Catholic schools in archdiocese to close on or before Wednesday

| March 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will close on or before Wednesday, March 18, archdiocesan leaders announced March 15.

The decision followed Gov. Tim Walz’s decision to close Minnesota’s public schools for eight days beginning March 18.

The governor also announced that the number of known cases of COVID-19 has grown to 35. The count March 14 was 21.

All student, parent and community access to all Catholic elementary and high schools will be restricted on or before March 18, and schools will remain closed after that date until at least March 27, said Bishop Andrew Cozzens, the archdiocese’s vicar for Catholic education, in a March 15 statement.

He encouraged school leaders to meet with teachers this week or next week to make plans to help their students continue to learn during schools’ closures, following a previous recommendation from the archdiocese sent March 14.

The decision was made “after careful consideration of the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health, the decision of Governor Tim Walz to close public schools from Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27, and review of the decisions of universities and other educational programs in Minnesota, and out of an abundance of concern that the effort may help shield the young, vulnerable populations, and the elderly from the possibility of contracting COVID-19,” he said.

“We look to local Catholic schools for how best to engage students next week and through the end of the month,” he said.

He continued: “These are extraordinary times and Catholic schools are served by extraordinary people. As the situation continues to develop, Catholic schools will evaluate how to best serve students in this difficult period. This will take time and patience. Catholic schools partner with parents in the education of their children.”

Bishop Cozzens acknowledged the uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic is causing and urged parish, school and community leaders to work together to help Catholics schools continue their mission during their closure. He said the archdiocese stands in solidarity with Catholic school teachers, staff, pastors and leaders. He asked the faithful to continue to pray for families affected by school closure and for those suffering from COVID-19.

“The present moment is an opportunity for us to work together with parents on how best to serve the needs of students,” he said. “We do not have all the solutions today, and given the national emergency, we do not have to have all this figured out today. Today, the Lord’s Day, is a good time to step back from all of this and, trusting in the help of God, reflect on what this situation means for your family. We urge families, parents, pastors, heads of school and teachers to collaborate and assist in this educational endeavor. Together we can meet these challenges.”

The archdiocese’s 12-county territory encompasses 91 Catholic schools serving more than 29,000 students in preschool to grade 12.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Local News