Currently, local county health departments have taken the lead in controlling infection at the local level and, with the exception of Kent and Ottawa, most of the guidance from the CDC, MDHHS, and county health departments are recommendations. Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are located across seven counties in West Michigan. As a result, the office of Catholic schools has empowered individual schools to work at the local level to implement recommendations to serve the needs of their communities. Safety protocols can change at any time as new information is received. We ask that all parents recognize the challenges associated with being responsive to public health needs, and we ask for your continued understanding and cooperation.
On August 6, 2021, many local county health departments issued orders requiring schools within their county to notify the school community of positive cases, and complete contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation as required by the order. Each Catholic school within the diocese will report positive cases to the Office of Catholic Schools and is required to implement their local county health department orders.
As of August 4, 2021, there is one remaining federal public order that all students, both public and private, are required to follow regarding transportation on school buses. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Order, “passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems”. If your child uses a school bus or any form of public transportation, an appropriate facial covering will be required.
On June 22, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) lifted all remaining public health orders pertaining to COVID-19. Previous requirements for schools and child care programs have been replaced by recommendations from MDHHS for consideration by schools and their parents. As the first day of school approaches, please consult your school’s regular communications for information on their plans to continue to offer safe and prudent in-person learning.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,000 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.