Many families, including some formerly at Chicago Public Schools, have opted for private schooling this fall because those tuition-based institutions have been more likely to offer in-person learning. Catholic Schools . The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet have canceled all in-person classes at their Catholic schools amid concerns over a coronavirus pandemic. She said she suggested to the Archdiocese that smaller class sizes could help keep students and teachers safe. A letter home to ICSJ families from Sullivan after Healy’s confirmed infection instructed all students in sixth through eighth grades to stay home until Thursday. The reality is those families work hard and sacrifice to send their sons to our school.”. Archdiocesan officials said Wednesday that there have been 16 confirmed cases among the 45,500 Chicago-area Catholic students and staff in the past seven days. The biggest is not being able to gather as one community in prayer or celebration. I don’t see people.”. Chicago Weather: Light Snow Throughout The WeekendCBS 2 … The school has also launched its “Shamrock Cares” fund, with a goal of $500,000, to help families going forward. “There is a lot of interest in the in-person option.”. By building a Tuition Assistance Fund as a response to the effects of COVID-19, we continue to advance the mission of our Catholic schools to support our families. “This is a crisis, and that’s what families do in a crisis. Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools. If you receive a call from 312-74-COVID (312.742.6843), please answer it and provide the contact tracer with as much information as possible. Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties will be closed indefinitely starting Monday, March 16, Archdiocese Superintendent of Catholic Schools Jim Rigg said in a letter to parents. "Public Health continues to investigate the situation and if any risks to the school community are identified, they may direct … “Our biggest concern about that plan was that the class sizes would not be reduced, and so we would be 22 students in a classroom not even able to be spaced out,” Meade Magruder said, adding that she felt parent input also was not thoroughly considered. The City of Chicago entered phase four of the “Protecting Chicago” framework: Gradually Resume on Friday, June 26. From the start of the Catholic school year on Aug. 17 to Oct. 4, the department tracked cases across 91 schools with 2,750 teachers and staff. ICSJ is operating under a block schedule in which Healy sees three classes per day for 55 minutes at a time, then another three classes the next day. “We’ve been appealing to our donors to increase their support in these challenging times. “We were all put in this position where you can see an accident is about to happen and you can’t do anything to stop it.”. Publications and Media . “There are so many challenges,” Trinity’s Curley said. Students who choose in-person instruction at Holy Trinity attend classes on a hybrid schedule, as is the case at most Catholic high schools. Therefore, the Archdiocese of Chicago in partnership with Catholic Charities is launching an ambitious effort to support individuals and communities impacted by COVID-19 to meet basic, financial, and spiritual needs. “We say we’re a family, and we’d be missing them if they were gone.”. Catholic high schools across the Chicago area have been looking for ways to provide more financial help for students and families since the COVID-19 pandemic first shut the doors of schools and most businesses last spring. The Archdiocese of Chicago has a lot of incentive to open up their schools. “We’re really all taking this one day at a time,” she said. They can also choose full-time remote learning, and the school did go to full remote learning for two weeks in October after someone tested positive for COVID-19. “They wanted to do something creative that would help in two ways.”. He was one of several Chicago-area clergymen to receive the vaccine at the hospital serving neighborhoods disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Meade Magruder, of Morgan Park, said school staffers are trying their hardest, and she respects their work, but she kept her son home. Families at all three schools are happy to have their children in classrooms, school officials said, but it’s far from a normal year. Healy, 38, had emailed Archdiocesan administrators her concerns over the summer and heard no response. I know my curriculum, I know what I’m teaching. In a letter sent home to parents of St. David's Catholic elementary school, Director of Education Joanne Benard said that a new case had been reported in the school. “My choice was kind of like resign or try this out. Renew My Church . Families that need more help have been able to get it by going through the usual financial aid application process, Schmidt said. Catholic high schools across the Chicago area have been looking for ways to provide more financial help for students and families since the COVID-19 pandemic first shut the doors of schools and most businesses last spring. But another is not knowing what the future will bring. But you’re forced with this choice, and right now it’s like, well, I feel like I made the wrong choice.”. Despite the limitations, our students have been involved in Google Classrooms, Zoom meetings, various online programs, received packets and participated in many other creative opportunities. She blames the Archdiocese for not giving school workers the choice to stay at home and teach remotely. They’ve taken measures from across-the-board tuition discounts to increased fundraising and partnerships to digging into their savings accounts. The students remain in their classrooms, but as a departmentalized teacher Healy goes into multiple rooms per day. ... City of Chicago – COVID-19 Vaccination Website . In that time, there were 59 cases of COVID-19 among 31 schools, according to the study. Catholic schools in urban neighborhoods, often seen as an attractive option by low income parents and families of color, are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. How 1 Chicago school district got kids back in the classroom during COVID-19 Around 70% of students are going in person, thanks to a saliva testing system. The school also shifted its spring gala to an online fundraiser and brought in $220,000 for tuition relief. And I tried it, and this is what happened. Catholic Standard. “Our plan continues to evolve based on our experience so far as well as input from these same constituencies and the regularly evolving guidance from public healthcare experts.”. We’ve also seen our scholarship partners step up. Detroit Catholic. Attendance by teachers this week has been uneven. . She worries that the longterm effects of the novel disease are unknown, and she’s frustrated there was little if any teacher input in the decision to reopen school buildings. Praising those who help the sick and praying for those who are sick, Pope Francis called on Christians to practice what they preach, including by guaranteeing equal access to health care for all people. Asked about Healy’s criticism of the Archdiocesan plan, Lombardo, who was one of the two administrators she emailed over the summer, said he does “not comment on individual personnel matters.”, “Multiple stakeholders and constituencies were consulted over several weeks as our reopening plan was developed,” he said. COVID-19 is an ever-evolving health … There’s a number that have had some tough times with this COVID, so it came at a good time. Chicago Public Schools insists its buildings are COVID safe and sanitized, but many teachers aren't buying it. The school saw more families apply for financial aid this school year, something Malloy expects to continue. The Archdiocese of Chicago has a lot of incentive to open up their schools. "I am grateful to St. Anthony Hospital for their efforts to build confidence in this vaccination and to Pope Francis for his clear moral guidance on the COVID-19 vaccines," Cardinal Cupich said in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Chicago. “But just being in an enclosed space with students for an extended amount of time [isn’t safe]. Schools that have 2 or more confirmed cases will be identified on the map. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic and you’re trying to put a couple hundred people in a confined space,” Healy said. “I’ve been very careful in general,” Healy said. To make it work, the school created a special application form that was handled within the school, asking families what their situation was and how much they thought they could afford to pay. “Especially because of my dad. At Trinity High School in River Forest, leaders agreed to take $1 million from the school’s strategic reserves — essentially, a rainy day fund — and use it for families that suddenly couldn’t pay their full tuition, said Laura Curley, the school’s president. Consecrated Life . Archdiocese COVID-19 Relief Fund Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Charities workers and volunteers are on the frontlines supporting those affected by the devastation of COVID-19. “So many of our families, three-quarters of them, receive some kind of financial assistance to attend St. Patrick’s. Especially in a pandemic, I don’t want to give up the things I know. John Malloy, chief operating officer at Holy Trinity High School, 1443 W. Division St., said the school jumped into action as soon as businesses, bars and restaurants were forced to close last spring. Like many teachers and some families with kids in schools run by the Archdiocese, which for months expressed confidence it could safely reopen schools, Healy’s anxiety over resuming in-person learning had been building. Last spring, 44 families asked for emergency help, and the school was able to give them $25,000, half of which came from the Big Shoulders Fund. “I like my school. The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments asked priests to take special anti-COVID-19 precautions this year when distributing ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, including sprinkling ashes on the top of people's heads rather than using them to make a cross on people's foreheads. Religious School. But where some see a threat, besieged Catholic schools see a … A Catholic school teacher went back to school. SUDBURY -- One class in Sudbury has been dismissed following a confirmed case of COVID-19. Big Shoulders Fund has helped us address families who have been affected by COVID so we can offer more aid.”. For years, many Catholic schools have closed due to enrollment declines. The school outbreak map shows the current status of COVID-19 in K-12 schools across Alberta. There are many working-class families who struggle balancing at-home learning and a parent’s work, while others fear the mental health impact on children who haven’t socialized with friends for months. And I tried it, and this is what happened.”. When Cardinal Cupich joined other clergy in publicly receiving a COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 23 at St. Anthony Hospital, it marked the beginning of an archdiocesan campaign to encourage everyone to be vaccinated when they are able to. Vocations . Healy’s father, Patrick, passed away from COVID-19 in an assisted living facility in July. Family helps family as long as they are able to.”. Cook County Vaccination Website . 835 North Rush Street Chicago, IL 60611-2030 . We did have several apply and we were able to help them.”. This year with the Covid-19 pandemic, the prayer service will be held … Share your story. More than ever, we are committed to providing quality education and support to our students and family. Her Catholic school, Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School on the Near North Side, like most others run by the Archdiocese of Chicago, was reopening full-time for in-person instruction during a pandemic. “We have a number of families who work in food service or the hospitality industry and small businesses that have been disproportionately affected,” Malloy said. “My school is really trying,” Healy said, praising her principal, Katie Sullivan, for doing her best to keep the building safe and providing hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. Previous Next. “That’s important to us,” Curley said. Learn More. One thing they all agree on: None of them wants to lose students whose families have lost income because of the pandemic. “We’re getting the word out to our alumni,” Schmidt said. In Backing CPS Reopening, Health Department Studied COVID In Catholic Schools — Which Presents Problems, Critics Say blockclubchicago.org - Joe Ward. She said goodbye to him over a video call. “My largest class is 24 [students], and my smallest class is 15,” Healy said, noting there’s only enough room for kids to be spaced about three feet from each other — less than the recommended six feet. The Chicago Teachers Union, however, said many schools still carry risks for the coronavirus. “Following the guidance of competent healthcare authorities our plan does not call for an entire school to shut down for one positive case,” chief human resources officer Justin Lombardo said through a spokesman. “Fortunately, at that point, we only had three months left of the school year and three months of tuition left. “I felt like I was put between a rock and a hard place,” said Margaret Healy, a teacher at Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School. CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago Catholic High School students will not return to the classroom this week, after two students tested positive for COVID-19. I don’t go to restaurants. Q: I am having difficulty paying tuition, as my own workplace has been impacted by COVID-19. “We’ve seen families who have not previously applied for financial aid applying, and we’ve seen families who already get financial aid needing more,” he said. TV and Radio . She taught for the next four days and felt symptoms that Thursday, Sept. 3, which turned out to be Healy’s last day in school. Days later, Healy’s first week ended with a coronavirus diagnosis. Fears of Covid-19 have forced many of the nation’s largest public-school systems to start the academic year remotely. He was joined by … About 80 of roughly 380 school families applied, and the school was also able to open it up to incoming freshmen who had taken the entrance exam in December and registered in February, the month before the pandemic hit, Curley said. Our dedicated COVID-19 has changed the way that our school and community interact. Everyone has had difficulties caused by the pandemic, Schmidt said, so the school decided to make things a little easier for everyone by offering a one-year tuition reduction. Chicago Schools Create Once-Monthly Coronavirus Testing Program For Staff As Students Return. We’re just going to absorb the credit for this year. “My choice was kind of like resign or try this out. The study looked at 19,500 students enrolled in in-person learning at local Catholic schools. Catholic Church. January 13, 2021 » Continue to this story on Chicago Catholic CWN Editor's Note: The “multimedia COVID-19 vaccination awareness campaign to … An Archdiocesan official said the back-to-school plan calls for staffers and students who have coronavirus-like symptoms to stay away from the school until they have a confirmed diagnosis, and added that the Archdiocese has followed local health guidelines in sending home classes, cohorts or entire grades of students when an infection is found. “Those individuals will be deemed absent without leave, and they will not be eligible for pay … A Catholic school teacher went back to school. Margaret Healy’s first week back in school in her 16th year of teaching started with a panic attack. “I woke my husband up at six in the morning and told him I thought I was having a heart attack,” she recalls. Not all Catholic school stakeholders have felt a return to schools is unsafe. Fourth and fifth grade students who attend school in the same building have continued in-person classes. For years, many Catholic schools have closed due to enrollment declines. This includes mandatory masking, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and daily symptom screening. “When the pandemic first began in March, we opened up emergency financial aid that families could apply for,” he said. “We’ve seen a small growth in our enrollment since the pandemic began,” Malloy said, noting that the enrollment stands at 340 students. @CardinalBCupich received the second round of the COVID-19 vaccine ... today at St. Anthony Hospital. But a mother of two students at ICJS who asked to remain anonymous said any back-to-school plan that doesn’t include regular testing is unsafe. I like my families a lot. Healy was at school for two orientation sessions Aug. 26 and 28, then classes started the following Monday. “We’re helping our families with a $500 reduction this year,” Schmidt said. Our Catholic schools depend upon tuition revenue to pay our employees who do this work and support other school-related expenses. “They’ve been responsive.”. “We have not seen that as guidance from any local public healthcare authorities.”. Parents, please review the safety guidelines received from Ms. Jenna prior to the start of the year. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education has created the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page as a resource for our students, school families, and employees to help navigate this rapidly changing landscape. Public health measures are in place to ensure a safer reopening of schools. While teachers have been asking the district to implement testing of students and staff if they are to return, CPS' plan applies only to staff on a once-monthly, voluntary basis. Chicago Public Schools insists its buildings are COVID safe and sanitized, but many teachers aren't buying it. Every year the Black Catholic Deacons of Chicago hold a sunrise prayer service to pray for the end to the violence in our neighborhoods and the protection of our children as a new school year begins. She got COVID-19 four days later. To read this article in Spanish, click here. Healy, who teaches science and religion in her sixth year at ICSJ, suspects she was infected at school — she had direct contact with someone else there who tested positive for COVID-19, leading her to get tested. She got COVID-19 four days later. Lea este artículo en español en La Voz Chicago, un servicio presentado por AARP Chicago. “My choice was kind of like resign or try this out. She had worn a mask and a face shield each of her four days at school. Diocesan Priesthood . Archdiocese of Chicago suspends public celebration of Mass and closes Catholic schools starting Saturday to slow spread of the coronavirus. Jennifer Meade Magruder, whose youngest son attends a different Archdiocesan-run school, compared the district’s plan to the federal government’s response to the coronavirus: Individual schools, like states, were left to fend for themselves, resulting in a patchwork response. They would not say how many confirmed infections there have been since the first schools opened about a month ago. Site Map ; Contact Us ; Privacy Policy Big Shoulders Fund helped with an effort to support both families who work in the hospitality and restaurant industry and those who worried about being able to buy food, providing vouchers for families to buy take-out meals from restaurants that are owned by or employ Holy Trinity families, Malloy said. Chicago Catholic . Chicago COVID Contact Tracing. “I felt like I was put between a rock and a hard place,” Healy said. Chicago Católico . “I felt like I was put between a rock and a hard place,” said Margaret Healy, a teacher at Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School. While some students did not return because of family moves or other reasons, none left because they were short of money after a parent lost a job or had their hours cut, Curley said. Students at St. Patrick High School, 5900 W. Belmont Ave., also can attend in-person half the time on a hybrid schedule, with half the 550 students in the building at a time, although some have chosen full-time remote learning, said President Joe Schmidt. It’s not that they’re not trying. Catholic school teachers ‘terrified,’ call on archdiocese to move school fully online, As local Catholic schools begin in-person classes, teachers, parents feel the tension. Holy Trinity also started its own emergency fund and is urging alumni and other donors to be generous. DOWNTOWN — The Chicago Department of Public Health is backing Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan, citing a study commissioned by the agency that … “Our goal was that between spring of last year and fall of this year, we would not lose any students because of finances,” Curley said. She tested positive and has been home since. 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