Three Catholic Academies and one Parish School in Southern Brooklyn, serving 1,070 students, have so far recorded only one confirmed COVID19 case. Brooklyn Diocese is arguing that this proves their safety policies are effectively protecting our students and teachers and the schools should not be closed as part of the Governor’s plan to curb COVID19 rise in Brooklyn.
“This decision by the Governor clearly fails to take into account the positive progress our Diocesan school system has made so far this school year,” said Dr. Tom Chadzutko, Superintendent. “It is unconscionable to think that after the many sacrifices our staff, students, and parents have made, and in spite of our almost non-existent infection rate, the Governor has decided to force our four schools to close. The Governor should delay the order related to our schools and visit each one before holding firm to his decision.”
Governor announced earlier today that all public and private schools in zip codes that are reporting above 3% infection rates are closed for in-person instruction starting tomorrow. In his remarks Governor Cuomo explained why -kids from the neighborhood may go to different schools, yet they may frequent the same playgrounds, or religious institutions potentially promoting the spread of the virus.
St. Athanasius Catholic Academy (11204), Our Lady of Grace (11223), St. Edmund Elementary School (11229), and Good Shepherd Catholic Academy (11229) have been requiring students to wear masks all day, not just in class, but throughout the school building, the Diocese informed.
“Desks are set up six feet apart. Hand and respiratory hygiene are promoted and enforced by teachers. Signage has been installed throughout school buildings promoting hygiene, illness, mask, and distance requirements. Schools conduct daily health screenings of all who enter the building per New York State guidelines. Procedures are in place if a positive COVID case is detected or suspected. We follow all mandates by city and state health officials on reporting, testing, and tracing. Catholic Academies and Parish Schools are cleaned on a daily basis using CDC approved sanitizers and disinfectants and high touch areas are cleaned several times a day. Additionally, we have passed all inspections of our Catholic Academies/Parish Schools conducted by New York City health officials.”