Guidance from Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools regarding COVID-19 Break

3/18/2020 | 10:35 AM

Welcome to the first day of no school due to COVID-19. I know many of you have questions, and I wished I had more answers. However, I thought it might be helpful to provide you with some thoughts so you can make the best decisions at your local level.

Question: Can teachers and hourly staff be required by schools to come in?

Yes. Teachers and hourly staff can be required to come in and work while school is not in session. Teachers who cannot attend due to a related medical condition should be evaluated on a case by case basis. 

Question: Can teachers and staff bring their own children?

Yes, as long as they can adequately provide supervision for them. You could consider using teacher aids to help provide supervision for these children?

Question: How long can we anticipate this closure?

We are hopeful that recent measures will “flatten the curve” of the outbreak. However, please begin considering long term closure plans, at least up to 8 weeks. 

Question: Will we be required to make up days?

The state legislature currently has legislation to absolve schools of their hourly requirements. We as a Diocese will evaluate our requirements within the next week or so. Please wait to make your plans regarding extending the school year.

Question: Can our school still host practices or activities?

No. All activities on campus should be canceled or postponed. There are no practices, these could be school or non-school related.

Question: What should we do if the local public school takes a longer closure then recommended by the Catholic School Office?

Please follow the guidelines from your local public school regarding the closure. For example, if they are not returning until April 14, follow suit.

Question: What should we do if there is a reported case with a connection to your school?

Please contact the Catholic School Office and then we will follow the CDC’s guidelines here:

Question: When will the Diocese and the Catholic Schools Office evaluate our future plans?

This is a very fluid situation. Likely, additional information regarding the outbreak in Missouri will change dramatically in the next few days. We will provide updates when appropriate. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have individual or specific concerns.

Be well,

Ms. Kenya Fuemmeler
Interim Superintendent
Catholic Schools Office
Diocese of Jefferson City