SEATTLE – Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle will start the school year with in-person instruction, remote learning or a combination of the two, depending on guidance from local public health authorities on a county-by-county basis.
“While we miss our students and are eager to welcome them into classrooms, the safety of our students and staff and the care for the common good of the community remains paramount in our decision-making process,” wrote Archbishop Paul D. Etienne and Kristin Dixon, superintendent of Catholic schools, in an August 6 letter to principals, pastors and school communities. “Our other top priority is that, through all this, our Catholic schools remain deeply committed to upholding our Catholic identity.”
Archdiocesan Catholic schools will follow “guidance from Governor Inslee’s office and/or local public health authorities as a minimum standard,” they wrote.
“This localized approach ensures decisions are based on the most current health and safety information from each county, which is vital for the safety of our students, staff and the local community.”
Elementary schools in high-risk counties — according to a framework announced August 5 by Gov. Jay Inslee — will begin the school year with remote learning. Those in moderate- and low-risk counties may start with small groups in classrooms or with a hybrid approach. Archdiocesan Catholic high schools in moderate- and high-risk counties will start the fall remotely.
Any in-person instruction will require “daily temperature checks, social distancing and mandatory masks.”
“This summer has been unlike any we’ve ever experienced,” the archbishop and the superintendent wrote in closing. “Please be sure to ‘mask up’ so we can slow the spread, protect our communities, and get all our students back in the classroom!”
Read the full letter below.