At the beginning of 2021, Dave Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools, asked 100+ Catholic school stakeholders to answer this question:
“How might we emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever?”
The Diocesan Catholic School Board reviewed the ideas, suggestions, and comments shared by the stakeholders and identified these ten prevailing themes:
- Continue to hold school in-person. In-person Catholic education is "incarnational;" meaning the nature of our formation is best done in-person just as God came to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Strongly market the success of our schools during COVID: in-person learning, academic, and extracurricular success, strength of faith formation, etc. We use faith, creativity and good old-fashioned determination to overcome the largest obstacles in our lifetimes. We help students develop a moral compass in a digital world.
- Effectively utilize technology to gain flexibility and improve teaching and collaboration (at the macro level for school/classroom wide; the micro level for individual students).
- Express gratitude for our teachers; Parents recognize that teaching is not an easy job. They have an increased appreciation for in-person learning.
- Focus on the mental health of our teachers and students; some have suffered collective and individual trauma.
- Continue the strengthened partnerships and collaboration. Maintain the high level of genuine dialogue between parents and school: Administrators, teachers, parents, students
- Teachers found it very difficult to teach virtually and in-person at the same time, therefore find solutions to make it more efficient and effective.
- Parents like virtual learning options and flexibility. This is what the community wants and we should respond positively.
- Support the Hispanic community which was hit especially hard during the pandemic.
- Find new ways to collaborate with homeschooling families.
In the upcoming months, we will elaborate on each of these themes and highlight outcomes from the Office of Catholic Schools and individual schools. Through blog posts, collaborative principal meetings, and Board conversations, we will connect the themes to the strategic mission of our Catholic schools which is to prepare students to seek and fulfill God’s plan for learning and life. Please check our website for the most updated information on COVID-19.