From the Office of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools

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Catholic News Agency

From the Office of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Dear Catholic Schools Families,

March 13, 2020

The Archdiocese of San Antonio and Department of Catholic Schools have been closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. In an appropriate response to the current crisis, this morning officials with the city of San Antonio and Bexar County announced that they were banning gatherings of more than 500 people, and strongly suggested that this measure extends to groups of 250 or more. The governor of Texas this afternoon also declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus.

While COVID-19 is unlikely to be serious for most people, we have an obligation to care for the very young, the aged, and those with underlying health issues. An effective way we can care for their health and safety is minimizing large group gatherings for the time being. Although the virus has not been reported to have significant impact on our youth, it is known that children can be carriers of the coronavirus and their exposure to those most vulnerable could have tremendous implications for our families and community at large.

It is for these reasons that the Department of Catholic Schools has made the decision to close down all Catholic schools under the governance of the Archdiocese of San Antonio through Friday, April 3, 2020. The week of March 16 – 20 will be a time of in-service for our faculty and staff, preparing to transition to a distance learning platform for our students. Classes will resume remotely on Monday, March 23, 2020.

During this three week period, all school related activities and events will cease to include all practices, athletic events, academic competitions, and fine art performances.

All school principals participated in a teleconference today and received this information. Your school administrator will communicate details of your schools plan and information pertinent to your campus.

We will continually assess the situation and communicate with your administrators about a return to normal school operations. It is important to understand that no student, faculty, or staff member has reported direct exposure to COVID-19.

We did not make this decision lightly, and it is consistent with actions being taken by most all other schools districts in our region. We recognize the hardship this places on families; at the same time, we must protect the common good. Our Catholic faith compels us to consider and protect those most vulnerable in our society. Our best chance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to make changes now, before we see any cases on any of our campuses. I also encourage you and your families to remain home as much as possible during our extended closure.

If someone in your family tests positive for COVID-19 during this extended closure, please inform the administrator at your school so that we can partner together to determine next steps.

I ask for your patience, empathy, trust, and support as we work together to address and overcome this unprecedented situation.

Marti West

Superintendent of Catholic Schools