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Dear Catholic School Families,

I hope you are healthy and well as we begin the joyous season of Advent.

We are amid preparations for the two-week transition to virtual learning in early January. The Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) remains committed to helping each school provide high-quality virtual learning during this time. Your school’s principal and teachers should be communicating with you about specific schedules and processes during the virtual learning period. It is my hope that this time allows those who wish to travel for Christmas Break to do so, safely. However, it is extremely important that each family be back home by Jan. 4 for the start of virtual learning. This will allow students to quarantine ahead of the start of in-person classes on Jan. 19.

It is worth noting that since last spring, when all schools were initially required to pivot to remote learning, the OCS supported our schools with continuous improvement in the planning and delivery of remote instruction. Our Academics team working constantly on curating the best available resources for our schools. And through weekly principal discussion sessions, monthly academic advisory meetings and professional development opportunities for all educators and staff, our focus has remained on helping our schools and teachers deliver quality learning both in person and remotely.

We’ve all come a long way since the start of the pandemic and, with your help the quality of our remote instruction is no exception!

Yours in Christ,

Jim Rigg, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Safe Operating & Infection Protocols
We have received several questions about new quarantine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As you may know, the CDC is now allowing 10-day quarantines (instead of 14 days) for individuals who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person or have traveled to hotspot states. The quarantine period can be reduced to 7 days if the individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result. While this guidance is helpful, the CDC makes it clear that state and local health authorities can implement more restrictive quarantine guidelines. To date, the Illinois and local city and county health departments have not changed their 14-day quarantine requirements. Therefore, we are maintaining the 14-day quarantine. If this changes, we will be certain to inform all principals.
Our #SchoolHero campaign continues! If you aren’t following our social media channels, learn more about the most recently honored heroes and follow Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see we’re celebrating:
  • Irene Vasquez, 7th grade teacher at St. John Vianney School
  • Sylvia Ortega, School Secretary at St. Bede School 
  • Christopher Butz, Social Studies teacher and School Compliance Coordinator at St. Bartholomew School
  • Cathy Lillig, 4th grade teacher at St. Catherine Laboure School
  • Frank Ochoa, Spanish Teacher and Technology Coordinator at St. Cletus School
  • Paula Somers, Business Manager at St. Alexander School
  • Ursula Kunath, 6th grade teacher at St. Robert Bellarmine School
  • Julie Martin, moderator and 2nd grade teacher at Cardinal Joseph Bernardin School
  • Joe Accardi, Mission Advancement Officer at St. Benedict Preparatory School
Nominate your #SchoolHero.
Family Faith Formation 
Looking for ways to deepen your family’s faith during Advent, or get the kids to embrace the real reason for the season? Here are a few ideas:
School Gratitude Fund
The Archdiocese of Chicago has established a fund to provide a financial gift to all school employees. We hope to raise enough to provide meaningful recognition to every employee for their outstanding service this year.
We have experienced the profound impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throughout the Archdiocese. Our Catholic schools, teachers, leaders and staff members have worked tirelessly to continue serving our students through in-person and virtual learning. Despite the complexities presented by the pandemic, they have continuously demonstrated excellence, resilience and hope. They are true heroes and worthy of our gratitude and admiration.
Such a service has not been easy. Our employees have worked hard to continue providing high-quality instruction amid the pandemic. Many employees feel stressed and exhausted, yet they continue to serve because they love our students and believe in our mission. Thank you for showing them how much we appreciate them. Click here to learn more or visit to donate directly.
Tax Credit Scholarship 2-for-1 Match
Looking for a way to decrease your Illinois state income tax liability? What if you could increase your state tax refund, and help fund scholarships for low-income students to attend the Catholic school of their choice?

The Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program provides thousands of families the opportunity to secure the lifelong benefits of a Catholic education for their children. Your contribution will help a fellow Catholic school family breathe a little easier and provide much needed stability to a child who hopes to return to the same school for the upcoming school year.

If you have been fortunate enough to have not felt the financial strain this pandemic has caused, please consider sharing that good fortune with other Catholic school families by supporting the tax credit scholarship program.

Thanks to the generosity of several donors, between now and Feb. 28, 2021, you can triple the impact of your donation by taking advantage of a 2-for-1 matching gift (limitations apply). Contact or 312.534.2617 or visit for more information.
Holiday Good News Stories
With Christmas quickly approaching, we're looking for your holiday stories. How is your school or child’s cohort/class celebrating the different feast days during Advent? How is your school or child’s cohort/class adapting holiday traditions due to COVID-19? If possible, tell us before the activities take place by sending details to But pictures and highlights after the fact are also most welcome!
Have questions? Your principal is the best first contact about operations, safety procedures and academics as they are best addressed at the school level.
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Archdiocese of Chicago, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
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Chicago, IL 60611

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