Returning to Campus Safely

In order to safely and effectively reopen campus, Father Ryan, in partnership with the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville and Metro Public Health officials, is assessing information and developing effective guidelines and procedures in service of this community.

Check this page regularly for updates, links, and FAQs.

Below you will find the complete document entitled "Returning to Campus Safely," which lays out each detail to ensure that the return to school will be both pragmatic and safe for all. 

2020-2021 School Year Updates

List of 5 items.

  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - October 1

    Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, has released today a letter to all families with an update on the Cognia accreditation process and other Catholic Schools Office news.
     
  • Update on Reporting Cases/Monitoring Contacts - August 27

    On August 24, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance: “Diagnostic testing categories have been edited to focus on testing considerations and actions to be taken by individuals undergoing testing.”  The new guidance from the CDC specifically states
     
    If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person witha COVID-19 infectionfor at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms:
    • You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one.
      • A negative test does not mean you will not develop an infection from the close contact or contract an infection at a later time.
    • You should monitor yourself for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you should evaluate yourself under the considerations set forth above.
    • You should strictly adhere to CDC mitigation protocols, especially if you are interacting with avulnerable individual. You should adhere to CDC guidelines to protect vulnerable individuals with whom youlive.  
    As a result of this updated guidance from the CDC and in consultation with members of our Medical Advisory Committee, we are making the following change to the Returning to Campus Safely Plan on page 7, Responding to Positive Tests, Bullet 2
     
    Families notified by Father Ryan that their students were in close proximity to someone in their classrooms, mentor groups, or on a team who has tested positive will not be required to have a physician’s note to return to campus as long as: 
    • The student is able to answer NO to all the electronic health screening survey questions (Ascension Health) required to be completed before arrival each day.
    • The student is not experiencing symptoms.
    • The student has reviewed the chart entitled “When to Stay Home” on page 6 of the Returning to Campus Safely Plan and is NOT required to stay home under this flowchart. 
    As already stated in the plan on page 7, parents whose students have been in close proximity to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, in their classrooms, mentor groups, or on a team, will to be notified both by phone and via myFatherRyan. 
     
    Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe.  
  • Message from Pedestal Foods - July 28

    Pedestal Foods has implemented many new and enhanced safety features to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. 

    Please click here to learn more.
  • Message from the President - July 23

    Dear Father Ryan Community,
     
    Just after closing our campus in the spring, many of our administrators sent video messages of favorite places on campus. All of us in the Ryan community have a place on campus that brings us rest, peace, or a special memory. Even so, it is the people, the faculty, staff, and students who truly make Father Ryan. We find ourselves in times of enormous complexity readying for a return to school days on Norwood together. As we move towards the opening of school, each day brings with it new opportunities and challenges.
     
    The basis of the Returning to Campus Safely plan (below) that we are providing you today is our fundamental priority to provide a safe and healthy educational environment for everyone involved in our endeavor to form lives of excellence in the Catholic tradition. Even with the hope that this plan brings, the unpredictability of the circumstance demands of all of us a flexibility and a trust that we are in this together to serve our students, faculty, and each other.
     
    What follows in the Returning to Campus Safely plan is our best sense of the way forward built around the basic principles below. We recognize the complexity of the pandemic as well as its varying effects on our families’ personal circumstances. Additionally, this plan includes a REQUIRED SURVEY of all our families to choose which delivery of instructional environment will best serve their needs and circumstances.
     
    The following are the principles we have used in developing the plan for returning to campus:
    • Protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff
    • Comply with diocesan, public health, and government orders
    • Utilize guidelines from the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Metro Public Health officials
    • Establish effective use of spaces and places to support physical distancing
    • Provide students with some familiarity of school routines for learning
    • Set clear expectations for everyone. 
    We anticipate and must be prepared for a return to remote learning for some interval(s) in the coming school year, and we will remain attentive to any Metro Public Health directives. The reality is that we earnestly want to be back together. That commitment is written into the plans described and detailed in the pages that follow. Of course, with emerging science, empirical data, and government directives, this is the first of our campus plans. Future updates/changes in protocols will be sent to all our families and placed on our coronavirus updates page on the Father Ryan website.
     
    We call upon the entire Father Ryan community to join in prayer, seeking the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all within our world who are experiencing loss, illness, fear, and anxiety as a result of this pandemic. We invite everyone to join in an active, working partnership that will provide a means to our students’ success in this historic season, benefiting everyone within our family.
     
    Peace,
     
    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - July 8

    Superintendent Rebecca Hammel has issued a letter pertaining to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Click here to read the letter.
Important Dates: 

August 10, 2020 - Return date for all students

August 6, 2020 - Return date for all new students 

Message from Pedestal Foods

Past Updates from the 2019-2020 School Year

List of 31 items.

  • Message from the President - June 12

    Step by Step

     
    Slowly, step by step, our campus is beginning to teem, literally and figuratively, with activity and community.
    After almost three months of being away, except for a couple of special visits, we are all eager to rejoin life here on campus with our community. That has begun. We welcomed students back this week to the whistle blows and encouraging words of Coach Kyle Feldman, Director of Strength and Conditioning, Coach DuJuan Sharp, Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning, and our coaching staff as they directed socially distant conditioning workouts for our fall athletes. 

    Additionally, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 to campus next Friday to confer diplomas on this accomplished and very patient class. We were all excited to hear the announcement this week from diocesan Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel that school will reopen in August, as scheduled, dependent on the phased status of Nashville’s reopening and following the appropriate CDC and local health guidelines. Yes, it is starting to feel like school again.
    However, our return will be different, because after all that we have faced as a community and as a nation, Father Ryan as well as each of us are different. Ever hopeful, we are confident that our school community will emerge from this ever-changing and challenging world renewed in our mission to be a living experience of the Gospel to each other and our world.

    We are reminded in scripture that “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is true for Father Ryan today. When we return in August, we will welcome the Class of 2024, implement our new House System and recommit to our pursuit towards social justice. Born of the experiences of this spring, all of us will bring a renewed focus and vigilance to our mission and our responsibility to educate and form lives of excellence in the Catholic tradition.

    As always, we seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for our school, community, and world. 

    Peace,
    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Message from the President - June 5

    Opening Our Hearts 
     
    Holy Scripture boldly proclaims, “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are” (1 Jn 3:1). This love “comes from God and unites us to God; through this unifying process it makes us a ‘we’ which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28).”  By the work of the Holy Spirit, the Church is called to share with all the world this gift of love.  
     
    This is the first sentence of “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love,” a pastoral letter against racism issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November of 2018. For a full version of this pastoral letter, please click here.  Its message is important. 
     
    We all watched last night as thousands of our fellow citizens, led by five high school students who connected on social media, came to downtown Nashville to march in peaceful protest in memory of George Floyd and many others. What a powerful example of Christ’s message: “let the little children come to me.” (Matthew 19:14) 
     
    As we witnessed the impact of these 15- and 16- and 17-year-olds, we naturally thought about our own students, most of them these same ages, many of them with the same concerns.  We saw their courage, their curiosity, and their willingness to stand up for what they believe.  Last night is a strong reminder to all of us of the real responsibility we have to teach our young men and women more than the core subjects and to be rooted in our Catholic social teachings.   They have questions that we need to address. 
     
    We have spoken this week of recommitment, and that is what our campus community is doing.  We are asking questions. We are reaching out for guidance and insights so that we can look at ourselves and learn.   Very simply, we are listening.  The concern of our students and alumni and their suggestions for action and improvement will make us a truly inclusive school for our black students and all people of color.  If we are to honor and truly extend our legacy of Catholic social justice into the future, we must act, and that begins by listening.   
     
    God of peace, justice and love, fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” 
     
    Peace, 
    Jim McIntyre 
    President 
  • Message from the President - May 29

    To Infinity and Beyond
     
    The words of Buzz Lightyear have inspired many an explorer, which is what many of us are today as we continue to navigate this uncertain time.   Buzz’s words are particularly timely as two U.S. astronauts prepare to launch tomorrow to the International Space Station in SpaceEx, the first manned launch from American soil in 10 years and the first-ever NASA launch with a private partner.  In thinking about that important mission – and continuing this theme of exploration – I also have thought of the movie “Apollo 13” and a line that always resonated with me.  When Mission Control was told that the mission was a disaster, the flight director responded “I disagree; this will be our finest hour.”  That’s how I feel today.
     
    Reflecting on all that the last few months have presented us, it is clear that we are being challenged to go boldly into a still-unsure future.  We are all explorers in today’s world, one whose landscape has changed, but one that still calls on us to respond with our best.  As we learn more about ourselves and our relationship with God, we turn to our tradition of faith, knowledge and service, a tradition that makes us continuous explorers and heralds of service.  As explorers, we each have a role to play.  Whatever that role and whatever the setting might be, Father Ryan’s explorers have responded.
     
    Our faculty, students and families explored and embraced the new Digital Learning environment and produced an outstanding year-end educational experience.  Our alumni and their families throughout Ryan Nation, as first responders, healthcare professionals, and innovative members of our community, answered the call to serve.  They are volunteers at a food bank, clinicians exploring medical solutions and nurses, responding to a patient and family with care and concern. 

    This spirit of service is reflected in our students.  Even though their opportunities to serve became limited because of the stay-at-home directives, their commitment to serve filled the rest of the school year.  They too are explorers, discovering needs throughout our community and reaching out to serve, all to the benefit of the poor and the marginalized in our midst; all to the benefit of our community. 

    Those students are members of the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society, and the more than 25 seniors who are inductees into this special society are saluted in today's Ryan Connections. 
     
    We remind all of our students that they are asked each day to be living examples of the Gospel. The members of this Society, through their service to this community,  are that example, for today and for the next generation of students.  We are proud of them and proud of their dedication to serving others and embracing the tradition of faith, knowledge and service.  They have produced many a moment that makes this, truly, our finest hour.
     
    We don’t know what the future holds as we live with this pandemic, but we know we can trust in God.  So with prayers to St. Vincent de Paul and our Blessed Mother for all who are affected by this virus, we ask for God’s blessing as we look forward to a summer of hope and healing for our community and our world.  May we all make this our finest hour.
     
    Peace,
    Jim McIntyre
    President
     
    P.S.  We are pleased to announce that the Graduation and Liturgical Celebration for the Class of 2020 will take place on June 19, 2020, at 6:30pm on the Father Ryan campus.  More details to come.  Go Irish!
  • Message from the President - May 22

    Encouraging News from Mayor Cooper

     
    From the number of inquiries we received from my message in last Friday's Ryan Connections, I am reminded how eagerly our seniors and their families are waiting to hear news about a possible Graduation day and when and how it could happen. While we do not yet have approval on a date, we are encouraged by Mayor John Cooper's announcement that phase two of Nashville's reopening begins on Monday. I am hopeful that after Memorial Day weekend we will have an idea of whether we will be able to see our campus come alive again soon, in some capacity, in keeping with the Mayor's plan. 

    As we look at continued plans for the senior class, we also are looking forward to the arrival this fall of the newest Irish, the Class of 2024. Last night I was pleased to join Principal Paul Davis '81, Director of Admissions Marisol Preston, Associate Director of Admissions Erin Riggs '00 and more than 140 families to welcome - virtually - this new class to Father Ryan.  In the process, and once again guided by Mayor Cooper's plans, we were able to share with these families information about summer communications as we move toward the return to campus.  It was an energizing meeting for all of us and a reminder of the enthusiasm and spirit of all of Ryan Nation.
     
    Peace,
    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Message from the President - May 15

    Planning Patiently

    On this last day of the 2019-20 school year I must begin by expressing my most sincere gratitude for our community’s hard work, flexibility, compassion, grace, creativity, and good humor. Here we sit, having navigated our way to the edge of summer and trying to balance between what we knew so well and what we’ve learned to do since.  Many of us are emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready for summer. Given our journey to this point, summer will look different as our communities, cities, and nation begin to “reopen” in a new context. Even with the relief that undoubtedly washed over parents, students, faculty, and staff as we arrived here, questions remain about what, when, and how we might regain our balance and rhythm, on campus and in life.
     
    Following continued consultation with medical, civil, and Diocesan authorities it seems most prudent to think and plan in increments, combining a desire to be flexible to emerging circumstances with a consistent effort to plan for what might lie beyond.  We will do everything we can to safely return to our beloved home and campus in August.  Until then, we remain committed to an in-person Baccalaureate and Commencement experience for the Class of 2020 in either June or July, keeping our 94-year tradition alive. As a prelude to that experience, we are hosting the class on campus tomorrow for a “Senior Parade.” 
     
    As our city begins to emerge under Mayor Cooper’s Road Map to Reopening Nashville, I am hopeful that after Memorial Day weekend we will have an idea of whether we will be able to see our campus come alive again, in some capacity, in the month of June.  My hope exists in part because of Bishop Spalding’s announcement that the public celebration of Mass may resume on Monday, May 18.
     
    Let me assure you that we are looking at the fall and at the reopening of the campus, guided by the words of St. Paul’s message to the Romans.  "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."   We clearly hope for the normalcy of the school calendar, the vibrancy of campus life, and the energy provided to us through personal interaction with colleagues and our community.   As we hope, I ask for your patience.  Father Ryan’s campus may be physically closed today but Father Ryan remains completely open and active.  Our students are known and loved, our faculty are incredible servant-leaders, our alumni remain engaged, and we remain connected in prayer. I am grateful for all of that.   

    We will continue to focus on what is most imminent, knowing that planning in discrete and realistic periods of time is prudent, given the still-changing situation.

    We continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all those affected by this virus. We salute and thank our students, families, and faculty for their dedication and commitment to our mission to be a living example of the Gospel. I am praying for all of you, praying that the Holy Spirit descends on you and your family, providing His grace, compassion, and strength.  Go Irish!

    Peace,

    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Message from the President - May 8

    Endings and Beginnings

    I found myself reflecting this week on the scripture from Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” What began as a very exciting 2019-2020 school year is moving toward an ending that is anything but predictable, but nonetheless exciting.

    The class of 2020 completed its “classroom” time on Thursday, and save for the AP Exams that they have this week, this incredible collection of young men and women have drawn to an end of their days walking the halls of Father Ryan. A beautiful video salute from faculty and staff to these remarkable students capped their last day and reminded me of what they have accomplished for themselves and for this school. We continue to plan, as much as any of us can plan these days, to make their ending celebration as special as they have been.
    In God’s appointed time, powerful beginnings still emerge from unusual endings. As we prepare to say goodbye to the class of 2020, we prepare to welcome the class of 2024. As unique a year as 2020 has been, new things are starting now that are energizing the entire community. Earlier this week the rising sophomore, junior and senior classes learned which house they will call home in our new House System. House day was today, and based on the reactions on social media, and the friendly competitive “Irish” jabs from the various Heads of House, faculty and staff members, this will be a remarkable and memorable beginning for all of Ryan Nation. I am so proud of this introduction and appreciative of Elizabeth Elfers ’02 and Amy Duke, our new Director of Houses, all the Heads of Houses and the entire campus community for the way they have embraced this new system for our students. As a group, we look confidently to the future with an excitement that the Father Ryan House System will enhance our unique experience in dramatic ways, all consistent with our mission to be a living example of the Gospel and our tradition of faith, knowledge and service.

    Notably, as we congratulate the Class of 2020, knowing that they are the last class not to be part of a House System, we remember that fifty years ago this month the Class of 1970 graduated, the last all-male graduating class of Father Ryan High School. History, I believe, will kindly remember both classes as markers of Father Ryan’s longstanding ability to adapt and grow in order to form lives of excellence in the Catholic tradition.

    I am especially mindful of all of our mothers this week as we honor all of them during this Mother’s Day weekend. We especially seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all who continue to be affected by this virus. Happy Mother’s Day!

    Peace,

    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Letter from Bishop Spalding - May 7

    Bishop Mark Spalding has provided guidance on the resumption of public Masses in a letter to the community today.

    Letter
  • Message from the President - May 1

    Called by Name to Serve

    Today, as we wrapped up an enjoyable Senior Week with Senior Skip Day, I found myself thinking about the other part of the educational experience at Father Ryan, the part that guides students through their educational and spiritual formation…our teachers.

    Early in my career as a classroom teacher I was given some advice by an experienced member of the faculty at my first school. She said, “Anyone can be an instructor, very few can be true teachers. You need to decide early in your career which you want to be?” It was soon after that challenge that I was reminded that teaching is a vocation. The best teachers don’t choose teaching as a career, it chooses them as a vocation.
    Inarguably, the faculty and staff at Father Ryan are very talented, educated, and experienced. Any school would be extremely thankful to count them among their professional staff. But there is something about the teachers and staff at Father Ryan that sets them apart. Each of them has been called by their vocation to serve, form, and educate our children. This is not true of all people in education.

    When our students’ days of formal education draw to a close, they will have something in addition to being prepared for college, something that will anchor them all the days of their lives. They will have mentors in the form of the Father Ryan Faculty and Staff. Let me be clear, this is not some ideal I want our faculty to aspire to; it is something I have seen every year as graduates return to campus to continue their relationships with their teachers deep into adulthood and possibly the rest of their lives. I know because I, like many of you, have experienced firsthand the guiding, loving, demanding mentorship in the relationships my children have formed with these incredible people. There is really no expression of gratitude that any of us can make to people who selflessly sacrifice themselves to better our children. I am honored, humbled, and deeply thankful to witness this generosity of vocation and dedication on a daily basis, even now as distance separates us from our students.
    The last several weeks have once again revealed to us something that is precious and all too often overlooked as we all get caught up in grades, athletics, and other events. Our faculty and staff care deeply about our children, and the heartache we all feel in being separated is equally difficult for them. As they experience this crisis themselves and within their own families they continue to serve, to teach, to advise, to mentor and to be present. As we read in the Gospel of John, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” This is vocation. These are not instructors, these are teachers. They carry on the legacy of Christ, our first Teacher.

    I continue to be thankful to all of you for your trust, support, compassion, and feedback. Please continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for the healing of all those affected directly and indirectly by this pandemic.

    Peace,

    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Letter and Decree from Bishop Spalding - April 24

    Bishop J. Mark Spalding has issued the following letter and decree on April 24, 2020 pertaining to the attendance of Mass. 

    Please click on the links below to read each. 

    Letter

    Decree
  • Message from the President - April 24

    Called by Name to Serve

    Today, as we wrapped up an enjoyable Senior Week with Senior Skip Day, I found myself thinking about the other part of the educational experience at Father Ryan, the part that guides students through their educational and spiritual formation…our teachers.

    Early in my career as a classroom teacher I was given some advice by an experienced member of the faculty at my first school. She said, “Anyone can be an instructor, very few can be true teachers. You need to decide early in your career which you want to be?” It was soon after that challenge that I was reminded that teaching is a vocation. The best teachers don’t choose teaching as a career, it chooses them as a vocation.
    Inarguably, the faculty and staff at Father Ryan are very talented, educated, and experienced. Any school would be extremely thankful to count them among their professional staff. But there is something about the teachers and staff at Father Ryan that sets them apart. Each of them has been called by their vocation to serve, form, and educate our children. This is not true of all people in education.

    When our students’ days of formal education draw to a close, they will have something in addition to being prepared for college, something that will anchor them all the days of their lives. They will have mentors in the form of the Father Ryan Faculty and Staff. Let me be clear, this is not some ideal I want our faculty to aspire to; it is something I have seen every year as graduates return to campus to continue their relationships with their teachers deep into adulthood and possibly the rest of their lives. I know because I, like many of you, have experienced firsthand the guiding, loving, demanding mentorship in the relationships my children have formed with these incredible people. There is really no expression of gratitude that any of us can make to people who selflessly sacrifice themselves to better our children. I am honored, humbled, and deeply thankful to witness this generosity of vocation and dedication on a daily basis, even now as distance separates us from our students.
    The last several weeks have once again revealed to us something that is precious and all too often overlooked as we all get caught up in grades, athletics, and other events. Our faculty and staff care deeply about our children, and the heartache we all feel in being separated is equally difficult for them. As they experience this crisis themselves and within their own families they continue to serve, to teach, to advise, to mentor and to be present. As we read in the Gospel of John, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” This is vocation. These are not instructors, these are teachers. They carry on the legacy of Christ, our first Teacher.

    I continue to be thankful to all of you for your trust, support, compassion, and feedback. Please continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for the healing of all those affected directly and indirectly by this pandemic.

    Peace,

    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Message from the President - April 17

    Signs of Hope All Around Us

    Today was a wonderfully uplifting day.

    After receiving the disappointing – but not unexpected news – from Superintendent Rebecca Hammel yesterday that our beautiful campus would remain closed and digital learning would continue through the end of the school year, I was a bit saddened for our community, particularly the Class of 2020. But that sadness didn’t last long.

    This morning, I joined Mr. Davis, Mrs. Anton, Mr. Crumby, Mrs. Preston and Coach Mullins in traveling throughout our area to place congratulatory signs in the yards of every member of the Class of 2020 and to leave a Father Ryan blanket at each home. As I put the signs in the yards, I paused to look at the residences, and I was struck by the thought of the families living in each one and what the senior there was thinking. I found myself reflecting on that student and what he or she has meant to Father Ryan. I thought about their arrival as freshmen, of their experiences across the spectrum of activities, of their leadership, their commitment, their faith and their devotion to Father Ryan. And I found myself even more humbled by the opportunity my leadership team and I have to be a part of this remarkable school.

    Even though these students are not going to have the traditional ending of their Father Ryan years, I have no doubt that they will be exemplars of Father Ryan, perhaps in an even more special way than other classes. These last six weeks and the ones that follow have given them a practical experience in dealing with unexpected obstacles – always a valuable experience – and the way they have responded to these hurdles gives me even greater confidence in who they will be in the years to come. They have proved to be resilient, responsive, able to adapt and focused on serving others, and they will be able to deal with, learn from and succeed greatly because they are the Class of 2020.

    Yes, this was a wonderful day, one that will inspire me often in the coming weeks. Knowing our future for the remainder of the school year has given us clarity for our end of year events. I encourage you to view the new calendar that we have developed to detail the planned status of events for the year’s end. That includes a Senior Celebration on June 18-20 on the campus – depending on government directives – where we will honor this exceptional class. I salute them and their families and I look forward to celebrating with Ryan Nation this memorable year.

    With our ongoing prayers to our Blessed Mother for those who are affected by this virus and for all throughout our community, I am reminded that WE are Father Ryan.

    Peace,
    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - April 16

    Superintendent Rebecca Hammel has issued a letter pertaining to the remainder of the school year. Click here to read the letter.
  • Letter to Senior Parents - April 16

    Dear Seniors and Senior Families,
      
    This letter is specifically for you and particularly bittersweetNone of us could have imagined when you left our campus on Thursday, March 12 that it would be the last time that we would be together this academic yearIn a letter from Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, announced this news today. Her letter has been added to our coronavirus webpage, and we encourage you to read her letter and to visit this page regularly for updates. 
     
    We recognize that this is not the way any of us saw your time ending at Father RyanThank you for your continued patience, love, and compassion. Do not let your hearts be heavy, we are a people of faith. We are all with you and despite that we cannot see what is ahead, we will walk the path  together. In times of uncertainty, it is our faith that brings us hope. In Hebrews 11:1, we are reminded: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” 
     
    Despite the circumstances of the world and the distance between us, we plan to celebrate each of you and your accomplishments in a way that honors our history and traditions. As such, we are celebrating Senior Week as planned the week of April 20-24. Additionally, we plan to celebrate together Baccalaureate Mass, Graduation and all your accomplishments during the summer of 2020. 
     
    Please click here for end of year academic information and our planned events for you and your families based on the current recommendations of the state and local governments, in partnership with the Catholic Schools Office.  
     
    Class of 2020, thank you. Thank you for your flexibility, resilience, and determination during this time.  Words fall so infinitely short in expressing to each of you how much we love you, miss you and how thankful we are that you have walked the halls and grounds of our campus! Know that we are sending you all our love and support.  
     
    With gratitude and appreciation, 
     
     
    Jim McIntyre
    President   
                            

    Paul Davis '81
                                  
    Principal 
  • Year End Information - April 16

    Dear Parents 
     
    We hope this letter finds all of you healthy and safe. We could not have imagined when we dismissed students on March 12 that we would be communicating to all of you today that our beautiful campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue the rest of this academic year. In a letter from Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, this news was announced today. Her letter has been added to our coronavirus webpage, and we encourage you to read her letter and to visit this page regularly for updates. 
     
    This news causes so many emotions in all of you and all of us. More than anything, we desire to be with our students: to teach, to mentor, to share the living experience of the Gospel, which is at the core of who we are and what we do in this ministry. Having spoken with many of our students, we truly believe they share this desire as well. If we have confirmed anything, community is at the heart of Father Ryan. No matter the distance or challenges, we cling to our faith and each other in the storm. We are so thankful for the kindness, patience, and compassion extended to all of us by our parent and student community. In addition, we are so proud of the Herculean job and dedication of our faculty and staff. They are truly remarkable; we are honored to have them serving, teaching, and mentoring our students 
     
    Please click here for detailed information about the remainder of the academic year as well as planned, postponed, and cancelled events for our students, especially the Class of 2020.   
     
    A special word about the Class of 2020. Oh, how we love them! For the last four years, this group of remarkable sons and daughters of Father Ryan have represented us with honor, fierce loyalty, and leadership. They have glorified God through their talents in performance halls, on the fields of competition, and in the classroom. We could not have more Irish PRIDE. Please keep them and their families especially in your prayers.   
     
    Throughout our school’s 95-year history, Father Ryan has been and is committed to being a place of consistent calm and faith for people in storm. During this storm, our traditions of Faith, Knowledge and Service and dedication to knowing and loving each other will continue to sustain us as we move forward in forming students in our Catholic traditionAnchored by the presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist, we know that WE are Father Ryan. We are reminded in scripture, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13) 
     
    We seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother to heal those affected by this illness and to guide us as we continue our mission to be a living example of the Gospel every day. 
     
    Peace, 

    Jim McIntyre
    President  
                                                                 
    Paul Davis '81                                                                     
    Principal 
  • Message from the President - April 8

    An Easter to Anticipate

    We all have heard the expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This has never been more true than today.
    Recently, several of our seniors wrote in English class about how they are adapting to the “Safer at Home” order. I was so honored and humbled, but not surprised, to read how much students truly love their connections with their teachers and our campus. They miss the simplest of things, like chicken biscuits, mentorship from faculty, the beauty of our campus, and just being present and part of the Ryan day-to-day. They expressed over and over the idea of Father Ryan being their HOME. This is one of the lessons we can learn. The beauty of life so often can be found in the simplest of things, the things that in a “normal” situation we take for granted.

    This is also true for us as we experience Holy Week. The beauty found in our families, the gratitude for our health, the inspiration found in first responders and healthcare workers, who are heroes every day, the blooming of flowers and the singing of birds. When the distractions of life are stripped away, this is where we need and should find connection, to each other and to Christ.
     
    The last 40 days have undoubtedly been filled with challenge, anxiety, disappointment and unpredictability. But I hope too that they have been filled with opportunity to focus on the importance of compassion, patience, kindness, empathy, and love. This week is an opportunity for all of us, individually and collectively, to focus on the greatest expression of LOVE – Christ’s passion, death, and Resurrection. To pray, reflect, and examine the weight of this expression of love and let it wash over us as we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. While we are unable to gather in our churches this Easter morning, we are united with Christ and the HOPE His return brings to all of us.
    We all desperately want to return to a time when we can celebrate Ryan Nation and the experiences we share. At this time, we are uncertain when that time will come. But in our waiting for that re-connection, we remind ourselves that whatever the connections, in-person or via computer, WE are always together through Father Ryan and through Christ.
    I was grateful to receive so many responses to our Parent Survey from last Friday, and I am encouraged with your words of support for all the Father Ryan faculty and staff. That means so much to all of us. I am also appreciative of the many suggestions you offered in response to your experiences during this Digital Learning period.

    The most frequently mentioned area was the need for more connections among the community, to learn and to gather. To provide ways for us to establish more of those connections, we are adding a new element this week – our Irish Webinars. These 30-minute conversations among Father Ryan’s faculty, staff and leadership are designed to share knowledge and to keep us together. We began with today’s Keeping the Faith discussion with Mrs. Elfers and Father Simpson, which allowed us to share ways to celebrate Holy Week and strengthen our family connections to our faith. I invite you to join us whenever you are able as we bring new topics to our Irish Webinars. And please remember to connect with us via myFatherRyan, our website and on social media.

    Questions remain about the coming months, the schedule, and the year-end events. We will communicate information on all of those in coordination and in partnership with the decisions made by our Bishop and government officials related to the campus being closed.
    Be assured of our prayers for the healing and grace of Christ for all affected by this virus.

    May all of you have a special Holy Week and a glorious Easter Sunday. Alleluia. He is Risen.

    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Message from the President - April 3

    The Irish Connection is STRONG

    Greetings to Ryan Nation,

    One of the single most inspiring things I have had the honor of witnessing during my time at Father Ryan is the instantaneous connections throughout Ryan Nation! Each time I see alumni or families realize in conversation that they are connected to Father Ryan, I am humbled to watch the automatic understanding and connection shared in their common experiences. This period of social distancing makes these connections even more vital to our faculty, alumni, students, families, to each other and to Father Ryan. WE are Father Ryan!
    Our connection to our faith, our classmates, our teachers, and our community must be nurtured for this experience to be truly Father Ryan. This is why we have added more elements to our digital faith experiences, partnered with our club moderators and coaches to engage – virtually – with their members and athletes, and reached out to celebrate our Irish Heroes, our alumni and Ryan Nation, all to keep our connections to each other alive and vibrant.

    As a parent of a Father Ryan student, your insights and experiences are extremely important. By the time this newsletter has reached you, you should have already received a Parent Survey via email. This survey will give us feedback into your student’s digital learning. It also asks for your insights into how your family is personally coping with these unprecedented times. The survey will remain open until 5:00pm on Saturday, April 4. I encourage all of our parent community to participate.
    Please know that we will communicate plans regarding spring events, including commencement exercises, in coordination and partnership with the decisions made by our Bishop and government officials related to our campus being closed.
    As we enter into Holy Week, please be assured of our thoughts and prayers for the healing and grace of Christ to descend upon all of us and those affected by this virus.

    “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

    Peace to you and your family.

    Irish Pride,

    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • Letter and Decree from Bishop Spalding - March 31

    Bishop Spalding has issued this letter and decree on March 31, pertaining to how the Diocese of Nashville will be handling services, including Easter, over the next few weeks. 

    Letter

    Decree
  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - March 27

    Father Ryan announced today that the campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue through April 24, 2020.  Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, released this news in a letter.
  • Message from the President - March 27

    Campus to Remain Closed through April 24

     
    Father Ryan announced today that the campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue through April 24, 2020.  Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, released this news in a letter today, which we have added to our coronavirus webpage.  Please visit this site for ongoing updates.
     
    Our talented and dedicated faculty and staff will continue delivering the Father Ryan experience through digital learning.  As we continue to expand in this environment, we encourage you to visit our Digital Learning webpage regularly. 

    In experiencing these unusual times, we are reminded that for 95 years Father Ryan has been a powerful presence, providing comfort to our community through our tradition of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, anchored always by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  We know that WE are Father Ryan and that God never leaves us to face our perils alone.  
     
    On this Friday in Lent, we are called to draw closer to Christ and to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother, asking her to heal those affected by this illness.  We join Superintendent Hammel and the entire Catholic community in prayer for all whom we serve.
     
    Peace,
     
    Jim McIntyre
    President
  • MAC Doctors Spread Awareness - March 27

    Amid the outbreak of COVID-19 and Nashville's efforts to prevent the virus from spreading rampantly as it has in other cities, Dr. Shindana Feagins and Dr. Robert Labadie, both members of Father Ryan's Medical Advisory Comittee, are playing crucial roles in helping and informing the community. 

    Dr. Feagins warns that a carefree attitude, especially among young and otherwise healthy individuals, could further exacerbate the virus' spread in the community.  

    Dr. Labadie says he's more concerned than he's been in his career about the virus' spread and impact, and he's stressing the importance of staying home, as well as the need for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. He's working with engineering students at Vanderbilt to get more masked produced

    These are unprecedented times, but we're proud to have members of the Father Ryan community playing a role in making our city, and country, safer.
  • Father Ryan Prepares to Launch Digital Learning - March 19

    At various times when our school is not in session and we have visitors to our campus, I caution them that during a tour they may see beautiful buildings and athletic facilities, and mistakenly think they have seen Father Ryan. However, Father Ryan is more to all of us than beautiful buildings and athletic facilities, it is the peopleWe are Father Ryan. Despite the current circumstances, this remains true - yesterday, today and tomorrow. In a very unsettled world with lots of anxiety and concern, we do what we always do. We turn to God. Pope Francis has called all of us “to rediscover the concreteness of small things, the small acts of kindness shown to those who are close to us, family, friends. Real relationships made of attentiveness and patience.” 
     
    While we all begin this journey and transition to digital learning together, I ask that we all lean into and respond to the calls of the Holy Father and our BishopPrecaution, prayer, prudence, patience, concern, compassion, empathy and kindness. This is a time when all of us can answer the challenge of our mission to be a living example of the Gospel while challenging students to reach their spiritual, academic, and personal potential.   
     
    This is a new experience for you, your students, our faculty and the entire Father Ryan community.  To help everyone in your household prepare for the transition to digital learning, we have created a Digital Learning webpage, with specific links, one for parents and one for students.  The Digital Learning webpage includes information to help students be successful and resources from various departments. We will add to this page as information develops.   
     
    Here’s what we ask you to do in preparation for our launch on Wednesday, March 25.

    • Review the Digital Learning webpage and familiarize yourself with our expectations for students and families.
    • Work with your student to set up their learning area in your home. Information and suggestions on this are on the webpage.
    • Please make certain that your students are logged into myFatherRyan on Monday and Tuesday, March 23 and 24. Students are expected to participate and engage with their teachers on those days to ensure they are receiving messages and instructional information from their teachers.
    • If your student needs technology assistance, there is a form on the webpage for them to complete and submit.
    • Understanding that this is a new experience for all of us - students, parents and faculty -we will need grace, compassion and patience as we make this transition together.

    I cannot imagine that our mission as a school has ever been more important and vital to students, parents, faculty, alumni, and the Nashville community. Today, March 19, our Church celebrates the Feast of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus. On his feast day we seek his intercession and use his example of humility, kindness, compassion and caring for how we might “rediscover” each other and the world around us.  
     
    Peace to you and your family. 
     
    Jim McIntyre 
    President 
  • Bishop Spalding's Decree and Letter - March 17

    Bishop Mark Spalding issued a decree on March 17 regarding Mass and a letter the same day regarding school closings.  We encourage you to click below to read these communications from our Bishop.   Thank you.

    DECREE FROM BISHOP SPALDING

  • Update from the President on Schedule - March 17

    Father Ryan Campus Closed Through April 3rd

    Digital Learning Begins Monday, March 23rd

      
    Bishop Mark Spalding decreed today the dispensation of Mass obligation through and including April 3, 2020.  In conjunction with the decree, Bishop Spalding announced the closing of diocesan schools through the same date. Please click to read his dispensation decree and his March 17 letter.  
      
    Throughout our 95-year history, Father Ryan has been called to respond to the challenges that our nation has faced.  In every instance, the strength of our response has been rooted in our community and in prayer.  We call on Ryan Nation to respond again, as a community, to meet this health challenge, and to begin that response in the same way we begin everything at Father Ryan – with prayer.  We invite you to join us in asking for the intercession of our Blessed Mother with a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe from the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. 
     
    PARENT PREPARATION  
    With the Bishop’s announcement today, Father Ryan will launch digital learning for all students this Monday.  That schedule includes:  
      
    • March 23 and March 24 – These are professional workdays for faculty to launch digital learning. We expect your student to be connected during both Monday and Tuesday.  The faculty will be sending communication during each day, and we ask your students to respond timely to ensure the digital learning is working as planned. 
    • March 25 - Digital learning schedule begins with a B day on Wednesday, March 25.   
     
    Look for additional communication from us on Thursday, March 19, with more details on the digital learning implementation. 
     
    While we have used online teaching for summer school classes for several years, we know that this will be a new educational experience for most of our faculty and students, as well as for our parents.  While it will not be the same as being in the classroom, we are confident that you will have an educational experience that is both rigorous and uniquely Father Ryan.  
      
    To help us all understand this new environment, we will launch a digital learning webpage this Thursday.  The link will be sent in the communication referenced above.  We will update that webpage regularly throughout this digital learning environment. 
     
    We appreciate your patience, your support and your prayers as we respond once again during this new phase of the Father Ryan school year.   
      
    Jim McIntyre  
    President  
  • Message from the President - March 13

    UPDATE ON COVID-19 

    Father Ryan was informed late this afternoon – Friday – that a part-time member of our faculty/staff, who is also a member of the parent community, has tested positive for COVID-19.  This individual was last on the Father Ryan campus on Tuesday, was not symptomatic while on campus, and now is quarantined at home and under observation by health department officials. Privacy rules prevent us from disclosing the member of our community.
     
    We are working with the Metro Public Health Department, and they have confirmed that “the risk to the student population is low and no students require isolation or public health monitoring at this time.  The case is mild and the patient is appropriately isolated.  No one else in the family, including the student, has symptoms. Due to the incubation period of the virus, there is no evidence that the student was infectious at school.  The family continues to work closely and collaboratively with the Department of Health.” 
     
    We appreciate the responsiveness and communication of the Metro Health Department.  We join with that department to continue encouraging all in our community to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for dealing with this virus.  Those guidelines and additional resources are available at our coronavirus webpage.
     
    In light of this news, we also wanted to share with you the letter about the coronavirus from Bishop Spalding, distributed to all the faithful throughout the Diocese of Nashville.  Please join the Bishop in his call for prayer, for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, and for this family and all who are dealing with the effects of this virus.
  • Message from Superintendent Hammel - March 12

    We ask you to read the letter below from Superintendent Rebecca Hammel regarding the suspension of school-sponsored activities next week.
     
    Thank you.
     
  • Message/Update from President - Afternoon of March 12

    IMPORTANT CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

     
    We have received word this afternoon that the spouse of the faculty/staff member who went through various tests has tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19. We are pleased for this family.
     
    We have also been informed by the diocese that a decision on when Father Ryan and all diocesan schools will reopen will be made no later than Thursday, March 19, as communicated by Superintendent Rebecca Hammel in her letter from yesterday.  See the link below (March 11) to read that letter.
     
    We continue to pray for all in the community during these unusual circumstances.
  • Message from President on March 12, 2020

    Father Ryan was informed this morning that the spouse of one of our faculty/staff members was not feeling well and underwent several medical tests, including the test for COVID-19.  This person has self-quarantined at home and is awaiting the results of the testing, which we anticipate being available in the next 48 hours. 
     
    As a result of this news, after conversations with Metro’s public health officials, the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office and our Medical Advisory Committee, we believe the overall risk of exposure to our students and faculty remains low.  However, out of an abundance of care, we are taking the following steps:
     
    • We are dismissing students today at 11:15am.  All students must be picked up by noon.
    • Faculty and staff will remain on campus until 3:30pm.  Tomorrow’s professional workday has been cancelled and is being replaced with a half-day workday today. 
    • ALL after-school activities for today – on and off campus - are cancelled.
     
    We are following plans for addressing the coronavirus that we had communicated earlier this week.
    • We began our deep cleaning of the entire school yesterday, and will continue this cleaning through next week, as planned.
    • School will remain closed Friday, as planned.
     
    We are in regular contact with the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office, our Medical Advisory Committee and state and local health officials.  We will continue to provide updates for you as soon as we learn more.  We ask you to continue praying for all in our community and throughout the world who are dealing with this illness.
  • Message from Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel on March 11, 2020

    Dear Families, 
     
    Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville Rebecca Hammel has sent an important letter regarding the coronavirus outbreak and new directions for all diocesan Catholic schools. 
     
    Click below to read this important letter. 
     
     
     
    Please join Bishop Spalding and all in our community in prayer for those affected by the coronavirus here and throughout the world. 
     
  • Update to Families on March 10, 2020

    Dear Families,
     
    As we approach spring break, and in light of the announcement today by local universities and county school systems to close, we hope this prompts all of us to be ever more vigilant about travel that may be planned. Current circumstances provide ample reason to review any travel internationally. As of Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) had identified 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in 100 countries. Additionally, the presence of COVID-19 domestically means we should all exercise careful judgment, even when traveling within the United States. Airlines and travel agencies are proving more than amenable to changes, given all we can gather.
     
    In addition, we are announcing today that Father Ryan will cancel classes this Friday, March 13.  We will hold a professional workday to support our faculty as they continue making plans in the event that we need to shift our academic program online for a time. We ask that students gather all necessary books, technology, materials, and school supplies before leaving school on Thursday in the event we shift to remote learning following spring break. 
     
    Visit Father Ryan Coronavirus Updates for up-to-date school news and public health resources on COVID-19. This webpage centralizes information and resources for the Father Ryan community. Visit the page regularly for updates, links, and FAQs. While Father Ryan does not have current knowledge of exposure to coronavirus on campus, we are working proactively. This includes a thorough, deep cleaning of all campus buildings during Spring Break. In addition, we remain in regular contact with our Medical Advisory Board, the Diocese of Nashville and the Metro Health Department.  All have been available as steady sources of guidance.
     
    We understand that there is very little that is easy about navigating our individual and collective way through these uncertain days, waiting for the next worrisome announcement or headline, but we are resolved to support our students and your family. Thank you for your willingness and trust in walking this unchartered road with us.
     
    If there is anything that I can do to help you or your student, any extenuating circumstance or information that you feel necessary to share, please feel free to reach out to me.
     
    We continue to pray for all those affected here in Nashville, our country, and throughout the world.
     
    Sincerely,
    Jim McIntyre
  • Update to Families on March 5, 2020

    Dear Parents:

    With the announcement by Governor Bill Lee today that the state of Tennessee has its first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to communicate with all of you regarding Father Ryan's schedule and upcoming school activities.

    First, Father Ryan will be open tomorrow, Friday, March 6.

    Second, there are several upcoming school trips planned. Dr. Lisa Piercy, Commissioner of Health for the State of Tennessee, commented during Governor Lee’s press conference the “overall risk of transmission remains low at this time.” As such, our plans for travel with our students domestically are unchanged. We continue to monitor the situation closely, with a focus on our continued partnerships with the Father Ryan Medical Advisory Board, as well as our partners at the Diocese of Nashville.

    Additionally, we continue to encourage families, faculty, and students to follow the resources for symptoms and prevention at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

    As always, we encourage and support our parents as the primary educators to make individual decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their student.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns at 615-383-4200.
  • Update to Families on March 2, 2020

    Dear Father Ryan Families,
     
    Father Ryan's leadership team, along with the leadership of the Catholic Schools Office, has been watching with increased focus the coronavirus COVID-19 story in order to be best prepared for what is clearly an uncertain, unpredictable and emerging set of circumstances.  In consultation with the Father Ryan Medical Advisory Board and the diocese, we continue to follow and consult with a wide range of medical resource sites to assess day-to-day reports.  Here are some recommendations on resources for your family.
     
    We are encouraging all families to review the information at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website regarding symptoms and diagnosis, transmission, and prevention and treatment of the COVID-19.  We remind you that the best first preventative step is regular hand washing.  Please remember if a student has a fever, he/she may return to school only after being fever-free without the assistance of medication for at least 24 hours. We appreciate your reporting “flu-like” symptoms to the office when your student must be home due to sickness. 
     
    If your family has international travel plans for Spring Break, the U.S. State Department website offers an excellent real-time resource.  All planned Father Ryan overseas trips have been postponed. 
     
    Father Ryan has contingency plans prepared for school closures so that learning may continue.  In the event of a closure, we will communicate with all of you and our students via myFatherRyan.
     
    In the interim, we will continue to monitor the situation with our Medical Advisory Committee, the diocese, and the State of Tennessee, with our primary focus on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and community.  Please join us in prayer for all those affected, and thank you for your partnership in making Father Ryan such a great community. As always, we are available to answer any questions or concerns. 
     
    Jim McIntyre
    President