Catholic Schools Prep For In-Person Classes

WHEELING – Catholic grade schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston are expected to reopen for in-person classes in August.

West Virginia Catholic Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Deschaine said each school in the state will have its own start date, but all are expected to be back in session no later than Aug. 24.

“We are working with our principals and pastors to lay out a plan to have their students in school five days a week,” Deschaine said. “As we move forward with these plans we have been and will continue to take exhaustive measures to keep the health and safety of our children and staff a critical priority.”

The Department of Catholic Schools will monitor all federal, state and county mandates to keep students safe, officials said. Deschaine said they are ready to “adapt, instruct, encourage and challenge our students” in the classroom, but are also prepared to go to a “distance learning situation without hesitation at basically the flip of the switch” if needed.

“That confidence, positive adaptability and flexibility is a huge life lesson for our children,” Deschaine said.

She added extra furnishings in classrooms will be removed in allowing for better physical distancing by students and teachers.

Between now and the start of school, all staff members will be trained in proper CDC cleaning procedures. Janitorial and maintenance staff will receive individualize training for proper cleaning techniques, how to use required additional sanitizing equipment, and how to recognize potential concerns and the action steps necessary to resolve them. There will also be enhanced e-learning and distance engagement trainings for teachers in each building.

Catholic school offices across the state will continue registrations for the 2020-21 school year through the summer.

Parents should contact their local Catholic school for more information, or call the Department of Catholic Schools Office at 304-233-0880 for assistance.


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