Letter from David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools, to Catholic school families:
As we continue preparing for a safe return to school, Bishop Walkowiak wants to make sure no student is left behind. We are excited to share that he has announced up to $1 million in tuition assistance for returning and new families whose finances have been affected by COVID-19. This tuition assistance is available for the 2020-21 school year. Apply at this link:
We thank Bishop Walkowiak for his support of Catholic school families and Catholic education. This special tuition assistance is possible through diocesan savings. Healthy organizations maintain unrestricted savings for emergencies, and the Diocese of Grand Rapids is no exception. Some people call this a rainy day fund. Bishop Walkowiak said, “This is a rainy day.”
Bishop Walkowiak is grateful that school leaders, teachers, and families partnered for a strong finish in 2019-20, completing a full, 180-day academic year. As we prepare to welcome students back, the financial impact of COVID-19 should not keep your family from the benefits of Catholic education.
We continue preparations for our return to school in August. It is important for school parents to know that Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids will continue to utilize the CDC Guidelines for Schools, and will adhere to all requirements of MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap and the MI Safe Start Plan.
Catholic schools will reopen in August safely and prudently, provided our region (Region 2) is in phase 4 or 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan. If our region is in Phase 4 when school starts, Catholic schools will open to students five days per week adhering to strict safety protocols. If Region 2 is in Phase 5, Catholic schools will open 5 days per week under safety protocols that are strongly recommended. We are currently compiling a resource summarizing these requirements and recommendations, which we will share in mid-July. In the meantime, if you consult the roadmap beginning on page 22, you can preview the safety measures that will be “required” for schools by Michigan law and those that will be “strongly recommended” or “recommended” during times when our region is in phase 4. You will find the same beginning on page 38 for times when our region is in phase 5.
As the new academic year gets closer, your Catholic school will communicate the specific information you need to be well prepared for the start of school. For now, do not delay in applying for the Bishop’s special COVID-19 tuition assistance, if this is helpful to your family during these trying times.
Thank you for your commitment to Catholic education.
Yours in Christ,
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Catholic schools release return to school plan “Living Our Mission In Today’s Reality” (July 23, 2020)
Read the plan in English and en Español.
Visit Catholicschools4u.org to learn more.