CHICAGO - The Archdiocese of Chicago says they plan to provide full-time in-person learning five days a week this fall.
This announcement comes hours after Chicago Public Schools announced their plans for students to learn fully remote this fall.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Jim Rigg, said in a letter to parents and guardians that it is in the best interests of the students to return to school in-person.
"In-person learning is essential for the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth of our students," the letter states. "Our reopening plan maximizes the safety of our students and employees while allowing the resumption of in-person learning."
Although committed to the five-day in-person learning structure, the Archdiocese says remote and e-learning options will be available for those students "who are unable or whose parents are unwilling to return to classrooms."
The Archdiocese says they plan to put necessary precautions in place to ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff.
The full letter can be found below:
"Dear Catholic School Parents and Guardians,
This morning, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced a change in their planned reopening of school buildings. They have chosen to conduct classes via full-time remote learning for the first 10 weeks of the fall.
The Archdiocese of Chicago believes strongly that our reopening plan, which provides for full-time in-person learning, is in the best interests of children and our mission. In-person learning is essential for the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth of our students. Our reopening plan maximizes the safety of our students and employees while allowing the resumption of in-person learning. It is therefore our intention to remain committed to our plan to offer five-day, in-person learning in addition to a remote, e-learning, option for those students who are unable or whose parents are unwilling to return to classrooms.
In designing our reopening plan, we consulted guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as input on safely reopening and important mitigation efforts from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), state health officials and infectious disease experts on our own task force. CDPH has recognized that our school system is different from CPS and supports our specific plan to reopen. If this guidance were to change, we would adjust our plan accordingly.
In the meantime, schools are working hard to implement health and safety requirements ahead of the start of the year. Schools are also preparing a virtual learning option with support from the Archdiocese. More information about virtual learning will be released to parents in the days ahead.
I realize this is a time of anxiety and stress. Know that we deeply care about the needs of our child and are looking forward to the year to come. If you have questions, I encourage you to contact your school’s principal or the Archdiocese at ReopenSchools@archchicago.org.
Thank you for your partnership and trust."