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August 21, 2020

Dear Catholic School Families,

School is back in session! This week, we welcomed back students in 72 of our Catholic schools, and many other schools welcomed back teachers and staff for in-service training and preparation. Feedback from our reopened schools has been extremely positive; there is a sincere sense of joy and relief as we welcome back young people into our schools. I am deeply grateful for your partnership and trust as we begin the new school year!

I invite you to view a
short video message elaborating on these sentiments welcoming everyone back to our Catholic schools.

May God continue to bless us as we begin the new year!

Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Health & Safety

Our safety plan can be summed up in Five Essential Behaviors:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Wear a mask at all times on school property unless granted an exemption with the foreknowledge and support from the principal
  • Wash hands and sanitize often
  • Maintain social distance
  • Get tested immediately if symptoms arise and notify your principal (or school nurse, where appropriate)

If we all do our part in school and out of school, we will protect the health of our families, students, teachers and staff.

E-learning
Four Tips for Success
Whether a child attends via virtual e-learning for the entire year or only periodically due to an occasional absence, e-learning can initially feel time-consuming and overwhelming. In addition to the resources that individual schools are providing, here are some recommendations from the Office of Catholic Schools to create an engaging and flexible environment where your child can succeed and learn at their own pace
  1. Establish a specific space/place: Students need a consistent, structured environment for learning. Designate a space or area of the home where there is limited distractions and noise to help your child’s focus and motivation.
  1. Set a daily schedule and routine: The schedule of e-learning is not always the same or similar in-person learning – there should be some variance in the timing and overall schedule. Screen-time should be limited to two-three hours total depending on age of student and should be broken out in multiple blocks throughout the day. Providing specific breaks for physical movement, going outside, and “free-play” supports increased focus for instruction. Routines are important; developing a routine that is consistent including specific times for sleep, eating and breaks will prove helpful for overall student and family wellbeing.
  1. Build in daily checkpoints for reflection and discussion: In a traditional classroom, students are provided frequent time for questions and just general conversations with their peers. In most situations, your student will receive live, daily check-ins from their teachers. If possible, a parent or guardian can also schedule check-ins with your child throughout the day to discuss what they’re learning, asking them questions and just engaging with your child about the day.
  1. Communicate with the school: It’s about the child and not the work. If you notice your student is struggling with content or the schedule, reach out to the school. The partnership between the school and family transcends the building. In addition, please read all communications from the school as they will be sending a lot of information about the e-learning process. This is also a way that you can remain connected.
Self-Care for Students and Families

All are invited to attend a special webinar workshop titled “Impact of Stress on Learning: A workshop for Catholic School Parents.”

The goals of the workshop are to provide parents with a definition of stress including traumatic experiences and to explore options for coping with their own stress in order to support their children. Parents will also receive information about how traumatic stress impacts learning and ways to intervene.

Please also see presentation material (
English I Spanish) from our recent workshop “Responding to Your Child's Worry and Anxiety.” (English I Spanish)
School Snapshot
Students arrived at Queen of the Rosary School and schools across the archdiocese with smiles under their masks ready to see their friends, enjoy the care of their teachers and learn (even if they don’t admit that last one!).
Have questions? Your principal is the best first contact about operations, safety procedures and academics as they will be addressed at the school level. Next, please send your questions to ReopenSchools@archchicago.org.
Copyright © 2020
Archdiocese of Chicago, All rights reserved.


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Chicago, IL 60611

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