COVID-19 Chicago: Archdiocese of Chicago releases reopening plans for Catholic schools

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Archdiocese of Chicago has released its plans for reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year.

Cardinal Blase Cupich made the announcement last month that Chicago Catholic schools would reopen for in-person learning.

The Archdiocese says after consulting with experts, including medical experts, state and local officials, priests, principals and school parents, it has come up with guidelines for the schools to follow, including:

-All students over the age of 2 and all school employees are required to wear masks indoors. THey can be removed during lunch and recess as long as they remain physically distant.

-Students will be assigned to a "cohort," which will be their homeroom class. THey will stay with that group the entire day.

-Schools will have new pick-up and drop-off procedures with walking routes inside the building to limit interactions.

-Parents must take the temperatures of their children each day. There will also be temperature checks as students enter the school building.

-Anyone presenting symptoms of COVID-19 and/or who tests positive will be asked to quarantine and seek medical attention before they can return to the classroom.

-Families not ready for their children to return to classrooms and opt for online learning.

"We live in extraordinary times and it is our intent to reopen our school buildings safely to all families this fall," Dr. Jim Rigg, superintendent of the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools. "Such a reopening has required careful and diligent planning on the part of our school employees, along with consultation from medical professionals, state and local officials, educators, parents, and others. We believe that in-person instruction is the best way to benefit our students and are committed to providing that instruction in a safe manner."

"We have worked hard to provide a reopening plan that recognizes the great benefits of in-school instruction and still expresses our commitment to the preservation of human life," said Cardinal Cupich. "Even in the best of times, our schools help ensure children have good nutrition and a safe place to learn. It is even more important that families have access to these benefits during the pandemic."

For more information, visit archchicago.org.
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