Updated 8/19/2022: PreK-12 Health and Safety Guidance for the 2022-2023 School Year - Detroit Catholic Schools

Updated 8/22/2022: PreK-12 Health and Safety Guidance for the 2022-2023 School Year

Aug 22, 2022

Our primary goal is to ensure a safe and responsible approach to full in-person learning.

Updated on August 22, 2022

This document shall serve as the health and safety guidance for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD) for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Vaccination

  • Vaccination against COVID-19 is not required but strongly encouraged for employees and eligible students, as “an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”1
  • The CDC and MDHHS state that one way to protect the health of children is to ensure that all eligible populations in a household are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

1 Moral considerations regarding the new COVID-19 vaccines, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dec. 14, 2020

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Individual schools may put in place additional safety policies, above and beyond AOD guidance, including requiring the use of masks for certain populations and/or in certain scenarios. Schools that implement universal use of masking policies must make exceptions for the following categories of people: children under the age of 2 years, people with disabilities who cannot wear masks, or who cannot safely wear masks because of disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hygiene

  • Schools should continue to utilize the CDC guidance for cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene
  • Schools will promote proper handwashing and covering of coughs and sneezes
  • Schools will improve ventilation by opening doors and windows, using child-safe fans, and making changes to HVAC or air filtration systems when possible.

Screening Students and Staff

  • Parents/guardians should monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening. This approach relies on students and their caregivers to identify when the student might have symptoms of infectious illness.
  • Faculty and staff members also should monitor their health for symptoms of infectious illness every day.
  • Anyone who is sick or displaying symptoms of infectious illness should not attend school and seek medical care when necessary. Individuals should get tested if they are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 or are known to have been exposed to COVID-19.

Responding to Positive COVID-19 Cases and Close Contacts

  • Schools will follow their local health department’s guidance regarding positive COVID cases.

Gatherings and Extracurricular Activities

  • Off-site and overnight retreats are allowed with AOD approval.
  • Before/after school care programs must follow LARA guidelines and requirements.

Athletics

  • At this time, there are no COVID-19 related restrictions or requirements for athletics. 
  • Updated guidance from MHSAA, CHSL and CYO should be followed by all schools.

Mental & Social-Emotional Health

  • Schools will foster an environment of Christian charity and respect for others’ decisions regarding vaccination status and use of masks.
  • School personnel will continue to monitor the mental, social, academic, emotional, and spiritual well-being of all students and staff, providing intervention, assistance, and support when needed.

The members of the AOD Return to School Task Force are grateful for the diligent adherence to the safety requirements and recommendations by students, families, and school staff members that allowed for in-person learning to take place in our Catholic schools during the 2022-23 school year. We are looking forward to continuing our commitment to in-person learning with our students, which we firmly believe is the most effective means of walking together on our journey as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ.

“For the Catholic school mutual respect means service to the Person of Christ. Cooperation is between brothers and sisters in Christ. A policy of working for the common good is undertaken seriously as working for the building up of the Kingdom of God…. each has his or her own part to play. Cooperation of all, given in the spirit of the Gospel, is by its very nature a witness not only to Christ as the corner-stone of the community, but also as the light Who shines far beyond it.”

(The Catholic School, para. 60-61)

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE

Chair, Vic Michaels, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Athletics, Archdiocese of Detroit

Gabriela Bala, Elementary School Principal, Royal Oak St. Mary

Katie Brydges, Elementary School Principal, Birmingham St. Regis

Msgr. Charles Kosanke, Pastor and Rector of the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit and Most Holy Trinity Parish

Christine Fornal, former Vice President of Nursing at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital

Tina Forsythe, Elementary School Principal, Grosse Pointe St. Paul on The Lake

Jill Haines, Assistant Superintendent of School Finance & Government Programs, Archdiocese of Detroit

Judy Hehs, High School Principal, Wixom St. Catherine of Siena

Laura Knaus, Associate Superintendent, Archdiocese of Detroit

Jeanine Kenny, Elementary and High School Principal, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Tom Reidy, President, Birmingham Brother Rice High School

Hon. Michael Warren, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge, General Civil/Criminal Division

Dr. Salvatore Ventimiglia, MD, Pediatrics Specialist at Shelby Pediatrics & Child Lung Center

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS

Mike Evoy, Department of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Detroit

Holly Fournier, Associate Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Detroit

Emily Mentock, Associate Director of Strategy, Archdiocese of Detroit