It brings me great joy to announce that we plan to return to school this August on campus and on schedule. Bishop Soto recently offered a statement on steps we are taking in parishes to prepare for our return to public worship, and in coming back to campus, Catholic schools will also take every reasonable precaution to keep students safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Yesterday, Governor Newsom said that California public schools may open in July because of the ground they have lost academically. Thanks to our families’ and teachers’ commitment to Distance Learning, we do not share the same concern. Our students are on pace in our core subjects and will not need to spend the summer making up for lost time. If there are any gaps in academic progress, our dedicated teachers will work with one another to identify those as each student moves into the next grade.
Some of you may want a summer program for your students, and I am happy to say that many of our Catholic schools will offer summer school (with all the necessary precautions) once we have the go-ahead from public authorities. We will share more about all various options of summer programs on our diocesan website (www.scd.org/summer) as our plans take shape.
School will look different when we return; some of the precautions we will have in place will seem familiar, and others will be new. You may recall that the California Department of Public Health issued a document on March 7 entitled “School Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19,” providing four “scenarios” designed to slow the spread of COVID-19; we operated under Scenario II for a week before we moved to full Distance Learning. The measures included suspending school-wide assemblies and whole-school Holy Mass, providing for prayer in other ways; providing for classroom-level distancing, including the placement of desks in rows with space between them; eating lunch in the rooms and the staggering of recesses; ensuring employees stay home if they or a family member is running a temperature or has a respiratory infection, or signs of coming down with one; and reminding parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s health, keeping children with any symptoms home…
The above comes from an April 29 statement from Lincoln Snyder, school superintendent for the Sacramento diocese.