Schools within the Diocese of Covington will open next month under the guidance of a 13-page document released Tuesday titled "COVID-19 Return to School Requirements."
There are nine high schools and 30 elementary and preschools within the diocese's counties across Northern Kentucky.
The full document is available online at www.covdio.org and also in its entirety below.
Requirements include a daily health self-assessment of each employee, teacher and student prior to coming to school, temperature checks upon arrival, the wearing of face coverings in common areas, marking safe social distance of six feet in hallways and classrooms and increased hygiene and sanitization. Guidelines include staggering lunches and recesses to accommodate social distancing and extending dismissal to avoid students and parents congregating at the end of the day.
"We share the common value of educating our students in a safe and faith-filled community," said Mike Clines, superintendent of schools. "I am confident that by working together we will be able to achieve that goal even during this health crisis. Discipline and cooperation are hallmarks of a Catholic school community. With the grace of God, I am confident that our school communities will come together to be committed guardians of each other by implementing these requirements in an atmosphere of discipline, cooperation and Christian love."
A sub-committee led by Mr. Clines and Kendra McGuire, associate superintendent of Catholic Schools, and made up of priests, Curia members, principals, medical doctors and attorneys helped to create the COVID-19 Return to School Requirements document. The document is based on the most up-to-date information from various sources including, but not limited to, the Kentucky Department of Health, the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control, along with the guidance of the Diocesan Coronavirus Taskforce.
"I thank everyone who has helped develop the COVID-19 Return to School Requirements," said McGuire. "As an administrator and parent I share the concerns of many of our families. I am grateful that our school families have chosen to entrust their child’s academic and spiritual education to our Catholic school system and look forward to a safe and blessed school year."
As new information is received from health and government officials, there may be updates to these regulations that will be communicated following a review from the task force, the diocese said.