It was a unique academic year for our Catholic schools and academies in 2020-2021. Despite so many challenges, these schools have proven to be safe and healthy, consistent, and Catholic.
First, our schools have been safe and healthy, and our school administrators are fully committed to and intend to keep them that way.
As we know, administrators continue to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, social distancing, hand washing, and hand hygiene and, at the same time, will continue to maintain rigorous daily cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and administer daily health screenings.
All schools will, of course, continue to follow city and state guidelines regarding contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation protocols once schools reopen.
As reported here (“Diocese Will Require Masks For Students, School Staff,” page 1), Catholic school parents will be required to receive medical clearance from a health care provider stating that their children can safely return to in-person learning.
Children must stay home from school if they are sick.
Second, schools have remained open, a bastion of consistency in a world where everything seemed to be changing all the time.
Children need consistency in order to flourish, and, by and large, our Catholic schools and academies provided that soil where the students can grow.
In-person learning is optimal and our schools continue to provide this opportunity.
For those families who would choose an online-only instruction, this too will continue in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Online Academy.
Third, and finally, the word “Catholic” means universal and one needs only to look at our students to see the universality of the Church and the world present in each of our academies and schools.
Our students reflect the Diocese and the City in which we live.
Not all students in our Catholic schools are Catholic, but the reason why the school exists is Catholic, to educate with the eyes, ears, mouth, and heart of Christ, whose life is carried on in his Mystical Body, the Church.