The Catholic Diocese of Dallas announced Thursday that in-person learning will resume this fall.
The Dallas Diocese said parents will receive a detailed reopening plan from schools soon. They did confirm in a news release that all diocesan elementary schools that are not in Dallas County can begin in-person instruction as early as Aug. 19.
All diocesan elementary schools that are located within Dallas County can begin in-person instruction Sept. 2.
In a written statement, Superintendent Matt Vereecke said public schools face different issues than local Catholic schools.
"Diocesan schools have smaller classes, different facilities, and more flexibility to adapt to current health concerns," Vereecke said.
The Dallas Diocese said regardless of the start date, there will be a two-week phase in full-time instruction where students and parents will be trained on school safety and health protocols.
Some of the protocols including the following:
- All individuals will be required to wear face coverings when inside school buildings. There can be and will be no exceptions to this policy.
- There will be no fall sports for grade schools.
- All individuals will submit to health screenings every day; mandatory sick leave will be enforced and details will be shared by the school principal when and if someone tests positive.
- Parents may opt for remote learning if the protocols do not fit the needs of the student or family.
Vereecke said he is aware that the decision to open and the protocols will be viewed by some as an ideological or political statement.
“That is not the case. Our decisions have been made with only three objectives in mind: the health, safety, and faith of our students, teachers, and staff."
Vereecke said leaders of diocesan schools have been meeting regularly with the Diocese of Dallas administration and medical experts to create protocols to keep everyone safe.
"Human life is sacred, and as Catholics, we have a responsibility to protect it from conception to natural death, and we firmly believe these protocols will do so," Vereecke said.
More on WFAA:
- More Texas parents take a 'serious look' at homeschool options amid COVID-19 pandemic
- Very few Americans back full school reopening, poll says
- 'We don't have any options': Fort Worth families with no internet, other needs worried about upcoming school year
- North Texas school districts enforcing disciplinary action for students who intentionally cough on others
- Dallas ISD releases 'reentry playbook' for parents and staff