Archbishop Pérez calls on the faithful to join Pope Francis in prayer live on Friday at 1:00 p.m. and receive a special Urbi et Orbi blessing.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia shares the following information on a special blessing from the Pope.
This Friday, March 27th, in Saint Peter’s Square, Our Holy Father will offer a special, Urbi et Orbi Blessing. Translated as “to the City [of Rome] and to the World, this blessing is typically reserved for Easter and Christmas.”
During this time of strife for our world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Archbishop Pérez is echoing Pope Francis’ call that faithful from throughout the Universal Church join in prayerful solidairty at 6:00 p.m. Rome time (1:00 p.m. EDT) this Friday.
During this Statio orbis, which will be broadcast by Mondovision and streamed live on the Vatican News Service website (www.vaticannews.va), the Holy Father will grant to all participants a Plenary Indulgence before imparting the Urbi et Orbi Blessing.
Please share this information broadly and join together for this powerful and historic time of prayer with the Holy Father and faithful from around the world. As Archbishop Pérez recently reminded us, “Christ is hope and through Him we are a people of hope!”
Read the new edition of the Villa Voice, with coverage of the coronavirus and how it is impacting the Villa Maria community.
The Virtual Villa guide below describes the structure for Virtual Villa, which begins Monday, March 30. The school building might be closed, but school is not!
This is uncharted territory for many of us. Distance education and correspondence courses, however, have been successful since the late 1700s in educational circles. It might not be as wonderful and fulfilling as it is to be all together on campus at Villa, but it can work!
Faculty members have embraced the opportunity to stretch their skills into a remote delivery of their classes. We are committed to continuing to deliver an exceptional education … even if we have to do it remotely. While it might be a bit of a bumpy ride at times, we will get through this … together. As our morning prayer states, may we “realize we are better together.”
If there is anything at all we administrators and technical support staff can do, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Update (March 23)
As of today, Governor Wolf has declared that schools will remain closed for at least two more weeks. The earliest date Villa Maria can reopen is April 14, after the scheduled Easter break.
The administration is working diligently on our plans for online learning, and detailed information will be sent out very soon.
The PIAA has released an update confirming that all sports remain on hold:
“The start of spring sports is postponed another two weeks and the possible re-start of the winter championships will continue to be on hold. No date has been determined to re-start any sports activities at this time. PIAA will continue to receive information from the Governor’s office, the Department of Health and the Department of Education to provide updated information.”
Update (March 12)
Villa Maria Academy High School will be closed until the end of Spring Break, March 30, as a precautionary measure.
Monday, March 16 will be a Cyber B day. Tuesday, March 17 will be a Cyber A day.
Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19 will be the two snow days that have not been used, and Friday, March 20 begins Spring Break.
School is expected to reopen on Monday, March 30; however, should this situation prolong itself, the students will be required to access the online learning platform on their Schoology account.
All sports events, practices etc. are cancelled as long as we are not in school.
- CDC symptom information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html
- National Association of School Nurses handout: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Chester County Health Department: https://www.chesco.org/4376/Coronavirus-COVID-19
- West Chester Area School District: https://www.wcasd.net/Domain/6153
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- CDC prevention advice: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html
- CDC Travel Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
School Planning and Response
Villa Maria is in close contact with the Chester County Health Department, which draws information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Villa will follow county directives concerning school closings, should there be an outbreak of the virus in this area.
We have increased the nightly cleaning with strong anti-virus agents and instructed the cleaners to wipe all surfaces like railings, doorknobs etc. each evening. There is plenty of alcohol-based hand sanitizer around the school and reminders to wash hands thoroughly.
Students, faculty, and staff should stay home if they have a fever or flu-like symptoms to lessen the spread of any illness.
With spring break and travel, please be vigilant about any quarantine obligations if you are in those situations, and please inform the school of that situation.
- If a student show signs of the illness, parents are asked to notify school immediately, and to keep the student at home.
- The student’s parent should notify the school directly by contacting Sr. Regina Ryan, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calling the school at 610-644-2551.
If a student is required to self-quarantine (no symptoms):
The student’s parent should notify the school directly by contacting Sr. Regina Ryan, (email@example.com) or calling the school at 610-644-2551. Once details are relayed, the principal will alert the school and enact the plan.
The student should self-quarantine, which means the student will not be allowed to participate in any athletic, school activities or academic classes until 14 days have concluded. A re-entry meeting will take place before the student is allowed to return to academic classes following the quarantine. The school nurse will examine the student upon return for self-quarantine purposes.
The student should be contacted by teachers to be given directives during their absences, and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction should be copied on those directives. The C &I director will reach out to the school nurse, the counselor of the student, and the teachers involved for any re-entry or updates to academic procedures.
If a student is required to self-isolate (positive test or symptoms):
If the student falls ill, the student will still be able to participate as she is able in online classes. Any delays in assignments will be communicated to teachers and adjusted to meet the needs of the student. A re-entry plan will be given to the family prior to return, and a meeting will occur to bring the student up to speed with any adjustments on their academic requirements.
The student will be required to be cleared through the CDC/County, should such requirements exist. A doctor’s note will be required for re-entry to VMAHS.
The quarantined or self-isolated student should have the following at home to participate in online learning:
- Schoology and Internet access
- Ipad or laptop. Ipad is required and useful to participate in the event there is no computer at home. All conference classes in Schoology can be delivered successfully via iPad.
- Books and resources available online or sent home with non-quarantined family member.
- Homework and assignments can be turned in electronically through schoology or as directed by teacher.
If you’re on an iPad check how much free storage space you have. If your iPad is almost full it won’t run well. Freeing up space can make your iPad run like it’s brand new! It may be time for a clean up. Delete old unneeded files and move ones you might want later to your OneDrive. The same holds true for those using a MacBook.
On a MacBook, quit unnecessary programs and close unnecessary apps. If you’re on a laptop and you have 800+ tabs open you’re not helping yourself Open tabs are probably using your bandwidth even when you aren’t using them.
Restart your device. As we move around from school, to home or to restaurants, our devices get “clogged up” with all the network settings. Restarting your device can help. It gives your iPad/MacBook a fresh start.
Faculty or Staff Illness
Should a teacher or staff member be determined to have contracted the illness, the staff member will follow CDC protocols and will stay at home. Arrangements will be made for substitutes as needed.
In order to return to school, the staff member will be required to be cleared through the CDC/County, should requirements exist.
Prolonged School Closure
Principal Sr. Regina Ryan will consult information and updates by the county, local districts and health department before calling for closure.
Should it be necessary to close school for an extended period of time, Villa Maria will conduct online classes using Schoology Conferences. Faculty have been trained on the system, and several test runs have been conducted.
All administrative learning directives and resources for conducting classes online will be posted on Schoology. Students and families will be emailed instructions on connecting to classes, which will be delivered electronically but in smaller time segments than regular classes. Each teacher will reach out to their students about delivery of online as well as electronic homework submission protocols.