Principal GinaMarie Fonte, who begins her third year at the helm next month.
RESURRECTION GRAMMAR SCHOOL
The moment schools were required to close in March, and the reopening future was unclear, Resurrection Principal GinaMarie Fonte never lost sight of the fact that, “Kids need structure and real instruction, not helicopter help. They need interaction with teachers who need to teach. We redoubled our efforts to educate our children — who are our future — in every way.”
The principal, a mother of three sons, all in their 20s, was on campus every weekday throughout the shutdown. “We had to work through this, and everyone worked unselfishly to make sure students and staff had all the resources they needed.”
To that end, every teacher immediately trained in Zoom and was given a white board. Virtual classes were held from 9-12, followed by a half-hour lunch break. Office hours were held every afternoon and students Zoomed in when they needed extra help.
When school reopens, all students will arrive at 7:55 a.m. and be dismissed at 2:40 p.m. Monsignor Dwyer opens the entire church campus to the school and every foot of the nine acres will be put to good use this year for outdoor breaks and instruction, said Fonte.
For the first two months of school, Fonte’s aim is to create an environment that is as normal as possible, while safe. “Our assemblies are something everyone looks forward to, so we’re looking into Zoom versions. While we can’t offer traditional music instruction, our kids will all have rhythm!”
Resurrection will find a way to do its yearly MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) testing to benchmark students in ELA and Math. “It helps drive our instruction,” noted Fonte.
To bolster health and safety, each grade will have its own bathroom, and each classroom a cleaning station. The nurse’s office was moved to a larger space, and an isolation room was created. “Everyone is very conscious of the importance of cleanliness,” said Fonte.
The number of pre-K classes has been increased to five. The Art Room has been redesigned to allow more exits.
Smart tables, Chromebooks, and Google Classroom are now second nature, but old-fashioned creativity still has a place. The teachers have made desks look like little trucks for the younger “kiddos”, as Fonte affectionately calls them, and it looks like they will be going places this fall.
- Robin Jovanovich