From School Leaders


Dear Xaverian families, 

As the school year approaches, we are releasing this guide to help our students and families prepare for reopening Xaverian. While these are uncertain times, one thing we know with absolute certainty is that together, we will succeed in navigating unprecedented territory. We will do this while putting our students first and continuing to provide the exceptional education for which Xaverian is known. This was evident when our faculty, staff, administrators, students, and parents, were able to seamlessly pivot to REAL/X (Remote Education and Learning at Xaverian) this spring. Working together, we can make even the seemingly insurmountable possible. 

The Reopening Xaverian website contains the school's plan to utilize all that we learned from our REAL/X experience last spring, adhere to CDC and local guidelines, and, we believe, maximize the learning experience for our students whether they are in the building or at home. You’ll recall that all Massachusetts schools were asked to plan for three possibilities: full in-person teaching, a hybrid of in-person and remote teaching, and fully remote teaching. With COVID-19 causing sometimes hour-by-hour changes, it was important for us to create a thorough plan and schedule that provides for the health and safety of our community while simultaneously allowing us to provide a comprehensive educational experience for our students. That is precisely what we have done and our plans are detailed throughout these web pages.

As we move forward, we thank you for your continued support and cooperation. We are truly blessed to have parents who are invested in the Xaverian community, serving as partners with us as we navigate the uncharted waters before us. We have students and families who will meet our school-wide expectations and the challenges that lie ahead. Our faculty, staff, and administrators are dedicated to providing the best possible experience for our students and, thanks to the incredible support of our benefactors, Xaverian is a well-resourced school with high-quality facilities and the ability to invest in measures to maximize safety. 

Together, as the Xaverian Brothers who founded our beloved school exhibited time and time again, we will confidently “March On!” toward the start of another great year at Xaverian. We can’t wait to welcome you back in September.

Respectfully yours, 

Jacob A. Conca ’94
Head of School

Michael G. Nicholson
Principal




A Hybrid Approach


As of August 10, 2020,
Xaverian plans to reopen school in September 2020 utilizing a hybrid model. With COVID-19 resulting in an ever-changing landscape for each of us, we believe a hybrid model presently represents our best approach. This model allows us to maximize in-person learning while simultaneously reducing the population density on our campus. This will allow us to safely operate Xaverian as we navigate the changing nature of this pandemic. 

How It Will Work

You will find comprehensive descriptions of our three instructional models below. Those models are:
 
  1. Hybrid Model (The model to start the school year) 
  2. Fully Remote Model
  3. Fully In-Person Model
As the situation evolves, we understand that one of these three models may have to be utilized, at any given time. However, we believe that it is critical for us to have one academic day schedule that will be used for each of the instructional models noted above. Recognizing that remote education and learning is a reality throughout the coming year, we are calling this new schedule for all modes of instruction, “REAL/X 2.0.” For those who participated last year, you know that REAL/X stands for Remote Education and Learning at Xaverian. We have added “2.0” because it’s built utilizing all that we learned from our previous remote experience last spring.


THREE INSTRUCTIONAL MODELS

We believe these three instructional models will allow us to address the educational needs of our students, regardless of the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives. Xaverian will closely monitor and comply with all state and local guidelines in order to determine which specific instructional model (in-person, hybrid, or remote) we will employ at any given time. 

In the absence of a specific guideline, we will employ our decision-making philosophy to determine if/when a change to instruction model would be beneficial to the health and safety of our community, and the learning experience for our students. 

List of 3 items.

  • Hybrid Model


    Xaverian plans to begin the 2020-2021 school year in the hybrid model. Under this model, the school population will be divided into two groups by alphabetical order, resulting in approximately 50% of our student population on campus and the remaining 50% engaged in their studies remotely. This will de-densify our campus and aid in social distancing and other protective measures. 

    Those students who are engaging in their studies remotely will have real-time access to all that is occurring in their Xaverian classroom. Xaverian is presently outfitting each learning space with cameras and voice capabilities so that those students at home will maintain the ability to log in to their classes in real-time. They will also have the ability to hear and see their teacher, the white board, any projections onto the board, instructional diagrams/visual tools, and some of their classmates. They will be able to verbally communicate with their teacher, again in real-time.

    Under the hybrid model, the student population will be divided into the “Blue Group” and the “Gold Group” and they will rotate between in-person learning at Xaverian and remote learning on a weekly basis. An example of the schedule is provided below:



    Blue and Gold Groupings
    The blue and gold designations are determined by the first letter of a student’s last name. Please see the guide below:



     
  • Fully In-Person Model


    Without question, this is the model that all of us are most familiar with and it is the model we hope to employ at some point during the school year. Under the full in-person model, every student, teacher, and administrator comes to our campus each day to participate in the teaching and learning process. This is school like we all remember, and once the circumstances allow, we look forward to using this model.

    The in-person model for the 2020-2021 academic year will follow the same REAL/X 2.0 academic day schedule. The ability of our state and nation to successfully combat the COVID-19 pandemic will be a significant factor in determining when we can once again use a full in-person instructional approach. 
     
  • Fully Remote Model


    Those students and families who are returning to Xaverian will remember that when Massachusetts schools were closed in March of 2020, we moved very quickly (we lost no more than three days of instruction) to a remote learning model that we called REAL/X, which stands for
    Remote Education And Learning at Xaverian. 

    In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic forces Xaverian to once again engage in fully remote teaching and learning, we will use a strengthened version of our remote education program. Frankly, as strong as our remote learning program was this past spring, we learned quite a bit and we intend to capitalize on those lessons in the event that we once again must transition this learning environment.

    Under the remote model, students and their teachers would be fully online, with classes meeting virtually via Zoom technology and/or Google Meet technology. Rather than replicate a “live classroom,” a fully-remote model requires a blended synchronous and asynchronous approach to teaching and learning. This means that students would be exploring curricular content together, and at times, independently. “Zoom Fatigue,” (fatigue resulting from hours upon hours spent online), is a concern for us and the blend between synchronous and asynchronous helps position Xaverian to mitigate this concern.

    It should also be noted that at any time during the pandemic, students can opt to continue their studies remotely. The installation of cameras and voice capabilities in each learning space makes this possible. If a family chooses for their son to go fully remote, they should contact Ms. Lauren Hill, Assistant Principal for Academics, at lhill@xbhs.com or 781-326-6392.

    Building upon the successes and lessons from REAL/X, we believe that our new remote program will provide our students with an exceptional learning experience, in the event that we need to transition to this teaching and learning model. While it is our hope that we do not need to go fully remote this coming year, the program has been developed and we are ready to deploy it should the need arise. 
     

REAL/X 2.0 SCHEDULE

One Schedule for Three Models


The academic day schedule (the schedule that structures how each day will work at Xaverian) is new to all students. Therefore, at the start of the school year, significant time will be spent explaining this schedule to our students so they have a full understanding of where, when, and how their classes will come together.

We developed this schedule because we believe quite strongly that one schedule helps provide continuity and consistency for our students, families, and faculty, regardless of which model (hybrid, remote, or fully in-person) is being utilized. Having one academic day schedule will also help provide some sense of predictability and control, which is a highly beneficial aspect to the education of any student. 

Based on current guidelines that encourage the return of as many students as possible, we have created an eight-day rotating schedule consisting of six 50-min blocks each day with 10-minute passing times. This schedule utilizes two cycles (A and B),  and a "pick up where you left off" rotation. This schedule also preserves familiar lunch drops, and the long standing Xaverian tradition of senior early dismissal (now at 1:20 p.m.).



Guiding Principles Used to Create the REAL/X 2.0 Schedule


When creating the academic day schedule above, we were guided by the three overarching principles. 

1. Creating a Safe Environment 
  • The health and wellness of students, staff, and community is at the forefront of every decision. 
  • We were guided and informed by a host of resources, including but not limited to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Xaverian’s own team of medical consultants.
  • It was important for us to balance the demands of in-person and remote educational experiences for students and teachers.

2. Providing for the Best Possible Educational Experience
  • Provide in-person instruction to our students to the greatest extent possible, given the circumstances at any given moment
  • Preserve our existing curriculum by maximizing instructional time and time on task
  • Ensure that we can attend to all of the needs of our students (academic, social-emotional, spiritual, extracurricular, athletic, etc.), as the circumstances allow

3. Flexibility
  • Maintain the ability to respond and adapt to the changing situation, as evidenced through COVID-19 developments, emerging science, and feedback from various sources including government officials, parents, students, and faculty
  • Provide for schedule flexibility to move between modes of instruction
    • Hybrid Model (The model to start the school year) 
    • Fully Remote Model
    • Fully In-Person Model




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you to all who were instrumental in helping Xaverian construct its 2020-2021 reopening plan. Xaverian is indebted to the following individuals who gave their time and expertise to help us provide a comprehensive plan that balances the needs of our students with the health and safety concerns presented by the COVD-19 pandemic.
 
Ms. Ann Alsfeld
Director of Strategic Communications

Mr. Peter Ball ’10
Social Studies Faculty Member

Mr. Garrett Bowers ’87
Social Studies Faculty Member

Mr. Matthew Cavanaugh ’96
Social Studies Faculty Member

Dr. Jacob Conca ’94
Head of School

Mr. Stephen Dacey ’95
Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning

Ms. Joni DeCenzo, P ’05, ’06
School Nurse

Mr. David Eggli
Computer Science Chairperson

Mr. Keith Farley
Physical Education and Wellness Chairperson

Ms. Michaela Fitzpatrick, P ’25
Director of School Counseling

Dr. Cara McLaughlin Gavin, MD, MPH, MS, P ’24
Medical Consultant

Ms. Katie Hickey
Assistant Director of Strategic Communications

Ms. Lauren Hill
Assistant Principal for Academics, Grades 9-12

Mr. Gerry Lambert ’88
Mathematics Chairperson

Mr. Jay McGilvray
Assistant Principal for the Francis Xavier Division

Mr. Joseph MacKinnon ’84
Social Studies Chairperson

Mr. Conor Maguire, P ’22, ’24
English Chairperson

Dr. Theofilios Matheos, MD ’95, P ’25
Medical Consultant

Mr. Michael Nicholson
Principal

Dr. Douglas O’Brien, MD, P ’17, ’20
Medical Consultant

Mr. David Palmieri ’93, P ’23
Theology Chairperson

Mr. Andrew Press ’03
World Language Chairperson

Ms. Jacqueline Salas
Science Chairperson

Dr. Dana Stearns, MD, P ’20, ’22
Medical Consultant 

Mr. Stephen Steinbergher
FXD Counselor

Mr. Robert Thorp
Fine Arts Chairperson

Mr. Joshua Tranfaglia
Assistant Principal for Student Life

Mr. Christopher Vasta ’00
Chief Administrator for School Advancement

Ms. Elaine Webber, P ’02, ’06
School Nurse

Mr. Gregg Whitaker
Director of Technology

Mr. Joseph Webb
Theology Faculty Member
 
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.