Dear Seton Catholic Community,
During his press conference on July 23, 2020, Governor Ducey announced the idea of using benchmark data to guide the decision to reopen schools for in-person instruction. This guidance is expected from the Arizona Department of Health Services by August 7, 2020, but it is currently unknown what the criteria will include.
I continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Arizona and in Maricopa County to best decide how Seton Catholic Preparatory will open the school year on August 17, 2020. I am concerned that the state of Arizona continues to experience the following: 1) a high positivity rate of COVID-19 test results, 2) delays in testing and testing results, 3) and that Arizona seems to have plateaued at best, but has not experienced a downward trend in new cases. The decision to open for in-person instruction will be made when we can reasonably support the safety of our students and staff on campus and it will be based on science and data.
Although I wish to begin in-person instruction or a hybrid version of in-person instruction, I believe the prudent decision at this time is to begin on August 17th with online instruction with the goal of transitioning to in-person instruction when the criteria from the Department of Health Services (DHS) is known and achieved. This decision is in line with what all other Catholic schools within the Diocese of Phoenix are choosing to do. The Diocese of Phoenix has identified the target date to begin with in-person instruction as September 8, 2020. I will continue to provide weekly updates with the hopes of giving parents as much notice as possible as to when we will transition to in-person instruction so they can make necessary logistical arrangements.
New students will be invited to attend an optional in-person orientation in small cohorts during the week of August 10, 2020. The schedule for orientation will be sent out from the Admissions Office. Students will login to their classes through Canvas beginning on Monday, August 17, 2020. The online schedule of classes is as follows:
Please note that we are working on plans to accommodate students with current Student Support Plans or who need special consideration to work on campus. Special consideration based on technology issues, academic concerns, or the social and emotional health of the students will be considered based on the availability of our staff and facilitates. Please contact me if you believe your son or daughter is in need of special consideration.
I am saddened by the reality of having to begin the year temporarily with online instruction, but I find hope in our confidence that we can and will provide a great Catholic education in support of our mission. We have learned from our past experiences and we will continue to build upon our previous online successes to create a virtual Catholic faith community that focuses on academic excellence, leadership, and loving service to others.
I will continue praying for you and your family and I ask for your continued prayers and support.