Ahead of the Curve
When asked by our public health officials to “Flatten the Curve”, the Phantoms saw no problem at all. Knowing that the administrators and teachers who work for Catholic schools are constantly attempting to cultivate and grow the entire human, we knew that asking our partners at Cathedral High School to shine the light on some of their obstacles and challenges was not going to be a hard task.
Arturo Lopez, Director of Advancement and Admissions, revealed exactly why the young men at his school are pushing the envelope and moving the needle towards excellence and innovation.
“Cathedral High School is following the regular school day schedule, so that our students feel comfortable with their daily routine. Our faculty and administrators are making daily calls to students and parents to ensure student success and to encourage continued academic learning. We have our personal counselors available for our students to provide mental health well-being during this difficult time. Additionally, we post updates on our website and the Principal contacts the families with updates through School Reach. We are also using our social media platforms to highlight our students and to keep our school community informed. During these changing times, we feel communication is vital.We take attendance daily and our administrators and teachers follow up with phone calls if students are not present in their classes. We use the Google Classroom platform and our teachers provide a variety of lesson plans and class structure. Cathedral teachers are using Zoom sessions, Google Meets, Pearson Success Net, Khan Academy and additional online resources and applications.Cathedral students were able to adjust to the Distance Learning format quickly, because of our experience with our 1 to 1 iPad program and familiarity with Google Classroom which was already in daily use in all classes. Our students have been using iPads as their primary source of digital textbooks for their entire time at Cathedral and were familiar with the different platforms that are being used currently. Over the past several years our students had been gaining experience and expertise as more of our teachers were using online resources, programming, and applications. The biggest challenge of the new digital landscape is the social isolation- our students and faculty would love to be back on campus.“
Taking time away from studies and the workload that comes with being a student throughout this pandemic is not easy. Yet, we were honored to hear from one of Cathedral’s graduating seniors and have him share his experience with staying home.
“Distance learning is going well. It was not an easy transition because of an internet issue on my end and at first, I found it difficult to stay on task. I love that it is a little more direct and offers a variety of ways to complete doing assignments for different classes. For example, we are able to connect with teachers individually and they can give us advice or feedback on what we can do to better understand our work. I think being disciplined and keeping track of what is due should help me stay on top of my classes. In regard to colleges, I have decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg.
Cathedral received positive recognition from one of their parents, who graduated from Cathedral in 92′ and has a son that is currently attending Cathedral. Delighted and at peace, he wrote in to share a few kind words of affirmation to the whole Phantom community!
“As a parent and CHS alumni, I am especially grateful for the guidance, dedication, and motivation CHS faculty continuously instill into their students. Several faculty and staff have communicated with our son to check in on his academic progress. We even had a counselor reach out to us to check in on the family and see how we are adjusting amidst this pandemic and offer any resources if needed. Although the teaching platform at CHS has changed, the dedication, commitment and passion for student success remains constant. Take care. Stay safe & healthy.”