Dear Aquinas families,
We are grateful to receive bus transportation from five different public school districts. A great deal of coordination is necessary in order to fit our schedule into the time frame allowed by our public school districts' busing schedules. This coordination has become increasingly challenging and has prompted longer school days than necessary for our students. This challenge has been compounded by the nationwide shortage of bus drivers.
This summer we have done our best to coordinate with our local busing departments to find the best solution while maintaining our continued commitment to prioritizing the safety and security of our students, as well as offering them the best experience possible in order to help them achieve success. After collaboration with the Diocese of Youngstown, representatives from the State of Ohio, our local school districts, and our Aquinas faculty, we have decided that the best solution is to adjust our school hours. Effective for the 2021-2022 school year, we will adopt a new “Student Success Schedule.” Our school day will begin at 7:55 am and end at 2:00 pm. Working within the guidelines provided by the State of Ohio Department of Education, we will offer traditional instruction from 7:55 am until 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
In order to shorten the school day, we shortened the transition time between classes and are still able to have each instructional period be greater than forty minutes in length. Lunch periods will remain the same length as last year, which matches the time frame suggested by the State of Ohio. Shortened school days will still meet the state-mandated hours and will not impact the courses we offer or the high-quality instruction that students receive.Our “Student Success Schedule” will allow us to offer an “Enrichment Hour” from 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm. This extra hour will allow us to offer the additional enrichment opportunities which we have wanted to add for the last several years and that many families have asked us to offer.
Students will learn more about their enrichment opportunities on their first day of classes and information will be sent home. Enrichment opportunities will include things such as homework help, ACT prep, advanced music opportunities, weight lifting, public speaking, and follow-up support.
We realize these changes are not ideal and are being announced late in the summer, but this change was prompted by a number of factors beyond our control. However, it is our sincere hope that this change will provide exciting opportunities for student success.
These enrichment opportunities are optional. Students are welcome to end their day at 2:00 pm. Students that have their own private means of transportation after school or who live in a school district that offers a later bus pickup are encouraged to participate in our enrichment hour. Families that utilize the busing services provided by their public school district will receive information from their district informing them of their morning pickup and afternoon drop-off times.
We will have additional information about our enrichment opportunities when school begins. If any family has any questions or concerns about this change, please contact the school at 330.875.1631.
Dan Gravo Tim Neary Teresa Caserta
President Principal Assistant/Middle School Principal