“In this time of uncertainty around schools,” Joe Lembo was saying Tuesday, “this is certain at St. Rocco’s School: The doors will open Monday and classes will begin!”
Lembo, who is a proud parishioner at St. Rocco’s Church and is a member of the Roman Catholic school board, emphasized: “As school districts all around us are still trying to figure out their programs and when the students can return to in-class learning, our teachers, staff and administrations have worked tirelessly to have the school ready to welcome classes back Monday.”
There are several other “things that are certain at St. Rocco’s School,” and as Lembo, whose two daughters are proud alumni of the Johnston-based school, continued: “We are respecting all guidelines from the state and Department of Health but more importantly the school is prepared to get back to in-class learning for those who choose to do so.”
He then talked about the “100% Choice” program, which means St. Rocco’s is prepared for in-class learning with an option for distance learning as well in real time.
Moreover, Lembo announced that St. Rocco’s has invested in advanced technology, with routers in every classroom.
The classrooms are ready for social distancing and are sanitized daily with the school’s disinfecting sprayer and multiple wipe-downs of all common objects such as doors and railings every day. St. Rocco’s also has a large gymnasium and cafeteria if needed plus a large athletic field that will provide great distancing when the children are outside for recess and outdoor activities.
All students will have snack breaks and lunch in their respective classrooms.
Lembo, who noted “my wife [Donna Pompe] graduated from St. Rocco’s School but she won’t tell us when,” continued: “Our teachers and staff have agreed to provide extra hours and will open doors at 7:30 a.m. for parents who have to drop off their before going to work and as they’ve done before stay until 4 p.m. so after school parents have a choice on what time to pick up their kids.”
Meanwhile, Sister Mary Antoinette Cappelli explained: “Our structure, curriculum and social interactions with limitations is what will make St. Rocco students and parents appreciate the work everyone has done to get the school year going on time and with plans and protocols to address the needs of students and parents throughout the year.”
Classes will resume this Monday, Sept. 14 for middle school students in grades five to eight. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, students in grades three and four will begin classes, with children in grades one and two beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16. Thursday, Sept. 16 will be the first day for Pre-K 3 and 4 as well as kindergarten.
On Friday, Sept. 18, all the classes will be in school for a full day.
“St. Rocco’s is limiting class sizes for each grade,” Lembo noted. “There are also spaces available for all classes. Distance learning can continue to grow if parents enrolling new students wish to choose the Roman Catholic school for that option.”
People who would like more information about the 2020-21 academic year at St. Rocco’s School are invited to 401-944-2993.