Diocese of Wilmington Catholic schools in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland are closed for the remainder of the school year, Lou De Angelo, superintendent of schools for the diocese announced April 24.
De Angelo said distance learning will continue at all schools through the end of the school year in mid-June as the diocese continues to abide by public health restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus. Gov. John Carney made the same decision for public schools in Delaware while Gov. Larry Hogan in Maryland has not announced a decision for the remainder of his state’s school year. The diocese decision includes its schools in both states. Private Catholic schools located in the diocese are not impacted by the announcement.
Schools in the diocese have been closed since mid-March.
In a letter to parents, De Angelo said he understands many questions remain for students and parents, and diocese and school officials will address them in the coming days and weeks.
“Some of these questions can be answered at the diocesan level and others require a local level response from your parish and/or school,” De Angelo wrote.
“We thank you for your continued engagement and support of your child’s(ren’s) school through your participation and encouragement,” he wrote in the letter. “You have been tasked with additional responsibilities as your child(ren) learn at home. Our administrators and teachers, who are also expending many hours in preparation and teaching in this very different environment, are grateful for your understanding and attention to this work. Together, we shall provide your child(ren) with the best experience possible under the circumstances.”
De Angelo said continuation of distance learning is important so students are prepared for the next school year. He said the last day of school on the school calendar is June 12.
“At your local school you will hear from your school principal if a change in the calendar different from the diocesan calendar was previously approved,” he wrote.
Questions regarding graduation, closing exercises, and end-of-year activities will be addressed by local schools, De Angelo said. Those plans will be individualized by school, he said, and he is asking schools to share their plans with parents by May 15.
“When permitted, we shall work with schools to provide families limited access to school buildings, respecting the requirements of social distancing, masks, gloves, and other expectations, to retrieve students’ belongings. More information about this process will follow in communication with you from your local school at the appropriate time. We ask your patience in awaiting an approved protocol for this procedure to occur.”
“Lastly, please continue to share in the faith formation of your child(ren) through daily prayer, weekly Mass, devotional time as a family, and other ways that keep your family close to the Lord. Know that Bishop Malooly, clergy, administrators, teachers, and staff hold you in prayer each day.”
The diocese includes 36 elementary and high schools.