It was back in April that we talked with Alice Einolf, the Principal at Berks Catholic High School. As March began the Saints were marching along, just minding their own business like the rest of us, when the shutdown happened.
Berks Catholic was ready, however, and made the quick transition from in-person learning to online learning.
They’re making it work again this fall, with a hybrid model. They have three different groups–two that go to class two days and then do online instruction the other days and one group that does only online instruction at the request of the parents.
“It’s been difficult for the teachers,” says Einolf.” “But they’ve risen to the challenge. The teachers have been awesome.”
I asked Einolf if there have been any positive COVID tests at Berks Catholic. I knocked on wood several times as she gave me the answer.
“I hate to say it out loud but so far we’ve had no positive cases with any faculty or students. We’ve been very lucky but we’ve been very careful I think and very smart in how we’re doing things. But this is a virus that doesn’t care what you’re doing and it can pop up at any minute and we’re aware of that and we will be in touch with the Department of Health if something happens.”
Einolf says the sports teams have been doing well, with games and practices taking place. The only change has been the limiting of fan attendance because of Governor Wolf’s restrictions on crowds.
It’s life as normal as possible for the kids. But Einolf feels for the students. Especially the seniors.
“I feel very, very sad. We have live instruction every day for the students, whether they’re in the classroom or at home,” she said. “But when you might have had a class of 22 students maybe you only have nine in your classroom and then you have the rest of them on Zoom, it gets to be very different and difficult to do the same kinds of activities that you might do on a regular school day—the group work and the project-based learning kinds of things.”