Dear St. Charles Families,
What will the year ahead of us look like? This question weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of our staff, our parents, our students (maybe not as much), and me. It is difficult for me to go 10 minutes without thinking about this. The survey we sent out was helpful for us to get a “June read” on how people feel. Overall, people want to return to school and the vast majority are “very comfortable” or “somewhat comfortable.” Although I think that everyone wants to return to school, there is a wide range of concern levels from zero concerns to very high levels of concern.
As we face the year ahead, one thing that is clear is that it will be essential for our staff, parents, and the adults of our community to honor one another regardless of comfort levels. Each of us is an Image of God. That is what we teach our students and it is an important time for us to live that out when talking to or about people with different views than us on this pandemic.
We as Catholics love our morality. We rely on morality to guide our lives and keep us on the path leading to Jesus Christ in heaven. It is important for us to remember that the issue I’m talking about here is not a moral one. No matter how strongly we feel one way or the other, we are not standing on moral or immoral ground. Each person has their own experiences, sources of information, and stories resulting in their point of view. A person’s level of comfort with returning to school or the level of danger they perceive are neither right nor wrong. It is simply where they are on this matter, and where they are is valid. We are called to honor one another.
On July 9th, our diocese will release guidelines for opening Catholic Schools in the fall. From there I will be working with a team of St. Charles staff and a parent from school advisory on creating a preparedness plan for our school. The goal of the plan is to establish guidelines and protocols that make our return to live-learning be as reasonably safe as possible. This plan will be completed and submitted to the diocese by August 7th. When we submit it to the diocese for approval, we will also release the plan to our parents. I know that people are anxious to see a plan for how things are going to look; I ask for your patience. During the month of August, there could be changes made to the plan as current conditions are taken into account.
There is no doubt that some parents will like the plan, some parents will feel that the plan has excessive guidelines, and some parents will feel that the guidelines are not enough. In the end, the preparedness plan we come up with is the plan we will follow.
As you can imagine and as I mentioned earlier, this fall is my focus. I think about it all the time. I read about various approaches and possibilities. I network with other principals about what they are doing. I stay in dialog with CSCOE and our diocese for guidance. You can count on me to give this my very best, and I do understand that the challenge ahead is the biggest I’ve faced in my career by far. What I need from you is your support, your prayers, your partnership, and, while I ask that you honor one another, I also need you to honor my leadership.
May God bless your 4th of July,
St. Charles Principal