After completing the 2019-2020 academic year remotely in June, a majority of Catholic school students, faculty, and staff in Brooklyn and Queens finally experienced a semblance of normalcy. They returned to school for in-person learning on Sept. 9, ready to start a new school year in a new fashion.
Good Shepherd Catholic Academy’s Home School Association President Kathleen Tomassetti has had a lot on her plate while raising six children amidst a pandemic. She currently has five kids enrolled in GSCA’s universal pre-k and Grades 2, 3, 6, and 7, and a freshman at Xaverian High School.
The Diocese of Brooklyn remains confident in its reopening plan as it gets ready to begin the new school year Sept. 9. As it stands, Catholic schools that share services from the Department of Education (DOE) — like nurses, transportation, meals, and special education and related services — will not be affected by the City’s delayed opening.
Sixty-five seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary and College have officially completed their first week back to school. The seminarians are living on-campus and attending classes in a traditional, in-person format while adhering to health and safety guidelines.
In a few weeks, a majority of the 66 Catholic schools and academies in Brooklyn and Queens plan to physically reopen under Plan A (100% in-person instruction), with the flexibility to adopt Plan B (hybrid instruction) or Plan C (100% distance learning through the new St. Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Program) quickly if COVID-19 cases arise.
The three local Catholic colleges and universities have released their respective Fall 2020 reopening plans adhered to the safety guidelines provided by the State’s Department of Health and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the number of days until the first day of classes dwindle, students have mixed feelings about the new semester during the age of COVID-19.
The Superintendent of Schools for the Brooklyn Diocese has announced plans for a September reopening of Catholic academies and parish schools, contingent upon a decision by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the reopening of New York public schools.