Parents and Families,
On August 13th, I wrote you a letter informing you that the Diocese of Owensboro had made the commitment to return our students back to school, in person, five days a week. Bishop William Medley and the other bishops in the Catholic Conference of Kentucky took a huge leap of faith and moved us forward with the recommendations of their superintendents and administration to return to school. This was not an easy decision and one that was thoughtfully and spiritually looked at from all angles. On that day, I had no idea where this decision was going to take us. It was definitely a leap of faith for all of us.
Now on November 23rd, I can tell you that our leap of faith was a complete success. I have no words that can describe how proud I am of every single person that makes our schools function each and every day. Everyone, including all of you as parents and guardians, decided that we would do whatever was asked of us to keep our schools open. We were successful in giving all our students the in-person instruction they truly needed. Together, we accomplished what no one said could be done – in-person learning without in-school transmissions.
Now we face an entirely new task. COVID-19 has taken its hold on our community. It does not discriminate nor does it care how well we have defended ourselves against it. It just keeps coming. We, as a Catholic community, know how important it is to make decisions for the common good even if they are unpopular. The decision to close our schools was made for us by Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order, but it is now more important than ever that we step-up for our entire community. We have become the role models in procedures and protocols for our schools. We now have to become the same role models in our communities. It is essential that we show others how to make sacrifices to protect each other. If we can be those role models in the coming weeks, we will be back in our school buildings as quickly as possible.
In the next few weeks, we will once again enter into a new era of what the school day will look like for our parents, students, and faculty. Each of our schools has worked tirelessly since the end of the last school year to create plans to deal with a possible school shut down. Administrators are still looking at ways they can incorporate “targeted” learning programs and additional daycare opportunities for their school communities. Please be understanding and flexible as we look for additional ways to support all of their students.
Finally, we are still asking our families to be patient. Know that we are continually working together for the best possible return to school for our students and families. We are committed to this and we will all get through this. I hope that each of you has a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday with your families.
David Kessler Superintendent of Catholic Schools