Updates Relating to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Catholic School Families
NEW! Click here to Download this Parent Resources Update from Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP)
Click Here for GrabNGo Food Pickup Sites for New York City and Counties Outside of New York City.
All students are eligible for meals at all locations according to New York State law. Please contact the Office of the Superintendent with any questions or concerns via email at: email@example.com.
Click Here for Free Internet Resources for Families: provides a list of internet providers that are offering students free internet service to supplement at-home learning while schools are closed.
March 26, 2020: Announcing Our Second Weekend of Prayer
United as Catholics and with other Christians around the world, we begin our second “Catholic Schools Weekend of Prayer” in St. Peter’s Square at 1p.m. ET tomorrow, Friday, March 27. We will all listen as our Holy Father, Pope Francis, gives a special blessing, “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City & To the World). I encourage you with your children to receive this extraordinary blessing, normally only given on Easter & Christmas mornings, which gains for us all a plenary indulgence. Watch it on the Catholic Faith Network.
Our local shepherd, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in a special video message for our students from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, reminds us in the video below that fear is unnecessary in the presence of faith.
Our 200-year legacy of Catholic education remains vibrant and strong as our 62,000 students engaged in a successful week of home-based learning, not only enriching their minds but their faith as well. I’m even told that some of our teachers’ had the students out and about in their backyards having a science “scavenger hunt!”
None of this happens without the sacrifice, support and encouragement of parents and many other family members. We are grateful to your for entrusting your child to us and choosing a Catholic Education. We will continue to build on that legacy in the days ahead and long into the future. A Catholic school student today will become the Catholic school graduate of tomorrow, contributing their gifts and talents. They may be the next Dr. Anthony Fauci, a New York Catholic school graduate, advising the next president, or on the front lines as a doctor or nurse or protecting us as EMS, police and fire personnel. They may be like the principal or teachers who are the face of Christ daily as they ministering in our schools.
We enjoy celebrating these gifts and talents that they have on our twitter feed, @ArchNY_Schools along with our Facebook and Instagram pages. They are full of photos and videos of the teaching and learning that has been happening throughout the archdiocese. So many of our schools have their own accounts and we encourage you to follow them as well! Please share the joy to be found in the inspiring images that come to life in these moments as they are captured.
To make it easy to access the prayer resources we provided last week, we have linked them here again, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of New York. It is indeed perfect timing as we come together united in this second “Catholic Schools Weekend of Prayer.”
March 25, 2020: In providing a faith based academically superior education, we are committed to teaching the whole child; addressing the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional needs of our students. Never in recent history has our mission been more critical! We are blessed to be your partners in this work; most especially, we rely on the guidance counselors, social workers, and mental health professionals at the Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP).
During this s and uncertain time, while many are struggling with how to manage day to day activities and adjust to a new “normal,” ADAPP will provide supports in a variety of ways. These include the attached resources for parents/teachers and caregivers to use with their families, and direct access for parents and students to our qualified staff.
During this time, ADAPP will be offering brief mental health phone consultations and support to parents who have concerns about their child(ren) and refer them, as appropriate, to additional resources. To participate in this program, please email MentalHealthsSupport@adapp.org.
We also know that there are other challenges that face our families, which is why we have partnered with Catholic Charities of NY as well as ADAPP to provide you information on community benefit and social justice programs. Many of these programs are available for all, regardless of income so we encourage you to be screened for these services. You can download the FIND HELP- NEW YORK catholic charities app on your iPhone or android or visit https://catholiccharitiesny.org/find-help. You can also send an email to FamilySupport@adapp.org.
For all emails please type in the subject section the name of the school your child attends, their grade and the city in which the school is located. In the email, please describe your concern so the counselor can be prepared to respond and leave a phone number if you would like a call back. Every attempt will be made to respond within 24 hours during the hours of 8 am to 4 pm. **If you have a mental health emergency, please call 911**
Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus as we update it with additional resources on a regular basis. We will continue to lift each other up, be a stronger, more resilient community of faith in the days and months ahead.
USEFUL LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION AND FOR TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- New York State Department of Health
- New York State Education Department
- U.S. Department of Education
- World Health Organization
- New York State Center for School Health
- National Institutes of Health
- County Health Officials of New York (NYS County Health Department Contact Information & Websites)
- National Association of School Psychologists Corona Resources
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- Fear of Coronavirus- A Good Time to Talk to Kids About Keeping Fears Realistic and Manageable. Lois M. Collins, Deseret News, Jan. 28, 2020
- How Do You Talk to Children About Coronavirus? Stay Honest and Simple to Avoid Anxiety, Gene Myers NorthJersey.com, USA Today, Feb. 28, 2020
- How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus (and Ease Their Fears), Vivian Manning-Schaffel, NBC News, Updated March 2, 2020
March 19, 2020: In keeping with our commitment to provide you with updated information during this evolving situation, today’s letter from Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan addresses several pressing topics (click here for the English version; haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):
This week our teachers, working with regional superintendents, principals and instructional specialists, have been researching, working individually and collaborating to craft the best, most efficient approaches to serve the needs of our students. They have been utilizing all the available technology and innovative strategies which have become the foundation for our academically superior, values-infused curriculum that has moved our schools forward for centuries. Tomorrow, they will end this week of preparation with a day of professional development centered on the best practices for delivering a robust home-based learning program for as long as it takes to complete our mission for this academic year.
- This Monday, March 23, your school’s principal will share via email the overall school plans for your child(ren)’s continuity of education for home-based learning. This communication will include the specific grade level mechanisms by which teachers will be distributing assignments they have prepared and developed with family and community needs in mind. Principals and teachers will continue to revise and update plans as additional resources become available and continually communicate these changes to you in a timely manner.
- Parents who do not receive an email from their principals by noon on Monday are asked to email their child’s teacher and principal so that contact information can be updated.
- All teachers, students and families will be expected to maintain safe digital correspondence between home and school. Principals will convey the protocols and specific platforms allowable according to the guidelines of the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Program. If these guidelines change, principals will communicate this.
- The students’ daily lessons and assignments align with the appropriate grade level New York State standards and values infused curriculum we teach in our schools and classrooms every day. The only difference will be the method by which these lessons and assignments are delivered.
- While the content of what is delivered to your child(ren) will be the same, a home-based learning scheduling will look different. Given the realities of multiple students in the same home working with one device, students working with multiple teachers, or students having to complete their assignments at different times of the day, teachers will provide directions and expectations specifically to their students that include a suggested schedule for the day, assignments, web-based resources and other directions that can support you as you support your child’s learning at home.
- The assignments and use of technology will be grade level appropriate. We will be balancing the benefits of the use of technology with the needs of our students and families. Protocols and guidelines aligned with the Safe Environment Program will be strictly followed for the safety and protection of all teachers, students and families. Please communicate your child’s specific needs to your principal and teacher. This will help them to better support your student.
- Principals and instructional specialists will be working with teachers throughout the home-based learning period to ensure that both the high expectations to which they hold our students and the need for flexible collaboration with families, and each other, is in place.
- The Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are made richer by the diversity of our students, families, schools and regions, and so our educational response to our regional needs will reflect that rich diversity in the careful planning from our regional leaders.
March 20, 2020: Announcing a Weekend of Prayer (click here for this letter in English; haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):
As we wind down this first full week of a new routine, we are already looking forward to Monday, April 20, when, God willing, we welcome our beloved students back into our school buildings. That will be such a joyous day for us all! Until then, I am inviting you to join me in reinvigorating your faith, and that of your child(ren) starting tomorrow with a “Weekend of Prayer.”
As part of the Church universal, and especially our extended Catholic schools family, one aspect of our lives that not only remains a constant, but now ever more present is our strong foundation of Faith. Where and how we worship has certainly changed, but our beliefs -those which defines us remains.
We are blessed to have Cardinal Dolan as our wise and joyful shepherd. He has a special message from him to our students, whom we miss so much and look forward to seeing very soon. Please click here to see the message from Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
On this web page, we will be providing resources in partnership with our pastors, principals and teachers as easily accessible opportunities for our students to pray, contemplate and learn about our relationship with Jesus Christ. As you know, parents are the primary educators of their children, especially in matters of faith.
Join with other Catholics across our city, state and nation, praying in union with the priests as they celebrate mass. May we make a spiritual communion as we consider the true presence of Christ in our hearts. We are reminded of His constant accompaniment in the gospel of Mark 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Perhaps this simplicity in the practice of our faith, will allow us to reconnect with Christ in our fast-paced and ever more secular society.
Our brother and sister’s at the Catholic Faith Network and the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have gathered resources to enhance the practice of our faith. The Archdiocese of New York website also has extensive materials. My hope is that these resources will help us all grow and deepen our love and knowledge of our faith in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead.
We hope you join us as we encounter Christ during our Weekend of Prayer here in our school system, the Archdiocese of New York and around the world.
March 17, 2020: In keeping with our commitment to provide you with updated information during this evolving situation, today’s letter from Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan addresses several pressing topics (click here for English version; haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio):
- As a result of last week’s announcement to close our Catholic schools, teachers provided a week’s worth of home-based learning information and study material. Given the extended time our schools will now remain closed, our Office of Teaching and Learning is working closely with regional leaders and instructional staff to plan for continuity of learning for your children in the weeks ahead. To best ensure clear communication of a variety of educational resources, you will be contacted soon to share some information regarding your students’ access to technology at home. Our regional and school leaders are working to share quality educational materials that recognize our students’ diverse needs and interests across all grade levels. Our teachers will begin sharing direct guidance with families beginning Monday, March 23rd.
- In light of the fact that school buildings will be closed through April 20th, 2020, I recognize that questions are being raised regarding tuition. We are actively working to find ways to provide some relief and support for you and your family, while ensuring that our school communities can come through this together. I recognize that your family may have immediate financial challenges to address. To ease that burden, I have suspended late fees on all accounts for payments due March 10th and onward. If your family is in crisis, please contact your school principal. While we cannot solve every problem, we will certainly attempt to connect you with resources that can help during this challenging time.
- We will make available case workers, counselors and social workers through our ADAPP Program to provide guidance for families who may need assistance during this time. More information on these services will be sent in the coming days.
- All students in New York City, regardless of family income or free/reduced lunch status, will be eligible to receive free Grab-and-Go lunches at any New York City Department of Education public school feeding sites — click here for a list of sites. For students outside of NYC, we will have posted on our website feeding locations as we receive them by local public school districts. As these pick up locations are activated, please visit this website.
- Lastly, just as Christ calls us by name our Catholic schools’ devoted principals and dedicated teachers call your child by name every day. They know their strengths and opportunities for growth. They know where they are academically and where they need to be. With New York State Test scheduled to commence next week, I notified the Governor and State Education Department our Catholic elementary school students will not participate in NYS Test Program this year. You know far better than I do, our students, your children, are much more than test score evaluations can indicate. With that said, formative data is important, and our teachers continue to utilize NEWA MAP Data, which provides assessments three times a year. In medical terms: It’s a vital check that our teachers use to keep the pulse of our child’s learning.
- Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus to access continually updated resources for school information as well as best practices for staying healthy and links to the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and other resources.
UPDATE!! School Closure Extended: Catholic Elementary Schools within the Archdiocese of NY to Close from 3/16 through 4/20/20
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT | Monday, March 16, 2020 (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio): Superintendent of Catholic Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan has announced that Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of New York have extended the closure of all elementary schools in our system through Monday, April 20th, 2020. Informed by the current CDC guidelines and in consultation with other health professionals, the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools made this decision out of concern for the well-being of our students, families and staff. We believe this decision will also help to successfully decrease risk to the whole community.
Last week, our principals and teachers prepared educational materials to engage our students in a week of home-based learning activities. This extended closure now requires that our professional educators, under the guidance of their regional superintendents, continue to plan for a long-term, home-based learning experience, which will include the same religious, values-infused curriculum we teach every day of the year, utilizing innovative strategies and technology. We are committed to providing families with additional information on a regular basis.
We understand our students, families, educators and the greater community are still coming to terms with all that has happened in the past few weeks. In addition to remaining faithful to our academic standards, we believe that home-based learning will provide a comforting sense of normalcy to the thousands of students we will continue to educate as we navigate these days of uncertainty together.
Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus to access continually updated resources for school information as well as best practices for staying healthy and links to the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and other resources.
High Schools and Private Independent Catholic Schools closures are made independently of the Superintendent of Schools Office.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: MASSES CANCELLED IN ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK >> Click here for News Bulletin
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT | Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio.) Superintendent of Catholic Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan has announced Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of New York will close all elementary schools in our system effective Monday, March 16 2020 until Friday March 20th, 2020, with the possibility of a lengthier closure. Informed by expert health officials and the Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, this decision was made out of an abundance of caution. The health and safety of our students, staff and families is of the utmost importance.
Additionally, after consultation with the leadership of the Catholic Youth Organizations and the Catholic High School Athletic Associations, all activities and all sporting events and practices have been cancelled indefinitely.
We are continuing to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It is rapidly changing and we are closely following the advice of city, state and federal health officials. We will keep you informed.
We truly understand that taking this action may cause some disruption to our families, but we strongly believe that these measures taken now will have the greatest success of decreasing risk to the whole community.
Over recent days our dedicated principals and teachers have been preparing educational materials for ongoing home-based learning to ensure our students continue to be academically engaged
Please bookmark and refer to this web page — https://catholicschoolsny.org/advocacy-services/corona-virus — for updates and links to best practices for staying healthy, as well as links to the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and other resources.
March 12, 2020: The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of the Archdiocese of New York will continue to provide you updates as it relates to our schools. Click here for the English version of today’s update (haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio), which includes, in the coming days:
- Principals will be training their faculty using the ArchCare presentation and other resources, which can be found at the ArchCare Presentation Link above. This PowerPoint was created by our own healthcare organization, ArchCare, and is an overall comprehensive guide to COVID-19. They will also review the resources curated by Discovery Education Experience and The Discovery Channel. This collection of lessons and videos provides content regarding the COVID-19 at grade appropriate levels. Task force members from the Office of Teaching and Learning are creating a grade band guide for teachers that identifies the resources most appropriate for the children they teach.
- Principals and teachers will also use this time to prepare for the possibility of remote learning in the event of an extended closing of their school by creating lessons, developing guidelines, and gathering resources for their students.
- Maintenance staff will perform an additional cleaning and sanitization of the building according to CDC
March 11, 2020: The Health and Safety Task Force of the Office of the Superintendent of the Archdiocese of New York will continue to provide you updates as it relates to our schools. Click here for the English version of today’s update (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este anuncio), which includes:
- Since the news of the COVID-19 has reached us, we have enhanced the methods and procedures used in the daily cleaning and sanitizing of our schools, with more frequent use of disinfectants with attention to electronics, hard surfaces and frequently-touched items such as door handles, faucets, light switches and telephones using CDC approved guidelines.
- Both in school and no doubt at home, children have been educated in the importance of thorough handwashing, and the best ways to carry that out. Several times a day, our schools are putting that into practice as students are brought to the rest rooms at regular intervals so as to maintain the best possible hygiene, with reminders and tips from their teachers.
- In the event that one of our schools has a student, teacher or staff member that tests positive for COVID-19, we will close the school for a minimum of 48 hours in order to fully assess with government officials the implications for the school community and to ensure a full sanitization is carried out by qualified, licensed cleaning professionals as outlined by CDC disinfection guidelines.
- A reality we recognize is the nearly inevitable likelihood that some of our schools will be exposed to the virus, or in fact themselves has a confirmed case of COVID-19. To that end, it is important that we (and you) become familiar with some terminology:
- If you are in direct contact with someone who has come down with the virus—or who is diagnosed with it shortly after—you would be considered Primary.
- Anyone who came in contact with you would be considered Secondary.
- Anyone who came in contact with a Secondary person is considered Tertiary.
- Additionally, as per current CDC requirements, students and school personnel returning from a country that the CDC classifies as Level 3 (Italy, China, South Korea, and Iran), would be required to remain home for 14 days from the date you returned to New York and provide the letter of medical clearance from a licensed medical professional. Click here for regularly-updated travel information from the CDC.
March 6, 2020: Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan to provide parents and guardians of students attending Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese with weekly updates with respect to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Click here to find English and Spanish versions of today’s update, which includes:
- Coronavirus activity in New York continues to evolve and dominate the news. In order for you to make informed decisions in the best interest of your child(ren) and your families, we are committed to providing you with weekly updates containing information from federal, state and local health authorities, as it relates to our Catholic schools.
- On Friday, February 28, in addition to providing you with several bulletins from health officials, we made you aware of our policy which stated that any student or staff member who traveled internationally must receive a doctor’s clearance in order to return to school. Additionally, never has it been more important that any student or staff member who may be sick stay home.
- For additional support regarding UPK, Pre-K for All and 3-K students, please contact the Office of Early Childhood at (646)794-2881.
- We remain singularly focused on the health and wellness of everyone in our communities, and our sacred mission remains Catholic education. Keeping in mind we teach the wholechild, you can click here to find “Talking to Children About Coronavirus, A Parent Resource (English),” or “Hable con sus hijos sobre el COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Un recurso para padres.” These documents are provided by the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses.
February 29, 2020: Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan wrote parents and guardians of students attending Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese today with an important update. In his letter, Mr. Deegan wrote:
“We all have seen the rising concern surrounding the novel coronavirus in the news. For weeks, the Health and Safety Task Force from the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of the Superintendent of Schools has been in communication with federal, state, and city officials, monitoring the situation to ensure the health and safety of our schools, and evaluating policies and procedures to keep our students and adults safe. I am reaching out to provide additional information and the following important policy update.”
Effective March 2nd, 2020: For students and school personnel returning from international travel, the following policy for the Archdiocese of New York is in place: All students and school personnel returning from international travel are required to get written medical clearance from their physician before returning to school. Parents must submit this written medical clearance letter signed and stamped by a licensed physician to the principal.
For additional support regarding UPK, Pre-K for All and 3-K students please contact the Office of Early Childhood at (646)794-2881.
Click on the links below for critical updates provided today:
- Letter to Parents & Guardians from Superintendent Michael J. Deegan
- NYSED Coronavirus Letter
- NYC Coronavirus Letter
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Guidance for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for NYC Schools and Families
- For accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19, see #6 below, visit: