While school children might be happy about the recent announcement that the New York City public school system will not be opening for in-person classes for several weeks, parents certainly are not pleased with this latest development in the ongoing struggle to re-open our city schools safely for each and every one of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
The reality is that the uncertainty of COVID-19 has caused a massive delay in the re-opening of our city’s schools.
It is certainly not our intention nor is it our place to comment on the actions of the New York City Teachers Union at this time.
Certainly, there seem to be legitimate concerns on their part as well as legislators in determining if our schools can reopen and provide a clean, calm, chaos-free learning environment.
However, there are alternatives to this dilemma. The Catholic schools and academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn will reopen on time, as scheduled.
The schools have taken the maximum amount of precautions, have established safety and health protocols that are excellent and reasonable for students, teachers, staff, and administrators, and are ready to welcome our young people back into a learning environment where Christ is the true and master teacher.
Do we have a crystal ball to know that everything will be completely fine and each and every one of our Catholic schools throughout Brooklyn and Queens and will remain so throughout this entire academic year? Of course not.
However, we can be certain that every single precaution has been taken to ensure a safe, clean, and chaos-free learning environment.
The good news is that enrollment seems to be up in many of our Catholic schools and academies throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Parents, both Catholic and non-Catholic, thankfully are able to count on their local Catholic schools.
These parents can be assured that they will find a place where young men and women can learn to be people for others, a place where they can learn to see Christ in one another, and thus, seeing Christ in one another, they can learn to be Christ to one another and to the whole world.
Pray that this academic year will be one that is healthy, happy, and holy for those involved in the apostolate of Catholic education in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
There’s a lot for us to be proud of in our schools.
One thing that people can feel confident about is that they have taken seriously the threat of COVID-19 and are doing everything in their power to prevent its spread in schools.
Through the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron of all Catholic education, may this year be one in which Christ, the Good Shepherd, Christ the true and master teacher, Christ, the loving healer, will bless our academies and schools with their best year yet.