Diocesan Response to Comments by Del. Roem Regarding Catholic Schools Reopening

In responding to recent concerns expressed by Del. Danica Roem, it is important to recognize that we agree on the fact that the health and safety of students in Diocese of Arlington Catholic Schools is of the highest priority. Throughout the development of school reopening plans, we have accounted for the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical health of our students. The overwhelming majority of parents in our schools have communicated a strong interest in children returning to the classroom. In fact, as a result of our balanced planning, there is a wait list at many of our schools. 

Governor Northam's plans, as well as the guidelines of the CDC, work to significantly mitigate the spread of coronavirus, especially among the most vulnerable populations. All of our schools, without exception, are following CDC guidelines for reopening. Governor Northam's guidelines and directives allow for school reopening with certain conditions, which we are meeting or exceeding.

We can ensure the appropriate accommodations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in most cases, while maintaining 5-day-a-week in-class instruction. In cases where 5-day-a-week in-class instruction is imprudent, due to the school's layout or other challenges, hybrid models that blend in-person and online instruction are being incorporated.

Diocese of Arlington Catholic Schools do not have to account for some of the greatest challenges facing other education environments, especially bus transportation. Our schools showed great flexibility and adaptability when shifting to online learning in March and they are demonstrating that adaptability now.  

We appreciate Del. Roem's concerns, but we are confident that our Catholic schools are factoring the holistic needs of our students; principally their emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and their physical health.