Archbishop Carroll launches COVID protection plan


Mrs. Diane Gimpel

Stickers provide reminders for students traversing the halls.

Audrey Becker, Staff writer

Archbishop Carroll has taken extensive steps to ensure that their students can safely return to campus this school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together we will focus on the health and well-being of everyone on campus while working diligently to fulfill their spiritual, academic, arts and athletic, and other needs,” said Principal Anchen Schulz and President James Leary in an email detailing the reopening plan. 

For example, the school has implemented one-way hallways and a ten-minute gap between classes (as opposed to last year’s four minutes) — allowing students to maintain social distancing while allowing them to arrive at class in a timely manner. 

“I think the one-way hallways are a great and effective way to deter infections,” said junior Megan Rayner. “The 10-minute time period from class to class really helps me get to my classes on time without coming into contact with many people.” 

Additionally, large stickers have been placed on the floors of each hallway at a six-foot distance, acting as a guideline and reminder to distance from other students in-between classes. Teachers monitor the hallways, ensuring that these regulations are being followed. 

One of the biggest changes that has faced the Carroll community is the cafeteria’s new layout; instead of tables and chairs in the lunchroom, they’ve been replaced by rows of desks six feet apart facing the same direction. Each student must pick which desk they want to sit at in the beginning of the school year. This will be their seat for the remainder of the year, allowing staff to monitor which students have been near each other in the case of a positive COVID-19 test. 

School-provided lunch has also been affected. To maintain social distancing and avoid direct contact with lunchroom staff, students may pre-order their food via the Aramark app to allow for quick, non-contact, service. Items such as pizza slices, chicken nuggets, and french fries have been individually packaged as well. During lunch, students are allowed to remove their masks to eat their food, but if they were to leave their seat for any reason, the mask must be put back on. At the end of the lunch period, all students are required to wipe down and sanitize their assigned desk. 

Similarly, classrooms have also taken up the desk-distancing layout, even removing teacher’s desks to provide more room for students to socially distance their workspaces. Classes themselves have also been shortened from 47 minutes to 40 minutes.

The building isn’t the only part of school that’s been subject to change: both the student handbook and school uniforms have been updated. Because Carroll has had a school uniform in place for decades, the administration was able to mandate masks as part of the dress code. It has been made clear that masks are required at all times unless a student is at their desk during their lunch period. The administration has also opted to keep the summer uniform (red or white Carroll polo, skirt/khakis, sperrys, solid-color mask) in place year-round to avoid any unnecessary hassle. Safety protocols, such as daily temperature checks at the door, have also been added into the school day and are supported by the student handbook, as mentioned on Archbishop Carroll’s website. 

As a Catholic school, Mass is an important part of the community at Carroll, and to keep it that way, Mass will now be live streamed on YouTube enabling students and parents to watch at home. To accommodate this new format for Mass, as well as general assemblies and other gatherings that normally take place in the auditorium, stickers have been placed at a three-seat distance. This indicates where students can and cannot sit for these events.