Metro private schools confront back-to-school challenges amid pandemic

New equipment installed at two main entry points at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School is expected to help keep students safe and save time.

School administrators will be able to determine if students have a fever as they walk into the building where new infrared camera thermometers are being used.

At Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School, lack of sufficient space for social distancing has prompted leaders to adopt an all-virtual learning model for the first quarter of the school year.

Metro-area private schools are making such modifications as they prepare for the return to classes in the COVID-19 era.

Private schools like Oklahoma Christian School, Casady School and Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School are grappling with some of the same issues as public schools as they attempt to keep students, faculty and administrators safe.

“Our challenges are really no different than any of our counterparts are facing,” said Diane Floyd, superintendent of Catholic Schools for Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Floyd said masks will be mandatory for both students and teachers at schools within the archdiocese, which includes three high schools and 16 elementary schools, representing about 5,000 students.

She said the mask requirement was a given because Archbishop Paul S. Coakley called for every archdiocese church and school, grades 1-12, to require that attendees wear face coverings.

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