Kathy MearsFebruary 15, 2021

The shutdowns in the United States—of businesses, restaurants, schools, churches—began one year ago this March. We asked 14 experts to reflect on the biggest lessons from the past year in the hope that they might help us find a better way forward. You can read the rest of the series here.

We learned that Catholic schools can be creative and agile in pursuing new ways of doing things in order to support the education of our students. We learned that Catholic educators can pivot and change our methods, retaining the foundation of our work and providing students with multiple encounters with Jesus during the school day, even when using virtual platforms.

During the pandemic, Catholic schools have successfully offered both virtual and in-person instruction, providing children with not only an optimal learning environment that meets their academic needs, but an atmosphere that is supportive of their social and emotional health. In this manner, Catholic schools have served the common good and afforded students with opportunities to develop their minds, bodies and spirits. Research has shown that children, especially the most vulnerable students, may suffer when they are not receiving in-person instruction. Catholic schools have met their responsibility to provide high-quality education in a physically safe environment, in places that support the mental health of students, when they opened for in-person instruction.

Catholic schools have placed students first in the teaching and learning processes. We have continued to orient these endeavors toward the pursuit of beauty, truth and goodness in the person of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is at work, breathing life and fostering renewal in the souls of the young people entrusted to our care. It is through this unique and blessed devotion and service to God’s people that generations will be transformed.

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