While School Districts 203 and 204 announced fully online starts to the 2020-21 school year, local Catholic schools will be back in the classrooms.
“Catholic schools are not only about academic excellence but they’re also about the faith development,” said Dr. Michael Boyle, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Joliet. “To really look at good quality faith development, you have to be part of a community. The community is available in one form in online versions but whatever the real richness and the beauty of the community is really experienced personally”
Three Naperville grade schools fall under the Diocese of Joliet: Ss. Peter and Paul, St. Raphael, and All Saints. Each will offer in-person classes with additional safety precautions.
Masks will be worn by everyone over the age of two, classrooms will be professionally cleaned daily, and guidelines on the diocese website state that “each school is working to have classroom desks at the required distance of 6 feet.”
But they’re also preparing contingency plans in case outbreaks occur.
“All schools are really prepared that if they need to move to online learning they’re going to be,” said Dr. Boyle.
According to Boyle, it’s too early to say what enrollment looks like across the diocese, but interest is high.
Interest is High
“We are hearing there is quite an interest in a number of Naperville families about looking at the possibility of attending a Catholic school. So to that point, phone calls or visits to the schools are up, our principals are very busy right now having lots of different conversations with a number of different families.”
Boyle added that the decision to open schools was not driven by enrollment or financials, but rather to better align with the diocese’ holistic learning philosophy.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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