Catholic Schools and the Response to COVID-19

By Dr. Daryl Hagan, Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Special to The Message

As we continue the joyous celebration of Easter, I wanted to provide a general update on Catholic schools. As you read this update, we have four weeks left in our extended learning plan to conclude the 2019-2020 school year on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Meeting the Challenge

Sincere thanks are extended once again to our school administrators, faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment to ensure continuity of instruction in a new environment. In many cases, teachers have gone outside their comfort zone as they transmit learning in a remote manner. Beyond the learning required to utilize different instructional modes, teachers are
spending countless hours in planning, delivering instruction, staying in contact with students and parents, and in reviewing student work. Administrators continue to tout their teachers’ resourcefulness and ingenuity. We are blessed with their caring and support as students receive sound, balanced learning during this time.

Creative and Innovative Connections

We continue to see creative and innovative strategies that include virtual fun week activities (e.g. dress like our grandparents, pajama day), staying connected to our students (e.g. morning announcements led by students, calls, emails, yard signs posted at their homes), staying connected to our faith (e.g. daily prayer chains, service suggestions, virtual school Masses), and staying connected to our parents (e.g. parent ZOOM meetings, calls, email updates).

Looking to the Future

While I cannot predict when we will see the other side of the COVID-19 virus, I can join our school administrators as hopeful, Easter people. As such, we know we will be back in our school buildings (hopefully on the first day of the 2020-21 school year) and our time and energy are currently being split on quality extended learning in the home and preparing for the new school year. We are energized in our plans to welcome everyone back.

In closing, I want to highlight one of the many Catholic school students making a difference during this crisis. Reitz Memorial Shaurya Jadhav began creating 3D masks and face shields and is finding ways to increase his production. Thank you, Shaurya, for making a difference.