July 13, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians of Catholic Academy and Parish School Students,
Catholic Academies and Parish Schools, within the Diocese of Brooklyn are planning to open in September! The Office of the Superintendent Re-Opening Task Force continues to work tirelessly to ensure that our students, faculty and staff remain healthy and have access to the most current information. Moreover, the Diocese of Brooklyn Re-Opening Task Force, led by Chief Esposito, has been most impressed with the thoroughness of the Office of the Superintendent’s Task Force’s comprehensive plan for a successful safe opening of our school buildings this Fall.
Principals have been working diligently, planning for a September re-opening. The New York State Education Department just recently shared the framework for school reopening plans with formal guidance. This framework will be disseminated later this week and will serve as a roadmap, providing schools with guidelines, expectations and mandates, to safely open our schools this fall. We also anticipate receiving information shortly from the New York State Department of Health and the Board of Regents. The Office of the Superintendent Re-Opening Task Force will continue to share all information with our schools.
Governor Cuomo will be informing us of his final decision on school openings, during the week of August 1-7. In anticipation of schools re-opening, please know there are essential elements included in all the re-opening plans being developed:
- Our goal for opening schools is a 5-day a week, in-school model, ensuring that as many students, using social distancing, can safely be in our buildings. We are aware that many buildings cannot accommodate their total student population, in a socially distant way, for a full 5 day Plans are being developed by principals, using alternative scheduling; hybrid learning, combining in-person and remote learning. Although our goal is for a 100% opening, with all participating in 5-day a week instructional plan, government guidelines for health and safety will not allow that to happen at this time.
- We are deeply committed to ensuring that each Catholic Academy and Parish School continue to provide a loving, nurturing Catholic School environmen We will stand firm on continuing academic excellence. Social-emotional learning and mental well-being has been and will continue to be a priority.
- The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff will continue to be our number one priority, with enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols, and the implementation of student and faculty wellness checks and symptom screening.
- We have and will continue to advocate for the many resources our students are entitled to under State and City law, as well as through the local school We will continue to stress that all public-school districts provide a nurse/medical professional to our schools and provide transportation for eligible students. Unfortunately, at this time, we are uncertain if they will be able to fulfill these requirements. We will continue to be persistent in engaging local school districts and lobbying for our students. Further updates on these issues will follow.
We have studied the re-opening plans from around the world, and across our country. We have worked collaboratively with Principals, Pastors and Academy Boards, to envision a re-opening plan that is safe and strong in academics and is Christ-centered.
As we continue to plan for September 2020, we must remember that all plans are based upon information we have presently received, never looking to compromise the health and safety of all. We will continue to work and plan, accepting changes with patience and common sense.
We thank everyone for their continued support through these unpredictable times and continue to ask for God’s blessings.
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services