Archdiocese COVID-19 Relief Fund Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Charities workers and volunteers are on the frontlines supporting those affected by the devastation of COVID-19. Fears of Covid-19 have forced many of the nation’s largest public-school systems to start the academic year remotely. “Our plan continues to evolve based on our experience so far as well as input from these same constituencies and the regularly evolving guidance from public healthcare experts.”. John Malloy, chief operating officer at Holy Trinity High School, 1443 W. Division St., said the school jumped into action as soon as businesses, bars and restaurants were forced to close last spring. Praising those who help the sick and praying for those who are sick, Pope Francis called on Christians to practice what they preach, including by guaranteeing equal access to health care for all people. How 1 Chicago school district got kids back in the classroom during COVID-19 Around 70% of students are going in person, thanks to a saliva testing system. In Backing CPS Reopening, Health Department Studied COVID In Catholic Schools — Which Presents Problems, Critics Say blockclubchicago.org - Joe Ward. COVID-19 is an ever-evolving health … The Chicago Teachers Union, however, said many schools still carry risks for the coronavirus. “They wanted to do something creative that would help in two ways.”. While teachers have been asking the district to implement testing of students and staff if they are to return, CPS' plan applies only to staff on a once-monthly, voluntary basis. The school outbreak map shows the current status of COVID-19 in K-12 schools across Alberta. “My choice was kind of like resign or try this out. About 80 of roughly 380 school families applied, and the school was also able to open it up to incoming freshmen who had taken the entrance exam in December and registered in February, the month before the pandemic hit, Curley said. “So many of our families, three-quarters of them, receive some kind of financial assistance to attend St. Patrick’s. One thing they all agree on: None of them wants to lose students whose families have lost income because of the pandemic. In a letter sent home to parents of St. David's Catholic elementary school, Director of Education Joanne Benard said that a new case had been reported in the school. CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago Catholic High School students will not return to the classroom this week, after two students tested positive for COVID-19. Big Shoulders Fund helped with an effort to support both families who work in the hospitality and restaurant industry and those who worried about being able to buy food, providing vouchers for families to buy take-out meals from restaurants that are owned by or employ Holy Trinity families, Malloy said. Diocesan Priesthood . SUDBURY -- One class in Sudbury has been dismissed following a confirmed case of COVID-19. It’s not that they’re not trying. Last spring, 44 families asked for emergency help, and the school was able to give them $25,000, half of which came from the Big Shoulders Fund. “That’s important to us,” Curley said. In that time, there were 59 cases of COVID-19 among 31 schools, according to the study. “We have a number of families who work in food service or the hospitality industry and small businesses that have been disproportionately affected,” Malloy said. She taught for the next four days and felt symptoms that Thursday, Sept. 3, which turned out to be Healy’s last day in school. While some students did not return because of family moves or other reasons, none left because they were short of money after a parent lost a job or had their hours cut, Curley said. A Catholic school teacher went back to school. Students who choose in-person instruction at Holy Trinity attend classes on a hybrid schedule, as is the case at most Catholic high schools. I know my curriculum, I know what I’m teaching. “I’ve been very careful in general,” Healy said. Healy, who teaches science and religion in her sixth year at ICSJ, suspects she was infected at school — she had direct contact with someone else there who tested positive for COVID-19, leading her to get tested. If you receive a call from 312-74-COVID (312.742.6843), please answer it and provide the contact tracer with as much information as possible. Our Catholic schools depend upon tuition revenue to pay our employees who do this work and support other school-related expenses. Previous Next. For years, many Catholic schools have closed due to enrollment declines. We’re just going to absorb the credit for this year. Families that need more help have been able to get it by going through the usual financial aid application process, Schmidt said. “Those individuals will be deemed absent without leave, and they will not be eligible for pay … Chicago Public Schools insists its buildings are COVID safe and sanitized, but many teachers aren't buying it. Neither Healy nor her husband have underlying health conditions, and so far she feels relatively fine — almost two weeks after her first symptoms, she still has a sore throat and a runny nose, but no fever. Lake County COVID-19 Website . Parents, please review the safety guidelines received from Ms. Jenna prior to the start of the year. Our dedicated COVID-19 has changed the way that our school and community interact. “I like my school. From the start of the Catholic school year on Aug. 17 to Oct. 4, the department tracked cases across 91 schools with 2,750 teachers and staff. But you’re forced with this choice, and right now it’s like, well, I feel like I made the wrong choice.”. Archdiocesan officials said Wednesday that there have been 16 confirmed cases among the 45,500 Chicago-area Catholic students and staff in the past seven days. She got COVID-19 four days later. At Trinity High School in River Forest, leaders agreed to take $1 million from the school’s strategic reserves — essentially, a rainy day fund — and use it for families that suddenly couldn’t pay their full tuition, said Laura Curley, the school’s president. They would not say how many confirmed infections there have been since the first schools opened about a month ago. “We’re really all taking this one day at a time,” she said. And I tried it, and this is what happened. TV and Radio . Religious School. When Cardinal Cupich joined other clergy in publicly receiving a COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 23 at St. Anthony Hospital, it marked the beginning of an archdiocesan campaign to encourage everyone to be vaccinated when they are able to. “There is a lot of interest in the in-person option.”. “My choice was kind of like resign or try this out. Holy Trinity also started its own emergency fund and is urging alumni and other donors to be generous. Students at St. Patrick High School, 5900 W. Belmont Ave., also can attend in-person half the time on a hybrid schedule, with half the 550 students in the building at a time, although some have chosen full-time remote learning, said President Joe Schmidt. Healy’s father, Patrick, passed away from COVID-19 in an assisted living facility in July. But a mother of two students at ICJS who asked to remain anonymous said any back-to-school plan that doesn’t include regular testing is unsafe. But another is not knowing what the future will bring. Chicago Public Schools insists its buildings are COVID safe and sanitized, but many teachers aren't buying it. Publications and Media . “Especially because of my dad. I don’t see people.”. Public health measures are in place to ensure a safer reopening of schools. They’ve taken measures from across-the-board tuition discounts to increased fundraising and partnerships to digging into their savings accounts. “Our goal was that between spring of last year and fall of this year, we would not lose any students because of finances,” Curley said. The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments asked priests to take special anti-COVID-19 precautions this year when distributing ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, including sprinkling ashes on the top of people's heads rather than using them to make a cross on people's foreheads. “There are so many challenges,” Trinity’s Curley said. This year with the Covid-19 pandemic, the prayer service will be held … Renew My Church . Jennifer Meade Magruder, whose youngest son attends a different Archdiocesan-run school, compared the district’s plan to the federal government’s response to the coronavirus: Individual schools, like states, were left to fend for themselves, resulting in a patchwork response. But where some see a threat, besieged Catholic schools see a … DOWNTOWN — The Chicago Department of Public Health is backing Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan, citing a study commissioned by the agency that … ICSJ is operating under a block schedule in which Healy sees three classes per day for 55 minutes at a time, then another three classes the next day. To read this article in Spanish, click here. Religious Organization. Everyone has had difficulties caused by the pandemic, Schmidt said, so the school decided to make things a little easier for everyone by offering a one-year tuition reduction. Attendance by teachers this week has been uneven. . I like my families a lot. Especially in a pandemic, I don’t want to give up the things I know. Days later, Healy’s first week ended with a coronavirus diagnosis. Detroit Catholic. Her Catholic school, Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School on the Near North Side, like most others run by the Archdiocese of Chicago, was reopening full-time for in-person instruction during a pandemic. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic and you’re trying to put a couple hundred people in a confined space,” Healy said. Healy, 38, had emailed Archdiocesan administrators her concerns over the summer and heard no response. Q: I am having difficulty paying tuition, as my own workplace has been impacted by COVID-19. “We were all put in this position where you can see an accident is about to happen and you can’t do anything to stop it.”. The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet have canceled all in-person classes at their Catholic schools amid concerns over a coronavirus pandemic. “This is a crisis, and that’s what families do in a crisis. There’s a number that have had some tough times with this COVID, so it came at a good time. An Archdiocesan official said the back-to-school plan calls for staffers and students who have coronavirus-like symptoms to stay away from the school until they have a confirmed diagnosis, and added that the Archdiocese has followed local health guidelines in sending home classes, cohorts or entire grades of students when an infection is found. “We have not seen that as guidance from any local public healthcare authorities.”. The study looked at 19,500 students enrolled in in-person learning at local Catholic schools. “When the pandemic first began in March, we opened up emergency financial aid that families could apply for,” he said. Family helps family as long as they are able to.”. Catholic Standard. “My school is really trying,” Healy said, praising her principal, Katie Sullivan, for doing her best to keep the building safe and providing hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. “But just being in an enclosed space with students for an extended amount of time [isn’t safe]. Consecrated Life . Site Map ; Contact Us ; Privacy Policy She said she suggested to the Archdiocese that smaller class sizes could help keep students and teachers safe. Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools. The Archdiocese of Chicago has a lot of incentive to open up their schools. Margaret Healy’s first week back in school in her 16th year of teaching started with a panic attack. The school has also launched its “Shamrock Cares” fund, with a goal of $500,000, to help families going forward. Like many teachers and some families with kids in schools run by the Archdiocese, which for months expressed confidence it could safely reopen schools, Healy’s anxiety over resuming in-person learning had been building. “We’re helping our families with a $500 reduction this year,” Schmidt said. Many families, including some formerly at Chicago Public Schools, have opted for private schooling this fall because those tuition-based institutions have been more likely to offer in-person learning. ... City of Chicago – COVID-19 Vaccination Website . The Archdiocese of Chicago has a lot of incentive to open up their schools. “I felt like I was put between a rock and a hard place,” said Margaret Healy, a teacher at Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School. Meade Magruder, of Morgan Park, said school staffers are trying their hardest, and she respects their work, but she kept her son home. Cook County Vaccination Website . Archdiocese of Chicago suspends public celebration of Mass and closes Catholic schools starting Saturday to slow spread of the coronavirus. “Fortunately, at that point, we only had three months left of the school year and three months of tuition left. Asked about Healy’s criticism of the Archdiocesan plan, Lombardo, who was one of the two administrators she emailed over the summer, said he does “not comment on individual personnel matters.”, “Multiple stakeholders and constituencies were consulted over several weeks as our reopening plan was developed,” he said. @CardinalBCupich received the second round of the COVID-19 vaccine ... today at St. Anthony Hospital. We did have several apply and we were able to help them.”. “Our biggest concern about that plan was that the class sizes would not be reduced, and so we would be 22 students in a classroom not even able to be spaced out,” Meade Magruder said, adding that she felt parent input also was not thoroughly considered. More than ever, we are committed to providing quality education and support to our students and family. Big Shoulders Fund has helped us address families who have been affected by COVID so we can offer more aid.”. She tested positive and has been home since. Chicago COVID Contact Tracing. Catholic schools in urban neighborhoods, often seen as an attractive option by low income parents and families of color, are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Healy was at school for two orientation sessions Aug. 26 and 28, then classes started the following Monday. And I tried it, and this is what happened.”. “We’ve been appealing to our donors to increase their support in these challenging times. The school saw more families apply for financial aid this school year, something Malloy expects to continue. “We say we’re a family, and we’d be missing them if they were gone.”. By building a Tuition Assistance Fund as a response to the effects of COVID-19, we continue to advance the mission of our Catholic schools to support our families. I don’t go to restaurants. She said goodbye to him over a video call. The City of Chicago entered phase four of the “Protecting Chicago” framework: Gradually Resume on Friday, June 26. Catholic high schools across the Chicago area have been looking for ways to provide more financial help for students and families since the COVID-19 pandemic first shut the doors of schools and most businesses last spring. The school also shifted its spring gala to an online fundraiser and brought in $220,000 for tuition relief. Chicago Católico . Chicago Schools Create Once-Monthly Coronavirus Testing Program For Staff As Students Return. There are many working-class families who struggle balancing at-home learning and a parent’s work, while others fear the mental health impact on children who haven’t socialized with friends for months. They can also choose full-time remote learning, and the school did go to full remote learning for two weeks in October after someone tested positive for COVID-19. He was joined by … This includes mandatory masking, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and daily symptom screening. Share your story. “My largest class is 24 [students], and my smallest class is 15,” Healy said, noting there’s only enough room for kids to be spaced about three feet from each other — less than the recommended six feet. Therefore, the Archdiocese of Chicago in partnership with Catholic Charities is launching an ambitious effort to support individuals and communities impacted by COVID-19 to meet basic, financial, and spiritual needs. Schools that have 2 or more confirmed cases will be identified on the map. “I felt like I was put between a rock and a hard place,” said Margaret Healy, a teacher at Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School. He was one of several Chicago-area clergymen to receive the vaccine at the hospital serving neighborhoods disproportionately affected by COVID-19. She had worn a mask and a face shield each of her four days at school. We’ve also seen our scholarship partners step up. “We’re getting the word out to our alumni,” Schmidt said. “I felt like I was put between a rock and a hard place,” Healy said. Fourth and fifth grade students who attend school in the same building have continued in-person classes. "I am grateful to St. Anthony Hospital for their efforts to build confidence in this vaccination and to Pope Francis for his clear moral guidance on the COVID-19 vaccines," Cardinal Cupich said in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Chicago. To make it work, the school created a special application form that was handled within the school, asking families what their situation was and how much they thought they could afford to pay. 835 North Rush Street Chicago, IL 60611-2030 . She worries that the longterm effects of the novel disease are unknown, and she’s frustrated there was little if any teacher input in the decision to reopen school buildings. 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