Some schools will begin next week; each school in the Archdiocese of Louisville had previously communicated with parents about their opening dates and opening plans.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Catholic schools are set to reopen as planned this fall, according to the Archdiocese of Louisville. This comes after a parent-launched petition to have classes resume as planned.
WHAS11’s Abby Lutz spoke with the parent Tuesday who created the petition and he says Governor Andy Beshear’s recommendation to postpone in-person classes isn’t fair to students, parents, or schools that have been working for months to create a safe environment for kids to come back to.
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According to Superintendent Leisa Schulz, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville will join Catholic schools in the four dioceses of the Commonwealth to resume in-person instruction as previously announced.
Some schools will begin next week; each school in the Archdiocese of Louisville had previously communicated with parents about their opening dates and opening plans. The four bishops of the state also wrote to Governor Beshear to thank him for his leadership, inform him of their plans, and to communicate their pledge to monitor the situation, with a joint evaluation scheduled for the week of Labor Day.
Superintendent Leisa Schulz released the following statement:
Dear Catholic School Leaders,
Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. They are most welcome during these difficult days.
After consulting with Archbishop Kurtz – who also spoke with the other bishops in the Commonwealth of Kentucky – and with you, and after hearing from so many parents, we have decided that we will stay on course for the 2020-2021 school year and begin opening our schools for in-person instruction next week. I know schools have developed a variety of models to begin the school year and have communicated with families about these details.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The human body shares in the dignity of ‘the image of God’” (364). “Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good” (2288). We are all concerned about this COVID-19 pandemic and share a commitment to the common good. There are many “goods” to balance as we make this decision.
I considered several factors in making this decision.
- Your hard work and planning over the last several months in creating a safe space for students to learn and thrive. I have been so impressed by your creativity and care, and I heard from hundreds of parents who said: “Our schools are ready. We are confident. Please proceed with in-person instruction.”
- Our concern for the welfare of our students and their spiritual, social, emotional, and academic progress. I also am mindful of the challenges parents face as they strive to balance family life, work, and the need to support their families with the needs of children who are trying to participate in non-traditional instruction.
- The continuous conversations we have had with the Louisville Metro Public Health Department (LMPHD) and the support and resources the staff there have provided. I know many of you in schools outside of Jefferson County have established similar relationships with your local health departments.
- We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments, either system-wide or at individual schools, as needed. In addition, during the week of September 6, all four dioceses of the Commonwealth will conduct an evaluation of our experience to date and will make any needed changes.
As we move forward, I want to thank our parents for your support of your schools. We will rely on the careful attention to our “Healthy at School” guidance by parents, teachers, and administrators, and I encourage parents to focus on the important principles outlined in the School Re-entry Plan: mask-wearing, hygiene, social distancing, health checks, staying home if sick. (To see the general guidance, go here.) I know I can count on everyone’s support and compliance as we gather again for another year of Catholic school education.
Please know of my prayers for you, your faculty and staff, and most of all your families. Thank you for your deep commitment to the ministry of Catholic education.