Families » 2020-2021 Back to School Details

2020-2021 Back to School Details


Dear Students and Parents,


I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer.  I'm excited about the upcoming start of the 20-21 school year.  Even though it is going to be challenging, we are making adjustments that will help us continue to provide good instruction and an enjoyable experience while keeping everyone as safe as possible.  Hopefully the Covid 19 virus will continue to settle down, a vaccine will become available, and we can get back to normal soon.


The school year will begin for students the week of August 10th with half day orientation for Freshmen and Juniors on the 10th, half day orientation for Sophomores and Seniors on the 11th, and all students reporting for the full day on Wednesday, August 12th.

Due to the virus, we have made some changes in the way we will be doing some things.  


These will include:

  • We will be on a block schedule which means students will only go to four classes a day.  The first school day will be an A Block day, the next school day will be a B Block day, and the next school day will go back to an A Block day.  On A day, students will go to period 1, 3, 5, and 7.  On B day, students will go to period 2, 4, 6, and 8.  See attached Bell Schedule.
  • All students, teachers, and visitors will be required to wear a mask or face shield at all times except while eating at lunch.  Only solid color masks will be allowed.  No masks with designs or letters will be allowed.
  • Student temperatures will be taken before they can go to class.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available in every classroom for students to use as needed.
  • Students will not be assigned lockers.
  • Students will walk single file with separation on the right side of the hall against the lockers when changing classes.  Similar to traffic on the highways, on the right lane when going one direction and in the opposite lane when going the other direction.
  • When possible, teachers will let students know what pages in textbooks will be used on certain days.  Students can take pictures of those pages on their Chromebook and not have to bring their textbooks to every class.
  • Lunch period will be extended to allow for less students in the lunchroom at a time.  During lunch, students will be able to sit in the lunchroom, commons, or outside.   
  • We have added a Lunch/Study to everyone's schedule.  All students will have a 50 minute study hall everyday.  All students will report to their homeroom in the middle of the school day for an hour and twenty minutes and be dismissed for 30 minutes to go to the lunchroom during this time.    
  • If you had requested a study hall, this will take its place and you will be placed in your next elective choice.
  • We are doing some renovation in the lunchroom this summer.  We have removed the walls between the two serving areas and between the serving area and the cashiers.  This will allow us to have better spacing and flow when going through the lunchline.
  • We also have a new company managing the lunchroom this year.  Yellow Bicycle (Fish Market) will be providing breakfast and lunch for us this year.  Due to the virus, some items won't be able to be displayed and served like we had hoped.  Many items such as salads, fries, pizza, and sandwiches will be pre packaged for grab and go selections.


Other News:


Morning bus shuttles - We will offer morning shuttles from three of our partner schools for a modest fee.  We will continue the shuttle from OLV (Our Lady of the Valley), and add shuttles from Prince of Peace and St. Francis Xavier.  Shuttles will depart from the elementary schools at 7:00 and arrive at John Carroll at 7:30. Here is the link for the bus registration form  -  https://forms.gle/JZebPKBVBRr899wZ7     Contact Assistant Principal, Mr. Hunter Wolfe, if you have any questions regarding morning bus shuttles. hwolfe@jcchs.org


Student Parking - All students will need to register their vehicle(s) and get a 20-21 hang tag if they are going to be parking at John Carroll during the day.  You may download an application from our website and bring it to orientation to get your parking hang tag. Forms are also available in the front office from Mrs. Hayes


Mass - Mass will continue to be celebrated weekly for all students and faculty, usually on Thursdays from 9:10 until 10:20, unless there is a holiday or Holy Day that week.  The first school Mass will be on Thursday, August 20th.  Mass will return to the gym to allow for more separation.  Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be spaced out in the gym and Freshmen will spread out in the auditorium for live streaming.  All students will have the opportunity for communion or a blessing.


Dealing with Covid - Unfortunately we will probably have some students and teachers test positive for Covid during the school year.  We will notify all families that may have had contact with anyone if this occurs.  When students must be quarantined, the plan is for all classes to be live streamed at their regular times.  This way students at home will not miss any of their classes.


Virtual Options - There will be two virtual options for John Carroll students that are not comfortable returning back to the school full time.

  • There will be a John Carroll option for students who need to stay at home for extended periods of time (full or part time).  Students will join their assigned classes online everyday at their regular times, participate in discussions, and receive and send assignments from home.  We have some details to work out such as testing and quizzes, but we are hopeful that this will be a good option for students that want to continue with their John Carroll education and still be able to participate in clubs, organizations, band, and athletics at John Carroll while not attending school on a regular basis.  This virtual option will also be used if schools were to shut down as they were last spring.
  • A second virtual option that the Diocese is also offering is a full time virtual program through Catholic Virtual School  https://www.catholicvirtual.com    If this is an option you are interested in, we will be glad to work with you any way that we can so that the student can still participate in some John Carroll activities.  You would register online at Catholic Virtual as a John Carroll student and would be eligible at John Carroll for sports, band, choir, extracurriculars, etc., You would enroll by course, so you could take some courses through Catholic Virtual and some at John Carroll. Students would still have to follow our graduation requirements in order to earn a John Carroll diploma.
  • The John Carroll regular student and the John Carroll virtual option are both included in the regular John Carroll admission and tuition program.The Catholic Virtual option is paid directly to them.
Orientation - During orientation, students will report to the gym.  From there, they will hear from John Carroll staff, then have their Picture IDs made, recieve their Chromebooks, and go through their schedule.

Monday, August 10       Freshmen       8:00 - 11:00

                                      Juniors          12:00 - 3:00


Tuesday, August 11       Sophomores     8:00- 11:00

                                       Seniors           12:00 - 3:00


Wednesday, August 12    All students will begin their first full day of school


New teachers - I am happy to introduce our new faculty who will be joining us this year.  Join me in welcoming them to John Carroll.
  1. Mary Claire Carruth will be coming to us from St. Francis Xavier.  She will be teaching PE.  She is replacing Francis Crapet who recently retired.
  2. Sharon Lyerly will be retiring from her position as a counselor at Mountain Brook Junior High and will be joining our Counselor team.
  3. Ginny Hughes, who was the choir supervisor from Jefcoed, will be returning and teaching Choir for us at JC.  She filled in last year when Sandy Sprague was on maternity leave.  This year, she will be joining us as our regular choir teacher.  Mrs. Sprague is staying home with her new baby.
  4. Will Mara is a John Carroll graduate that has been coaching our middle school football team the past few years.  Coach Mara will be our high school head football coach this year and teach PE, replacing Coach Cola.
  5. Jonathan MacNaughton was teaching at Hueytown High School before returning home to assist his family out of state last year.  He will be teaching Physics and assisting with Band, replacing Daniel Spieler who is returning to school in New Orleans.
  6. Tara Leithart will teach Latin part time here with us, replacing her husband Christian who taught Latin for us last year.  
  7. Theology teacher - Just found out yesterday that Valencia Andrews will be retiring .  We will miss her and wish her well in her retirement. 


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to keep everyone at John Carroll healthy and safe.  We will adjust our protocols in response to health and safety guidelines as more information becomes available.


In closing I would like to add that as we researched and analyzed all the factors we needed to consider in the John Carroll back to school plan, one thing became especially clear - our children and our community cannot flourish if the virus does.  Our goal is to protect every member of our community by minimizing virus transmission from student to student at school.  While children may not generally be sickened by the virus, they can carry and transmit it without symptoms.  With that being said, we will adopt precautions that are known to reduce the potential for the virus transmission in our John Carroll community.  Parents/Guardians, I am asking for your support and partnership as we share the details of opening for 2020-2021 school year.  Additionally, I ask for your patience and trust as we navigate the many unknowns ahead of us.  There will be new circumstances and challenges to walk through during the school year, but with your partnership we will do so in a way that allows us to maintain first-class academic instruction, and an enjoyable and safe experience.  There is no doubt that we learn better together and 'in community'.  Let's work together to protect that opportunity for everyone.   


I look forward to seeing everyone soon.


For additional information, please feel free to contact any of us at John Carroll.


Tina Wos


Director of Admissions

Finance / Tuition / FACTS

Sarah Maze


Financial Secretary


Sherry Rowe


Library Assistant


Helen Ware


Administrative Assistant


Lynda Hayes


Front Office


Hunter Wolfe


Assistant Principal


Ronald Steele


Athletic Director


Jeri Beck


Director of Technology

Guidance / Scheduling

Julie Meadows

Lisa Rowley

Ginny McMillan




Guidance - 9-10 grade

Guidance - 11-12 grade

Academic  Support


Anthony Montalto