JULY 6, 2020 LETTER – SCHOOL YEAR UPDATE

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Dear Parents, Guardians, Administrators, Faculty, and Staff,

Blessings to you and your family.  COVID-19 and racism occupy our minds as we prepare to reopen our schools for the school year 2020-2021.  We will continue to teach our students to honor the dignity of every human person because God created us in His image and likeness.  Please join me in the Prayer for Life and Dignity by asking God to help us defend life and respect all people.

Eternal God, creator, and sustainer of life bless us with the courage to defend all life from conception to natural death. Bless us with the strength to respect all peoples from east to west, from north to south, so that we may truly follow the call of Jesus to be neighbor.  We ask this in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen (From Being Neighbor: The Catechism and Social Justice, USCCB, April 1998)

The focus of this letter is to provide you with the progress our schools have made to reopen for in-person instruction for the school year 2020-2021.  We want to share results from our imperfect survey, our progress for reopening our 43-schools and provide a timeline for when you will hear from your school about their reopening plans.

Survey Results
Although our survey in June was imperfect, it provided us with good input from parents/guardians, administrators, faculty, and staff (stakeholders) about their desires for reopening their school.  As schools are deep into individualizing their reopening plans, they are using a Back-to-School Plan Template created by the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) with input from stakeholders, local health departments, national organizations, and more.  On a side note, a local health department reviewed the template and indicated it was thorough and complete.  

Going back to the survey results, stakeholders wanted to know details about their school’s reopening plans, health screening, cleaning, handwashing, social distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, quarantining and isolation, and after an illness, reentry to school.  The CSO provided the following guidelines.

  • The goal is to reopen for in-person instruction and for schools to do their best to remain open.  Additionally, they need to plan to transition, if needed, to a hybrid (combines face-to-face classroom instruction with online activities) schedule and remote (information is relayed through technology, usually at home) learning.
  • Parents will be responsible for making sure their child(ren) conduct daily health screens and stay home if they have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The administration, faculty, staff, and visitors will conduct or undergo daily health screens before they enter the building to ensure they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Cleaning touch point surfaces will occur throughout the day and enhanced cleaning at night to disinfect for COVID-19 and other contagions.</