July 8, 2020
We know that everyone is anxious to hear what our plans are for the 2020-2021 school year. After reviewing the guidelines from the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) Reset and Restart School, the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Academy of Pediatrics, as well as consultation with our local health department and the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Catholic Schools, our Stark County Catholic Schools plan to open in the fall.
We believe the mission of Catholic education is lived best in community with positive relationships as its support. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and we will strive to follow safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We feel that it is in the best interest of our students to physically return to class five days a week. The Academy of Pediatrics has provided strong support that the reopening of schools with students physically present is important for child and adolescent development and well-being. We agree that in-person education is the most meaningful school experience.
After studying the guidance provided by the Governor’s office, the ODE, the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, we believe our small school settings and unique building configurations will allow us to safely return to school and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We will work closely with our local health agencies and the Ohio Department of Health to stay up to date on evolving information about the virus. Further, we will have active contingency plans ready in the event that we need to have brief periods of remote learning or a method for blended learning.
Stark County Catholic School administrators are working together to develop a safe restart plan that will allow our students to return to school. We will release the guidelines for our safe return soon but for now, we wanted to inform our families that we are planning for all students, from preschool through grade 12, to return to school five days a week, in person. Our plans will include a consideration for any family who needs unique accommodations due to health concerns. It is our intention to begin classes on our regularly scheduled first day of school, Tuesday, August 18 (freshmen orientation is Monday, August 17).
We look forward to greeting our students this fall, in person, we have missed them!
President of Stark County Catholic Schools