Brother Rice received word that the shelter-in-place will remain in effect until April 30, 2020. Therefore, Brother Rice will return to campus on Friday, May 1, 2020. We will continue to follow the advice of healthcare professionals and the governor of Illinois. If anything changes, Principal Bob Alberts will be in contact via phone call. Thank you for your patience during these very trying times. Stay safe!
Dear Members of the Brother Rice Family,
I first want to express my hope and prayers that all of you and your families are well and maintaining your health during this time. These last few weeks have been fast-paced, eventful and enormously stressful. In just two weeks, we have all changed our lives from how and where we work, worship, and go to school. New phrases like “social distancing” have emerged and are common phrases in our daily discourse. The adaptability of our faculty, students and parents has been amazing, and I stand in awe of all they have accomplished.
Our mission at Brother Rice, summarized, is to prepare young men for college and lifelong learning in the Catholic tradition and that of the Christian Brothers. With the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our school community evolved into an eLearning environment for all 670 young men. At any other time in our school’s recent history, if I told you we would transition 100% of our faculty and student body to an online eLearning format in about five days, you would likely find that simply unbelievable. Yet, it has been accomplished. Our academic leadership, faculty and students have practiced, learned and adapted, and they are moving forward strongly together as a school community. I cannot say enough about all of them.
I also want to recognize and thank our parents and families for your own adaptability and strength during this time. Good young men come from good families, and your commitment to your student(s) is evident.
At the time I write this, our principal, Bob Alberts has notified our families and students that we will continue our eLearning environment until April 20. We are in constant contact and following the recommendations and guidelines of our respective state, local health departments and the guidance of our Archdiocese leadership. We will continue to do so as we all work to mitigate the impact of this illness upon our country.
Because of these events, as many of you know, we have cancelled or suspended a wide range of activities and events, from our BRHS clubs, activities and athletics, to various parent, alumni events such as Career Day and our Circle of Champions Athletic Hall of Fame events. It is with regret these changes must be made, however I think we all agree the health and welfare of our students, families and entire Brother Rice community are our new priorities.
Our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice, must have faced seemingly insurmountable odds as he took on the challenge of educating and feeding poor children in Waterford, Ireland. He led such a transformation in education that additional schools were opened, and a new Congregation was formed in 1820. Now, two hundred years later, we have been given the challenge and opportunity to affect our own transformation. I want you to know I am confident we are up to the task. Many have asked how they can help and support Brother Rice. Consistent with our faith, your prayers are welcome for our entire community. Many of our families and members of our community face individual challenges both at home and at work. Please keep each other in your prayers.
I and members of our administrative team will continue to provide communication to all within our community. At any time, please do not hesitate to call me or any of us directly with your questions, concerns or suggestions. I encourage you to reach out to family and friends these next few weeks as we “stay-at-home.” Have a blessed and joyful Easter.
Brother Rice High School classes will be cancelled on Monday, March 16, and the school will transition to an eLearning format from Tuesday, March 17, through Monday, March 30. Although Brother Rice continues to be free from suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, we are taking precautions to limit crowd gatherings for the safety of our students and community. We anticipate that the school campus will reopen on Tuesday, March 31.
In order to prepare for eLearning, students will be allowed to come to school on Monday, March 16, between 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. to retrieve supplies, books, Chromebooks, folders, etc. from their lockers. No one will have access to the building after Monday at 10:00 a.m.; it is imperative that all lockers are completely cleaned out by that time. Please note there will be no bus service provided on Monday.
Having already launched eLearning at Brother Rice this past school year, we are confident that our teachers and students are prepared for this transition.
- Students can expect a full school day of learning filled with both instruction and assessment. Students should expect these eLearning days to encompass the same amount of time as a normal school day.
- Teachers will utilize Schoology and a number of other tools for interactive and daily instruction.
- All teachers will post assignments on Schoology by 9:00 a.m. each day.
- Teachers will be accessible (via computer) during normal school hours. Teachers will communicate two 30-minute time periods that they will be available to answer any questions.
- Students are required to turn in assignments within 48 hours of class time or else they will be marked absent for that class. If students do not submit the work, they will receive a “0” and an unexcused absence for the day.
- Students will be expected to actively engage in daily instruction and complete all assignments by the established deadlines given by their specific teachers.
- Counselors will be available to assist with academic advising. Students are recommended to contact them via email.
- Counselors will continue academic and college advising as well as processing any type of scholarship or transcript requests.
- Effective immediately, all non-essential upcoming events are also being cancelled or postponed. This includes athletic games and practices, Kairos, our school play, and all overseas travel.
- All athletic practices, onsite and offsite, out of season workouts and lifting, and all competitions have been suspended until further notice. Athletes must take home ALL of their belongings from the locker room. All athletic lockers must be completely cleaned out by Monday, March 16, by 10:00 a.m.
- Special events, including Career Day and Circle of Champions dinner, have also been cancelled or postponed.
We will continue to monitor the Illinois State Department of Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Archdiocese of Chicago for information as it is released, and communicate any changes to parents, students, and faculty.
While the building will be closed for the next two weeks, please be assured our faculty and staff remain accessible via email and will be more than happy to answer questions or address concerns you may have. Thank you for your continued support.
Bob Alberts ’85
I want you to be aware that Brother Rice High School is constantly monitoring the ever-changing environment concerning the health issue our state is facing concerning the coronavirus/COVID-19. Currently, there are no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at Brother Rice. We will monitor the Illinois State Department of Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Archdiocese of Chicago for information as it comes out. Should Brother Rice High School feel the need to close because of this or any other health-related situation, we will notify our constituents via phone blast, social media and email.
Steps that we are taking:
- On Friday, our maintenance staff will do a deep clean of the entire building using hospital-grade disinfectants.
- New hand sanitizers have been installed throughout the building.
- Every classroom has a bottle of hand sanitizer.
- We met with all of our coaches to discuss keeping our students safe; for example, every athlete should bring his own water bottle and students should not share food or drinks.
- Our maintenance staff will continue to clean high traffic areas during the school day.
- All overseas travel has been suspended.
- Faculty is preparing for a potential switch to E-Learning curriculum should the campus be closed.
Thank you for your support and prayers during these dynamic times. We will continue to assess scheduled events with crowds or a large numbers of attendees, including athletics, and communicate any changes to parents, students, and faculty. Should you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me or Ms. Van Assen.
Bob Alberts ’85