For Immediate Release
Friday, July 24, 2020
Chancellor of Education, Mr. James B. Sellinger, and Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Donna Hargens, of the Archdiocese of Baltimore released today its reopening plan for its elementary and secondary schools for the 2020-21 school year. The plan provides a framework for schools to facilitate the safe return of faculty and staff on August 24, 2020 and for students on August 31.
The plan is designed to maximize both safety and in-person instruction and requires strict adherence to all recommended safety practices, including social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings. Under the plan, most Catholic schools will be able to safely accommodate all students for five-day, in-person instruction; however, due to the size and staffing of some school facilities, some schools will begin the school year under a blended or hybrid model incorporating both in-person and remote learning. In addition, families that do not feel comfortable returning their child(ren) to in-person instruction will be able to have their child(ren) participate in remote learning from home, which will include synchronous instruction.
The Archdiocese’s reopening plan was developed with guidance and resources from state and local officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It was developed by the Planning Ahead Task Force for Catholic Schools, which included healthcare professionals, counselors, educators, school leaders, parents, and experts in various applicable fields. Feedback from parents/guardians, faculty/staff, and students informed the final version of the plan.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said Mr. Sellinger. “We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom, whether they be in person or participating virtually.”
“Catholic schools have the ability to safely return to in-person instruction due to their facility and enrollment size,” noted Dr. Hargens. “A significant investment in technology, infrastructure, and professional development, as well as the adoption of a variety of risk mitigation methods, are key factors in our school system’s ability to offer all three modes of operation (in-person, hybrid, and remote).”
The recommendations outlined in the plan will provide guidance and support to all Archdiocesan Catholic schools to aid in the development of their individual plans for reopening. Families will receive communication from their school’s administration in the coming weeks regarding the specifics on how this plan will be implemented at their location.
Please click HERE to view the reopening guidance for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic schools. This guidance will be updated accordingly as guidelines, directives, as procedures evolve.