The Catholic Schools Office for the Diocese of Owensboro respects and appreciates Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s recommendation to begin the 2020-2021 school year with non-traditional instruction until September 28; however, after consultation with diocesan administration, the Catholic Schools Office for the diocese has made the decision to continue their plan to re-open all of their 17 schools at some point during the month of August. This plan includes in-person instruction for all students, five days a week.
“We have created very strict protocols, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the Kentucky Department of Education, and our local health departments, that we believe will make our students ‘low risk’ for the spread of the coronavirus,” said David Kessler, Superintendent of the Catholic Schools Office for the diocese. “Every Catholic school across the diocese will observe physical distancing and mask requirements and have created plans for guiding hallway traffic flow and eating meals. Our school leadership has been working diligently to develop the proper safety protocols that are needed to fit each specific school’s needs since the inception of this virus in March.”
“We understand the hard decisions that our public school partners have to make in these uncertain times,” said Kessler. “We believe that the significantly fewer number of students that we have enrolled in our Catholic schools makes this situation much more manageable for us in regards to physical distancing guidelines. Our administration, principals, and teachers believe we are prepared to provide a safe, educational environment for the students we serve.”
On August 12, the bishops of Kentucky sent this letter to Governor Beshear to share with him the current plans for reopening Catholic schools for the new academic year.