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Archdiocese of Chicago School Holiday Schedule and All-System Remote Learning Announcement

October 23, 2020

Dear Catholic School Families and Employees,

With your help and cooperation, we have gone from a completely remote learning situation in the spring to mainly in-classroom instruction this fall. Our COVID-19 protocols have been tested and we are extremely pleased with how our students, families, and employees have successfully implemented our health and safety requirements.

Where we have seen cases of infection and had to move cohorts to remote learning quarantine periods, they have been traced to family and social gatherings and out-of-school extracurricular activities.

While public health officials discourage gatherings during the Christmas season, we anticipate that some may choose to travel and visit family and loved ones during the school holiday.

After considering our experience and the likelihood of familial and travel exposure, we have decided on a December and January schedule and remote learning policy that will help us avoid multiple cohort quarantines due to holiday-related infections.

Please read the policy components below:
  • All Archdiocesan Catholic elementary schools will pivot to virtual learning for two full school weeks beginning Jan. 4. Schools will return to in-person learning on Jan. 19 (after the MLK Day holiday). 
  • Please note that the two weeks of remote learning are school days, not an extension of the holiday break. 
  • Moving to virtual learning for two weeks will allow families who choose to travel or attend family gatherings over the holidays to quarantine for 14 days without a loss of school days or learning time and without jeopardizing the health of other students and staff in their school.
  • Schools may provide an on-site extended care option for students whose families would be unduly burdened by the need for two weeks of childcare, at the discretion of the local leadership. Please notify your school principal if your children will need on-site extended care during this period.
  • If we experience a significant number of new cases after Jan. 19 because of non-compliance with safety protocols, we will consider additional virtual learning periods for the safety of our school communities. For this reason, we once again urge all families to observe public health guidelines.
  • Classes will remain in person for the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas Break. If families or employees are intending to travel for the holiday season, we encourage you to do so over Christmas break and return in time to quarantine for two weeks before classes resume on Jan. 19.
It is my hope that this decision enables all families and employees to enjoy the upcoming holidays and return safely for in-person instruction. If you have questions about how these policies pertain to your school, please contact your school principal. As a Catholic community, we accept our responsibility to care for the health and safety of others by observing preventive behaviors. We continue to pray for the healing of all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
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Archdiocese of Chicago, All rights reserved.

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Chicago, IL 60611

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