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Following government restrictions, officials at the Diocese of Wilmington have decided to keep its elementary and secondary schools closed until May 18 in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Louis De Angelo, superintendent of schools for the diocese, announced the decision in letters March 24 sent to school staff and families.
“In cooperation with directives from government and health professionals, all Catholic elementary and secondary schools – parish, regional, and diocesan – in the Diocese of Wilmington will be closed until Monday, May 18,” De Angelo said in the letter to staff. “I realize the challenges this places before you in preparation, planning, instruction and assessment. Know that I am grateful for time, energy, and work to move our students forward so that they may progress to the next grade by the end of the school year. Should the duration of the school closure be shortened or lengthened, you will receive additional communication.”
Archmere Academy, Ursuline Academy and St. Edmond’s Academy, private Catholic schools located in the diocese, are not impacted by the announcement from the diocese. Archmere is closed until April 20 and will re-evaluate that date in the interim as necessary. Ursuline and St. Edmond’s have not yet announced re-opening dates.
Elementary and secondary schools in the diocese have been using various tools and methods to keep schoolwork going while everyone is remaining at home, De Angelo said.
In his letter to families, De Angelo thanked parents and students for staying together and working with staff to keep the education process moving.
“Together we must all do our part to address the coronavirus challenge before us and together we shall be successful,” he said.
De Angelo acknowledged that many questions remain as this unprecedented disruption is requiring everyone to adjust to different methods and expectations.
“In a special way I thank you for continuing the faith formation of our students,” De Angelo said in the note to staff. “Inviting them to (online) daily prayer and weekly Mass has led some of them to engage others in their households to do the same. Please model for them and provide resources to them and their families to participate in ongoing catechesis and praxis. In many ways our students have become missionaries to their own families.”
He said he knows everyone has questions about the remainder of the school year.
“The duration of this school closure will require adjustments in a variety of areas. These adjustments are under review by the Diocese of Wilmington at this time and a follow-up communication will explain information that may answer questions or concerns you have. Your patience in awaiting the follow-up communication is greatly appreciated.”