THE ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA’S CATHOLIC EDUCATION CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE PROVIDES NINTH NEWSLETTER TO FAMILIES DEMONSTRATING THE ONGOING DEDICATION AND CREATIVITY OF ADMINISTRATORS, FACULTY, AND STUDENTS IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC

Friday, May 22nd

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Education Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force continues to offer guidance to schools as they effectively navigate the public health crisis facing our nation. The Task Force also provides a continuum of support to students and school families. 

The Task Force recently shared the ninth issue of its newsletter with families demonstrating the exceptional work and creativity of administrators, faculty, and students taking place during these challenging times.  Outlined below are a few highlights from parish and regional elementary schools and secondary schools throughout the five-county region.  For a full list of schools featured, as well as letters to school families from Father Matt Guckin, Director of Catholic Mission and Identity and from Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., Ph.D., Superintendent of Secondary Schools, please see the full newsletter here.  Highlights are presented below from the ninth newsletter.

As announced in yesterday’s newsletter, with the arrival of the end of the 2020 school year, the Sunday 11:00 a.m. live streamed liturgy celebrated by Archbishop Nelson Pérez will be offered with the following intention:

On Sunday, June 7, 2020, Trinity Sunday, the liturgy will be celebrated for all graduates from kindergarten to college as well as all school students, families, teachers, and administrators as the 2019-2020 academic year draws to a close. Archbishop Pérez will be the principal celebrant and homilist. 

The 11:00 a.m. liturgy on Sunday can be accessed through CatholicPhilly.com, ArchPhila.org, and the Archbishop’s Facebook page.   

Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School; 585 West Street Road; Warminster, PA 18974 (Bucks County). Saint Laurentius Catholic School; 1612 East Berks Street; Philadelphia, PA 19125. Holy Cross Regional School; 701 Locust Street; Collegeville, PA 19426 (Montgomery County).  Many teachers incorporated lessons to Mary throughout the month of May. At Nativity School of Our Lord Catholic School, the third grade prayed the rosary together on a Zoom lesson. At Saint Laurentius Catholic School, the first grade made Mary Shrines and sent the pictures to their teacher. At Holy Cross Regional School, students did a variety of Mary projects including making paper flowers and writing Mary stories.

Saint Eugene Catholic School; 110 South Oak Avenue; Primos, PA 19018 (Delaware County).  Mrs. Alexandra Dietz’s kindergarten class was supposed to visit the Philadelphia Zoo. Since they were unable to go, she is planning a virtual field trip! Using screen sharing on Zoom, the students will explore the San Diego Zoo. The students will color the animals in their scavenger hunt book as they learn about them. They’ll learn facts, watch videos made by the zookeepers, and even watch the animals live on the zoo’s webcams. The students love science and animals, so they’re very excited to have a virtual adventure together.

In Archdiocese of Philadelphia Sports News, the AOP was well represented on the Boys’ Basketball All-State Team. Twenty boys’ basketball standouts representing eight different AOP schools were named to the 2019-2020 Pennsylvania Sportswriters All-State Team. In addition, Brendan Stanton of Pope John Paul II High School earned 4A Coach of the Year distinction.  Seven AOP wrestling student-athletes earned academic honor honors and have been named to the prestigious 2020 Pennsylvania Wresting Coaches Association (PWCA) All-Academic Team. For a complete list of AOP student basketball standouts and AOP wresting student-athletes, please visit the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Athletics website at aopathletics.org/ .

In addition, a comprehensive COVID-19 resource page is available for parents, school families, and employees. The page is updated regularly with the latest health, government, and spiritual resources available. 

All Archdiocesan high schools, parish and regional elementary schools, schools of special education, PREP programs, and early learning centers shifted from traditional classroom instruction to a flexible classroom instruction model in early March to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff.  From the first day of this shift, nearly all schools were fully operational within the context of the virtual learning landscape. Over the past ten weeks, attendance rates in Archdiocesan school have been near record highs.  During these uncertain times, all Archdiocesan schools remain steadfast in their commitment to providing the best educational experience possible and to give students every tool they need to be successful now and in the future.