UPDATE: Archdiocese Plan For Return To School

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

Dear Archdiocesan School Communities:

The school year 2019-2020 will be one that we will not forget; it certainly has made a unique stamp on history. During these uncertain times, our Catholic school administrators and teachers rallied to provide continuous learning plans for our students. At the same time, the resiliency and perseverance of our students (and their parents and caregivers) proved to be nothing less than remarkable. I end this school year with much pride and a feeling of encouragement as we look to the future.

We have assembled a Special Task Force to assist with our plans to reopen our schools this fall; representation on this task force includes individuals from our schools, the Office of Catholic Schools, CHOA and Emory University.

There are many unanswered questions about the upcoming school year; however, our plans at this point are for in-person learning in the fall. While we do not know if all students will be able to report to campus at one time, plans are underway to offer, if needed, a hybrid approach where students would report to school on certain days and when not on campus they would watch, via live-stream or other technology platforms, classes that are taught by their teachers from the school building. We are currently researching the kind of cameras needed in our classrooms to allow this to happen without violating our safe environment policies or jeopardizing the safety and identity of our students.

The Special Task Force is developing three scenarios: (1) school would resume as scheduled on all campuses in the fall; (2) students would alternate between in-person /on campus and remote learning via live-streaming and other technology; or, (3) we would return to virtual days in our high schools and home learning plans in our grade schools.

By the 2nd week in July, we believe we will receive more guidance on how to safely reopen our school campuses to our students. The safety of our students and our employees will continue to drive our decisions along with guidance received from the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, and state and local governing agencies.

As the Special Task Force completes plans to reopen our school buildings, each school will also be completing a plan that works for that school’s campus. These re-entry plans will be shared with all stakeholders by mid-July.

All parents should have received a link to a survey to evaluate our home learning and virtual plans. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to better inform us as we seek to improve planning and learning delivery systems for next year. Please be assured that we will continue to implement our rigorous academic curriculum whether in person or virtually.

Several of our schools have plans to offer Summer Camps on campus in July following CDC guidelines and protocols for safe operations. In addition, we are planning for high school sports’ conditioning protocols beginning on Monday, June 8. High school athletic trainers and principals will be communicating these plans and the safety protocols which will be in place. Should circumstances warrant, any needed changes to protocols will be promptly communicated to families.

As always, we appreciate your continued patience and flexibility as we move forward with our plans for this fall. Please continue to pray for all those impacted by COVID-19 and a safe and steady reopening of our parishes and school building.