WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW


LET'S GET BACK

TO SCHOOL!

2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

2020 – 2021 School Year

What Parents Need to Know

Let’s Go Back to School!

For our students returning to Catholic schools this fall semester
Superintendent Elias Moo discusses students returning to Catholic schools in the fall

As updates continue to develop with state and local health officials, and our advisors at Centura Health, we will do our best to keep the page as up to date as possible.

The formation and education of your children, as well as their physical and mental well-being, is of utmost importance to our Catholic schools. We know that is best accomplished when it comes in community through direct encounter with one another. Through the resiliency of our Catholic school leaders, teachers, staff, and families, we were able to remain connected last spring and facilitate the learning of our students during the suspension of in-school learning, but nothing can fully replace the goodness, beauty and educational experience of being physically together as a school community.

Excerpt from long-form interview: Heartfelt message from Elias Moo as our schools’ superintendent, but also as a parent
Superintendent grateful to community and confident in schools returning to in-classroom learning

The Archdiocese of Denver Office of Catholic Schools has created a framework ... (read more)

The Archdiocese of Denver Office of Catholic Schools has created a framework to aid school leadership in preparing our return to in-school learning to ensure we are doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest possible environments and conditions to reduce the impact of COVID-19 upon returning to our schools. The guidelines referenced in this framework are based on guidance that has been given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Colorado Department of Education (CDE) the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), our Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Health Taskforce, and our advisors at Centura Health, official partners of our Catholic Schools. Regular updates continue to be made to this plan and shared with school leadership based on the updates from the CDC, CDPHE and any other applicable federal, state, local agencies, and the advice of our advisors. Until the current pandemic is over, school leaders will continue to monitor guidance provided by the Archdiocese of Denver and the Office of Catholic Schools, who will remain in close communication with health officials and will continue to work with the Health Taskforce and our Centura Advisors over the course of the academic year.

This site is meant to provide you with the most up-to-date information and resources regarding the guidance being given to the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Denver.  Individual schools are responsible for developing and sharing school-specific plans with their school communities through normal communication channels, including the school website and student information system. given the distinct realities and needs of each individual school, no two local school plans will be the same. Our Catholic Schools are also located in different counties and subject to their respective orders and guidance which could vary from other counties across the state.

Root Beliefs for Reopening

  • We believe that we are communities of charity and solidarity, called to seek and protect the good, safety, health, and well-being of our children, families, and teachers, especially the most vulnerable in our community (i.e. the elderly or immunocompromised).
  • We believe that community and human encounter is the best way to form children and allow them to flourish.
  • We believe that adults set the tone for students to be adaptable and resilient.
  • We believe students succeed when they are loved, heard, protected, and challenged.
  • We believe that true freedom and healing comes from knowing, serving, loving, and being loved by Jesus.

Office of Catholic Schools Health Task Force

Goals:

  • Have students return to in-school learning
  • Create a healthy school environment for students, faculty, & staff
  • Develop health protocols and processes following the guidance and standard set by federal, state, and local health officials, as well as our Catholic schools health advisors

Health & Safety Protocols

Here are some of the things we’ll be doing this school year to keep our students, faculty, staff, visitors and volunteers as safe as possible*. Your local school will be sharing additional information with you regarding details specific to your school.

Will we have to keep 6 ft. of distance at all times?

  • Schools should to their best to keep 6 ft. distance between students have as much distance as possible between students from the center of a chair to the center of another chair. However, this may not be practical or realistic to maintain at all times in a school setting. Consistent with the latest research, at a minimum schools are asked to keep at least 3 ft. center to center, plus other control measures (i.e. masking, desk or face shields, transparent barriers).
  • Based on the research there can and will be differences in approach between Preschool, K-5, and 6th-High School Programs. Based on recent studies, distancing and masking efforts become more critical at the middle school and high school programs.

Will students be required to wear masks all the time?

  • There is sufficient evidence that mask-wearing is effective in limiting the spread of the virus, especially when people must come into close contact with one another. While there may be moments where prudently one may determine masking is not necessary in the school setting, based on the age and grade level, and if sufficient social distancing is present, it is highly recommended that our schools promote a culture of mask wearing especially during certain moments or situations such when students will be in close contact with one another over an extended period of time (more than 15 minutes), and 3-6 ft. of distance cannot be maintained.
  • Face shields may be an option for schools and parents to explore.
  • Schools will also need to be responsive to local orders on mask wearing and use. Our state currently has an executive/public health order on masking.

Will teachers & staff be required to wear masks?

  • Yes, but only as much as is reasonable according to the setting and duties, and as defined by any executive or public health order.
  • Teachers should wear masks when in close contact with other people, or where sufficeint distancing cannot be maintained.
  • It is highly recommended that schools consider acquiring or making face shields for teachers. Face shields with masks provide the highest degree of protection. 
  • Governor Polis has committed to providing one medical-grade mask a week, for every teacher in our Catholic schools for the first 8-10 weeks of the school year.
  • Medical, N-95 or masks with shields need to be available and provided for staff on the front lines of working with sick children (i.e. office, front line staff).

Will there be occupancy limits?

  • Unless otherwise directed by a local health department or state directive, there will not be a restriction on the number of students in a classroom space. Schools are asked to ensure 3-6 ft. distancing is present between students. When this is not possible, other configurations need to be explored.
  • It is recommended in situations where schools have the building space and personnel, to separate 6 ft. and divide classes into smaller cohorts and have teachers move from class to class. If schools cannot keep 6 ft., other control measures need to be used.

Do we need to take temperatures?

  • Schools are asked to implement screening processes for all teachers, staff, visitors, volunteers, and students that include: temperature and symptom checks at the start of the day
  • Parents, teachers, and staff are the first line of defense. As such, they’re asked to support their community’s efforts by monitoring their own health and symptoms, as well as those of their children.
  • If you or your child/ren feel ill, or are showing symptoms such as a fever, gastrointestinal issues, rashes, and/or severe cough in combination with other symptoms, please stay home.
  • Why do schools need to screen?
    • While home is the first line of defense, two lines of defense will help to catch issues that may not be caught in the first screening.

Online Catholic School Option: St. Isidore Catholic Curriculum

An online option for Catholic School Families

What is COVID-19? Symptoms? Who is at most risk?

Healthy School Levels

The Office of Catholic Schools has defined four (4) “healthy school” levels for Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Schools. These healthy school levels provide school leadership with guidelines and recommendations in the areas of a) health and hygiene, b) cleaning and disinfecting, c) illness tracking, and d) communication with state and county health departments.

Level 1: Red Status

High

Level 2: Amber Status

Elevated

Level 3: Blue Status

Guarded

Level 4: Green Status

Preparedness

Additional Resources