School Starting in Distance Learning for Fall Term | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


School Starting in Distance Learning for Fall Term

ca gov school reopening checklist

Our Covid Operational Task Force (COTF) is preparing for three different learning scenarios, distance, in-person/on-campus, and hybrid. Our Academic Team has crafted an adaptive class schedule that will stay consistent and can be applied to any learning scenario. This class schedule was designed deliberately as we expect things to change over the rest of the year and we remain confident in our ability to provide a rigorous, quality education while safeguarding the health of our students, faculty, staff and community. 

Today California Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference during which he announced that all schools (private and public) located within a county that is on the state monitoring watchlist will start in distance learning this August. The county must be off of the watchlist for 14 consecutive days in order to start on campus learning. Alameda County is currently on the state watchlist. In light of this fact, and under the guidance of our diocese and the Alameda County Public Health Department, we will be following Governor Newsom’s mandate and will start in our distance learning scenario on August 17th. 

Benefits of Starting the Semester in Distance Learning 

  • Risk to vulnerable community members is mitigated by continuing to physically distance. 
  • Starting with distance learning will allow us to refine our remote instructional techniques, apply your feedback from last semester and give our teachers the opportunity to test our new equipment and software. 
  • Students will have the chance to change(drop/add) their classes and get settled into their school routines without physically moving classrooms. 
  • Our COTF Health & Safety team will have more time to retrofit our campus with new safety signage, hygiene equipment, technology and implement new traffic flow procedures. 
  • The mental health and stress of not knowing what will happen in August is now alleviated and we can focus on how to move forward. 

Each learning scenario has its positive and negative aspects and we know there is not one perfect answer for every family. The decision to start in distance learning will help us refine our strategy over the next month and give us the opportunity to improve our on-campus health and safety plans. During the Governor’s press conference today he outlined multiple requirements schools will need to meet in order to resume on-campus learning. Here is where we stand on those requirements. 

We know you have many questions and as we get more information we will be sharing additional updates. Please stay tuned for the following: 

  1. July 20 announcement from the California Interscholastic Federation regarding our athletic program for next year. 
  2. COTF Health & Safety Webinar update regarding our facilities & procedures.
  3. More specific details regarding on campus activities and clubs.
  4. Special attention will be given to our incoming freshmen class. 


During last week’s COTF Academic webinar Principal Guevara used the analogy of being on a flight. All the preparation, trust, logistics and coordination it requires to defy gravity and fly together is a parallel for our current times. Our flight is booked for August 17 and we now know the direction our plane will take. Please continue to wear your mask, physically distance yourself and wash your hands frequently. Thank you all for your support, faith and resilience! 

Check out our Fall Semester Updates for additional information.