Lancaster Catholic High School hosted United States Department of Education Assistant Secretary Frank Brogan Oct. 8 for a brief look at how the administration opened the school safely amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Brogan selected Lancaster Catholic as a school to visit due to its response to the pandemic, by opening safely to all students five days a week, through numerous safety precautions.
“We looked at what sorts of protocols have been put in place to make sure that everyone can come back to school safely,” Brogan said. “We looked at what a very historic institution has be doing to continue to change and evolve with the times in terms of teaching and learning, but also in regards to the reopening during the pandemic. It became a very easy choice that Lancaster Catholic was the school to come visit.”
Lancaster Catholic High School President Tim Hamer, along with Principal Terry Klugh and Vice Principal Adrienne Howe, detailed for Brogan and his associates the steps that were taken to reopen the building. Also present was the entire LCHS Pandemic Team, consisting of the school nurse, facilities manager, athletic director and the new COVID response coordinator who is in charge of contact tracing in the building. Four members of the student body were also involved in a round table discussion with the delegation.
Diocesan Secretary for Education and Superintendent Daniel Breen, present for the visit and the round table discussion, lauded the school’s response to the pandemic.
“I feel that Assistant Secretary Brogan’s visit to LCHS is a real compliment to the school for the thoughtful, prayerful manner in which they handled the reopening process,” Breen said. “Lancaster Catholic is a great exemplar of the outstanding work our 36 Catholic schools did in order to open for in-person instruction in August. In following the science, CDC guidelines and state mandates, LCHS has provided a safe environment for students and all staff.”
“I was particularly impressed with their forward-thinking use of technology in the classroom and out (e.g., thermal image scanners) and their ability to marshal resources, such as receiving support from two physicians and a nurse and employing a contact tracer,” Breen added.
The brief hour-and-a-half visit concluded with a short tour of the building. Brogan was able to witness the state-of-the-art thermal scanners used at each entrance of the building as well as classrooms that are equipped with the new technology to stream classes to those who chose to learn virtually this year.
(Kevin Carver is the Director of Strategic Communications at Lancaster Catholic. Photos courtesy of Lancaster Catholic.)
By Kevin Carver, Special to The Witness