With the pandemic still raging and a large swath of students across the country still receiving remote instruction, the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Newark took a different approach to educating students during a public health crisis. As a result, students enjoyed an average of 71 days of in-person learning or 83% of in-person school days during the last semester, September through December 2020.
Throughout the summer of 2020, it became clear that there would be no hope of stopping the spread of the coronavirus anytime soon. As such, principals at the 46 archdiocesan elementary schools were tasked with creating a local plan for addressing social distancing and masking requirements as outlined by the state government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Typically, local plans were developed with consultation from teachers and other school leaders at the local school level. This process and the resulting guidelines for reopening during a pandemic enabled archdiocesan Catholic schools not only to retain existing students but also to attract new families specifically seeking in-person instruction.