Since it became clear this past spring that the coronavirus risk would still be a factor as our Catholic schools prepare to return to the classroom, a comprehensive planning process was set in motion that sought, above all, to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and families at large.
This process, which was informed by parent surveys and led by diocesan and local school leaders, was based on the following expectations:
1) Any plan for the return to the classroom would require masking, social distancing and sanitization measures, as well as existing and updated screening and other precautions cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state health officials and other public health and education institutions.
2) Plans must provide for virtual instruction in accommodation of parents who select that option for their children, and in the event that in-school classes might have to be canceled or delayed.
3) Plans established by the local schools will be guided by the physical realities and limitations of each location.
4) All students and their families will be informed by their schools as to the established plans.
5) The Diocese and the local schools will comply with any executive order issued by Governor Phil Murphy regarding the return to school.
Our local Catholic school administrators and their teams have been working diligently to implement plans that are focused on the health and safety of their community members. Any parents who have questions about the return to school should consult your school’s website for information or directly contact your school office, since the school itself has the most accurate and up to date information pertaining to its plans.
Planning for parish religious education programs is currently underway; plans will be announced by early September.
We ask the diocesan faithful to remember in prayer all students, teachers and staff who are preparing to return to school in a few weeks. May God keep all involved safe and well, and ready for a fulfilling new year of learning.