March 14, 2020

Dear Parents and Students,

During our extended closure, Notre Dame's teachers will be implementing an online learning program. This email will outline the program and hopefully answer many of your questions. Teachers have been asked to continue to deliver quality instruction during this time via two versions of an online learning program.

Google Classroom Days - Beginning Monday, March 16
Google Classsroom Days will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similar to what we would have done on snow days had we had more than two this winter, the following protocol will be used:
  • Teachers will post assignments to Google Classroom by 9:00 am.
  • Students will have until 11:59 pm to submit their work.
  • Students should reach out to teachers by 3:00 pm via email with any questions about their assignments.

Google Meet Days - Beginning Wednesday, March 18
A virtual school day will be held twice per week on Wednesdays and Fridays. Using Google Meet, students will log in to class using this video-conferencing app. Teachers will then conduct a 40 minute class with their students. The schedule will follow a traditional school day during which all classes will meet. A lunch break will happen around noon. The schedule for the day will be:

  • Period B - 8:15 - 8:55
  • Period C - 9:00 - 9:40
  • Period D - 9:45 - 10:25
  • Period E - 10:30 - 11:10
  • Period F - 11:15 - 11:55
  • LUNCH - 11:55 - 12:30
  • Period G - 12:30 - 1:10
  • Period H - 1:15 - 1:55

Students are expected to be on time and in class for the duration of each class period. Teachers will share a join code via Google Classroom for students to join each Google Meet class.

All ND classes (including computers, art, music, and dance) will meet on Google Meet Days. Students do not have a virtual class to attend during what would normally be a study hall.

Technology Issue on Google Meet Days
While we would not expect this to be an issue, a student experiencing an issue logging into class on a Google Meet day should immediately notify both their teacher and Mr. Bannon via email: .

Technology Requirements
It is best to use Google Chrome as your browser to access Classroom and Meet. Students should ensure that the extension pack has been installed on each device. If using a phone, be sure to download the apps for Meet ("Hangout Meet by Google"), Sheets, and Docs which might also be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to wear my uniform on Google Meet Days?
No ... but you should be dressed appropriately. Dress down day-appropriate attire should be the standard.

Will I also get homework during this period of online learning?
I have asked that teachers post a 30-40 minute assignment on Google Classroom days. Since that work is replacing the time students would normally be sitting in a traditional classroom, teachers may also assign work to be completed later, as they normally would with homework.

Will attendance be taken?
Yes. Teachers will submit attendance reports daily. These reports will be based upon completion of Google Classroom assignments and student attendance on Google Meet days. Attendance/participation will factor into students' grades.

What if I am sick?
Usually when sick, students stay home to rest and avoid spreading their illness to others. Since everyone will be working from home, the assumption is that work can still get completed. If a student is especially sick, parents must email Mr. Bannon ( ) by 8:00 am to report this virtual absence. In general, students will be expected to submit their work.

I heard there is an expected daily student participation rate. It that accurate?
Yes. We have been given a 90% daily student participation rate for the day to quality as an official school day (towards our 180 day obligation). We will be asked to submit reports to the Office of the Superintendent to verify our completion and participation rates.

What do I do if I have trouble with a Chromebook I borrowed from school?
Please email Mr. Stone ( ) with any Chromebook issues.

Will work and grades continue to be posted to Plus Portals?
Since our work during this time will be Google Classroom-based, work will be posted there as opposed to on Plus Portals. Grades, though, will be added to the Portal.

Will the third marking period still end on Friday, March 20?
Yes. Report cards will be distributed electronically about one week later.

I still haven't submitted my 2020-21 course selections. What should I do?
Please submit your course requests on Plus Portals ASAP. Email your Guidance Counselor with any questions.

I usually see Mrs. Bogan in the Learning Center. Will she still be a resource for me?
Yes. Mrs. Bogan will be regularly checking in with all the students with whom she works during this extended closure. She can be reached at .

I need to speak with my Guidance Counselor. Can I still do so?
Yes. Counselors will be available to students during this extended closure. Please contact your counselor via email and they will reach back out to you via phone, email or Google Meet.

Mrs. Seperack -
Ms. Tiftikidis -
Mr. Mones -
Ms. McGowan -

What do I do if I have a question or concern with an assignment posted on Google Classroom?
Your teacher should be your first point of contact. Email them with your question or concern. If that does not resolve your issue, please reach out to Mr. Cipriano via email ( ) and he will do his best to be of assistance.

What can I do as a parent to best support my child during this period of online learning?
Thank you for asking! The support of your child will be essential to a successful continuance of the learning process during this unprecedented time. Please help your child to still treat each weekday as a school day. Encourage them to complete their work in a timely manner, to create a comfortable work area at home free of distractions (TV, video games, cell phones), to keep their devices charged, and to regularly check Google Classroom and their ND email for announcements. While we understand this is certainly a unique circumstance and each student will have a different experience learning from home, the more parents can do to maximize student productivity, the better off everyone will be.

What are some things I can do as a student to succeed during this period of online learning?
Another excellent question! Treat each day like a school day. While you don't need to put on your ND uniform, you should still ensure you are completing all of your assigned work on Google Classroom days, and attending and participating in each Google Meet class with an on time arrival. Communicate with your teachers when you have questions or concerns. Take this time seriously. While it will be much different than what you are used to, the goal is to still deliver instruction to you every day.

What is happening with school activities during the closure?
At this point, all activities are on hold, including spring sports, clubs, meetings, and spring musical rehearsal. When this changes, we will let the community know.

Will April break be impacted by this extended closure?
My hope is that "no" is the correct answer to this question, but with so much uncertainty, I can't say that definitely at this time.

Do we continue to pay tuition during this extended closure?
Yes. Teachers will continue to deliver instruction and provide grades/credit to their students during this closure.

Seniors were supposed to be in Washington from March 27-30. Do seniors need to complete assignments on Friday and Monday, March 27 and March 30?
Yes. Seniors should to still participate in Google Meet classes on March 27 and complete their Google Classroom work on March 30. I am working to figure out another opportunity for seniors when we return back to school to "make up" for the loss of their trip and these two school days.

I am taking an online course with VHS. What do I need to do?
Continue to do your work as you have been prior to the closure.

What is the status of major events scheduled for later this spring?
At this point, everything is to be determined. While this closure is officially through March 27, we honestly don't know how long this will last.

Who will make the decision when to reopen school?
Notre Dame will follow the directive of the Superintendent of Schools and the Fairfield Health Department, as well as local and state government officials to determine when school will reopen.

How will the school communicate during this closure?
Email and phone will be used to keep parents and students informed of developments during this time.

I was absent on Thursday. How can I get my textbooks?
The building will be open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Monday and Tuesday. Students or parents can stop by school to pick up any materials in student lockers. All lockers will be opened at some point this week to ensure there was no food left behind.

What should I do if someone in our family tests positive for COVID-19?
It would be very helpful for the school to be aware of this information. A parent should email Mr. Cipriano with this information if you become aware of it.

Is the building being sanitized?
Yes. A full cleaning of the building began last Friday and will continue during this coming week.

It is my desire to continue to keep you updated with regular communication during this unprecedented time. I appreciate your continued support and turn to you to provide support to your child as they embark on a new learning experience beginning on Monday. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.


Christopher Cipriano
Notre Dame High School | Fairfield, CT 06825 | 203-372-6521|