At a special meeting held earlier today, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health voted to mandate that all schools (K-12) located in Montgomery County shift to a fully virtual instructional model for a period of two weeks beginning Monday, November 23, 2020.
As a result of board’s decision, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that all schools in Montgomery County will shift to the all virtual model of instruction beginning Monday, November 23, 2020. All school related in-person activities and athletic events in Montgomery County will also be suspended during this period.
Each school will provide specific information to parents about this change and its impact at the local level in the coming week. At this time, it is expected that these schools will return to prior instruction models on Monday, December 7, 2020.
Based on input from the health departments serving Bucks, Chester-Delaware, and Philadelphia counties, the current models of instruction will continue for schools in those areas. Archdiocesan and local school administrators are in regular communication with their local health departments, which have indicated that hybrid and in-person instruction should continue at this time.
Over the summer, the Archdiocese announced that school families at all parish and regional elementary Schools had received the Catholic Schools Onward: Best Practices and New Opportunities plan and all Archdiocesan high schools had received the Catholic High Schools Compass: Continuing Excellence in Catholic Education plan for the safe reopening schools in the fall. Archdiocesan schools have successfully and safely operated for two and a half months with very strong safety protocols. Health departments have seen very few cases from schools in the area.
It is our understanding that the recent surge in cases is due to increased social gatherings and the lack of the use of masks and social distancing. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, there is a concern that there could be a further increase in cases. Archdiocesan schools have been encouraging students and families to follow safety protocols both in school and at home.
The Archdiocese recognizes the essential need to be nimble in the face of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic landscape. As a result, flexibility is the hallmark of each school plan. Senior administrators are constantly monitoring developments and in constant contact with local health departments in order to adjust school plans accordingly.
The Office of Catholic Education is steadfast in its promiseto keep school families informed and to remain in dialogue with them. A dedicated point of contact where parents and guardians can share questions is available. Messages can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Editor’s Note: For more information on Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia please visit aopcatholicschools.org/. For more information on Faith in the Future Foundation please visit faithinthefuture.com/.