In a message to Staten Island Catholic Schools Families, the Superintendent of Schools wrote:
I want to write with an update on the status of the yellow zone designation of our schools. All Catholic schools on Staten Island will reopen our buildings this Monday, November 16.
In order to keep our buildings open, we have informed New York City officials that we expect the testing services they are legally mandated to provide to be in place by or before Friday, November 20.
This expectation will allow us to meet the threshold of testing 20 percent of students and staff in each building. So many of you have told your elected officials you want our schools to remain open. We are grateful to nearly all of the Staten Island elected officials who have voiced strong support of our position that our Catholic schools receive every health and safety service ? including COVID-19 testing ? to which we are entitled under the law.
The city and New York State can say they are providing a free test kit, but they are not providing staff, paying for a lab to complete the processing, nor creating the reports which schools must submit to the state. This is not parity under the law. In the event the New York City does not provide the services, in addition to potential litigation, the archdiocese is working with community partners for testing alternatives to meet those requirements to ensure we can remain open.
You also may hear New York City public schools are going remote any day. Catholic Schools will remain open until we are legally required to close or the Health and Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools determines it is unsafe for our students and staff.
We have all worked tirelessly to ensure of Catholic schools remain open for in-school learning. We are grateful for your partnership all these months in creating a safe and healthy environment for our beloved children and our dedicated staff. We look forward to seeing everyone back in school Monday morning!
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York