JULY 31, 2020 PRESS RELEASE – SCHOOL YEAR UPDATE
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend announces pastors and principals will decide how to best begin their school year.
Dr. Joe Brettnacher, Ph.D., Superintendent of Catholic Schools
The coronavirus has had a dramatic impact on families, Catholic schools, parishes, and the diocese. Besides the obvious challenges to life, health, and financial well-being, it has also impacted our ability to be in community with one another, our reception of the sacraments, and the way that we teach and serve.
For months, our Catholic schools have been eagerly preparing for the 2020-21 school year, and we know that our teachers and staff long for the opportunity to be with the children again.
It is important to note, however, that our diocese covers fourteen counties. In forty-three schools, we serve over 13,000 children. Some areas of our diocese have seen an increase in the coronavirus, and no doubt, parents, teachers, and staff across the diocese have been watching the news regarding schools and their reopening plans.
Our pastors and principals know best the needs of their specific community, can work according to their county’s health department recommendations, understand the nuances of their buildings, and have the details of the reopening plans they have developed over the last several months. For these reasons, pastors, in collaboration with their principals, will decide how best to begin the school year, whether that is in-person classes, a hybrid model, or virtual learning.
While some Catholic schools may be able to open with in-person classes due to the space in their building that allows for social distancing, other Catholic schools may need to begin with a hybrid or virtual model, and then move to in-person learning later.
We care deeply for the health and safety, growth in holiness, and, ultimately, the salvation of the children entrusted in our care. Concerning the reopening of our Catholic schools, it is important to note that Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has worked closely with pastors to issue directives and give them the flexibility to make decisions best suited for their parishes. We also continue to seek the advice of state and local health experts, as well as the advice of our peers in public and non-public schools.
May the Lord who has called us to the vocations of a parent, teacher, or religious continue to guide us and may His Blessed Mother and all the patron saints of our schools and parishes intercede for us and all of the children of our diocese.
About the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Schools: built upon the foundation laid by St. Mother Theodore Guerin, Monsignor Benoit, Bishop John Henry Luers and Bishop Joseph Dwenger, Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend work with parents to help children grow in holiness, develop their God-given talents, prepare them for lives of serving others and giving glory to God. Our 43 Catholic schools span the 14 counties of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend serving over 13,000 children. Our schools are known for their academic excellence, strong Catholic identity and our caring and dedicated faculty and staff. For more information about the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, please visit our Catholic Schools Office page.
For months, our 43 Catholic schools have been eagerly preparing for the 2020-21 school year, and our teachers and staff long for the opportunity to be with our students again. Across the 14 counties of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, each school community and capabilities are unique, with many areas of our diocese seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases as plans are being established. The Catholic Schools Office has been working with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, school administrators, local and state health departments, and others to guide schools in this process. With this support, pastors and principals are collaborating to finalize how best to conduct their school’s academic year. Each school will communicate its unique plan to parents, guardians, faculty, and staff.
We invite you to consult these Catholic Schools Office communications for the most up-to-date information from our diocesan offices