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Diocese of Covington Schools to Return In-Person on Aug. 17

Schools within the Diocese of Covington will reopen on Monday, August 17, an announcement said.

Bishop Roger Foys and Diocesan Schools Superintendent Mike Clines sent a letter to local Catholic school leaders informing them of the decision.

In a news release, the diocese said that the decision was made after consulting the bishops of Lexington, Louisville, and Owensboro, and Catholic school communities.

The diocese previously released its “COVID-19 Return to School Requirements”, laying out the plans for what they hope is a safe reopening amid the ongoing pandemic.

The plan includes at-home learning as an option for those families who believe that to be the best option.

Implementation of the requirements will be monitored at each school, a news release said.

During the week of September 6, the situation will be evaluated and needed changes would be made at that time, the diocese said.

The diocese identified the following factors in making its decision:

•  Pastors, administrators, faculty and staff have been working diligently throughout the summer with their local COVID-19 task force to prepare schools for strict adherence to the COVID-19 requirements. Their commitment to the students is evidenced by the excitement, seriousness and creativity in creating environments that meet the educational and safety needs of their students.

•  A desire among the community — priests, principals, parents and students — to be given an opportunity to implement the plans that have been scrupulously developed; and their stated confidence in the plans.

•  The understanding that education includes formation of the entire student — mind, body and soul — and is preferably accomplished in a faith community. Our concern for the welfare of our students includes their educational, emotional, social and spiritual development.

“As we move forward, we thank our parents for their support,” Foys and Clines said in their letter to Catholic school leaders. “The health of our schools will depend in large part on the health of each individual student. We are depending on our parents to monitor their child’s health every day and to keep their child home when they are sick.”

Parents are expected to adhere to the guidelines which include frequently washing hands, wearing a mask, maintaining proper social distancing and eliminating unnecessary travel.

“We express our deepest gratitude to our school leaders for their selfless commitment to Catholic education,” they said.

Governor Andy Beshear recommended that schools hold off on in-person learning until at least September 28 since the state is experiencing COVID-19 infections at a higher rate than earlier on in the pandemic.

Many local public schools have changed their plans based on that recommendation and instead of what some had hoped to be a hybrid approach, to include in-person and virtual learning, will stick to online learning for now.

-Staff report