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A Message From Principal Dr. Daniel McMahon '76 and Frequently Asked Questions
A Message From Principal Dr. Daniel McMahon '76 and Frequently Asked Questions
Dear DeMatha Community,

Just after Spring Break we sent a "needs assessment" to the entire community and gathered comments. More than 300 people responded and we have pulled some frequently asked questions from the survey. Thank you so much to everyone who has commented and we encourage you to continue to let us know how things are going. We consult with the local authorities about when it will be safe to return. As of this writing, that would not be before May 1.

Q: We would like to have greater access to our teachers

A: DeMatha is asking all teachers to hold "office hours" each week either in the form of Google Meet time; ZOOM gatherings; or email-available windows. Those "office hours" are NOT required attendance for students but indicate a time when the teacher will be available to answer questions and chat. Many teachers record their "office hours" and make available to those who don't attend live. In addition, students and parents can email a teacher at any time.

Q. I am concerned about how much work I am assigned to do.

A: Please keep a diary of the amount of time you are spending working on a class and share that with your teacher and the department chair. Be realistic. We are trying to judge how much time things take but this is an inexact science. Keep the lines of communication open!

Q: What should I do about Christian Service hours?

A: Check the website for Christian Service announcements and email Mrs. Bright (ebright@dematha.org) with specific questions.

Q: I am concerned about financial obligations to the school.

A: Please be in touch with Mrs. Metz (ametz@dematha.org), the Finance Director.

Q: I take AP classes; what about AP exams?

A: The AP corporation/College Board has sent lots of material to the school which has been passed to Advanced Placement teachers. Please be in touch with your teacher for information about the way the exam will be administered and when it is now scheduled and for any resources you will need to prepare for the exam. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO TAKE THE AP EXAM.

Q: Can all the teachers use the same platform for announcements/assignments?

A: Sorry, no. All classes have different requirements. Feel free to email teachers, department chairs, and counselors for assistance if you are having technical difficulties. In addition, techhub@dematha.org is open each day that school is scheduled from 10-12 for real-time assistance.

Q: Will there be Final Exams this year? How will grades be calculated?

A: There will be NO FINAL EXAMS this year. (Some classes, Honors Biology, Senior Seminars still have their final written research project due.) If we are able to return we will use the exam days as school days for instruction, camaraderie, and reflection. We don't know for sure how grades will be calculated; we will be making decisions based on the best available data. The school is in regular contact with all of our peer schools, the Archdiocese of Washington, and with many colleges.

Q: Will there be prom this year? Will there be Academic Awards Night?

A: The short answer is "no." (At least not in its usual form.) Depending on when we are allowed back, DeMatha is committed to finding ways to celebrate the traditional rites-of-passage for seniors and to recognizing Academic excellence.

Q: Have decisions been made about Baccalaureate and Graduation?

A: No. We are still hoping to have the ceremonies as they are scheduled but we will wait for guidance from the government before committing anything.

Q: I have general feelings of anxiety.

A: Please take care of yourself. Spend a few minutes each day listing the things for which you are grateful; it helps to physically write these down. Watch the DeMatha 1-minute Instagram posts from members of the community. Call a friend, eat well, get some exercise, play with your dog. In good weather spend some time outside. Please reach out to your counselor. In some ways we are all experiencing grief at our separation from our normal life. Grieving is a process that, though well understood, is different for everyone. Sharing your feelings is an important way of grieving.

Pax, Dr. McMahon
Oremus pro invicem/Let us pray for one another

Daniel J. McMahon, '76 Ph.D.
Principal
DeMatha Catholic High School
4313 Madison Street
Hyattsville MD 20781-1692
240-764-2202 office
240-764-2275 fax