Returning To School Update – July 28, 2020


Returning To School Plan Update
July 28, 2020

Dear St. Cecilia Families and Friends,

I hope this finds you and your families well. After the recent announcements by community school districts, we know that many of you have been in patient anticipation for our school to release a confirmation regarding the start of school. To speak of the hours of prayerful consideration this has been given by me and our leadership team would be an understatement. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

In light of the recent local Order closing public and private schools and the heightened concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Harris County, and after prayerful deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to modify our school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. With the guidance of the Catholic Schools office and the CDC recommendations for reopening schools, as opposed to beginning the year remotely for all of our students, we have decided to delay the start of school until Tuesday, September 8 with the hope of bringing those students who want an in-person learning environment back on campus. We will be preparing for an in-person start on September 8th, but we will be sure to communicate any contingency plans we will execute should the need arise to modify that plan. In addition, we will be hosting a number of events during the last week of August and the first week of September to ensure our students and families are prepared for a safe and effective return to school.

We remain committed to returning our students to face to face instruction with our teachers and on our St. Cecilia campus. The significant health risks that we have been presented with during this pandemic have required all of us to be more flexible than ever, and to make adjustments to our daily schedules and decisions. In addition to giving our community a few extra weeks to experience a hopeful decline in the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the three-week delay will also allow our faculty and staff to effectively prepare for in-person instruction, as well as the remote learning experience that will be offered to the families who select that mode of learning. As each family assesses the level of risk they are comfortable with, we continue to offer a Remote Learning Plan for those families who wish to learn from home this year, which will also commence on September 8th.

While this is disappointing to all of us, and we have heard from members of our community both for and against a remote or delayed start, we do feel this is the right decision for the health and safety of our students and our teachers. As educational professionals, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the whole child: mind, heart, and spirit.

This delayed start, which coincides with many public and Catholic schools in our area, requires us to make necessary adjustments to our school day and our school calendar. Please take some time to review the modified calendar in the addendum and on our website. The modified school day includes an extra 20 minutes per day which allows for additional outdoor breaks for our students. The modified school calendar identifies our new last day of school as June 4.

Please see our latest Addendum to the Returning To School Plan with details including the following items:
• Calendar updates
• School day time updates
• August Events – Sneak-A-Peek, New Family Welcome, & Used Uniform Sale
• September Events – Hopes & Fears Conferences, Javas With Jeff

We appreciate your continued support and confidence, and we look forward to seeing your children in our hallways again soon.

Warm regards and blessings,
Jeff Matthews
St. Cecilia Catholic School