Monday (8/31) is the first day of school for most students in diocesan Catholic schools, with the overwhelming majority of families opting for in-person classroom learning.
About 85 percent of students will return to school in-person, with about 15 percent opting for virtual learning, which is being offered as an alternative.
Demand for a Catholic education is up this year, perhaps because some parents prefer the in-person learning model being used in diocesan schools. Fifteen diocesan schools have waiting lists of families hoping to get a slot.
Catholic schools throughout the Diocese enhanced their in-person reopening plans, where necessary, after a new set of guidelines was issued by the state Department of Health on August 10.
The Health Department guidance said a “blended or hybrid” model is warranted for schools in counties with “moderate” risk, which is the current risk level in all five counties of the Diocese. The Department defines “blended” as a model in which the number of students is low enough to permit six feet of social distancing.
Under the new Health Department guidance, all diocesan schools reviewed the steps needed to provide proper social distancing, and some moved to a hybrid schedule that allows for a combination of in-person and virtual learning.
“Our primary goal is the health and safety of our students and staff. Our schools will be places where students can come and learn, and continue with their faith formation, while parents can rest assured that we have taken all possible steps for safety,” said Dr. Brooke Tesché, Chancellor of Catholic Education.
“We will be monitoring conditions and health and safety guidance, and we will be flexible as needed, while continuing to provide our students with quality, faith-based education,” Dr. Tesché said.