Archdiocese of Chicago Announces a Return to Near-Pre-Pandemic Operations for the 2021-22 Academic Year
Chicago, (July 20, 2021) – The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced updated safety protocols and the intention to return to near-normal, pre-pandemic operations for the upcoming academic year.
Protecting the health and safety of students and school staff while providing an excellent, in-person academic experience remain priorities of archdiocesan schools. Based on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), consultation from a team of medical advisors, and the Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force, archdiocesan schools will return to near-normal, pre-pandemic school operations while maintaining select safety protocols to ensure a healthy and safe in-person learning environment.
“We are excited to be resuming extracurricular activities and other operations that were halted during the pandemic,” said Justin Lombardo, chief human resources officer and chair of the Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force. “These safety guidelines will be reassessed, as necessary, during the academic year to ensure safe operations. And, for the sake of everyone’s health and our collective ability to fully overcome the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to encourage vaccinations for faculty, staff and students over the age of 12.”
Returning to full pre-pandemic, near-normal operations
- School Masses will resume.
- There will no longer be cohorts; however, every classroom will maintain an assigned seating chart since any necessary quarantines will be limited to only the students in closest proximity to any COVID-19-positive student (i.e., fellow students seated in front, back, left or right).
- All extracurricular activities, athletics, theater, music, clubs, field trips, etc., will resume.
- Resuming before- and after-care programs.
- Library and computer labs will reopen.
- Wellness checks and staggered drop-off/pick-up schedules will no longer be required.
- No masks will be required for fully vaccinated students, teachers or staff. Guidance regarding masks for unvaccinated individuals will be released by early August.
Safety protocols for the 2021-22 school year
- Students who are ill or are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms MUST stay home.
- Schools will follow prevailing local health department guidelines concerning quarantines.
- Classrooms and activities will be arranged to maintain 3 feet of physical distancing indoors whenever possible.
- Schools will maintain daily cleaning procedures for desks and high traffic areas.
- Students and staff will be encouraged to sanitize hands upon arrival to classroom and throughout the day as a good hygiene practice, as well as use water bottles instead of drinking directly from water fountains.
Lastly, providing proof of vaccination will be extremely helpful for contact tracing purposes and for ensuring that vaccinated students, if exposed, are not included in any quarantine requirements. Any student without a COVID-19 vaccination card on file, who is determined to be in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, will immediately quarantine until proof of vaccination is received.