announced that it would remain in remote instruction through the end of the first trimester but begin to bring groups of students into the building on Wednesdays for assembles, retreats, and other purposes. In-person participation during these Wednesdays will be optional. If infection rates remain low in the New York area, we hope to begin the second trimester on December 1 in the building in hybrid mode. If a shift is made to hybrid mode, Regis will offer a fully remote option to students and families who prefer it. The full letter from Regis President Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, to students and parents can be read below:

October 1, 2020

Dear Students and Parents:

When I wrote to you in August, I said we would begin the year in remote instruction mode until at least mid-trimester, October 16, and see where things were in the City, and how other schools were adjusting to returning in person. Since then, we have had a very successful beginning to the school year, and I am grateful to both our students and our faculty for the hard work that has made these successes possible.

Recently I surveyed both parents and faculty about a possible return to the building as soon as October 19. There was significant hesitation from both groups. Many parents remain concerned about the lengthy commutes that many of our students would return to in an environment that is still relatively untested given that the city has not fully reopened in terms of schools or businesses.

We know that remote instruction works well for us, although it has significant drawbacks for students (and often families) as it does not provide the social aspect of the educational experience in an in-person way. We have also heard of the difficulty that is entailed with hybrid instruction for faculty who have to balance both the students in front of them and those who are at home either because they are being quarantined or they have chosen to remain remote. Many schools have managed to do this very successfully in spite of these challenges.

Based on the feedback that we have received including continued high praise for the effectiveness of our remote instruction, the uncertainty that remains with increasing infection rates in various parts of the country, and even the much-delayed openings of NYC public schools, I have decided that we will continue in remote instruction through the end of the first trimester. However, noting the understandable desire for increased social contact (at a distance), we will commence with inviting various years into the building on Wednesdays for assemblies, retreats, and other activities. While these Wednesdays will not be required, we feel that they will provide opportunities for students to come together in healthy and safe ways. More information on these days will be forthcoming from the Principal’s Office, but you already know that sophomores and juniors are scheduled to take the PSAT exam in the building on Wednesday, October 14. We plan on having freshmen in the building on Wednesday, October 21. As I said, more information will be forthcoming.

All students returning on Wednesdays will be asked to sign a pledge regarding behavior both in and out of the building. Mr. Mariano will follow up with this information.

While much can happen in the next two months, IF infection rates remain low as we move into the fall, I would hope that we begin the second trimester on December 1 in the building in hybrid mode. I would ask that you be mindful of this possibility, and plan any Thanksgiving travel accordingly knowing that certain travel requires a 14-day quarantine period.

If we shift to hybrid mode, we will be offering a fully remote option to students and families with more details to follow.

Once again I know that this news will be a great disappointment to some, and a relief to others. These are certainly difficult decisions, and I am grateful for the advice that I receive from so many.

I plan on being in touch with you again on or before November 16.

As has been my practice for many years, I make my annual 8-day silent retreat in the fall. I begin that retreat today, and want you to know that the Regis community will be in my prayers in a special way in these days ahead. Please remember me in your prayers as well.

Sincerely, Daniel K. Lahart, SJ President

Posted: 10/1/20