The Office of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Newark, which includes 74 elementary and high schools in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties, has announced its COVID-19 safety protocols for the 2021 – 2022 school year, which begins on September 8, 2021.
The safety of our students remains a top priority, as does our mission to provide academic excellence guided by Catholic values. We want to ensure that everyone in our schools, especially children, faculty, and staff, are as safe as possible, and that our elementary and high schools remain open for in-person learning with minimal disruptions.
Our policies remain in full compliance with all public health mandates. As per New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 251, universal indoor use of face masks is required for all Archdiocesan Catholic school students, faculty, staff and visitors while on school premises. There is no exemption to universal mask use based on vaccination status.
As outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order 253, as of October 18, 2021, all full- and part-time school workers, including administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers, are obligated to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to a minimum of weekly or bi-weekly testing on an ongoing basis until fully vaccinated.
School administrators will continue to implement safety practices including social distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and proper quarantining in alignment with CDC guidelines and recommendations. Rigorous daily cleaning and sanitizing of school facilities and high-touch surfaces, as well as enhanced ventilation, also will continue to be practiced.
Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to monitor their children daily for signs of illness every day, and schools will continue to follow screening and self-reporting tools used in the prior school year. Students, faculty and staff should remain at home if ill, if exposed to an infected person, or if experiencing symptoms of illness.
Principals, teachers, students, parents and caregivers will be familiar with these protocols based on similar practices during the last school year, when Archdiocesan Catholic schools successfully offered five-day-a-week in-person and remote instruction in adherence to strict safety guidelines.
The Archdiocese of Newark’s Office of Schools will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic and related circumstances and will amend safety practices as required based upon evolving state and federal guidance.
We continue to pray for those affected by COVID-19 and for an end to this pandemic.
To learn more about Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Newark, visit www.catholicschoolsnj.org.