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Communication Updates

Campus Updates

  • May 18, 2020
    Dear Boston College High Families:
    While the last several months have been challenging, we have taken solace and inspiration from the many ways our community has come together to support one another.  Students and faculty have developed innovative ways to ensure continuity in the educational excellence for which Boston College High School is renowned, while also supporting the social emotional needs of our community.  Though the summer recess may be approaching, we are simultaneously working diligently with a focus on the Fall.

     

    While we’re looking forward to brighter days ahead, we also know some families may be impacted by COVID-19 in a variety of ways – from job loss or general changes in financial situations to physical health and illness that may have significantly impacted income.

     

    When you made the decision to send your son to BC High, they joined a caring and committed community.  BC High parents and alumni are concerned about current students and their families and are joining together to raise funds in the One Community: One Mission spring campaign to support current BC High families impacted by COVID-19.   If a parent has lost their job or saw their income reduced materially because of COVID-19, and/or if your family’s financial situation has changed because of a family member’s illness from COVID-19, please reach out to us to explore how BC High can assist your family with the Fall tuition.

     

    You may have recently received your son’s tuition invoice for Fall 2020.  And while it may seem a cliché at this point, we are truly all in this together.  If your family has been impacted, we’re here to support and assist in any way we can.

     

    Please reach out to us by June 12, 2020, so that we can ensure all the families requesting emergency aid because of COVID-19 are considered and available emergency aid can be disbursed to these families. Charlie Drane, Vice President of Enrollment Management is the main contact person if you have questions or would like to discuss any changes in your family’s situation. Charlie can be reached at [email protected].

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Michael J. Hoyle
    Senior Vice President Administration, Finance and Strategic Planning
  • March 25, 2020

    Hope this finds you well.

    Further to Governor Baker’s announcement today I wanted to confirm that BC High will be closed through May 3. While the hope is that school will resume on Monday, May 4, it is hard to predict given the rapidly changing landscape.

    This situation is, of course, so disappointing for all of our students. However, it is particularly upsetting for our senior students. I want to assure those boys who comprise the Class of 2020 that we are committed to celebrating their graduation, leadership, and all they have given our school, in a meaningful manner. While the current closure until May 4 will impact this, we have already started conversations to make alternative arrangements that are designed to celebrate our seniors, both individually and as group. We acknowledge their disappointment and want to assure them that we will do everything possible to honor their achievement of earning a BC High diploma. As of now we certainly intend to hold the Graduation ceremony as scheduled on Sunday, May 17. We are looking at alternative plans for the senior class awards ceremony scheduled for April 17. We will be in contact with the senior class and their families in the coming weeks.

    Again, I would like to thank faculty, staff, and students for their engagement with the remote learning program. We will continue to review and adapt it to provide continuity of learning, but more importantly to ensure that our boys stay connected to each other and their community. We will continue to keep you updated. Thank you for your ongoing support.

    Adam Lewis
    Principal

    Grace Regan ‘P12
    President

  • March 20, 2020

    Parents and Guardians

    We want to take the opportunity to thank you sincerely for your support, as we navigate this unchartered territory. It has been an extremely difficult and challenging time, but through the administration of our remote learning program we have managed to ensure that teaching and learning has happened in a meaningful way, albeit it fundamentally different in nature. More importantly, we are attempting to stay connected to each other and sustain the relationships which underpin our BC High community and the formation of our boys. While there will be ongoing challenges, please know we are deeply committed to this end.

    Please click here to read communiques sent to your son/s from Kim Smith (Academic Vice-Principal) and Hollis Brooks (Vice-Principal for Student Affairs). These contain updated and important administrative information in relation to our remote learning program.

    We would like to acknowledge our faculty especially, who are doing extraordinary work in difficult times. They have brought our students into their own context in a very unique way, in order to accompany them as best as possible. We are inspired by their commitment to our mission and deeper purpose, through their care of our boys. For this we are deeply grateful.

    A significant part of our Ignatian Spirituality is relationship and conversation. While we may not have the same physical presence with each other as a community currently, we trust that our relationships will continue to bring us back to who we are and all we hope and dream for our young men. While we may be a dispersed community, we are reminded of the way St. Ignatius and the first companions saw themselves as a ‘communitas ad dispersionem’ – a community in dispersion. We will continue to draw strength from this and use it as a reminder of our privilege of being part of a Jesuit community, which has Christ at its heart.

    Please pray for all people, especially those who are most vulnerable and who are on the front lines helping to contain this pandemic.

    Thank you for your support.

    Adam Lewis
    Principal

    Grace Regan ‘P12
    President

    To Students

    First, I want to say well done in making it through this first week. There has been a lot of change and it has been quick, significant and unpredictable. Well done to all of you for your perseverance. Thank you for your attention to Mr. Brooks’ email about decorum. Thank you for your agility in trying to figure out this new way of being ‘in school’.

    I wanted to update you on a few topics around remote learning so that you know the faculty is working really hard to figure out ways to make this experience good for you. And by good, I mean that you continue to learn, think, spend time together, reflect and grow.

    Day Off

    We will take a day off of all things school-related on Friday, March 27. You don’t have to log in or do homework on that day. There has been a lot going on in school and in the world, and we think you could use a day off. Please be kind to your family, do chores, and enjoy your time.

    Homework

    Our goal for homework is to keep you learning and thinking. We want to engage you but not overwhelm you; teachers are working to strike this right balance. It might feel like there is more homework since all learning work is now ‘home’work. However, if you are feeling like the homework in a given class is too burdensome, you should email your teacher and/or your guidance counselor with the concern. There will be no homework assigned on the weekends as we try to help create healthy boundaries around workload.

    Semester Two Grade for High School

    We will have only one second semester grade for our high school students this year (no Quarter 3 or Quarter 4). This will allow us flexibility in making assignments work around this remote situation. Because of this, we do not have Test Days this week.

    Week Three (March 30-April 3):

    In order to both maintain a daily structure and find longer stretches of time to do things like projects, etc., the high school is looking to make a shift to our schedule in Week Three. We will let you know what these changes may entail early next week.

    We all appreciate being part of this community, even (and especially) in times that are difficult. I am so glad that each of you continues to strive to be your best self. My prayers and hope continue to be with you.

    Take good care of yourself and those around you.

    Ms. Smith

    PS If you would like to communicate around this topic, please email me at [email protected] rather than this email which I do not check regularly.

    Hello,

    We hope that you and your loved ones are holding up okay and feeling healthy.

    Please remember the following when you prepare to engage through video/conference calls:

    • Behave appropriately, as if you are in class, at BC High.
    • Wear appropriate clothing. While you may be at home, you are still in school while engaging with your teachers and peers. Shirts are not optional.
    • Try to find a quiet place to do your work. If you have no other spot than your bedroom, make sure your room is tidy and minimally distracting to others (video conferencing).
    • Focus on your learning, not changing the background screen on your video conference back-drop. Be your best selves while interacting virtually.
    • Do not video/phone conference from inappropriate places (bathrooms). If you need to use the restroom while “in class” do so without your device.
    • BE RESPECTFUL. We have learned of several occasions of students using inappropriate screen names, backgrounds, etc. This behavior, at its core, is selfish and immature. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?

    Now that you have had a few days to experience our approach to distance learning, it might be a good time to remind you of our greater responsibility to society. As you know, we have closed school to mitigate the effects of a global pandemic. Many organizations are suspending operations in order to support our country’s efforts at reducing the spread of the virus. We expect those types of closures to continue and we want to remind everyone of the importance of us all doing our own part. Some of us will be intimately impacted by this virus. It is so important that we try our best to support those in our lives who need help.

    Part of your responsibility is to afford this situation the respect that it demands, with an eye towards diminishing the virus’ ability to impact folks in a negative manner. While it may seem trivial, this goal can be advanced through your daily actions- how seriously you manage your social distancing, limiting the times you leave your home, looking for ways to safely help those in need, etc. This philosophy extends into our virtual classrooms.

    With our distance learning now finding its stride, teachers may be changing how you are graded. Participation grades could be increased/modified and impacted by your ability to start on time, be respectful, dress accordingly, etc. You should be asking yourself: How can I make people’s lives easier around me? While a good sense of humor has its place during stressful times, you should be mindful that others could be more stressed than you, and for good reason. Do you want to add to their stress or help the situation? Is your attempt at humor truly funny for everyone? Your actions will reflect how you feel about this. Your actions will reflect your character.

    If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please email them to me. We will all need to work together to make the best of these times and I am very confident that we will answer that call, as a community.

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Brooks

    PS – If you do care to email me, please send your correspondence to [email protected], as I do not check emails sent to this account (from where this email is originating).

  • March 13, 2020

    Based on information we have received from local, state, and national authorities regarding COVID-19, we have made the difficult but necessary decision for Boston College High School to remain closed from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29. Please understand that this is a preventative and precautionary measure to help limit the spread of COVID-19. There have been no reported cases amongst our students or staff. As previously reported, two parents in our community did test positive for the virus and were quarantined with their son as required.

    This campus closure impacts ALL activities including academic, campus ministry, as well as co-curricular activities, and athletics. The Spring sports season will begin on March 30 when students return to campus. Students should not travel to BC High when school is out of session to use playing fields/athletic facilities. We encourage students to remain at home. All external campus bookings have been cancelled through March 31.

    The Safety of the BC High Community is our Paramount Concern

    Please know that any decision we make has at its center the safety of our community, coupled with our ability to still provide an outstanding education for our students. While we much prefer to have our students in the building, we also feel at this point this is the best course of action to ensure our community is safe. We are acutely aware of the impact this has on our students’ relationships with each other, and with our adults in the community. Given the centrality of these relationships in our community and that they are the underpinning factor of our boys’ formation, we do not take these decisions lightly. We are particularly mindful of our senior students, as their time at BC High draws to a close.

    While our primary responsibility is to our BC High community, we are also aware of the important role we have in doing all that we can to prevent the expansion of the virus here in Boston and beyond. The reality is that we are a community that can have more than 1,600 people in the building at any given time. We are taking these steps to prioritize social distancing and minimize large gatherings of people, and our actions are consistent with recent recommendations from the CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    We want to provide an opportunity for students to collect items from their locker should it be necessary. To that end, we will open the school this Sunday, March 15 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. We would ask that students sanitize their hands via the dispensers as they enter the building and go directly to and from their lockers. High School students should enter the school via the main entrance of McQuillan Hall and students in the Arrupe Division should enter through Walsh Hall.

    Online Class Begins March 16 at 8:30 a.m.

    Online classes will commence at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 16, via Canvas. Please find included here our Remote Learning Protocol and Procedure document. Families of high school students should inform Ms. Kim Smith (Academic Vice-Principal) at [email protected], if you anticipate challenges providing a remote learning environment for your son/s. Arrupe families should contact Mr. Bob Hamblet (Vice-Principal of Arrupe Division) at [email protected].

    Next Steps

    We would like to remind all parents and guardians that the BC High website contains updated information concerning the School’s response to COVID-19, in addition to a link for families to report any planned travel. We ask all families to review the website regularly for updates and to share with us any travel plans. We also ask all families to notify the School immediately if a family member has contracted the virus and/or they believe their student has been exposed to it. Subject to any announcements regarding school closures made by the City of Boston or the Commonwealth, we will be in contact as the situation progresses.

    Again, thank you for your understanding and support, and for helping to keep our students safe and healthy.

    Adam Lewis
    Principal

    Grace Regan ‘P12
    President

  • March 11, 2020

    On March 11, 2020, we were notified that parents of a student in our community have tested positive for COVID-19. As soon as we became aware of this potential exposure, we notified the Department of Public Health and implemented their son’s quarantine from School, in accordance with DPH recommendations. Fortunately, this student tested negative for the virus, although he will remain in quarantine for as long as recommended.

    At this point it is important to be clear that we are confident as we can be, that we do not have COVID-19 at BC High. There have been no reported cases amongst our students or staff.

    School Deep Clean on March 12 and 13

    As a result of the above information and given the State of Emergency declared yesterday for Massachusetts, we have made the decision to close all BC High school buildings tomorrow, Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, to conduct a deep clean of the school.Therefore, starting Thursday, March 12, all BC High Campus school buildings will be closed through Friday, March 13. This campus closure impacts ALL activities including academic, campus ministry, as well as co-curricular activities, and athletics. In addition, this closure extends to all external use of the facilities through Friday. We plan to open for a normal school day on Monday, March 16.

     

    Ignatian Values Day, scheduled for this Friday, has been postponed.

    Students are to access academic work via Canvas over the next two days, where teachers will post assigned work. We are prepared to utilize this online management system to ensure continued academic operations if it becomes necessary to do so over an extended period of time.

    As we have referenced in our previous communique, we have already conducted a number of deep cleans, in addition to implementing enhanced regular cleaning of all surfaces, as is becoming more routine at schools across the Commonwealth. Given the news we received this morning, however, we feel it is prudent to conduct an additional deep clean, out of an abundance of caution. We also feel it is important to take the next two days to evaluate more thoroughly a rapidly changing landscape.

    Update on Mitigation Efforts

    While we cannot stop the transmission of COVID-19, we will continue efforts to mitigate its progression, while remaining focused on providing your son/s with an outstanding education. We understand that this is only possible if we are providing a safe and healthy environment by limiting contact between people where possible.

    We would like to remind all parents and guardians that the BC High website contains updated information concerning the School’s response to COVID-19, in addition to a link for families to report any planned travel. We ask all families to review the website regularly for updates and to share with us any travel plans. We also ask all families to notify the School immediately if a family member has contracted the virus and/or they believe their student has been exposed to it.

    As you are aware, we have already canceled a number of planned international trips. We have also put in place revised practices around the administration of meals in the building, to limit the potential for exposure among students and staff. We have also canceled all outside groups who had booked to use the school from today to March 31st, at which point we will review the situation.

    Adam Lewis
    Principal

    Grace Regan ‘P12
    President

  • March 4, 2020

    In light of the newly released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we wanted to provide an update to our community.

    BC High is closely monitoring and following information from the CDC, along with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the City of Boston Public Health Commission. Our planning and decision-making is guided by information from these sources and our own internal health protocols. This remains a fluid and evolving situation. We have made the decision to require any member of our community who has travelled to an area deemed high risk by the CDC (Level 2 or higher) to remain at home for two weeks from the date of their return to the United States.

    Hyde Center for Global Education and Overseas Travel

    The trip to Beijing, China was cancelled on February 3. Fr. Jim Croghan, SJ, interim director of the Hyde Center, will communicate directly with the families of students scheduled to go on trips over the upcoming months to let them know the decision to cancel trips through to the end of May. More cancellations are likely as we continue to monitor the spread and impact of COVID-19. This includes the Choir trip to Hungary in April.

    April Vacation Travel Plans

    Based on the latest travel guidance from the CDC, we ask families who will be traveling to countries significantly impacted by the virus to self-quarantine upon their return to the U.S. for 14 days. As of today, these countries include China, South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran. These are the countries for which the CDC has currently issued Level 2 and higher travel advisories. We understand this may create a burden for some families, however, we think it is important to make this request out of an abundance of caution to mitigate the risk to our community.

    If you have recently or will be traveling to one of the above-listed countries, please contact our nurses, Theresa Hartel, [email protected], or Bev Loughnane, [email protected], to let them know your plans so we can keep track of students and families who will be in these affected areas.

    Campus Illness Prevention Efforts

    While COVID-19 is dominating headlines, the flu remains a greater risk to our community at this time. We have implemented enhanced regular cleaning of all surfaces to prevent the transmission of viruses, as well as additional deep cleans. The cleaning practices we have in place for the flu also cover recommendations for COVID-19. The most important thing you can do to help in these efforts is to keep your son(s) home from school if they are running a fever or display any other symptoms of illness, such as coughing or sneezing. As a reminder, we ask everyone to continue to take proactive precautions as recommended by public health authorities to prevent the spread of the virus. Because the coronavirus, in addition to influenza, is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing by infected people, it is important to take the following actions to stay healthy:

    • Wash your hands frequently. Use warm water and soap. This can’t be done too often.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Do not sneeze or cough into your hands.
    • Students are required to stay home if they have a temperature, sore throat, achy joints, and/or severe cold symptoms.
    • Call your doctor if you have questions about your son’s symptoms.

    We are prepared to take the appropriate steps needed to serve our school community, both in the short term and long term. In the unlikely event that our day-to-day functions are disrupted, Canvas, our learning management system will be utilized to continue academic operations during any period of closure.

    Please rest assured that we are continuing to monitor this evolving situation closely. We have a Pandemic Preparedness Plan in place and will continue to follow the guidance of health officials and the CDC.

    Thank you for your support in keeping our community healthy during this time.

    Adam Lewis
    Principal

    Grace Regan ‘P12
    President

Alumni Letters

  • March 26, 2020
    Dear Friends,
    I’m reaching out in follow up to last week’s email from President Regan and Principal Lewis informing you of the unprecedented steps BC High is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Our BC High alumni community has always been incredibly dedicated to supporting our students and each other. That has never been more apparent than it is right now. With this in mind, we have been reflecting upon ways that BC High can help support you during this time.

    Maybe that’s connecting you with BC High-owned businesses, offering a virtual Mass at Loyola Chapel (attended by more than 800 this past Sunday!), or helping young alumni with networking. We want to help. The Alumni Office has created an online resource board here to get started. Please contact us with other ideas.

    At the same time, many of you have reached out to ask how you can best help our students today. In response, we have created an Emergency Financial Aid Fund to help ensure that a BC High education remains possible for all young men in need. Many of our students will face difficult financial circumstances at home due to this crisis, and our ability to offer financial aid to keep these boys at BC High will be more important than ever.

    If you have an interest at this time, you can support this fund by clicking here.
  • March 19, 2020

    Friends,

    We hope that you and your families are all safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. All our lives have changed dramatically over the past days with the rapidly developing situation of COVID-19. You are an important part of our Alumni Network, and we want to ensure that we stay connected, helping and supporting each other during these uncertain days.

    You may rest assured that BC High has complied with local and federal guidance from the moment this crisis began, leading our peer schools with a quick and efficient response. We took proactive measures to close campus for a complete, deep cleaning as of Thursday, March 12. We then adjusted our plans in accordance with Governor Baker’s announcement over the weekend, and sincerely hope that school will resume on April 7.

    Monday marked our first day of Remote Learning at BC High. Our boys logged on just after the start of normal school hours for an abbreviated seven period schedule of classes – even choir. In the afternoons, teachers held virtual office hours through Zoom, Canvas, and email. Relationships are central to the formation of our boys, so it is crucial that we continue to meet and learn in this new way.

    We truly can’t thank our faculty and staff enough for answering the call in this historic moment. They have quickly mobilized to learn new technologies, architect new strategies, and create new opportunities for students to continue learning. Their devotion to our young men, and the boys’ passionate response, has been simply aweinspiring. The gratitude of our parents and families has been a source of great strength in this time, and we are proud to have their continued confidence.

    While learning continues, we are disappointed at having to postpone alumni events previously scheduled for April, including Grand Reunion and the St. Ignatius Awards. These are always some of our most special moments on campus, and we will treasure them twice as much when we are able to celebrate together later this year.

    But, as BC High alumni, you know that physical proximity is not what connects us. Your brotherhood, shared experience, and passion are the spirit that unites this alumni community. This is never more important than in times of great adversity and challenge. In companionship with you we will continue to stand as a beacon of light in this community, in our country, and in our world. It’s that deeper purpose that defines a BC High formation.

    Many of you have asked us what you can do to help our students today. In response, we have created a special Financial Aid Fund to help ensure that a BC High education remains open to all young men. Many working families will face new economic circumstances due to this crisis, and our ability to offer financial aid will be more important than ever before. If you are moved to help at this time, you can support this fund by clicking here. While we know that our boys are facing unsettling changes in their everyday lives, together our BC High family will lift them up through these events.

    May we never forget that St. Ignatius’ metanoia took place in bed, as he lay recovering from life-threatening injuries. This quiet period of intense reflection bore great fruits for Ignatius and our world, as his internal growth gave way to the dream that would become the Society of Jesus. We pray these days to come are not as difficult for our young men, but we know that Jesus will walk with them through uncertainty. And in the light of tomorrow, the need for their leadership – their bold hearts, sure hands, and sound minds – will be greater than ever before.

    We are deeply grateful for your partnership in our mission.

    Grace Regan ‘P12
    President

    Adam Lewis
    Principal

    P.S. Our Jesuit community is working on ways to provide BC High with much-needed spiritual support during this time. On Sunday, we hope to bring our community together for a virtual livestreaming Mass from Loyola Chapel at 10:00 a.m. Check your in box for an email update this weekend.

  • March 13, 2020

    Dear Alumni & Friends,

    As the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Boston College High School is taking all precautions necessary to help ensure the health and safety of our community. Earlier today, President Grace Regan P’12 and Principal Adam Lewis announced that BC High’s campus will close through Sunday, March 29, and we will be moving to online instruction during that time.

    With the best interests of our community in mind during these extraordinary circumstances, we have made the difficult decision to postpone previously scheduled Alumni events through the end of April. This includes Grand Reunion and the St. Ignatius Awards.

    Grand Reunion for the classes of 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, previously scheduled for April 4, will be celebrated during Alumni Homecoming and Family Weekend on Saturday, October 3, 2020.

    The St. Ignatius Awards, previously scheduled for April 1, will be postponed. We will be in touch with alternate plans for this important event.

    Included below is a FAQ section with more information.

    We are profoundly grateful for the leadership and commitment of our Alumni Advisory Council, Reunion Committees, the St. Ignatius Awards Committee, and the many donors who have already made generous gifts or pledges to commemorate their Reunion at BC High. Please know that you and your families are in our prayers. We have no doubt that our community’s unique strength and commitment to one another will shine brightly during this challenging time.

    If we can support you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

    AMDG,

    Kelly DeGregorio, CFRE
    Vice President for Institutional Advancement

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where can I get up to date information on BC High’s response to COVID-19?
    As a community, we will continue to act to mitigate COVID-19’s progression, while remaining focused on providing our young men with an outstanding education. Real time updates will be posted on BC High’s website, here.

    What if I already registered for Grand Reunion and can’t attend on the new date on Saturday, October 3?
    Registered Reunion attendees may choose to make their registration fees a gift to BC High, or may opt for a refund. Please click here to contact the Alumni Office.

    I already registered for Grand Reunion and I plan to attend on Saturday, October 3 – do I need to re-register?
    No. If we don’t hear from you otherwise, your registration will be applied toward the new date.

    I haven’t registered yet – when can I register for the new Grand Reunion date?
    Registration for Grand Reunion is open and to see a list of who is attending click here.

    What about other BC High Alumni events after April 30?
    Decisions on other events, including the 50thReunion Weekend (May 15-17), Grandparents Day (May 28) and the Golden Eagles Mass & Lunch (June 3) will be made and communicated with the Alumni Network in the coming weeks. The health and safety of our community is paramount.