July 24, 2020
Dear Catholic School Community,
Please be assured of our prayers during this challenging time. Throughout the summer, all of our schools have been actively collaborating with one another to develop plans for different scenarios in the new school year – keeping faith, community, safety, socio-emotional health, and learning at the forefront. While the framework for these plans is consistent across the diocese, the details are intentionally designed to be responsive to the needs of each local community. We deeply appreciate your voice in this process, through both the diocesan survey and ongoing partnership with your school.
As many of you are aware, Governor Newsom recently introduced new guidelines for reopening campuses. According to his mandate, K-12 schools cannot begin in-person instruction until the local county has been off the state monitoring list for 14 days. In response to the state’s mandate and to give our schools, teachers, and families time to prepare for the first day of school, we are announcing that all elementary schools in the Diocese of San José will begin the school year with a distance learning program.
Though our return to campus is delayed for now, our goal remains to provide the opportunity for in-person learning as soon as we are able to do so safely. The state mandate indicates that a waiver may be granted by the local public health department, allowing for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction with strict health and safety protocols in place. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is actively encouraging all elementary schools to apply for this waiver. We are consulting our local health officials about this process. If the opportunity for in-person learning is granted (either through the county health department or through removal from the state monitoring list), we will support our schools in reopening campuses via a phased approach, keeping safety at the forefront of all decisions.
As we walk together through this pandemic, may we continue to find strength through God’s saving grace. As a united Catholic community, God calls us to come together in support of one another. Now more than ever, we deeply believe that our Catholic schools are a vital ministry – our foundation of faith, our sense of community, our devotion to forming the whole child. In a time of such uncertainty, together, we are disciples with hope to bring.
Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment.
Yours in Christ,
Superintendent of Catholic Schools