Masks, temperature checks and more: Diocese of Covington releases back-to-school requirements

Read the full 13-page plan
Diocese of Covington
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 18:43:15-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — The Diocese of Covington released back-to-school requirements and guidelines for its 39 Northern Kentucky Catholic schools on Tuesday, including a mask requirement for students first grade and above.

Other requirements include a daily "health self-assessment" for teachers, students and staff before coming to school, temperature checks at school, social distancing of six feet in hallways and in classrooms plus increased hygiene and sanitation.

Additionally, school water fountains will be used to refill bottles only, field trips for the first half of the year will be canceled, and after-school clubs, academic teams and other extracurriculars will resume with social distancing.

The guidelines released Tuesday also included staggered lunch and recess times to accommodate social distancing and extending dismissal to avoid students and parents congregating at the end of the day. Parents also will be required to stay in their cars during dismissal.

School Masses will follow the existing COVID-19 protocol set out here.

“We share the common value of educating our students in a safe and faith-filled community,” said Superintendent Mike Clines in a release. “I am confident that by working together we will be able to achieve that goal even during this health crisis. Discipline and cooperation are hallmarks of a Catholic school community. With the grace of God, I am confident that our school communities will come together to be committed guardians of each other by implementing these requirements in an atmosphere of discipline, cooperation and Christian love.”

The plans were created by a sub-committee led by Clines and Kendra McGuire, associate superintendent of Catholic Schools, and made up of priests, Curia members, principals, doctors and attorneys. The document is also based on information from the Kentucky Department of Health, Department of Education and CDC, along with the guidance from the Diocesan Coronavirus Taskforce.

“I thank everyone who has helped develop the COVID-19 Return to School Requirements,” McGuire said. “As an administrator and parent I share the concerns of many of our families. I am grateful that our school families have chosen to entrust their child’s academic and spiritual education to our Catholic school system and look forward to a safe and blessed school year.”

School leaders said there may be updates to these regulations as new information comes in from health and government officials.

Read the full Return to Schools Requirements document in the viewer below, or click here.