Bishop Guertin has received local and national attention for its response to the coronavirus pandemic. From transitioning from a brick and mortar school to an online school in 72 hours to our effective communication and innovative efforts to re-create the BG experience virtually, we have been called “a model for schools across the country.”
The strength of any community is reflected in its response to difficult times. Recent months have presented us with uncertainty in many forms, but thanks to the investment and trust of 100 faculty and staff members, 800 students, 1,600 parents, 8,500 alumni, and countless friends of the school, the Bishop Guertin community responded to all these trials with a resounding testament to the strength of our community and our mission, including:
- The complete transition of our faculty and curriculum to online instruction in only 72 hours, with only one missed school day.
- Live, online, daily, full classes on a fixed schedule conducted via videoconferencing, providing normalcy, routine, and progress.
- Outstanding attendance rates, typically even higher than a regular school day.
- Increased independence and ownership by students in managing their assignments during this time.
- Continued strong student-teacher relationships that guided the learning process and provided sanctuary from fear and uncertainty.
- Continued academic integrity, including continuation of our curriculum as well as the opportunity to recognize excellence through our normal grading scale instead of transitioning to pass/fail.
- A daily advisory program that included morning prayer.
- Weekly “Formation Wednesday” programs that included special interest activities, clubs, service, prayer, and career-based experiences offered by our alumni and parents with specialties in particular fields.
- Scheduled recognition ceremonies, including honor society inductions, Athletics Award Night, Green and Gold Academic Awards, and our Cardinal Convocation (attended live by 845 students and teachers via Zoom).
- A successful online Mr. BG event through which Bishop Guertin exceeded its goal for our African Mission Drive, meeting our school’s commitment to Sacred Heart High School in Rutenga, Zimbabwe.
- Our Nest Best Thing Online Auction that raised over $100,000 to support tuition assistance for families affected by COVID-19, while also supporting other deserving local charities.
- A mask drive for Catholic Medical Center to protect responders and medical personnel.
- A successful food drive that filled the Band trailer, and spilled into other vehicles, to help The United Way provide for the needy in the Nashua region.
- A drive-in theater celebration of the Class of 2020, projected on a fifty-foot screen (the back wall of the Collignon Gymnasium) and complete with fireworks, guest addresses by alumni Mike Lupica (BG ’70) and Mike O’Malley (BG ’84), our traditional Commencement ceremony that has existed since the opening of the school, and a procession with a receiving line of faculty and a diploma presentation.
- An enhanced summer program that will offer students throughout the region options for enrichment, contact with students and teachers, and academic growth during the summer months.
- Consistent and overwhelming patience, understanding, engagement, and trust by all within our school community to make the above, and more, happen.