Brooklyn Diocese Anticipates Reopening Schools Come September

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By Emily Drooby

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn are hoping in the fall – school will be in session, in person.

Thomas: “Our ultimate goal is really to have 100% reopening.”

Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Chadzutko is hoping to see students in September.  He is teaming up with Joseph Esposito, the diocesan official responsible for opening churches and schools safely.

“We are pretty confident that we can open up on time with the most normal situation possible,” Esposito told Currents News.

Right now, the plan to have students in class this fall needs the okay from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  He has said a decision about the state’s schools will be made the in first week of August

Esposito wants moms and dads to know there will be a lot of safety measures in place: hand sanitizing stations, enhanced cleaning, and health checks at all school entrances.

“I want them to feel very confident that we are going to do everything we can to keep their children safe,” he explained.

The goal is to have a normal Monday through Friday school week.

“Most of the schools have the room to social distance, to clean the schools,” Esposito said. “If there is more room needed, a lot of the schools have auditoriums and gyms and other areas they can use.”

But if that proves impossible, a blend of online learning at home and classroom time is being looked at, too.

“I think we really need to give parents hope,” Chadzutko added. “I think we need to give our teachers hope and say, “Let’s plan for full reopening and if we have to kick it down a notch to hybrid, I think that’s acceptable.”

The diocese is studying school reopenings in other countries – and are continually checking with their own medical experts for best practices. They’re promising to follow whatever guidelines the state lays out, but they’re also asking for help.

“I really would like to plead for the city and the state to not forget us when they’re giving out programs to their schools,” Chadzutko said.