Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

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Ready for Reopening

Throughout the summer, a committee of faculty, staff, and administrators carefully considered recommendations from the CDC, the PA Departments of Health and Education, medical professionals in our community, as well as feedback from parents, faculty, and staff. The group met regularly and developed plans for three scenarios: in-person instruction and learning for the entire school, a hybrid model with students attending classes two days per week and learning from home three days per week, and an all-online model. The rapidly changing status of the COVID-19 pandemic will require us to be flexible and ready to make changes quickly, potentially implementing different parts of our plans at different times in the year. We thank you for your prayers, understanding, and patience as we have been working to keep the health, safety and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff our top priority.

OLSH's Re-Opening Plan - Fall 2020

During the first weeks of school, we will continue to evaluate options for the remainder of the school year, with the goal of returning to full in-person instruction as soon as it is safely possible. Our decision to change from the hybrid model will be based on the situation in Allegheny County and the number of positive cases among the OLSH community.

Hybrid Model

The majority of our students will begin the 2020-2021 school year in a hybrid model, spending some days on campus and others attending live virtual classes from home.

To maximize in-person learning for students in the hybrid model, students will attend in-person classes 3 days a week and live virtual classes two days a week on an alternating basis.

All-virtual Model

Families may elect to have their students attend live virtual classes full time.

Full In-Person Model

“Fully back in-person” remains our goal for all who desire it. A number of families expressed concerns about the impact of online learning on their child(ren). In response to their input, we will initiate a 5-day in-person learning effort that includes a limited number of students at the start of the school year. Additions, modifications, and/or learning option changes for the remainder of the first nine weeks of school will be communicated by September 21.

The first week of school will feature Orientation Days for each grade level, beginning on August 31. This staggered start will feature opportunities for class meetings, as well as offer an orientation to the changes that are being implemented. More details about these Orientation Days will be sent directly to families.


We are prepared to move seamlessly between three models this school year - in-person instruction for the entire school, hybrid instruction, and full remote instruction, as the situation warrants. The Principal will be continuously reviewing current guidelines and recommendations, as well as monitoring the situation within our community.

The Principal may decide to continue or move to hybrid instruction or full remote instruction for reasons such as (but not limited to):

  • Community spread of the illness in classrooms, individual school buildings, and across the OLSH community 
  • Lack of bus drivers to cover necessary runs to get students to and from school for the day 
  • The number of teachers absent leading to the inability to cover classrooms in a manner that ensures the safety and welfare of students 
  • Inability to provide food to students during the school day due to absences of AVI employees 
  • Lack of custodial staff to be able to clean buildings nightly

Health and Safety Expectations for OLSH students and families

Each member of the OLSH community has a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19. OLSH's plans for enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols include increased cleaning of high traffic areas throughout the day, hand sanitizer in each classroom, and regular deep cleaning.

We ask our students and families, as well as our faculty and staff, to commit to the following health and safety procedures:

Please Note: A zero tolerance policy regarding the wearing of masks and adherence to State/CDC guidelines and building protocols will be enforced, as well as our normal discipline procedures.

Follow federal, state, and local orders.  All families and employees are expected to follow directives from national, state, and local authorities to maintain their own health and safety during the pandemic. These include PA Department of Health guidelines, and the CDC Guide on Protecting Yourself and Others.

Contact OLSH if a family member tests positive for COVID-19. If a student, staff member, or member of their household tests positive for COVID-19, the school must be notified as soon as possible. Please contact an administrator (principal/assistant principal), with questions or to report a positive COVID-19 test result. This information will remain confidential and will allow the school to work with the Allegheny County Health Department in effective contact tracing procedures to limit the possible spread of the coronavirus. Individuals with positive test results will not be permitted to return to school for 10 days plus 3 days from resolution of symptoms. Families will be notified via eblast and phoneblast of a positive test result in the community and any changes to the school's operational protocol the same day the school is notified of a positive test result.

Participate in health screenings. Parents/Guardians of students, as well as OLSH faculty/staff, will be asked to monitor symptoms prior to their arrival at school. These symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of smell or taste (without congestion), sore throat, chills, muscle pain, achiness, headache, and congestion or runny nose

One or more symptoms

Or Two or more of the following symptoms

Fever of 100.0 or higher

Lack of smell or taste (without congestion)


Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing

Sore throat


Muscle pain


Congestion or runny nose

Nausea or vomiting


Check temperature daily.  Using a touchless/scan thermometer, students will have temperatures taken as they enter the building. Any student exhibiting signs of illness will be sent to an  isolation area and their parents/guardian will be contacted to take the student home or to a healthcare facility.

Wear a face covering. Per the Secretary of the PA Department of Health’s order on July 1, 2020, and until further notice, all students, staff, and guests are required to properly wear a cloth face mask at all times while on campus. Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth and must be secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. Cloth face coverings need to be laundered regularly. If a student forgets their face mask, one will be provided for them for that school day. 

Face shields are permitted as an alternative to cloth face masks. Per CDC guidelines, if face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin. 

Individuals must wear a face covering (mask or shield) unless they have a medical or mental condition or disability, documented in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school. A doctor’s note will be required to document any ADA condition preventing an individual from wearing either a mask or face shield.

Practice physical distancing. All students and staff must adhere to the six-foot physical distance guidelines, where feasible. These guidelines are made known through signage and decals on the walls and floors, physical arrangement of furniture, and written and/or verbal communication.

Practice excellent hygiene. It is critically important that students, faculty and staff wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Plan ahead for lunch. The OLSH cafeteria's a la carte options will be replaced with boxed lunch options. More details about this will be sent to families soon. 

Be prepared with supplies. All students should have their own supplies, such as writing utensils, calculators, etc. Teachers may request specific supplies for certain classes, such as the Laudate app or a New American Bible for all Theology classes. Students are permitted to carry a water bottle throughout the day. Please be sure all supplies, including masks and water bottles, are clearly labeled with the student’s name.

Avoid unnecessary travel. Families should review CDC and PA Department of Health travel health notices before undertaking any travel, particularly to an international destination. Students who have traveled to a “hot spot”  area on either the CDC or state list will be expected to self-isolate and attend school remotely for 14 days. Students may return to school after 14 days if no COVID-19 symptoms emerge.

Avoid public gatherings in which physical distancing cannot be maintained. COVID-19 is often spread when there is close contact between individuals. Physical distancing and avoiding close contact in public spaces are proven ways to slow the spread of pandemics. We ask members of our community to make responsible decisions about possible exposure to avoid bringing any exposure into the school.

Learning remotely as a choice

We recognize that some students may not wish to return to campus, electing instead to attend classes remotely full-time with the support of our faculty and staff. Teachers have participated in special training to facilitate the management of blending in-person and online instruction. New technology, including microphones for teachers, is being purchased to enhance the remote-learning experience.

Prepared for full distance learning

In the event in-person schooling is not possible based on guidance from the PA Department of Health or Education or a state-wide mandate from the governor's office, OLSH is prepared to move to a full distance learning model for all students.

Daily Schedule

Students will follow the same daily schedule, whether on campus or learning remotely. Synchronous online learning means that students will view live classes, following their regular schedule as if they were in the classroom.

Safe learning environment

To meet guidelines to help keep students and staff safe, OLSH has made changes to our classrooms and physical environment.


  • Classrooms have been arranged for maximum physical distancing feasible with all desks facing the same direction. Student seating will be designated in each classroom. In some cases, the size of our on-campus student population may prevent desks from being distanced 3-6 feet.
  • Strategies for maximizing physical distancing include single-direction hallways and staircases and a review of the schedule to minimize traffic in common areas.
  • OLSH's HVAC system is designed to circulate outside air and filters have been checked, cleaned, and replaced as needed.
  • Student lockers have been assigned to limit close contact as much as possible.
  • Students are encouraged to have their own supplies for each class. Additional materials have been purchased to ensure individual use of classroom supplies.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided in each classroom and in common areas. Students are permitted to carry their own hand sanitizer with them throughout the day.


By public school district

Many OLSH students are transported to OLSH via buses or vans supplied by their local public school districts. OLSH has requested transportation for students from these districts. If you do NOT require transportation this year, you must contact your school district's transportation office directly. There is a list of contact information on the Student/Parent Portal of the OLSH website. Some school districts have asked for additional information or surveys to be completed. Those requests have been forwarded to the appropriate OLSH families as we have received them.


By OLSH contracted bus

Details related to bus transportation for families outside of the public school busing area for the North suburbs and Beaver county will be shared as soon as they are available.


By car

Students are still able to purchase a parking pass during the first week of school. Parents dropping off and picking up students will continue to do so following the traffic pattern and drop off spot on the road behind the school building. 


Students are expected to enter the school building immediately upon drop off and to not congregate in the parking lot or other outside areas.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • All surfaces and floors will be cleaned and disinfected with EPA approved products. Highly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, desks, etc. will be sanitized frequently throughout the school day. 
  • Water fountains will be covered and not permitted to be used. Water bottle filling stations will replace water fountains.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the school day.

OLSH Athletics

OLSH Athletics has developed a plan for participation in accordance with recommendations from the CDC, PA Department of Health, and the PIAA and WPIAL. The full plan is posted below and is subject to change as the situation changes.

In accordance with the PIAA, spectators will not be permitted at sporting events during the fall season.

Student-athletes will need to submit a signed waiver and will be asked the following pre-screening questions before taking part in any in-person practice or activity.

OLSH Athletics – Pre-screening Questions

Questions asked of each athlete, by a team coach, prior to a workout/competition:

  • Has your temperature been taken today? What is your temperature?
  • Have you had any cold, flu-like symptoms, coughing or breathing issues in the past 14 days?
  • Have you travelled out of the state/area in the past 14 days?
  • Have you had any close contact with a COVID-19 diagnosed person in the past 14 days?
Click here for the full athletics plan.

Reopening Goals

In addition to the goals stated within the OLSH Mission and Vision Statements, the committee also addressed the following goals:


  • Ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all students and faculty/staff.
    • CDC and PA Departments of Health and Education guidelines and recommendations were considered, including social distancing in classrooms and common areas; hygiene, cleaning, and sanitizing recommendations; and guidelines for quarantine in the event of positive cases or exposure.
  • Maintain and foster our Catholic identity.
    • Our committee took time to consider how students can continue to experience Mass and prayer safely following Diocesan guidelines.
  • Continue to offer a high quality academic program
    • While aspects of some programs will look different, our dedicated and talented faculty are preparing for new ways of instruction by attending professional development workshops provided by Robert Morris University. These workshops will provide our teachers with the skill sets needed to meet the needs of our students, whether they are learning in-person, online, or via a combination of the two.
  • Make in-person learning happen whenever safe and possible. 
    • We recognize that an ideal learning environment features engagement between students and teachers and among each other, and to that end we want to be able to incorporate in-person learning whenever possible.
  • Consider students' mental health and social-emotional well-being.
    • The committee acknowledged the toll taken on the mental health and well-being of students and considered ways for students to remain engaged and connected with classmates learning at home.

Reopening Checklist for OLSH Families

  • Review the reopening plan and talk about what it means for your family.
  • Consider purchasing additional cloth masks or face shields for your student. One mask will be provided for each student.
  • Consider purchasing hand sanitizer for your child to carry with them throughout the day to reduce the use of shared hand sanitizer in the classrooms. Each classroom and all common areas will be supplied with hand sanitizer stations.