By Jessica Easthope
Don’t put your masks away just yet. If you’re a teacher or student in the Diocese of Brooklyn -you’ll need them. Face coverings are coming back next school year, at least for now, according to schools superintendent Thomas Chadzutko.
“We’re tired of it, but I think from the perspective of protecting the students and faculty and staff short term it is the right decision to make for safety,” Superintendent Chadzutko said.
In addition to masks parents, teachers and students over the age of 12 are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated but they will not be required. Diocese officials say they’re praying this plan changes – but right now the delta variant is too serious to ignore and schools need to be prepared.
“We’re not going to wait until a week before school starts and put pressure on people it’s important to get the issues out now,” said Monsignor David Cassato, Vicar for Catholic Schools.
Catholic schools were largely left out of the city and state’s testing efforts and were not provided with any PPE or equipment last school year. Even if public schools go remote, Catholic schools will open to full in-person learning. Any families who wish to participate in online learning can enroll in the St. Thomas Aquinas program.
“We proved last year against all the odds that we opened full in person learning and children were very safe,” Chadzutko said.
“People have trusted us and more and more people are turning to us from other schools,” said Monsignor Cassato.
Enrollment at Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens increased by 40 percent last year. School starts on Wednesday, September 8.