Brooklyn and Queens Catholic Academies, Schools Prepare to Reopen With In-Class Instruction and Safety Protocols In Place

(Photo: Currents News)

The Tablet Staff

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing each of its 66 Catholic Academies and Parish Schools have submitted their 2020-2021 Reopening Plans to the New York State Department of Education. 

The majority of proposals call for the reopening of Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens with five day a week, 100% in-class instruction.

“We are pleased with the Governor’s recent announcement regarding the reopening of schools.  This is a great first step in the right direction to helping our children safely return to the classroom,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools for the diocese.

The plans submitted by each school or academy to New York State presented one of the following three options:

Plan A – 100% In-Person Model with the following requirements:

  • Social distancing in classrooms and throughout the school building
  • Mandatory face coverings while in school, with mask breaks
  • Hand and respiratory hygiene guidance and enforcement
  • Signage throughout building promoting hygiene, illness, mask and distance requirement
  • Daily health screening of all who enter buildings, per NYS guidelines, including temperature checks
  • Procedures in place if positive COVID cases are detected
  • Testing and tracing policies in place, per Department of Health guidelines

Plan B – Hybrid Model with the following requirements:

  • Same requirements noted above for in-school instruction
  • Hybrid model could be 3/2: three days in school and two days of remote learning from home. Hybrid models will vary by school
  • A combination of synchronous and asynchronous remote learning, with instruction sessions led by teachers of the students’ Catholic Academy or Parish School

Plan C – 100% Distance Learning – Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Program

A new diocesan-wide distance learning program created with a faculty focused exclusively on the development of an academically rigorous, Christ-centered remote learning program. This is an additional option to ensure instructional equity for those who choose 100% remote learning.

Of the plans submitted, a majority of the 66 Diocesan schools and academies aim to open for instruction under Plan A, with the flexibility to adopt Plan B or Plan C quickly if COVID-19 cases arise.

“Our principals, teachers, boards and administrators have been hard at work to ensure all the health and safety protocols will be met at all our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools.  We are prepared and excited for a full reopening in September,” added Chadzutko. “This may be slightly different school by school given the building footprint and student population.  Some schools will need to use a hybrid model if they cannot meet the social distancing standards.”

The health of the students, faculty and staff, remains the top priority for school, the diocese said. Enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols will be in place at all school buildings during the school year. 

The reopening plans for each school can be found on the individual school website. Additionally, parent meetings will take place this week, via ZOOM, to review and discuss the reopening plans.